Wavai dagabai (Tank and Dagaba) is a concept which inherited us is very significant. It is reminded you the Imagination created in everybody’s mind by that concept which can be seen even vesak greeting cards always is none other than the largest tank visible near Swarnamali maha chethiya shining with moon light. It is Abhaya wava or Basawakkaulama wava.
Malwatu oya starts from famous mountain Ritigala flows through Dambulla and Anuradhapura enters Mannar bay near Silawathura. It is 104 miles in length .The first part is introduced as Aruvi ara. This is the second largest river basin in Sri Lanka.
The first king who made the capital in Anuradhapura is Pandukabaya succeeded his uncles after fights with them. He ruled the country for70 years and constructed Basawakkulama which was his first tank and accepted as the first tank in this country. He named it as Abayavapi. Pandukabaya era is famous for its mark of beginning in the irrigation work. However archeological and other facts reveal ancient Helayas had heritage more than 3000 years in their irrigation technique.
Basawakkulama wava has capacity of 1910 acre feet water is spreads through 265 acres. The bund of the tank is 3900 feet in length and 15 ½ feet in average depth. The tank exists with 460 acres area but it only has one spill which is a natural spill with 100 feet long structure and 9 holes. Although there is a catchment area of 3 ½ square miles it has additional water supply from Thissa Weva. Ancient tank has been restored in 1874 with a cost of Rs. 69,591.00.
Bsawakkulama wava provides irrigation facilitates for additional 916 acres but its key role is to provide water for pilgrims and citizens. It remains water usually up to 5 feet in height. Basawakkulama wava plays a key role to fulfill need of water for millions of pilgrims especially in Poson seasons of pilgrimage and other seasons as well. It is a best evidence of definiteness for our proud irrigation civilization due to the fact that the first tank built in our country is alive even today serving great service to the people in our country. As such it is a live fact to point out to the world as a heritage of a proud nation which enjoys freedom.