Home to the legendary Yoda Wewa (“Yoda” is the Sinhalese word for “Giant”), the Giant’s Tank Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary covering an area of 10,700 acres in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. It is located approximately 20 kilometres southeast of Mannar Island and was officially designated as a sanctuary in the mid-20th century, in the year 1954.
Possible Origins of the Tank
There are several hypotheses as to the origins of the tank. According to one theory, the Giant’s Tank is the same tank that was built by the ancient Sri Lankan King Dhatusena in the 5th century and subsequently restored by King Parakramabahu I in the 12th century. Another theory assumes that the tank was built by the Naga people, an ancient tribe that once inhabited the island.
The Tank During the Colonial Era
In the 18th century, the administration of that period’s Dutch governor considered renovating the tank, but those plans never came to fruition. The Dutch and subsequent British irrigation engineers who studied the tank came to the conclusion that it had been created with a flawed design; however, when the tank was nevertheless restored, it soon became apparent that it was yet another example of Sri Lanka’s great ancient irrigation systems.
Best Time to Visit
As it can get quite hot between the months of April to June, especially in the Nothern Province, travellers should plan their holidays; whether to Mannar or the surrounding cities during other months of the year. The best time to visit the Giant’s Tank in Mannar would be between July to September, or between December to February, for the ideal weather conditions.