Another ancient monument that was built in the 12th century during the reign of King Parakramabahu, the Parakrama Samudra is a testament to the engineers of the ancient kingdom. As Polonnaruwa lies in the dry and arid lands of the island, the area experiences two seasons of monsoon rain, which was never enough to keep the populace healthy.
The Ingenuity of Ancient Engineers
The Parakrama Samudra, sometimes called the ‘Sea of Parakrama’ was built as an irrigation solution, so as to supply water for the many paddy cultivations in the kingdom. Even today, the Parakrama Samudra supplies water to over 18000 acres of neighbouring cultivations. Presently though, the original grandeur has been lost due to the reconstruction of the artificial lake, which isolated two tributary rivers that fed the lake, namely the Kalahagala River and the Bhu River. In other words, the present lake is only fed by the Thopa River, Eramudu River, and the Dumbuthulu River.
The Present-day Lake
Although it no longer is vast as it used to be, there is a lot to admire, as some ancient structures on the banks still exist and are waiting to be explored. What makes this artificial lake all the more enticing to travellers is its peaceful and rustic setting that makes one truly appreciate the exotic beauty of Sri Lanka.