The rays of the evening sun glimmered over still waters that are the lifeblood of this land…
Dusk was slowly and leisurely approaching as we stopped by the Randenigala reservoir. As the sun bade goodbye, rain clouds hovered over the waters.
Against the blue shadows of the central hills, glowing rays seeped through. It was a heavenly sight, almost as if the tank was receiving news of oncoming showers from the sky.
To many, it would be difficult to imagine that this mesmerizing scene was the result of a man-made wonder. Completed in the 1980s, it mimics the grandeur of the reservoirs
built by the great kings of the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa eras. Munching on chili-infused mangoes, we walked along the banks enjoying picturesque.
The source of water and vegetation that prospers around it attracts many an animal, even at times herds of elephants. Grey-headed fish eagles or tank eagles as they are
commonly called for their partiality for tanks, soared above the waters, taking their pick of the abundant aquatic prey.
The rilawas or monkeys of course were up to their usual trickery.
The giant rock-filled Randenigala dam stood tall at a height of 94 meters, its strength that held the waters in place spanning a length of 485 meters.
Three magnificently symmetrical spill gates curved down like giant play slides. During the Northeast monsoon, which feeds the reservoir,
the spill gates will unleash the ferocious might of Poseidon with a roar like thunder. Across the body of water is the Randenigala power station, where two mammoth turbines
supply 20 percent of the Island’s power demand. We traversed through the sanctuary until we reached another mini dam, its structure was different from that of the
reservoirs of Victoria and Randenigala. It was the Minipe Anicut. While Randenigala craved for the energy of water, this ancient lusted after its life-giving and nourishing
properties. The water that has served its purpose at Randenigala is diverted by the Minipe anicut for the use of cultivation and village life.
A system that pays homage to the famous words of King Parakramabahu of Polonnaruwa, “Let not even one drop of water that falls on the earth in the
form of rain is allowed to reach the sea without being used by man”.