Maligatenne ( Nuwaragalkande)
Kandalama lake, with the five-star Kandalama Tourist Hotel overlooking its wonderful rural setting, is one of the thousands of reservoirs created by the ancient people over a period of 15 centuries to conserve water for domestic needs and the cultivation of rice, the staple food. It was a period during which village, temple and lake was the trinity of Sinhalese culture.
King Mahasen of the 3rd century was the first of the big reservoir builders. The Mahavamsa credits him with the great Minneriwewa and 16 smaller reservoirs. The ruins of several buildings at Nuwaragalkande in the Sigiri-bim are believed to have been his maligatenne, a sub-palace where he resided during the construction of Minneri wewa.
Four small reservoirs in the area, Nuwaragalwewa, Nagollawewa, Vewelwewa and Puselgolla wewa could also have been constructed by him.
Mahasen was deified by the ancient people for his great contribution to irrigation. He is worshipped even today in the Sigiri-bim as Minneri-deviyo, a deity protective of the welfare of rural folk.
by Derrick Schokman
February 13, 2007