Evening with Elephants at Girithale


The 12th century ocean lake ‘Giritale Tank’ built by King Agbo the 2nd is said to be the deepest tank in Sri Lanka’s medieval capital Polonnaruwa established as the city of the land in the 11th century AD.

Giritale lies 216 kms northwest of Colombo, 140 kms northwest of Kandy and 104 kms southwest of Anuradhapura. The majestic king’s council, the Lotus Bath, the Lanka Thilaka Viharaya, the Gal Viharaya (Rock Temple) and the statue of one of Sri Lanka’s greatest kings, Parakramabahu are a few of the many tourist attractions in close proximity to Giritale. The sea of Parakrama – a vast 12th century man-made reservoir at Polonnaruwa, is yet another big attraction close to Giritale.

The largest irrigation tank of Parakrambahu I, it was the life-blood of the ancient city providing water for the growth of thirsty rice crops and other foodstuffs. Its 5,600 acres of water irrigated an estimated 18,200 acres of paddy land. Five minor lakes were incorporated in the building of the Parakrama Samudra.

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