“Kuttam Pokuna” or “Twin Ponds” is a unique creation of ancient architecture and considered as one of the significant achievements in hydrological engineering in ancient Sri Lanka. The pond is located in the Sacred City of Anuradhapura in North Central Province, Sri Lanka. As the name suggests, there are two ponds in this creation. It has been identified that these ponds were used to collect water for the Abhayagiri Vihara monks to bath.
The two ponds are not identical and also one seems to be older than the other. The width of the ponds is the same and it is 51 feet. The bigger pond is 132 feet long and the other is 91 feet long. There are a number of staircases to get down to the ponds and one pond has two staircases while the other one having three staircases.
The beginning of staircases is decorated with the “Punkalas” or pots (the symbol of prosperity in ancient buildings) increasing the aesthetic beauty of this creation.
There is evidence that the water in the ponds has been supplied using underground pipes and after going through a number of filters. The water first enters the northern pond through another special design called “Makara Kata” (mouth of a dragon). Then the water flows from one to the other via a duct at the ground level. The water from both ponds is drained out from a small outlet located at the bottom of the small pond. Many creations including this, suggest that there would have been an advanced irrigation technology that existed during the Anuradhapura kingdom.
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