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Kantale Wewa

Location Details

Kantalai is a small town situated in the Trincomalee district in eastern Sri Lanka It has a mixed population of Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. It's history is closely related to the Kantalai Tank.

Located on the Polonnaruwa-Trincomalee road, the Kantale Tank is an ancient reservoir built by King Aggabodhi II (604-614 AD) covering an extent of 3,750 hectares. Constructed for the irrigation of crops in this arid region, its source of water is the Mahaweli River, the longest in the island, which flows out to the sea at Trincomalee.

The Kantale tank supports a thriving inland fishing industry and has been designated an Important Bird Area (IBA) by Birdlife International in recognition of the large populations of water birds and birds of prey it supports. Large herds of elephants also visit the shores of the tank to cool off and have a drink in the evening from the surrounding jungle.

One of the oldest tanks in Sri Lanka, the Kantale Tank gives water to a vast area for paddy and sugar cane plantations as well as for human consumption in Trincomalee and the adjoining areas.