Mahāvālukagangā, Mahāgangā, Mahāvālukanadī

The chief river of Ceylon, the modern Mahāveliganga. Viewed from the city of Anurādhapura, the right bank was called pāragangā and the left oragangā. The river was of great strategic importance, and is mentioned in various accounts of campaigns between opposing armies. It was always regarded as the boundary between North Ceylon, with Anurādhapura (and later, Pulatthipura) as the centre, and the South east province of Rohana.

Various fords on this river are mentioned in the books, the chief among these being Kacchakatittha, Ganthambatittha, Mahārukkhatittha, Mālāgāmatittha, Yakkhasūkaratittha, Sarogāmatittha, Sahassatittha and Suvannatthambhatittha. There were evidently other fords at the bends of the river with no particular names (e.g., Cv.lxxii.285).

The kings of Ceylon constructed various canals branching off from the river to help in their irrigation schemes. One such was the Pabbatanta Canal, built by Mahāsena (Mhv.xxxvii.50); while the Aciravatī, the Gomatī, and the Malāpaharani were constructed by Parakkamabāhu I. (Cv.lxxix.51f). Dhātusena irrigated the surrounding fields by means of damming up the river (Cv.xxxviii.12), as did Sena II. by the construction of the Manimekhala dam ( In the time of Parakkamabāhu II. and, later, of Vijayabāhu IV., great ordination ceremonies were held on the river at Sahassatittha (Cv.lxxxvii.72; lxxxix.70f), and again at Ganthambatittha in the time of Vimaladhammasūriya I. Cv.xciv.17; also Vimaladhammasūriya II. (Cv.xcvii.12).

The river rises in Samantakūta (Cv.c.82). The Mahānāgavana of the Yakkhas, where, later, was erected the Mahiyangathūpa, was on the right bank of the river. Cv.lxxxix.70; Mhv.Trs., p.3.

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