Mahaweli River

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mahaweli (මහවැලි ගඟ)
Mahaweli Ganga
Mahaweli Ganga by Gampola.jpg
Mahaweli River flowing through Gampola
Country Sri Lanka
Source Horton Plains National Park[1]
Mouth Bay of Bengal
 - location Trincomalee
 - elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Length 335 km (208 mi)

The Mahaweli River (Sinhala: මහවැලි ගඟ, literally "Great Sandy River"; Tamil: மகாவலி ஆறு [mahawali gangai]),[2] is a 335 km (208 mi) long river, ranking as the longest river in Sri Lanka. Its drainage basin is the largest in the country, and covers almost one-fifth of the total area of the island. The river reaches the Bay of Bengal on the southwestern side of Trincomalee Bay. The bay includes the first of a number submarine canyons, making Trincomalee one of the finest deep-sea harbors in the world.[3] The river and its tributaries are dammed at several locations to allow irrigation in the dry zone, with almost 1,000 km2 (386 sq mi) of land irrigated.[4] Production of hydroelectricity from six dams of the Mahaweli system supplies more than 40% of Sri Lanka's electricity needs. One of the many sources of the river is the Kotmale Oya.[5]

There is a misconception in Sri Lanka that river Mahaweli starts from Sri Pada mountain. River Mahaweli gets its initial waters from Hortain Plains in Kirigalpoththa and Thotupola mountain range.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Horton Plains National Park". International Water Management Institute. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  2. ^ Room, Adrian (2001-05-01). Placenames of the World. McFarland & Company. ISBN 0-7864-1814-1. 
  3. ^ Stoddart, David (1996-12-26). Process and Form in Geomorphology. Routledge (UK). ISBN 0-415-10527-7. 
  4. ^ Barry, D. (2001-06-07). Knowledge of the Land. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-829601-0. 
  5. ^ Mahaweli Ganga

Coordinates: 8°28′N 81°14′E / 8.467°N 81.233°E / 8.467; 81.233

External links[edit]