A megalithic structure, and a spectacle that boasts Sri Lanka’s advancement in engineering – The Victoria dam is Sri Lanka’s largest dam. Read on to know more about this mega structure and how it empowers the island nation.
Built across the longest river in Sri Lanka, about 209 kilometres upstream of the Mahaweli River – the dam was purpose-built to irrigate 365000ha of cultivation land surrounding the dam and adding up to 210 Megawatt of electricity to the national grid. Still serving its purpose and providing a gargantuan push to the country’s economic growth the dam is certainly an extraordinary feat of engineering and it is a symbol of hope.
Commencement of Construction and completion
The project was in the planning phase for approximately 30 years and was commenced with the push from the government in 1977 since the country faced a major economic turmoil during the time. After 7 years of rigorous construction, the dam was ceremoniously opened during the month of April in 1985 by then-president Jayawardene.
The dam measures a whopping 120 meters in height, and the crest length measures 520 meters and the dam has been built to hold up to 722,000,000 m3 of water. It has a total of 8 spillways and they will open automatically if the water levels are high. They are designed to only consume energy while closing and due to this feature the dam has won an award for Innovative Design in Civil Engineering by the Institution of civil engineers.
The Victoria dam is an arch bridge located approximately an hour drive away from the town of Teldeniya. Also located close to many accommodation options and luxury bungalows in Sri Lanka the likes of Amaya Bungalow Kandy, the dam is easily accessible by a tuk-tuk or a taxi and you could also reach here though bus if you are budget conscious. Visiting hours are from 8.30 am to 4.30pm