Parakkamasamudda, Parakkama-samudda: 1 definition


Parakkamasamudda means something in the history of ancient India. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

India history and geography

[«previous next»] — Parakkamasamudda in India history glossary
Source: Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 1963

1) Parakkamasamudda refers to the waters that once surrounded the western part of Polonnaruva (Polonnaruwa), Ceylon (Sri Lanka).—Vijayabāhu I, who became king over all Ceylon in 1070, built the first wall round the City: it was a high, strong wall with many bastions, and it was surrounded by a broad, deep moat. Parakkamabāhu I (1153-1186) remodelled the City. A chain of walls enclosed the town on all sides. Within the outer chain were 3 walls decreasing in size. Within the innermost chain was a secondary chain of walls which enclosed the Citadel or Royal Enclosure. The walls were pierced by 14 gates. The outer chain of walls appears to have crumbled away, but the inner chain is in a fair state of preservation. The west wall was really the bund of Parakkamasamudda whose huge sheet of water protected the City on the north-west, west and south-west.

The most westerly part of the City was a Promontory which projected into Parakkamasamudda and was called the Dippuyana or “Island Garden”...

2) The second, and much larger, Parakkamasamudda “that King of reservoirs”, is given pride of place in the Chronicle in the list of irrigation works of Parakkamabahu’s reign. It was formed “by damming the Kāra-Gaṅgā by a great dam between the hills and bringing its mighty flood of water hither by means of a vast  canal called the Ākāsa-Gaṅgā”. The identity of the ancient Parakkamasamudda with the present, restored reservoir at Polonnaruva to which the same name has been given, admits of no doubt. King Nissaṅka Malla, as he was wont to do, re-named it Nissaṅkasamudra, but neither this name nor the name which Parakkamabāhu gave it endured, except in literature.

The Pūjāvaliya gives the name Mahāsamudra to the Parakkamasamudda at Polonnaruva.

The canal system associated with Parakkamasamudda is described and named in the Cūlavamsa as follows:—

  1. Gambhīrā canal, from the Makara sluice;
  2. Hemavatī canal, which flowed from the main reservoir in the direction of the Mahāmeghavaṇa park;
  3. Nīlavāhinī canal, from the Mālatīpuppha sluice;
  4. Salalavatī canal, from the Kīlākaruyyāna sluice;
  5. Vettavatī canal, from the Vettavatī sluice;
  6. Tuṅgabhaddā canal, from the Dakkhiṇa sluice;
  7. Maṅgalagaṅgā canal, from the Maṅgalagaṅgā sluice;
  8. Campā canal, from the sluice near the Caṇḍī Gate;
  9. Candabhāga canal, which flowed through the Lakkhuyyāna garden;
  10. Nammadā canal, which branched off by the corner of the Jetavana-vihāra;
  11. Sarasvatī canal, which flowed from Toyavāpi and led to Puṇṇavaddhanavāpi;
  12. Veṇumatī canal, which flowed from the west side of Toyavāpi;
  13. Yamuna canal, which flowed west from Puṇṇavaddhana tank;
  14. Sarabhū canal, which flowed north from Puṇṇavaddhana tank;
  15. Nerañjarā canal which flowed north;
  16. Bhagīrathī canal, which started from Anotattavāpi;
  17. Āvattagaṅgā canal, which flowed south from Anotattavāpi;
  18. Tambapaṇṇi canal, which flowed north from Ambālavāpi;
  19. Kāverī canal, which conveyed water from Giritalākavāpi (present Giritalevava) to Kaddūravaḍḍhamānakavāpi, also called Kaduruvaḍunnā;
  20. Somavatī canal, which flowed from Kaddūravaḍḍhamānākavapī to Arimaddavijayaggāmavāpi.
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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