The huge lake
upon whose northeastern shore Polonnaruwa rests is an inland
sea known as the Parakrama Samudra. The largest irrigation
tank of Parakramabahu I. It was the life-blood of the ancient
city in the same way that it is the blood life of the religion
today, providing water for the growth of thirsty rice crops
and other foodstuffs. Its 5,600 acres of water irrigated
an estimated 18,200 acres of paddy land.
Five minor lakes were
incorporated in the building of the Parakrama Samudra, whose 8
1/2- mile bund contains 4 1/2 million cubic yards of earth.
One thousand men employed in the hand labor of the period,
working 24 hours a day. could scarcely have completed the job
in 12 years.