It was Moggallana II (540-560), also called Dala Mugalan by Sinhalese people, who could provide a short period of peace in an otherwise troubled 6th century. This second Mogallana on Sri Lanka’s throne is credited with constructing two significant reservoirs, namely the present Padaviya and Nacchaduwa tanks. This is indeed remarkable, because both of them are of immense sizes. Nacchaduwa reservoir, also spelt Naccaduva or Nachchaduwa Wewa, is the largest reservoir in Anuradhapura District even today, whereas Padaviya is even bigger. Indeed, it’s the largest ancient reservoir of today’s Sri Lanka. Once the Parakrama Samudra of Polonnaruwa, constructed in the 12th century, seems to have been much larger than Padaviya tank. But today’s Topa Wewa near Polonnaruwa is only a part of that medieval construction and not as vast as today’s Padaviya tank.
adaviya tank is situated not far from Mullaitivu at the northeastern coast of the island, in a part of the dry zone which is called “Vanni”. The very dry Vanni area had been far away from agricultural activities in and around Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa previously. Not by accident, the northern part of the Anuradhapura Kingdom now became a fourth administrational devision, which was called Uttaradesa, “northern land”. Thus, the Padiviya project definetely marks a significant expansion of cultivated area in Sri Lanka and must be counted as a great achievement of the 6th century.
Nevertheless, the authority of Moggallana II was total only over the northern half of the island, whereas Rohana in the south was ruled by a chieftain, Mahanaga. Interestingly, he seems to have accepted Moggallana's sovereignty. During the reign of other Anuradhapura kings of the 6th century (and later centuries), periods of effective control over the island were rare, Rohana seems to have been completely independent and sometimes even mightier than Anuradhapura. This happened already during the reign of Moggallana's son and successor, Kitthisiri Meghavanna. Then Mahanaga raised the standard of rebellion and made himself king in Anuradhapura (561-564).
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