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The history of the man-made Giritale Tank ‘inland sea’ predates the history of Polonnaruwa, and is now part of one of the area’s best nature reserves. The tank was part of an extensive irrigation system built over 1,000 years ago for agricultural purposes. This included massive stone embankments and culverts, which diverted much-needed water to the paddy fields for rice production. Minneriya National Park borders the Giritale Tank, and boat tours allow visitors to catch glimpses of the wildlife that abounds in the area, particularly elephants that come to feed on the lush grass at the water’s edge.
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