Notes on the Geography of Sri Lanka: Gurugal Oya
The Gurugal Oya flows from Loolecondera northeastward toward the Mahaweli. Like the Talatu Oya and Atabage Oya, it supports a tiny pocket of very productive farmland.
The road descends a long grade before passing the first rank of terraces.
We've timed our arrival for the annual task of mudding the paddies.
The terrace walls must be weeded and trimmed.
A gang at work.
Trimming the terrace bund.
A nearby set of terraces has yet to be cleaned up.
Finally, a glimpse of the valley, with a couple of threshing floors in view.
The limits of cultivable land are determined by the elevation of the irrigation canals running on both sides of the valley.
Along the axis of the valley, the tiny Gurugal Oya itself.
Many of the paddies are absurdly small, yet some of the villagers are reasonably prosperous, perhaps (even likely) because they or family members are earning money outside the valley.
The harvest occurs at different dates in different parts of the valley. Here, women winnow the unhusked paddy.
Downstream a few hundred yards, another group of fields is not yet ready for harvest.
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