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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.

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Sri Lanka: Gurugal Oya picture 1

The road descends a long grade before passing the first rank of terraces.

Sri Lanka: Gurugal Oya picture 2

We've timed our arrival for the annual task of mudding the paddies.

Sri Lanka: Gurugal Oya picture 3

The terrace walls must be weeded and trimmed.

Sri Lanka: Gurugal Oya picture 4

A gang at work.

Sri Lanka: Gurugal Oya picture 5

Trimming the terrace bund.

Sri Lanka: Gurugal Oya picture 6

A nearby set of terraces has yet to be cleaned up.

Sri Lanka: Gurugal Oya picture 7

Finally, a glimpse of the valley, with a couple of threshing floors in view.

Sri Lanka: Gurugal Oya picture 8

The limits of cultivable land are determined by the elevation of the irrigation canals running on both sides of the valley.

Sri Lanka: Gurugal Oya picture 9

Along the axis of the valley, the tiny Gurugal Oya itself.

Sri Lanka: Gurugal Oya picture 10

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.

Sri Lanka: Gurugal Oya picture 11

The harvest occurs at different dates in different parts of the valley.  Here, women winnow the unhusked paddy.

Sri Lanka: Gurugal Oya picture 12

Downstream a few hundred yards, another group of fields is not yet ready for harvest.


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