July 26, 2013

Kallanai aka The Grand Anicut - the engineering marvel of the Cholas

Site Name: Kallanai aka The Grand Anicut
Site Type: Dam
Location:  Near Trichy city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: An engineering marvel by the early Cholas; the dam was constructed in the 2nd century CE; 
Nearest Railway Station: Trichy
Nearest Airport: Trichy
How to reach: Well connected by road from Trichy
Hotel: A lot of options across the Trichy city; this is one of the important cities in South India 
Restaurants: All varieties of restaurants across the Trichy city

The engineering marvel of the Cholas, the great emperors of Tamil Nadu, can be felt not only through their extraordinary temples but even through Kallanai dam. Kallanai dam aka the Grand Anicut was constructed by the Great Chola king Karikala most probably in the 2nd century CE. It is built across the river Cauvery and located near Trichy city in South India. The 329 meters long and 20 meters wide ancient dam was constructed to divert the river water through canals across the fertile delta region for irrigation. 

Kallanai is considered as one of the oldest water diversion or water regulator structure in the world which is still functioning. This 2000 year old structure stands firm even today and hence it can be called as an engineering marvel. 

A road bridge has been built on top of the stone structure where visitors can drive through or walk along. Another dam called the Upper Anicut was constructed across the river Kollidam in the 19th century CE. It is also found near Kallanai dam. In 1804 CE, Captain Coldwell repaired and reinforced the Kallanai dam.

When you get a chance to visit Trichy region, ensure that you go and visit this wonderful dam.

Happy travelling.

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