June 5, 2018

Krishnappa Naicken Tank (Waterbodies of Chennai - 8)

In the middle of the congested George Town locality of Chennai, in a small lane, this large tank covering about 1.5 acres is located. It is named as Krishnappa Naicken Tank. Interestingly, it is not addressed with the temple on its banks, Kasi Vishwanatha Temple. The street itself is named after this tank as Krishnappa Naicken Tank Street.

The old timers recollect that this tank was a dumping yard in the 1970s and 1980s. Thanks to the restoration work and the construction of compound walls around the tank, at least this is no more used as the dumping yard. However, the tank always remains dry always.

As per few records, the adjoining temple was constructed in 1806 CE. Hence, this tank must be as old as that temple. I am sure this tank would have been a source of water and a major attraction in those days. What has lead to this sorry state of the tank is not known.

Who is this Krishnappa Naicken? Did he belong to Kannada Naicken or Telugu Naicken? Was he a Dubashi? Was he a landlord? Why are this street and tank named after him? Did he construct this temple as well as the tank? We have no record. In fact there is another street nearby which is again named after him, Krishnappa Naicken Agraharam Street.

If this waterbody is restored and maintained properly, it would be a boon for the people of this locality.

Happy travelling.

Note: As per a report, there were about 650+ waterbodies in Chennai region till 1980s. Today, only a fraction of them exist. And, most of those surviving waterbodies hardly have water and even some of them that  have water had been shrunk badly. In Chennai, there are tank roads without tanks nearby and lake view roads without any lake in the vicinity. There is a high possibility that even the few waterbodies that we have today might vanish in the near future. I thought of visiting the currently surviving waterbodies of Chennai and its suburbs and write about them in my blog as a series.

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