Kallanai Dam – the Fourth Oldest Dam in the World
Water is the elixir of life. 71 percent of the earth’s surface is covered with water. Between 50 to 65% of the human body is constituted of water.
Given the importance of water in the life of Man, it is no wonder that water has always been revered by Man. Water has been worshipped in many civilizations and rivers have been treated on par with mothers and are known as the cradles of civilization.
But water, though a boon and necessity for life can also unmask its furious side and create havoc and destroy entire civilizations. So Man has endeavored to master the flow of water and literally turn the tide with mixed results. The earliest efforts were more in terms of protecting settlements from the flow of water. However, these slowly evolved into methods for harnessing the flow of water for agriculture and channelizing the water through irrigation. Much later the energy of flowing water was harnessed into hydroelectric power.
This was the beginning of structures that we know as Dams today.
Did you Know?
- Did you know that a Dam that was constructed in the 2nd Century AD is still functional today?
- Did you know that this Dam is located in India?
- Yes, the fourth oldest Dam in the world is located just about 20 kilometers from the city of Tiruchirapalli, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu
Kallanai Dam, the fourth oldest dam in the world is also known as the Grand Anicut. The Dam was built in the 2nd century on the river Kaveri by a King named Karikala of the Chola dynasty.
It is remarkable that the Dam is still in great condition and in fact has served as a model to engineers for future structures. Is it not fascinating to note the engineering genius of the minds of the 2nd century?
The Kallanai dam is 329 meters long, 20 meters wide and 5.4 meters high and is constructed from unhewn stones. The water is channelized through canals to irrigate the delta region through the ancient water network. The initial area that was irrigated by the ancient system of canals was 69,000 acres which were increased to a million by the turn of the 20th century.
Would you like to visit this marvel of engineering that has virtually conquered the strides of time and stands as a silent paean to the genius of the people of an era now obscured in history?
How to get to Kallanai Dam
- Kallanai Dam is 20 kilometers from Tiruchirapalli
- Thiruchirapalli situated in the Tamil Nadu is about 332 kilometers from Chennai
- There is an international airport in Thiruchirapalli with flights from Singapore, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Chennai
- Tiruchirapalli is also well connected by Rail and Road to major cities of India
Watch this video of Kallanai Dam by klnaraa74 NATURE/ART CHANNEL
In and Around Thiruchirapalli
- Ranganthswamy Temple
- Rock Fort
- Srirangam Island
So when you visit Kallanai Dam and be spellbound by the engineering marvel, you also get to see some other impressive sights in Thiruchirapalli. But the Dam will definitely make you pause and think about the phenomenal achievements of the early Indian people.
Which is the one ancient man-made structure that has inspired awe in you? Do share your thoughts with us through our comments section. We always look forward to your feedback which is highly valued.
Thanks for visiting our site Voyager – imvoyager.com and taking the time to read our post!
We’d love if you’d comment and share this post.