Kallanai is the pride of Tamizan as it is the only dam in the planet that has been functioning for more than 2000 years. It is situated in the Tiruchirapalli district of Tamil Nadu and attracts lots of tourists due to its strong architecture and impressive engineering structure. Kallanai Dam is known as the Grand Anicut of India and is the fourth oldest dam built by King Karikala Cholan over the Cauvery River. The main reason to build the dam was to divert the water to delta regions for irrigation purposes. Over centuries this dam is still serving the state with a blissful life by providing water to the crops.
A brief introduction to the Kallanai dam
The dam is not only a useful water reservoir but it serves as a tourist spot due to its wonderful scenic beauty. The rough stones used to construct it are strong enough to hold the dam for thousands of years. If you have a quiet look at the dam, then you could watch the fish reaching the surface at certain intervals and the ducks chilling them in the mild weather. The birds are seen flying a few inches above the water and the water seems to scatter an essence of peace and freedom. The place is being used as a picnic spot by the locals and there is a park nearby for the kids to enjoy.
The technology used is very unique as the stones are sunk in the river to make the water flow to the delta-forming region. Previously only a lesser volume of water was used for irrigation but later with the idea of Captain Caldwell, the volume of water was raised to improve irrigation facilities.
Kallanai Dam History
The Kallanai Dam, also known as the Grand Anicut, is an ancient dam located in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It was built by the Chola king Karikalan around the 2nd century AD to divert the Kaveri River for irrigation purposes. The dam is considered one of the oldest water diversion or water-regulator structures in the world and still functions to this day. The dam is an important part of the state’s history and culture and is considered a marvel of ancient engineering.
Things to know before you visit
Before visiting the Kallanai Dam, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Location: The dam is located in the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu, India.
- Timings: The dam is open to visitors from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
- Entrance fee: There may be a small entrance fee to visit the dam.
- Climate: The climate in the area can be hot and humid, so it is recommended to carry water and wear appropriate clothing.
- Respect local culture: The dam is a culturally significant site, so visitors should be respectful and avoid littering or causing damage to the site.
- Photography: Visitors may take photographs, but should avoid using flash or other intrusive lighting methods.
- Safety: Visitors should be cautious and take necessary safety precautions while visiting the dam.
- Guide services: There may be local guides available who can provide information about the dam’s history and significance.
Useful tips to follow
- The sunrise is the most beautiful moment of the day while you are at the dam, as the colour of the sky is cherishing and would leave you spellbound.
- If you are there on any weekend then you must try fish fries and local snacks sold there.
- You can watch many different species of birds if you can carry a binocular. And carry a hat too to prevent scorching sunlight.
- And one more things to make you aware are that be careful of the insect’s inhabitants. Various unknown insects find their home at the dam. So make sure to carry insect repellent to avoid insect bites.
Activities to do
- The Kallanai dam with its diverse natural beauty offers eye soothing scenario as the place facilitates several ecosystems inn its surroundings. The availability of enough water has attracted a huge number of flora thereby giving way to the range of birds to hover around. You can feel refreshed and energised celebrating nature at the edge of the dam.
- Secondly, there is a nature park where you can have quality time with your loved ones. Being a picnic spot you can lay your picnic baskets and blankets to relax under the sky. The lush green landscape and well-maintained lawns are well-matched with the environment. The park has little rides and an area for playing games with the children. The place is well suited to both adults and children.
- And the interesting thing is that one side of the river is kept open for the travellers. Spending time in the river with splashing water and small fish around is mind-blowing. A natural bath in the river is definitely a different experience. The thick bushes and the forest at the background added up to the beauty of the Kallanai Dam. Fishing in the zone is also allowed for visitors.
- The mouth-watering fried snacks and fish fries are the main attraction in the evening that ensures your convenient time with extra fun.
Route to Kallanai Dam
If you want to go to the dam then get down at Lalgudi station and take a cab from there to reach the destination which is just 4 km away. The nearest airport is Tiruchirapalli located at a distance of 15 kilometres from the site. The nearest bus stoppage is Chatiram which is 18 kilometres from the dam. The dam is located near the Sarkarpalayam village which you can reach by hiring taxis.