Kallanai is an ancient dam built across the Kaveri River in Tiruchirapalli District in the state of Tamilnadu in South India.

Kallanai dam has 329 m (1,079 ft) long, 20 m (66 ft) wide and 5.4 m (18 ft) high. The area irrigated by the ancient irrigation network is about 69,000 acres (28,000 ha).

Kallanai - The Great Anikut
The View of Kallanai – The Great Anikut

It belongs to 2nd Century AD, this oldest functioning water structure is certainly a marvel.

The dame built  to divert the water flow to avoid loss of crops due to floods in the downstream Cauvery. We exactly don’t seem to have historical records researched well enough to know in detail about the dam, its builder and the structure or the date.

Captain Caldwell, a military from British, In 1804 to make a study on the Kaveri river and promote irrigation in the delta region. It was found that a large amount of water adopted on the Kollidam leaving behind a small volume for irrigation purposes. Caldwell initially proposed a solution by increasing the dam and therefore raised the dam of stones from a height of 0.69 m, thereby increasing the capacity of the dam.


Kallanai - The Great Anukut - Water Flow


The Grand Anicut, also known as the Kallanai, is an ancient dam in Tamilnadu state of south India.

The Grand Anicut is the most ancient surviving irrigation work in Kaveri river delta.

Kallanai was to divert the waters of the Kaveri across the fertile delta region for irrigation via canals. The dam splits the river Kaveri into 4 streams known as Kollidam Aru, Kaviri, Vennaru and Puthu Aru.


Kallanai - The Great Anikut - For Thanjai Delta


Inspirational Fact:

Kallanai,  ‘The entire Dam built with only Stones’.

The main fact about Kallanai is one of the oldest and still functioning dams in the world.


The Karikalan King - Cholan

Kallanai History – The Facts you Must Know
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