This lake is located in the South-Southwest region in the Cuddalore district in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is seated 1 kilometre from the Panchayat town of Lalpet and 235 kilometres from the city of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, which also serves as one of the sources of water for Chennai. It has the capacity to store water for up to 1,465 to 1500 million cubic feet, although now the water level at Veeranam lake has dipped to around 323 million cubic feet.
It was built during the period of Greater Cholas between 907- 955 A.D, by the Chola Prince, Rajaditya Chola who was the son of Parantaka the 1st. He’d named the waterbody after his father’s title, which was Veeranarayanan. It was later modified to Veeranam over time. The source of Veeranam, is the river of Kollidam; which is the Northern distributary of the Cauvery River, where the Vadavaru river links both the Veeranam and Kollidam. It was considered to be one of the longest man-made lakes in the world with a length of 14 kilometres, where the ancient people during the period of 10th century, had constructed this lake using just simple handmade tools.
In Pop Culture– This lake was used as a reference, in the famous Historical novel Ponniyin Selvan, written by Kalki, where the opening chapter of the book, gave a detailed description of the beauty of the lake in an elaborate manner, and the way of how multiple rivers flows into the lake. He had also mentioned in the book, that the Chola Emperor, Rajaraja the 1st’s sister, Princess Kundavai, used to come by the banks of the lake during the time of Spring for getting refreshed.
A Picturesque Tourist spot–
Being considered as a precious gift by the Chola Dynasty, the Veeranam lake is one of the famous Tourist Attractions to visit along with your Friends and Family, where the coastal weather conditions are quite pleasing and comfortable to experience. The area is not too crowded, which provides the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with your family and friends, where you can enjoy and take pictures of the Sunrise and Sunset, which is considered to be a brilliant view by the lake. Taking a walk around the lake and having picnics by the banks, fills you with a large amount of calmness and gives you a refreshing experience. Travelling all the way to the town of Cuddalore to visit the lake, is totally an amazing experience that is worth it.
Veeranam Lake, Today–
The lake remains dry for the major part of the year, today. Water is usually released from the Mettur dam through the river of Kollidam and the Anaikkarai Dam or Lower Anicut, which brings a sufficient inflow for the lake. The storage capacity almost came to its fullest during the heavy rains in the monsoon season at the Western Ghats, where it got its share of water from the tributaries of Cauvery- Bhavani and Amaravathi. It has met the requirements of the city’s water needs of more than 35% due to this incident. The pipes through Villupuram and Kancheepuram serves as a medium for providing Veeranam’s water to the city, where almost 180 million litres get drawn from the lake. The Burevi Cyclone which happened recently, that got converted into a depression also filled up the lake with its continuous rainfall.
Researchers are hopeful that the season of summer can be managed with the lake’s water of 70% and also for the desalination of the plants. This is a phenomenon that is happening after almost 76 years, where the city will have sufficient water supply, with Veeranam serving as one of its major water source.