The Kodiveri Dam Story

With irrigation as its sole primary objective, the Kodiveri dam in the Erode district of Tamil Nadu has played its part throughout many generations. It is the main source of water for agriculture in the peripheral areas of the district. Surprisingly it has not been through any major modifications since it was first built. The magnificent structure has stood there for almost 900 years since it was first built under the rule of King Kongalvan Vettuva Urali. Its construction almost resembles modern-day architecture and building technology.

The twenty-foot megastructure is built out of rock and interlocked with iron bars. Lead was melted and used as mortar between the rocks to firmly affirm them together. The construction of the dam has been so effective that it has not required any external support or additional reinforcement to remain structurally stable. This sort of construction is much similar to the current methods that are being used widely. The arrangement of bricks and cement along with rebars constitute the majority of structures that are being built in today’s world. Even then we can’t guarantee their integrity for long but the dam which was built during an era without the technology that is available today is still structurally stable. The fact that the dam hasn’t collapsed in such a long period of time kindles the brain to think of the rich historical wealth that an Indian inherits. It fascinates the brain to think of the great minds behind the civilization and sustainability of ancient Indians.

Source: Tripadvisor

The folk story behind the building of the dam makes it even more interesting. Legend has it that the king first issued the order to build the dam as his people were dying of starvation caused by drought. He intended for the dam to store water to help in the rearing of animals and improve agricultural productivity. The building of the dam was completed during the end of a drought and the lands were expecting rain soon. After its completion the king was supposed to arrive and a ceremony was for his arrival. Mother nature had some other plans and a flash flood occurred washing away the dam entirely. The king was greatly saddened by this and being the spiritual man that he is he thought that the gods didn’t want his presence in the dam and hence the dam was destroyed by divine power. His objective was to find a solution for the suffering of his people and he was fixated on it.

Unable to find any other routes he reverts back to the original plan and the dam is built for the second time. This time the king announces that he won’t be visiting the dam and this time the dam was not attacked by any floods and the dam stayed there for years. Though the beliefs of the king may not be justified we can for sure say that when the dam was built for the second time it was built better.

Though the dam only had its significance as a water body in the past it has in recent times become a tourist attraction. Though this might seem a good thing it is actually not. This reveals the current situation where large waterbodies such as this are reducing in number. What once used to be normal is now a rare sight. The waterfall that is the main attraction in the dam was just something that was not widely popular in the past as there were many such places all over the plateau. Though this revelation is not all good we can still benefit from the magnitude of people visiting such places.

If the power of the masses is utilized correctly, we can educate them on the importance of such places and conserve our environment. Through support, we can also restore places that previously were of such importance and do many such things. With the present being bad there might be hope for a better future.

All this might be visionary and remain as such because even now people are directly destroying and polluting our Natural treasures. With such incidents happening all around the world even the slightest rays of hope in the darkness of human activities get shunned and are never expressed to the world of nature. This dam in particular is affected by people who use artificial products such as soaps, shampoos, petroleum products, and synthetic oil during their time in the water which enters the water and ultimately destroys the habitat. The coracle rides are not supervised in the sense of addressing the ecosystem and they are contributing to deeper levels of pollution and disturbances. The shops there also are in close proximity to the actual waterbody and waste generated sometimes does enter the water, especially during rain.

 All the harm we cause leads right back to us in cases such as floods, irregular rain, drought, and other potential phenomena that are triggered by humans. We do have people that take responsibility for the actions of the entirety of humans and are trying to make a change toward a brighter future. Let us not make their magnanimous task bigger even if we do not help them. Let us stop this unacceptable act of destroying our own world today and now.


Published by LakesOfIndia

Lakes of India is an E.F.I initiative aimed at sensitizing the larger public on freshwater habitats across the country. A blog platform where one can read about lakes across India. You can become a guest blogger to write about a lake in your hometown and initiate an action to protect that lake.

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