Cholagangam Lake – India’s Largest Ancient Man-Made Lake In India

There are numerous places in India which you can think of visiting. People have different places of interest, some like to go to hill stations, some like to go for trekking trips, some like to go to beaches and there is one more category of people who enjoy going to historic places. India is one of the few countries in the world which has a long history. It has seen so many of empires and rulers that the transition from ancient India to modern India can literally be seen and observed

Cholagangam Lake – India’s Largest Ancient Man-Made Lake In India

The science of winds and waters
Photo of ‘The science of winds and waters’ by Nguyễn Thành Lam under CC BY 2.0

Cholas are considered to be one of the greatest dynasties in the world. It is said that they ruled the Hindu kingdom for nearly 1500 years making it one of the longest reigns. During their prime, the Cholas ruled over 30 countries with a navy strength of over 1000 ships and a huge army which had more than 50,000 elephants. The significance of this history is so much that the Indian government decided to name their naval training ship as T.S Rajendra.

It is believed that Cholas were devoted followers of Lord Shiva. Whenever they had a victory, they made a Lord Shiva temple. Rajendra Chola – I had built a new city ‘Gagaikonda Cholapuram’ in 1023 CE to celebrate his victorious march to the Ganges. This city was the capital of the Chola Empire for nearly 250 years.

Wheresoever he won, he made sure that he brought back holy waters of the sacred river and poured into Cholagangam which is now known as Ponneri. They used this lake for irrigation and drinking purposes. The astonishing fact about this lake is that it spreads for over 20 kilometres and is still in use. It is one of the largest ancient man-made lakes in India.

If you ever visit Pachaimali Hills make sure that you visit Cholagangam lake. It is said that Gangaikonda Choleswaram Temple was built by Rajendra Chola – I as he wanted to create a replica of the temple which was built by his father. In 1902, the British took away a huge quantity of granite stones from the temple outer walls to build the dam situated near Kollidam.

The temple has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1987 and is located at a distance of about 35 kilometres from Kumbakonam situated in Tamil Nadu.

As I said right at the beginning this place has a lot of historical significance. The village is really peaceful and if you are looking for a place to relax then you should definitely visit this place. It is well connected and making travel arrangements won’t be a problem. If you are a person who likes studying and observing history then you should certainly visit this place. However, if you do not enjoy historical places then I would suggest you pass it because there aren’t many fun activities for you to do here.

Featured Photo of ‘Lake Merimbula’ by Percita under CC BY-SA 2.0

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