Veeranam Lake in Kattumannarkoil
This is a major tank attached to Chidambaram Division of South Arcot. PWD circle and the Lalpet Section of PWD is incharge of the maintenance and operation of irrigation systems of this tank. The location of this tank is between latitudes 11 15 ‘ E and 11 25’ E and Longitudes 79 30’ N and 79 35’ N
CLIMATE AND RAINFALL
Generally, like Tamilnadu, this area of Veeranam tank and its watershed is situated in the rain shadow region for south west monsoon. It has got sub tropical climate. Veeranam Tank is situated nearer to the seashore I,e. about 30km from Bay of Bengal. Hot weather prevails in the months of March to June, and the maximum tesperature varies from 30 to 38 C. This area is mostly seved by the North East Monsoon and the South West Monsoon lean not have much effect in this area. Because of its to the sea-shore, cyclonas, hit the sea shore during South East Monsoon, resulting in heavy rains. Two rainfall are situated in Veeranam Tank one at its right flank i.e. Kattumannarkoil and another at left flank i.e. Sethiathope. The average rainfall in these stations is more than the state average of 950mm. During the last 18 years the average annual rainfall in Kattumannarkoil is 1025 mm. In Sethiathope, the average annual rainfall during the last 25 years is 1273 mm. But due to the Vagaries of North East Monsoon, Veeranam tank has to depend on water from Mettur dam often.
HISTORY OF THE TANK
Veeranam Tank is one of the biggest tank in Tamilnadu and also an age old one. This tank has been referred briefly in the book called “ Ponniyen Selvan” Written by the famous author ‘Kalki’ in the year 1950. This book gives the information on the age of this tank and it has been mentioned that the tank was formed at a period of more than 1000 years by the Prince Rajathithar Son of Parandage Chola. The tank was originally called as Veeranarayanan Tank.
When king Paranthaga Cholan I ruled over Chola Kingdom during the 9th Century i.e. 907 to 935 AD he wanted to improve the Irrigation facilities in and around Chidambaram. He formed a village called as ‘Veera Narayana Sathurvethi Mangalam. This Village was gifted to the Scholars who were well versed in the Four Vedhas. This Village is now called as Kattumannarkoil which is situated in the right flank of Veeranam Tank. He then formed the biggest tank and named it as ‘Veera Narayanan Eri’ ‘Veera Narayanan’ is the nick name given to king Paranthaga Cholan I for his Valour. Subsequently this tank is now called as Veeranam Tank.
During the later period of Chola Kingdom, King Rajendra Cholan I who ruled during the period 1012 AD to 1044 AD, Spreaded his kingdom upto Ganga. He conquered the lands upto River Ganga. In Memomory of his Victory he formed the Village ‘ Gangai Konda Cholapuram’ during the year 1024 AD. In addition to that in order to improve the Irrigation facilities in and around the new Village, he formed a new tank and called it as ‘Chola ‘ Gangam’. He made a link between ‘Chola gangam’ and Veeranarayanan Eri so that the former surpluses into the later. The tank ‘Chola Gangam’ is now called as ‘ Ponneri Tank’ which is situated at the road connecting Jeyamkondam and Gangaikonda Cholapuram. These details were collected from Saraswathi Mahal Library at Tanjore.
In the olden days this tank has served as a connecting link between the Khan Sahip canal and Vedavar. Havigation was I Vogue from Coimbatore and Trichy to South Arcot Terminating at Portonovo. The South Arcot District Gazettee by Francis Esq. I.C.S. – 1906 records as follows