Myth of Kallanani by Karikalan

Myth of Kallanani by Karikalan
The Grand Anicut, also known as the Kallanai, is an ancient dam in Tamil Nadu state of south India. The Grand Anicut is the most ancient surviving irrigation work in Kaveri river delta. It is attributed to the Chola king Karikalan, and dates back to the 2nd century. It is considered the oldest water-diversion structure in the world still in use.
A poet sings
“Karikaalan kattivaithaan kallanai”

Let us analyze the facts
The sangam literature Pattinappaalai sung by uruthirang kannanar was solely sung in praise of Karikaal chola. It has no mention of Kallanai. We only understand that he strengthened the banks of cauvery.
Thiruttani and Velanjeri Copper Plates
Parantaka's plate is dated 932 A.D. It gives the names of the progenitors of the Chola line beginning with Vishnu, followed by Brahma, Marichi, Kasyapa, Surya and Usinara. Karikala, Sibi and Koccengannan.
Three important events in the life of Karikala are mentioned.
(1) He caused the crest of the Cholas marked on the slopes of Himalayas.
(2) He raised embankments on either side of river Kaveri and controlled its flood
(3) He made Kanchi a city of palaces.
Udayendram plates
Parantaka Chola's Udayendram plates mention only the name of Karikala without referring to his exploits.

Hence Thiruttani and Velanjeri Copper Plates are perhaps the earliest Chola record to refer to the exploits of Karikala. Even though his conquests and building Kanchi palaces are as debatable let us see only Kallanai now.

The copper plates which mention Karikala as one of the ancestors of Cholas do not mention anything about Kallanai. Usually it is customary to record the grandest achievements of their ancestors (Sibi- sparrow, Manu needhi - chariot etc)

One more inscription throws a different light about uruthirang kannanar A mandapa was donated to kannanar by Karikala . Around 1200 AD Sundara pandiyan ransacked the whole of chola kingdom. He destroyed all forts, palaces etc. but left this one single mandapa untouched! There is a detailed inscription in thiruvellarai - in the form of a Tamil poem – which records this. Though it was a chola who donated the gift, it was a gift for a Tamil poet - uruthirang kannanar - that's all pandiyan considered!
Second if they measured the chola land to device an ulagalanthan KOL, then there must be some mention of water sources and dams. However there is no such evidence.

Karikalan never built Kallanai. Kaverikku iru puramum karai eduppiththaan.That's all. Kallanai was constructed during Nayak period. That was verysmall dam and today what we see is the expansion by British people. Astudent of Jawaharlal Nehru University did a PhD on Kallanai and provedbeyond any doubt that it was built by nayaks and subsequent expansions byBritish people.

If we analyze the date of Karikalan , we can come to a conclusion of around 9th century or later ,And the other Famous chola king Ko Chenkkannan praised in sangam literature built Jambukeshwarar Temple which still stands today is around 10th century AD, But the legend advances the date of sangam literatue to 2nd century AD without any basis.


  1. I am very sorry to strongly condemn your statement on Kallanai.
    Unfortunately Tamil community has long been seen with carelessness in Indian Society today.
    Any Tamilian who achieves something, always is being suppressed by various elements.
    There are so many Tamil literary and factors which confirm the construction of Kallanai by the great Chola king Karikalan.
    Telugu Vijayanagar rulers entered in to Tamilnadu in 1378 AD. They cunningly told the world that we here to protect you from the Muslims.
    But their selfish rule had been worse than the Muslim rule.
    They divided Tamil country in to so many Palayams and made Telugus as their heads.
    These Telugu Palayakarars always had the tendency to polish the boot of Vijayanagara Kings.
    The cruelty they showed on Tamil peasants is still Rural Tamil folklore.
    They never allowed the great Tamil literature to grow.
    They made all efforts to improve the alien Telugu.
    But fools they are.
    Today Tamil has reemerged as supreme language in Tamil soil.
    You must be a Telugu or else an anti Tamilian.
    Think and do things honestly and then give atatements.
    Mr Nayakkar
    Don’t try to get cheap publicity

  2. Any Evidence, let me know?
    I get lot of crap like this no evidence to support such crap

  3. For evidence you should dip into Ancient city of Poombukar, Koodal Nagar and old mahabalipuram. They were long back buried under big AAlzhi(Sunami). What is the proof that aryans are native people of india?

  4. Again No evidence , just crap

  5. Your argument does have some merit.
    But your statement that the Nayaks built it and the British expanded it needs proof.

    Who was this JNU student who proved 'beyond doubt' that it was built by the Nayaks.?

    And what benefit did the British get by expanding the dam?
    Would the British spend money on something that would not benefit the British empire.?
    And where are records to show that the British expanded it?

    I am reviewing the original evidence you gave about Karikalan.
    Some of the facts seem to match.

    But you seem to have focussed on who has not built it instead of who has. The 'who has' part needs more proof

  6. The Aim of the article is to expose the hoax that Karikalan built kallani. So that is the point, who built it is not the aim of the article. You have somet info on really who built it please post.


    As the article indicates Karikalan never built Kallanai but strengthened the banks of Kaveri.

    The following are the historical evidences available.

    # The copper plate grants of Telugu Choda king Punya Kumar (800 C.E) claims that Karikalan is his ancestor who did many deeds such as the stopping the overflow of Kaveri over its banks.

    # In an inscription of chola king Rajakesari Varman (966 C.E) it is indicated that one of the boundaries of a land as the embankment of Karikalan.

    # In a grant issued by Rajendra Chola (1018 C.E) Karikalan is hailed as having established his glorious fame by constructing embankments of Kaveri.

    # A copper plate grant of Rajaraja-I (1044 C.E) informs that Karikalan constructed the banks of Kaveri

    # In two inscriptions of Telugu Choda Tamma Siddhi (1207 C.E) he claims that he is the descendent of Karikala who raised the banks of Kaveri.

    # Tamil Classic Vikarama-Solan-Ula written in honour of Vikrama Chola calls Karikalan as the lord of the earth who constructed the embankments of Kaveri_

  8. Melapadu plates of Punyakumara telugu choda king does not talk about karikala, it talks about Trilochana pallava raising banks of river kaveri.

    charuna - sarbruha vihita - vihita -vilochana – trilochana pramukhakila - pritvisvara -karita kaveri- tira

    In another copper plate inscription punyakumara gives his geneology with vikramaditya chola (12 century AD), So the grant is not 8th century CE as claimed, but 12th century or later.

    Mckenzie manuscript gives the date Tokka 990 for karikalan who raised embankments, if we take tokka as saka then it gives date as 1089AD. If we check who was the chola who ruled at that, it is virarajendra who has title of karikala.

  9. Rajakesarivarman Gangaraditya reign is 950 C.E. - 956 C.E. So he cannot be the patron of the inscription in 966CE

    RajaKesarivarman alias vir rajendradeva who mentioned punal kudal sangam. He claims to have defeated Avhamalla son vikkalan, who can be dated to 1048AD. This Rajakesarivarman is not Rajendra Chola Parakesarin. So the date of the inscription has to be 1048 to 1060AD

    Cauvery Embankments construction started with Parantaka I and was completed during rajaraja Chola due to internal strife and external invasions. Parantaka I being son of Aditya Karikala is also called karikala, you have to note. Rajendra chola and subsequent rulers refer to this embankment construction.

  10. I think you are too brutal in refusing to recognise Grand Anaicut's's authenticity.One thing is for sure. Nayaks could not have built it. Nayaks are frauds. One simple example-their manupulation of the paintings in the Brahadeeswara temple in Thanjavur(they painted over the original Chola paintings).The Chola kings are noted for their architectural and engineering excellance. The British are noted for recording events. They never recorded that they developed Kallanai. But still you want to give them the credit. You have the right to stress that Karikala did't build it. But you don't have the right to say that it was the Nayaks who built it since you don't have the evidence for that also. But we have the evidence to say that the English studied the structure of the Kallanai and accepted the fact that it was built long before the Nayaks, the servants of the Vijayanagar Kings ruled Tamil Nadu.I need not prove it. Go through the english administrative records. Just because the recorded evidence of kallanai is not available it is absurd to say that it was built in the Nayaks period.

  11. Swaymbu
    You are entitled to your views,

    But nobody has come up with any evidence to suggest that kallani structure existed before Nayaks.

    There lies the truth. It is structure built during Nayaks. If you have any specific evidence to prove otherwise, post it. If you don't like Nayaks, that is not my problem. Also remember your hero kattabomma nayaka (Maposi's veerapandia kattabomman).

    Don't come with his vague statements like "British administrative records says something".

  12. Thanjore and Madurai temples were ransacked by Malik kafur, they were rebuilt by Naiks, so you will find some paintings and statues by them. Remember the Nandi in Tanjore temple is nayaks

  13. tamizhan thoonginal... avan thalayil ellorum milagai araikka varuvargal...

  14. What about tamils giving out BS. masala to claim dubious antiquity.

    1. Four things which gave me conclusion you are not aware of tamil culture & traditions completely,

      1) */Chola line beginning with Vishnu, followed by Brahma, Marichi, Kasyapa, Surya and Usinara. Karikala, Sibi and Koccengannan /*

      Above statement is wrong, sibi is the ancestor to karikala.
      From the Tiruvalangadu copper-plates of the sixth year of Rajendra-Chola I, find his family tree..

      2) */Second if they measured the chola land to device an ulagalanthan KOL, then there must be some mention of water
      sources and dams. However there is no such evidence. */

      We got many copper plates at tirukkalar, chinnamannur, thiruvalangadu, Aanamalai, Thiruchengodu, tiruvallam while digging earth for various purposes with missing plate between (copper plates will be numbered in tamil & hooked at top left corner).
      Are you sure we evacuated every evidence what our ancestors left ?
      Apart Many historical moments are destroyed by invaders and natural calamities (eg : Rare collection of Yalpannam Library).
      Did you have any proof for conceptual theory of keepler law, einstein relativity theory, Darwin theory of evolution ?

      3) */A student of Jawaharlal Nehru University did a PhD on Kallanai and proved beyond any doubt /*

      What is the source for his research and evidence he handled to prove it ? throw some lights if you got really any.
      Just a word is not a proof enough for your theory.

      4) */Karikala
      Three important events in the life of Karikala are mentioned.
      (1) He caused the crest of the Cholas marked on the slopes of Himalayas.
      (2) He raised embankments on either side of river Kaveri and controlled its flood
      (3) He made Kanchi a city of palaces /*

      Above statement is complete plagiarizing, one blogger copying from another blog word by word. Complete crap.

      I can prove tamil are more civilized and they are capable of building such a dam.
      In poombukar 5 km from shore at the feet of 70, they found a U shaped construction below sea level.
      distance between u shaped structure is 13 meter length and 2 meter height built by piece of rectangular rock stone.
      This high technology construction could be a compound wall of a temple or basement of a structure as per the analyst, estimated to be age of 11500.
      Historical evidence proved poombukar was consumed by tsunami many times. (Remember Mohenjo daro & harappa civilization is 3500 years old )

      What is your analaysis and research for the above blog ? You are good in writing fancy stories not history.

    2. You seem to miss the woods for the trees.
      Same inscription you mentioned gives genealogy from manu and you are saying that is not true, but you take the same inscription to prove sibi is chola ,you are just selectively taking the inscription for your needs.

      Sibi is from North that is well known, neither does the inscription says he is chola.

      Find a inscription that has measurement for water and let me know. Until then, cholas have no measurement for water bodies.

      Have given the source, find the article in JNU.

      Three important events are from a plate. Not the blogger creation to be plagarised. The above text is from a website called tamil arts academy from which the other blogger has also sourced.

      When did I say Tamils are not civilized? You are trying to put your beliefs into my mouth, it will not work.

      11500 Years, Ha Ha Ha. that is a good fancy story. Increase your awareness for true stories. If you want to talk about cholas there is separate origin of cholas article.

    3. Bottom line is cholas don't claim they built any dam, neither does other kings and poets who came during or after these Chola claim they saw a dam. Only 20th century Tamil Scholars seems to claim them.

  15. Carbon dating evidence suggest that the basic structure is from 2nd century AD.....I think that proof is enough...

    1. What was carbon dated Ganesh, The stones, they would have shown millions of years. These tamils talk about Carbon dating at the drop of the hat. The truth is they hardly know anything about it. Even if it was carbon dated the error in carbon dating is atleast 300 years both sides, it can never precisely dated as you are saying.
      Show me the carbon dating report, I will believe you, How about this challenge.

  16. Mr. Moda, You are simply want to get an are a publicity crap... Your Title of the blog is says the same. "Let us not argue with an idiot...he will take you to the down and will beat you with his experience"...this is a right proverb for you.So Rest of the people, Just keep quite and get out from his blog for our time saving... Good day.

    1. I get it sakthi vel.
      When you don't like the message, Shoot the messenger!

      You are smart, You don't put any argument to defend your views (because you know it is hoax!) and calls the other guy idiot. Nice Strategy. Good luck with that. But When I see guys like you, I understand, how this type of Hoax, Karikalan built Kallanai was perpetuated.

  17. interesting exchanges. how we obsessed with dates, a modern phenomenon.

  18. Interesting. This is full of inferences based on a single article by Dr. R. Nagaswamy
    See -
    I have my colleagues who are professors in JNU Delhi. I asked them for the referenced thesis. They said none exists on the above mentioned topic - but gave me a reference to a thesis by Dr. Chitra Krishnan - who did a thesis "Tank and Irrigational Systems..." from IIT Madras in 2003. Of course let me tell you that it does not solve the question raised here. The thesis talks about - civil engineering aspects of grand anicut (aka kallanai). Important aspects note from the thesis: it was not meant to a "dam" but meant to be a "irrigation system" - how it "diverts" the flood to its tributaries and the tanks in the surrounding villages. It had curved shapes (unlike straight across in cases of dams) - intentionally not built like a dam etc... Especially look at the location of the anicut - almost at the intersection of kaveri and kollidam - so the water is diverted to the tributaries and the tanks... There were more tributaries and tanks in those days - most are dried up (due to changes made to the original construction)..

    There have several papers and books based on this thesis.
    It also documents how the modifications made after the original construction - by British - which "messed up" the original intent. Sir Arthur Cotton - who modified it in 1839 - also has commented about the marvels of the original constructions which he could not reproduce.

    Though it is possible - that nayaks or even othe kings befoe british may have modified the original construction - but there seems there was some original construction - whose intent was to divert water to tributaries and tanks. Part of that oiginal construction was to raise the banks before the anicut (not beyond it).

    1. None of the things you said, support your theory there was structure prior to Nayaks and Karikalan built Kallanai.

  19. You are said that he raised embankments on either side of river Kaveri and controlled its flood and a dam's main purpose is to control floods.So you yourself gave an excellent proof that he only built kallanai and one must understand that the present structure is built by the british where the old dam was built on

    1. Wow Genius !

      He put soil on the river banks, so that the water does not breach into fields. Kallanai is supposed to be a dam built by stones right and across river stopping the flow river.

      So you will change definition of dam to suit your fantasy tales.


All comments to this blog are subject to moderation, and may appear at sole discretion of blog editor, if found to add relevance to the Posts