COIMBATORE: While conflicts between riparian states over water have become common today, a historian reminds us of a Kongu Chola king, who laid down rules for water management in the 13th century.
When the region faced a water crisis in 1249AD, Perur residents had sought king Veerarajendra’s permission to build a check dam across the Noyyal River. While the king permitted them to construct the dam called Devi Sirai, he laid down a rule saying they shouldn’t divert water for themselves unless the lower riparian areas had received the full amount of water needed for agriculture.
“The place where they wanted to do cultivation is mentioned as Pugalidam Kodutha Chola Chaturvedi Mangalam in an inscription at the Perur Patteeswarar Temple. This place could be today’s Selvapuram,” said former epigraphist of the state archaeology department R Jagadeesan.
Chaturvedi Mangalam was a brahmin settlement, Jagadeesan said. “As per the inscription, brahmins and other communities in the region had sought permission for constructing the dam. Brahmins did not directly involve in agriculture, so they leased the lands to people from other communities, who in turn hired peasants to cultivate the land,” he told TOI.
At that time, water from Noyyal had already been used for cultivation at a lower riparian area through Kolur dam, which is in today’s Kurichi. Water was released for cultivation starting from lower riparian areas to the upper riparian areas. “By practice, at first lower riparian areas — known as kadaimadai — were given sufficient water for cultivation, after which areas till the upper riparian region — known as adimadai — were given water in succession,” said Jagadeesan, who has written a book on the inscriptions on the region. The inscription was an important record of the water sharing method of that time, he said.
To Read full article, please visit -> https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/coimbatore/13th-century-inscription-speaks-of-chola-kings-water-management/articleshow/63307292.cms