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Water Management and Technological Advancement of the Ancient Tamils in Irrigation Practices:An Assessment from Historical Evidences


Affiliations
1 Department of History
2 Chikkaiah Naicker College, Erode – 638004, Tamil Nadu, India
 

Tamil Nadu has been primarily an agricultural country. Nowadays, much attention is being given to trace out the glorious past, especially the ancient irrigation management and technology practiced in the state. Limited sources are available to know the best practices of the irrigation system during this period. The Emperors of ancient period not only patronized irrigation but also had given responsibilities to the village institutions for the apt management and appropriate uses of water bodies in the state. The maintenance work called as Kudimaramat system was functioned well. Sluice technology found in Tamil land discloses the scientific advancement of the society then. We could learn the environmental aspects, particularly the knowledge they had given to us for choosing the area of the construction of tanks as well as the materials to be used for long life of the dam without any damage even in natural calamities. Village societies were the authorities of the water rights. However, the changes in landownership pattern and the introduction of canal irrigation paved the way for the decline of tank irrigation in Tamil Nadu. This study made an attempt to highlight the irrigational practices which existed in the ancient Tamil Nadu.

Keywords

Anicut, Kudimaramat, Water Rights, Water Management, Technology.
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  • Report of the Royal Commission of Indian Agriculture, Agricole Publishing Company, New Delhi; 1928. p. 328.
  • Shanmugam P. The Revenue System of the Cholas, Madras; p. 45
  • Carldwell R. A History of Tinnevelly, Asian Educational Services, New Delhi; 1982. p. 18.
  • Amalanathan CJ. Kalvettil Neerpasanam, Seminar on Inscriptions, Speeches and Papers, R. Rangasamy Books India Ltd.; p. 141–3.
  • The Hindu, Thanjavur; 2013 Feb 5.
  • Appadurai A. Travancore Manuel. Vol. II, p. 102.
  • Gomathinayakam, Ratnavel S.M. In Search of Ancient Wisdom-Irrigation Tanks, Dhan Foundation Madurai; 2006. p. 118.
  • South Indian Inscription, No. 236.
  • Rajan K. Ancient Irrigation Technology, Heritage India Trust, Thanjavur; 2008. p. 60.
  • Bandopadhyay A. The Agrarian Economy of Tamil Nadu (1820-1855), K. P. and Company, NewDelhi; 1992. p. 44.
  • Ibid.
  • Rajagopal A. States in perplexity, the Politics of Water Rights and System Turnover in Tamil Nadu, Madras: MIDS; 2002. p. 4–6.
  • Ibid.
  • Gomathinayakam, Ratnavel S. M. In Search of Ancient Wisdom-Irrigation Tanks, Dhan Foundation Madurai; 2006. p. 118.

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  • Water Management and Technological Advancement of the Ancient Tamils in Irrigation Practices:An Assessment from Historical Evidences

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Authors

K. Madhusudharsanan
Department of History
S. Murugaiyan
Chikkaiah Naicker College, Erode – 638004, Tamil Nadu, India

Abstract


Tamil Nadu has been primarily an agricultural country. Nowadays, much attention is being given to trace out the glorious past, especially the ancient irrigation management and technology practiced in the state. Limited sources are available to know the best practices of the irrigation system during this period. The Emperors of ancient period not only patronized irrigation but also had given responsibilities to the village institutions for the apt management and appropriate uses of water bodies in the state. The maintenance work called as Kudimaramat system was functioned well. Sluice technology found in Tamil land discloses the scientific advancement of the society then. We could learn the environmental aspects, particularly the knowledge they had given to us for choosing the area of the construction of tanks as well as the materials to be used for long life of the dam without any damage even in natural calamities. Village societies were the authorities of the water rights. However, the changes in landownership pattern and the introduction of canal irrigation paved the way for the decline of tank irrigation in Tamil Nadu. This study made an attempt to highlight the irrigational practices which existed in the ancient Tamil Nadu.

Keywords


Anicut, Kudimaramat, Water Rights, Water Management, Technology.

References





DOI: https://doi.org/10.15613/hijrh%2F2019%2Fv6i1%2F183883