The entire memorial is likely to be inaugurated during Pongal festival

“Karikal Cholan Manimandpam”, a memorial announced by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, in honour of the great king who built Grand Anicut, has been completed at Grand Anicut in Thanjavur district.

“Ninety per cent of the work has been completed. Some stucco works are going on in the central dome of the building and flooring with marble has to be done. Other works have been completed,” said the Public Works Department engineers.

The beautiful structure, in Dravidian architecture, is being built on 4,000 sq. ft. at the anicut. It has a central dome surrounded by four domes and another separate four domes on pillars in the four corners. The central dome is 33-ft. high and the four domes surrounding it are 20-ft. high each. Four corner domes are 26-ft high. Park and lawn works around the memorial is in progress and 85 per cent of the compound wall work has been completed, engineers said.

The memorial on the banks of the Ullar is coming up at a cost of Rs. 2.10 crore. “The Manimandapam will be ready for inauguration in January,” the engineers said.

Karikal Cholan built the Grand Anicut in the second century A.D. for controlling floods and for irrigation in Chola Naadu (Cauvery delta). The chola king built the structure in such a way that excess water was diverted into the Kollidam from the anicut. Additions were made by British engineers to the original structure. At present, the Cauvery, the Vennar, the Kollidam, and the Grand Anicut canals branch out from the anicut. Kollidam remains the major flood carrier. It carried nearly three lakh cusecs of water during floods in 2005.

The Cauvery system can take nearly 13,000 cusecs and the Vennar 13,000 cusecs maximum. But normally 10,000 to 12,000 cusecs are released into these rivers for irrigation. Grand Anicut canal can take 4,000 cusecs. But only 3,500 cusecs is released on normal days.

The Chief Minister announced the construction of the memorial when she inaugurated the memorial for John Pennycuick who built the Mullaperiyar dam.

The foundation stone for the memorial was laid in May through videoconferencing. The memorial is expected to be inaugurated during Pongal in January.