Kallanai Dam Home > Tamil Nadu > Attractions > Dams > Kallanai Dam

Kallanai Dam

Kallanai Dam is constructed over River Kaveri in Tiruchirapalli district of Tamil Nadu state. It is also popularly called the Grand Anaicut. It is one of the ancient dams which trace its existence from the Chola period. Kallanai Dam is believed to be built by the Chola King Karikala in the second century. It is located at a distance of fifteen km from Tiruchirapalli. This dam is regarded as one of the oldest dams in the world which is still being used for water diversion.


Kallanai Dam was built by Karikala Chola with an aim to enhance the irrigation facilities to the delta districts by diverting water supply. This dam underwent renovation and remodelling during the British period. In the early 19th century, the British Empire appointed Captain Caldwell to study the Kaveri River water and measures to use it to the optimum level for promoting irrigation in the delta region. The study carried out by the military engineer revealed that a large amount of the Kaveri water drained into the Kollidam (Coleroon). This led to availability of small volume of water for irrigation requirements. British Government agreed to the proposal of raising the dam height as proposed by Caldwell for increasing the capacity of dam. The Lower Anaicut of the Coleroon was built by Sir Arthur Cotton in 19th century which is believed to be the replica of Kallanai Dam.


Kaveri River gets split into two halves at a point thirty two km west of Kallanai. The island of Srirangam is formed by the two split halves of the river before joining at Kallanai. One of the channels is called Kollidam and the other has the name Kaveri. The River Kaveri flows into the Bay of Bengal. There are two important seaports on its seaward face, Karaika and Nagapattanam.

This dam is considered as the architectural marvel of the Chola period. Many engineers have been inspired by the construction of this dam. This dam is in excellent condition and serves as the main source of irrigation in the region catering for irrigation of more than one million acres of land. The farmers of the region have requested the Government of Tamil Nadu to honor the great Chola ruler for his benevolence and building Kallanai Dam which is providing livelihood for the people of the area.


Kallanai Dam is a popular tourist attraction in Tiruchirapalli. There are some parks and temples in the nearby vicinity which makes this place ideal for family picnic and school excursions.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Kallanai Dam is just after the Monsoon from October to March months when the weather remains very pleasant. It is advisable to avoid the hot and humid summers. Kallanai Dam is open all days of the week between 10 am to 6 pm. There is no entry fee to visit the dam.

Nearby Attractions

  • Rockfort Temple: A 7th century Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh.
  • Srirangam: Popular self-manifested shrine of Lord Vishnu is located here.
  • Jambukeshwara Temple: Popular Shiva temple built during the Chola period.
  • St. Lourdu's Church: Gothic style church of Lady of Lourdes.
  • Hazrath Nathervali: It is a popular Dargah.
  • Mukkombu: A dam built on the Kaveri River.

How to Reach Kallanai Dam

Kallanai dam is situated at a distance of nineteen km from Tiruchirapalli. The nearest village to the dam is Thogur village located at a distance of 1.5 km.

By Air

The nearest airport to the Dam site is the Tiruchirapalli International airport located at a distance of 13 km. This airport is well connected with flights from Singapore, Kuala Lampur, Dubai, Chennai and Colombo. Visitors can avail cars to reach Kallanai Dam.

By Train

Lalgudi Junction Railway station (Station code: LLI) is the nearest railway station to Kallanai Dam which is located at a distance of four km. It falls in the Tiruchirapalli route and is an important station in the southern railways.

By Road

Tiruchirapalli is well connected with the rest of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring states by road. There are adequate number of government and private buses operating between prominent cities and Tiruchirapalli. Some of the prominent cities nearby are Chennai, Coimbatore, Trivandrum and Bangalore.

Related Image

Related Topics

Nagarjuna Sagar Dam

When NagarjunasagarDam was conceptualized, planned and while it was constructed, it was the largest masonry dam....


There is historical evidence that Christianity had come to India around the same time as it came into existence almost....

Hill Stations

Andhra Pradesh has a lot to offer to...


Among the various religious monuments...