November 25, 2010

True but Unbelievable! Flood in Vaigai River!

Hi Guys,

After my previous post, Indians at the Asian Games, the performance of Indians were much better. So, it won’t be proper if I leave it that way, but I’ll wait for the games to conclude and will write the remaining portion. Anyway now I’ll be writing about something unbelievable, but happening.

I have been living in Madurai from my childhood. Madurai, one of the ancient cities of the country is situated on the banks of Vaigai River. Looking back at history, we can end up with the fact that most of the ancient cities were constructed nearby rivers. The main reason behind this is the need of water for livelihood. So, whenever a king decides to settle down at a particular area, he will make sure that the area is rich with water sources. This is not only important for drinking and cooking, but also for agriculture.

Water touching both banks of the river
The history of how Madurai was formed is not so clear, but anyway some ruler (probably a Pandian king) must have chosen the place to settle in. The earlier city was located on the southern side of Vaigai River. The city must have taken a complete shape around 1400-1600 when Meenakshi Amman temple reached its ultimate architecture. The city is mainly based around the temple, basically square streets named after Tamil months. The city must have been such around late 1800s, when the city needed to be expanded.

Bridge connecting parts of the city

So, still the temple forms the centre point of the city, but the city has expanded dramatically. It has gone beyond the other side of the river too and I live on the Northern side of the river. So, basically Madurai was situated on the banks of Vaigai River and because of that, the river has had many historical incidences too. Many epics praise the river, portraying how water flows through the river beautifully.

But, right from my childhood I have rarely seen the River running beautifully. Rather, it would be filled by grass or wild shrubs and more than that it will have very little stagnant dirty water (my mother used to say that when she was a child, even if water doesn’t flow, it would be filled with sand. Thanks to sand quarrying, I didn’t get to see that too). In November, December when Tamil Nadu gets rains due to North East Monsoons (rest of India gets it from South East Monsoons), the river would be filled with water and it would be nice to see that.

But as time went along and I grew tall, the amount of water flowing through the river got reduced. It was as if my height and the amount of water were indirectly proportional. It reached a stage when each year, water would be flowing in the river in the river for some 10-15 days when there were heavy rains and it would flood very rarely. For the past years, water was not even flowing in those days. So, it became something like history saying, ‘Once, so long ago, water was flowing through this river’.

This year was dramatic. There were no rains, the water tables in the city were very low and everyone was praying for rains. Everyone was waiting for the North East monsoons. Finally November came and rains started and it hasn’t stopped until now. The water level in the Vaigai Dam (situated 70 kms away from Madurai) reached its maximum a few days ago and hence the water flowing through the Vaigai River was increasing each day.

Water flowing with great force!
A few days ago, water was flowing very heavily and flood warnings were issued. A few people who got inside the river ignoring the warning, never returned back. So, it’s something like sort of History restored. These days many people gather around the river to watch the water flowing. On my way to college, I have been able to see people standing on the bridges and watching the water. Particularly, many younger school children watch the River awestruck, as they have never seen this much water.

People watching water flow through the river
Due to this, many lakes and ponds around the city has got filled and even some has broken out. Most of the areas lying in the southern side of the city have been drowned with water. One of my classmates coming from that area told me, all the streets and low lying houses have been filled with water and it has become playtime for kids. They enjoy their time in water and many other boys, engage their time catching fishes. He said fishes up to a foot long were found in the water.

This has caused a lot of hardships to the people too, but generally people are enjoying it, as the city is receiving water after a long time. The atmosphere is great around here. Hope water flows for many more days.

Happy Reading!!!

P.S: Photographs taken by my friend Sundar. All pictures were taken today.


  1. @Rajesh

    thanks... credits go to my friend Sundar who took the photos...

  2. I remember the last floods that crossed the kalpalam were in 1999 when the areas of sellur got submerged...we went to see the water in the river but had to go back via vandiyur because there was no way back...nice to see the water's up again. The upper tier of the kalpalam bridge was under construction then...
    Nice pics :)

  3. @Balaji

    thanks for visiting my blog and posting comments... 1999- i was a very small boy then, don't remember any of those things... that must have been a terrible experience... wish water flows thru' the river often...

  4. You have a wide area of interests.
    Yes in most of our Rivers the water level considerably reduced.
    I am very fond of Rivers.
    In India Clear water rivers are very rare.
    But here in north you could find some.
    In Hrishikesh watching river Ganga flowing in between hillside is just wonderful experience.

  5. @Abhishek

    Thanks for ur comment... yeah, i'm quite interested in everything happening around me...
    i've heard many of North Indian Rivers are perennial, mainly due to the Himalayan glaciers... we r blessed with many rivers and water sources in India... waiting for ur new post...

  6. super blog and super shots da

  7. @Vimal

    Thanks dude... pictures, as i have mentioned were taken by Sundar

  8. hey nice write up . Yes that's how true, water plays a vital role in any civilization to flourish .

  9. @Team G square

    thanks for ur comments... water very vital for all the creatures on earth...


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