How Ancient Kings Split a River & Fed Millions | Summary and Q&A

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October 10, 2023
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Andrew Millison
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How Ancient Kings Split a River & Fed Millions

TL;DR

This content explores the ancient water systems in Tamil Nadu's Cauvery Delta, including the construction of dams and irrigation techniques that have made it the Bread Basket of the state.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did the ancient farmers in the Cauvery Delta increase their cultivatable land?

The ancient farmers built dams in the river to raise the water level and branch the river into multiple channels, spreading water across the landscape and creating a larger area of food production.

Q: What was the significance of the Delta becoming the Bread Basket of Tamil Nadu?

The Delta's prosperity attracted ships from various ancient civilizations, including Rome, Greece, Arabia, and China. The region's wealth was attributed to the goddess CI, who brought well-being and wealth to the farmers.

Q: What is the purpose of the head regulator in the Cauvery Delta's water system?

The head regulator is a hydraulic structure that controls the flow of water. It allows the water to be channeled into specific channels, opens gates during floods, and can include fish ladders. It provides versatility and central control over water distribution.

Q: How did the ancient Chola Dynasty contribute to water management in the region?

The Chola Dynasty split the river into multiple channels, cleverly naming them differently to create the illusion of five independent rivers. They built dams and regulating structures, such as the Kal dam, to spread water across the Delta and increase the area for irrigation.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The ancient farmers in Tamil Nadu's Cauvery Delta built dams and irrigation systems to increase the amount of cultivatable land. This transformed the region into the Bread Basket of the state.

  • The farmers referred to their soil as "gold Tango" and grew four crops a year, making them the richest farmers in the region 12,000 years ago.

  • The content highlights the brilliance of these ancient water systems, including check dams, regulators, and canals, which are still in use today.

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