Ponmanay [Ponmana] Pandian Channel--hotographer: D'Cruz, Zachariah Medium: Photographic print Date: 1900
Photograph taken about 1900 by the Government photographer, Zacharias D'Cruz of a general view of the Pandian Canal. It is part of an 'Album of South Indian Views' of the Curzon Collection. George Nathaniel Curzon was Under Secretary of State at the Foreign Office between 1895-98 and Viceroy of India between 1898-1905. There are three rivers flowing through South Travancore, viz., the Paralayar, the Kothayar and the Pazhayar. Much of the fertility of Nanjanad, in South Travancore considered a major rice producing centre, was due to the ancient engineers of the Pandyan ruler, who constructed a dam upwards of twenty feet in height, built of massive squared stones across the Paralayar, and cut a channel chiefly through solid rock for a distance of about two miles through the saddle forming the extreme western watershed of the Pazhayar. The Pandyan Kal as the channel is called, pours its waters into the Pazhayar, from where it is distributed by eleven anicuts in a length of about 20 miles to eight principal channels, besides minor ones of a total length of about 64 miles.