Elukadal- Forgotten Pond in Madurai City
Madurai is a traditional city also known as ‘Kudal’ because the city was built at the confluences of the river Vaigai. Vaigai is the main water resource of Madurai. Once there were 190 water bodies in Madurai. There were 38 ponds in Madurai city. At present very few tanks only available in Madurai. Some ponds were encroached by public buildings. Some ponds were turned as drainages. Some temple tanks are as much a part of Madurai’s identity as the temples themselves. Elukadal Street situated in the centre of Madurai city. It got its name from Elukadal Teppam. There is an ancient street, running in front of the Pudumandapam called Elukadal Street (affluence of seven seas). In this street, the stores which sold many essential goods existed. A Legendary Story says thatLord Shiva heard this, he miraculously brought water from seven seas to Madurai and formed a tank here to house the water to help is mother-in-law, who had pleased and took bath in that tank. Hence the tank got the name Elukadal (seven seas). The tank was constructed by Saluva Nayaka, an officer of the Vijayanagara ruler Krishnadevaraya in 1516 A.D. TimmuRauvttar, the administrative General of Chokkanata Nayak renovated and reconstructed this tank and named it as ‘Sapthasakaram’ (Elukadal) on 1564. But later due to the encroachment the size of the pond was reduced. The pond was strictly prohibited and the people were not allowed to enter into the pond, because the pond became the garbage ground and a point of illegal activities. Many Madurai people don’t know about this tank. It was forgotten by many people. The Elukadal Teppam will not be recovered. But the ponds like Tallakulam, Koodal Perumal Teppam, Madakulam canal are in endangered condition in Madurai. The people of Madurai must aware about their water resources and should take protective measures.
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