God's Own Country

Enchanting Kerala

God's Own Country

Enchanting Kerala

God's Own Country

Enchanting Kerala

God's Own Country

Enchanting Kerala

God's Own Country

Enchanting Kerala

29 November 2016

History of Idukki Dam

Dam

In the heart of the District lies the 'IDUKKI DAM' - Asia's biggest Arch Dam of 555 feet height proudly standing between the two mountains - 'Kuravanmala' (839 meters) and 'Kurathimala' (925 meters ). This prestigeous project of our nation is situated in Idukki District and its underground Power House is located at Moolamattom which is about 19 kms from Thodupuzha. Idukki Dam is 43 kms away from Moolamattom.

History

The possibility of Hydroelecric development at Idukki was first conceived in 1919. As per history Shri Kolumban, the head of 'Oorali' race during 1922 showed the way, to the Malankara Estate Superintendent and his friend Thomas, who were on hunting spree in the forest, the spot of present Arch Dam. He told them of the legend of Kuravan and Kurathi Hills. The mind of Thomas was stirred by the sight of water flow between the mountains and his idea made the dream true of Idukki Arch Dam. Sri. W.J.John of Malankara Estate submitted a report to the Government of Travancore in 1932 on the possiability of constructing a dam at Idukki for Power Generation.
In 1947 Sri.P.Joseph John,then Chief Electrical Engineer to the Government of Travancore made a preliminary investigation report. On the request made by the Government, the Central Water and Power Commission took up detailed investigation in 1956. The project report was prepared in 1961 and the Planning Commission accorded sanction for implementing the scheme in 1963 and the preliminary works of the project were started.
The project was posed for Canadian aid and its scope was enlarged and a revised project report was drawn up in 1956-66. The construction of this Dam commenced on 30 April 1969. Storage of water in idukki reservoir commenced in February,1973. The inauguration of trial run of the first machine was celebrated on 4th October,1975. Commercial operation of the Power Station was Commissioned on 12 February 1976 by the then Hon. Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi.
Construction of this Arch Dam and two other dams at Cheruthony and Kulamavu has created an artificial lake of 60 sq. kms. width and the water stored, is utilised for production of electricity at the unique Moolamattom Power house, which is located inside the rocky caves.
Foreign Aid
The Government of Canada aided the Project with long term loans and grants. M/s S.N.C.Inc., Canada, a well-known firm of Consulting Engineers were advising and assisting Project Engineers under the Canadian Aid.
Project in Brief

The Project harnesses a major portion of the power potential of Periyar, the largest river in Kerala State, by the creation of a reservoir of 2,000 M.cum (2 Billion Tonnes) capacity, diversion of waters thus impounded through a water conductor system consisting of a power tunnel and two underground pressure shafts to an underground power house situated in Muvattupuzha Valley.
The installed capacity of the Power House is 780MW consisting of 6 Units of 180 MW each.The regulated waters of Periyar falls through a drop of about 669.2 metres (2195 feet) while generating power in the underground power house. The tail waters flowing to Kudayathurpuzha through tunnel and open channel will later be diverted for irrigation purposes in the Muvattupuzha Valley.

History of Idukki



 IDUKKI District was formed on 26 January 1972 as per Government notification No 54131/C2/71/RD dated 24th January 1972. The district consists of Devikulam, Udumbanchola and Peermedu taluks of the erstwhile Kottayam district and Thodupuzha taluk (excluding two villages Manjallore and Kalloorkadu) of the erstwhile Ernakulam district. At the time of formation the district headquarters started functioning at Kottayam and from there it was shifted to Painavu in Thodupuzha taluk in June 1976, where it is proposed to build a new planned forest township.
The district's name, 'Idukki' is supposed to be derived from the Malayalam word 'Idukku' which means a narrow gorge. Periyar which is one of the largest rivers of Kerala, flowing through Idukki gorge formed between the two high massive rocks called "Kuravan" and "Kurathi", is the site of the gigantic Idukki arch dam.
            We have very little authentic knowledge which throws light into the ancient history of Idukki district. Eventhough there is no clear evidence whether men of the paleolithic age lived here, there is evidence of stone-age civilisation. Stone-age dolmens were discovered in the valleys of Anchanad in Devikulam taluk. Archaeological excavation conducted during 1947-48 at Kallar Pattom colony in Udumbanchola taluk and at Vandiperiyar in Peermedu taluk brought to light the remains of Old Stone-age Menhir and Tombs.

Karikode near Thodupuzha was the head quarters of Vadakkumkoor Raja. There is remains of a fort at Karikkode. Near this fort there is a Devi temple said to have constructed by the Vadakkumkoor Raja. There is also another temple by name Annamala Temple constructed in Chola style. The church at Muthalakodam, near Thodupuzha is believed to have constructed before 13th Century.
The Ninnar Mosque near Karikkode is said to have constructed by the Vadakkumkoor Raja for his Muslim soldiers. Thodupuzha was also a nerve business centre. There is historical evidence to prove that from ancient time onwards ivory, teak, rosewood, sandalwood, peacock etc., were exported to foreign countries.

Historians believe that Kuzhumoor, the capital of Chera Kings of the Sangam Age, is the Kumily in Peermade taluk. It is assumed that portions of Meenachil taluk and the whole of High Range were included in the Thanthuzhynad under the Kulasekhara Empire (A.D.800-1102). For some time these regions were under the region of the Thekkumkoor Kingdom. It was proved that Vennimala, one of the capitals of the Thekkumkoor Rajas, was in Idukki district. Poonjar Kingdom was established by Manavikrama Kulasekhara Perumal. Manavikraman brought Meenachil taluk and the High Range under his rule from the Thekkumkoor Raja. Thus major portions of Idukki district came under the rule of the Poonjar Raja.

History of Guruvayoor




History of Guruvayoor Temple is said to be dates back to Dwaparayuga when krishna is supposed to have told his foremost disciple Udhava to reinstall the idol of Lord Vishnu which he had installed at Dwaraka. The place was to be chosen by Guru Brihaspathi. Krishna promised Udhava that a true devotee can feel his presence in the idol. Collecting the idol from the submerged Dwaraka Brahaspathi and Vayu travelled all over India and with the help of Parasuram located a lake full of lotus flowers in Kerala. The lake was the abode of Lord Siva and Parvathi who moved to Mammiyoor for making place for Vishnu. As Guru and Vayu together installed and founded the temple, the place came to be known as Guruvayupuram. The lord is supposed to have chosen the image of little Krishna (Unnikrishna) at the temple of Guruvayoor. The sub deities worshiped are Ganapathi, Sastha and Bhagavathi. The four armed idol carrying Conch (Sanka), Discuss (Chakra), Mace (Gadha), Lotus niched out of a stone called "Pathala Anjanam" stand gracefully at the Sanctum Sanctorum as a manifestation of Almighty himself ever so merciful to ignorant multitudes.
The history of the idol is said to be as follows. At the beginning of the first Kalpam named Brahmakalpam, Mahavishnu gave Brahma an idol and the first book of Bhagavatham. Brahma, later gave this idol to the Prajapathi Suthapassu and his wife Prishni and Lord Maha Vishnu took incarnation as their son. This couple in their next birth were known as Kashyapa and Aditi. They got possession of this idol in that birth also, and Lord Maha Vishnu was again born as their child, the Vamana. The next birth of this couple was as Vasudeva-Devaki and the story repeats. This time the incarnation of Lord Maha Vishu was as Lord Krishna, the most complete man. Lord Krishna, when he built the city of Dwaraka, built a temple for this idol. Before his death, Lord Krishna entrusted Udhava with this idol and asked him to meet Brihaspathy, the Guru of gods.
The Guru along with his desciple Vayudeva (god of air), found a place which was recommended by Lord Paramashiva. Thus the Guru and Vayu installed this deity and Paramashiva named the place as Guruvayoor. And the deity is now known as Guruvayoorappan. The idol is carved out a stone called 'Pathala Anjana Sila' and is utmost sacred. The place selected for the installation was suitably sacred by the presence of Lord Shiva. The place was already sacred owing to the presence of Lord Paramashiva. He was worshiping Lord Maha Vishnu under the waters of the 'Rudratheertham' (the sacred pond near the temple). Later, Lord Shiva emerged out of the waters when the Prachethas, son of King Pracheenabarhis came in search of a place to worship Lord Maha Vishnu. He then revealed the hymn 'Rudra Geetha' to Prachethas And then the Prachethas worshiped Lord Maha Vishnu for another ten thousand years staying in the 'Rudratheertham' After the installation of the idol of Mahavishnu by Guru and Vayu, Lord Shiva moved to the nearby Mammiyoor temple.
According to the stories, Shri Aadi Shankara who is believed to have extra ordinary powers was once travelling by air from Kalady to Shringeri. Even he, who never believed in the worshiping of idols, was forced to come down while crossing Guruvayoor. To appease Guruvayoorappan he worshiped the deity by eight 'Shloka' (four lines of poetry). This is now known as the 'Govindashtakam'. He then spent 41 days worshiping Guruvayoorappan. The daily rituals of worship during the Mandalam period were conceived by Shri AdiSankara at that time.
Near past history is as follows. The temple was renovated by a Pandya king somewhere around 500 years ago. In 1970, in a fire accident, almost all the temple except the Shreekovil was destroyed and the temple was reinstated in its shape in 1971. The temple is not very big compared to some other well known temples. The Gopuram on the eastern side is 33 feet and that on the western side is 27 feet tall.

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