Breif History of Kalingarayar Canal
During the time of Authondai ChakravarthiChakravarthy, one of the Chola kings, Kalingan of Sathanthai Gothram (a very ancient family), was the ruler of Perianadu Nadumandalam, which was occupied by the VellalarsVellalar, a powerful community in those days. Authondai chakravarthiChakravarthy, with the help of Chera and the Pandya Kings, took possession of Nadumandalam, and with a view to disperse these VellalarsVellalar from their stronghold, he sent some of them with Chera, and some with Pandya, when Sathanthai Kalingan accompanied Chera to Kongunadu.
At that time this country was mostly covered with dense forests and was divided into twenty-four portions.
Pundurai, one of the divisions, consisting of thirythirty-two villages, was bestowed on Sathanthai Kalinga Rayar, he was made chief of that place, with Vvellodu as his capital. He constructed a temple there and dedicated it to Padagavalli Nachiar. He went to his brother-in-law, Pannai-kulathan, at Karur and proposed his daughter for his own son. The betrothal was made, but a slight incident occurred which caused the postponement of the marriage. During his stay, the cook of the bride’s party asked his master whether coarse or fine rice should be cooked for guests. He replied in jest, “What matters it if you cook coarse or fine rice for the people living in dry lands? Cook anything.” Being offended at this remark, Sathanthai Kalinga Rayar, with his party, left the place immediately, saying that he would marry his daughter after he could raise wet crops in his lands. On his return to his capital, with a dejected heart, he prayed to his tutelary deity, God Subramanya, for the grant of wet lands and retired to bed. He vowed a life of penance till his prayer was granted and left his beard to grow in token of his vow. God Ssubramanya, in the form of an old sage, appeared to his vision, while he was asleep and said, “Why art thou dejected? Do not be disheartened; construct an anicut at Bhavani and dig a channel; thy object will be realized.” He asked “Oh! Swami! I am perplexed. I do not where to construct the anicut and in what course to dig the channel.” The sage replied, “A peacock has run chasing a snake from a certain point at the bed of the river Bhavani. There are the traces left. Take that course. “He woke up and straight away went to the point indicated and to his great joy and surprise saw traces of a serpent having been chased by a peacock. Accordingly he began to dig a channel there and construct a dam with stones brought from the Urachi Hills. But it was obstructed by Vellai Vettu Poligar on the ground that the land in question was his own. His objection was overcome and an anicut and a channel as far as Kodumudi were built at an enormous cost. They were named after the serpent Kalingan Channel and Anicut. All the dry lands of Pundurai division were then converted into wet lands. As he was the founder of the Kalingan Channel and Anicut, he added to his name the appellation of Kalingan and called the paddy that was grown in his fields as Kalingan Paddy. As his object was fulfilled, he went again to Karur and celebrated his son’s marriage according to his promise. He then came back to his country and lived with his family in peace and plenty. Since then peacock has become the emblem of the family.
The Kalingan channel and Anicut are said to have been constructed about 2,000 years of Kaliyuga Sakaptam and stone statues of Kalinga Rayar and the serpent were placed near the anicut, and festivals and pujas were performed by his descendants and other riots.
They did not want to reap the benefits of their noble deeds. Later the Kalinga Rayars moved to Anaimalai area converted the forest into a village called it Uthukuli and established a principality of themselves in that territory.