VILLUPURAM: A group of youth in Panamalai village in Vikaravandi taluk have cleaned up a Pallava-era well to combat the water crisis in the village as well as to preserve the historical site. The Dhamaraja well in the village comprises a pond with a well in the middle.
The well lies on the course of Nandan canal and is believed to had been the main source of water for the local people during the Pallava period. A lake in the village, known as Panamalai Eri, is believed to have been in existence since Common Era eight century, while Pallava king Nandhivarman Pallava was reigning. The Dharmaraja well lies close the this lake.
The well was in ruins and had almost dried up when the youth decided to give it a fresh life. Subsequently, a group of youth and villagers in Panamalai gathered to form the Panamalai Villagers Welfare Forum, and along with the Vetrinichayam Educational Trust, they initiated the process to clean up the well in the first week of September.
A Shankar, secretary of the forum, told TNIE, “Most people in our village had been unaware of the archeological importance of the well, but we wanted to revive it. We petitioned to the officials and they gave us about 160 workers from MGNREGA scheme, to work on the well for the first three days. After this, we all worked more and on Tuesday, water gushed into the well, after ages.” K Senguttuvan, writer and archeological enthusiast in Villupuram, said, “The waterbodies under Pallava period need a special mention because the rulers were keen about water wealth.”