Berijam Lake

Berijam LakeBerijam Lake is a reservoir near Kodaikanal town in Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu, South India. It is at the old site of Fort Hamilton, in the upper Palani hills. The lake, created by a dam with sluice outlets, is part of a micro–watershed development project. Periyakulam town, 18.7 kilometres 11.6 mi to the SE, gets its public drinking water from the lake. The lakes water quality is excellent.

There was originally a swamp here known as the Berijam swamp. The previous existence here of a large lake, evidence of which was visible nearby, was first recorded in 1864 by Colonel Douglas Hamilton of the 21st Regiment of the Madras Native Infantry. No written record or even local legend regarding the existence of this ancient lake survives. However, judging from visible traces of its shoreline which still remained in 1906, it must have been nearly 5 mi 8.0 km long, up to 3,960 ft 1,210 m wide and up to 70 ft 21 m deep. It was apparently formed by the side of a hill slipping down into a valley which slopes northwards, and damming up the stream which ran to the Amaravati River at the bottom of it. This stream apparently eventually cut its way through the huge natural embankment so formed, and thus emptied the lake this landslide or dam had once created. The dam was about 600 ft 180 m long and the breach in it was about 300 ft (91 m)across and 90 ft 27 m deep.

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