Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Vijayawada Sightseeing - Prakasam Barrage

June 2012

Vijayawada has a nickname as "The City on Fast Track" for those who may not know, including myself. In this entry I wish to share some of the places of interest that I took hubby when he pay a visit and spent almost 2 weeks at the company accommodation, Apartment 129, Rain Tree Park. First place that I wishes to share is a beautiful and historic Prakasam Barrage, a beautiful landmark of Vijayawada crossing the Krishna river.

Prakasam Barrage

I snapped a closer look of Parakasam Barrage in 1 of the afternoon while I was on road to Hyderabad. On 23rd June 2012, Saturday afternoon, hubby and I had an exploration day in Vijayawada itself. All photos related to Prakasam Barrage from below onward are shared from those trip.

The structure of the Prakasam Barrage stretches about 1224 metre accross the Krishna River connecting Krishna (in Vijayawada town) and Guntur districts. The barrage serves as a road bridge and spans over a huge lake in Vijayawada. The 3 canals associated with the barrage run through the city of Vijayawada crossing and it gives a Venetian appearance.

The idea of constructing a dam accross the river Krishna dates back to 1798 by Captain Buckle. It was revised in 1839 by Captain Best and Captain Lake. After an endorsement of Major Cotton, the board of Directors of British East India Company approved the project on 5th January 1850. The construction commenced in 1852 and was completed in 1855, within 3 years.

The State Government constructed a bridge at a later stage that was named after Sri Tanguturi Prakasam, the first Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh (AP). For the record, AP state was formed in 1953 after the merger of Telegu speaking districts of former Hyderabad State. When it was completed in 1957, it helps irrigating over 1.2 million acres of land within the vicinity. 

This barrage also supplies water to Buckingham canal which was constructed as inland navigation canal initially but later used as irrigation water supply canal. Being one of the first major irrigation projects of South India, the Prakasam Barrage in Vijayawada was completely successful in it's mission.

Andhra Pradesh state largely owes it's rich agriculture to the Prakasam dam as the project facilitated the irrigation of large tracts of farmland. The dam provides views of the lake. It also has become a tourist attraction of Vijayawada beside the Durga Temple seated on top of the hill next to it. At present day, heavy vehicle was not allowed to pass through due to security and safety aspects of the 158 year old barrage.

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