Pennycuick Pongal: Honoring the Visionary Behind Mullaiperiyar Dam's Legacy

Join the celebration of Pennycuick Pongal, honoring the visionary Colonel John Pennycuick, architect of the Mullaiperiyar Dam. A festival of gratitude, culture, and growth in Theni, marking his 183rd birth anniversary. ๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŽ‰ #PennycuickPongal #LegacyCelebration
Foreigners at Pennycuick Pongal Festival
Foreigners at Pennycuick Pongal Festival

Colonel John Pennycuick, the visionary behind the Mullaiperiyar Dam, a lifeline for five districts including Madurai and Theni, is commemorated annually on January 15. The residents of Theni joyously celebrate the Pennycuick Pongal festival in honor of this remarkable figure and the enduring gift of water he bestowed upon the region.

Statue of Pennycuick
Statue of Pennycuick

The 183rd birth anniversary of Colonel John Pennycuick was recently observed with great fervor at the Colonel John Pennycuick Manimandapam in the lower camp area near Gudalur in Theni district. The Rural Development Minister I. Periyasamy, paying his respects, highlighted Pennycuick's pivotal role in constructing the Mullai Periyar dam. This dam not only safeguards the livelihoods of the people in Theni but also contributes to the prosperity of Madurai, Dindigul, Sivagangai, and Ramanathapuram districts by enhancing agriculture and fulfilling water needs.

Minister Periyasamy praised Pennycuick's engineering marvel that diverted the westward flow of the Mullai Periyar River towards the east, transforming dense Kalli forests into fertile paddy fields. The 183rd birth anniversary of Pennycuick, fondly regarded as the deity of the southern districts, was celebrated as a state function, underscoring his enduring significance.

Minister I. Periyasamy garlands Pennycuick's statue
Minister I. Periyasamy garlands Pennycuick's statue

As part of the festivities, Gudalur Municipality arranged 51 traditional pots at the Manimandapam premises, where women joyously celebrated Pongal. The event continued with spirited sports competitions, including rope pulling, pot breaking, goligundu, kitty, deer horn spinning, and silambattam.

The Department of Art and Culture contributed to the celebration with traditional cultural performances such as Thappattam, Thevarattam, Karagattam, Kizhavan-Kizhavi, and Madattam. The cultural extravaganza attracted not only locals from Theni and Gudalur but also visitors from other districts and foreigners, adding a diverse and inclusive dimension to the festivities.

Karagattam
Karagattam

The Integrated Child Development Programme distributed millets, emphasizing nutritional well-being, while the Animal Husbandry Department organized a captivating bullock cart procession. Halls constructed with coconut water showcased the rich traditions of Tamil culture, featuring displays of Ural and Ammikal. A unique selfie point, crafted in the shape of a farmer's plough, added a contemporary touch to the celebration.

Sale of Seeds
Sale of Seeds

In a thoughtful gesture, saplings were distributed to 183 farmers, symbolizing growth and sustainability, aligning with the spirit of Pennycuick's legacy. The Pennycuick Pongal festival serves as a heartfelt tribute to a man whose vision and engineering prowess continue to quench the thirst of the arid lands, fostering prosperity for generations to come.

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