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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sir Arthur Thomas Cotton

Arthur Cotton was born on 15 May 1803 as tenth son to Mr. and Mrs. Henry Calvely Cotton. He was one of eleven brothers, who lived honorable lives through all the vicissitudes of their different careers. At the age of 15 i.e., in 1818 Cotton joined as a cadet for Military at Addiscombe where cadets for Artillery and Engineering Service of East India Company received training. He was appointed to the Royal Engineers as Second Lieutenant in 1819.

Lieutenant Cotton started his career with Ordnance Survey in Wales in January 1820 where he received a high praises for his admirable reports. When he was 18 (i.e., 1821) he was appointed for service in India and attached to the Chief Engineer to Madras initially and later appointed as an Assistant Engineer to Superintending Engineer of Tank Department, Southern Division from 1822 to 1824. Cotton spent partly in the Irrigation Tank Department and partly in Military duties in Burma.

After return from Burma, Cotton has conducted marine survey of Pamban passage between India and Ceylon. Cotton was promoted to the rank of "Captain" in 1828 and was in charge of Investigation for Cauveri Scheme. The Cauveri Anicut( dam) was successful and paved the way for great projects on Godavari and Krishna Rivers. In 1844 Cotton recommended the construction of "Anicut( dam )" with Channels, Embankments, and roads of Godavari Delta, prepared plans for Visakhapatnam port. In 1847 the work on Godavari Anicut was started.

In 1848 he proceeded to Australia due to ill health and handed over the charge to Captain Orr. In 1850 returned to India and promoted as Colonel. Cotton made best use of local materials, that he had in the shape of Hydraulic lime, good stone, and excellent teak available in the neighborhood. He succeeded in completing the magnificent project on Godavari river at Dowleswaram in 1852. In the same year work on Gannavaram Aqueduct was also commenced.

After completing the Godavari Anicut Cotton shifted his attention to the construction of Aqueduct on Krishna River. The project was sanctioned in 1851 and completed by 1855. After completing the Krishna and Godavari Anicuts, Cotton envisaged of storages of Krishna and Godavari rivers

In 1858 Cotton came up with still more ambitious proposals connecting almost all major rivers of India and suggested drought relief measures in Orissa and interlinking of canals and rivers. Arthur Cotton was retired from the service in 1860 and was knighted in 1861 and left India. In 1862 and 1863 visited India and offered advice on some river valley projects.

His work in India was so much appreciated and honored with K.C.S.I (Knight Commander of Supreme India) in 1877. The Spiritual solace strengthened and comforted him until the very end of his earthly mission i.e. the 24th of July 1899 at the age of 96 years. He is a much revered figure in the state of Andhra Pradesh for his contribution in irrigating the area of land also known as Konaseema.

In India due to his contributions the new barrage constructed across River Godavari Upstream side of the Anicut was also named after him and dedicated to the Nation by the Honorable Prime Minister of India in 1982.

His tombstone reads as follows: Waiting for the coming of our Lord In Loving Memory of Arthur Thomas Cotton K.C.S.I. General Madras Engineers. Who Entered Into Rest 24 July 1899, Our Savior Jesus Christ Hath Abolished Death And Brought Life and Immortality To Light Through the Gospel. 2 Tim: 1.10 Also of Elizabeth Cotton Wife Of The Above Who Died 5 December 1907 Great Peace Have They Which Love Thy Law.

Cotton is revered in the Godavari District for making it the 'rice bowl' of Andhra Pradesh. Cotton is widely known as the 'Delta Architect' of the Godavari District because of his pioneering work in irrigation engineering through his construction of the anicut system. His efforts transformed the Godavari River system from a threatening and deadly natural force into a tame and fertile water resource. Throughout both East and West Godavari Districts, Cotton is often depicted on horseback.

Thomas Cotton went to attend an interview for the post of an engineer. There were three candidates, including himself. All that the selectors told them was to have a 'good sleep' and were provided three separate beds. The candidates did what they were told. While the other two candidates slept happily, poor Cotton could not get a wink of sleep. However, after some time, he slept happily.

The next day, all the three were asked if they slept happily by the selectors. While all the three nodded in the affirmative, Cotton added that he felt restless while on the bed—bending down, he realised that one of the four legs of the bed was a little high. To his surprise he found a pound beneath one of the legs, which he promptly removed. That was the catch set up by the selectors.

Sir Cotton was hated by his administrative superiors—thanks to his loving attitudes towards the people of India.At one point impeachment proceedings were initiated by his superiors for his dismissal

Going through the famine and cyclone-ravaged districts of Godavari, Cotton was distressed by the sight of famished people of the Godavari districts It was then that he put in process his ambitious plans to harness the waters of the mighty Godavari for the betterment of the humanity.

John Henry Morris in Godavari  writes about the work of Sir Cotton thus:

The Godavari anicut is, perhaps, the noblest feat of engineering skill which has yet been accomplished in British India. It is a gigantic barrier thrown across the river from island to island, in order to arrest the unprofitable progress of its waters to the sea, and to spread them over the surface of the country on either side, thus irrigating copiously land which has hitherto been dependent on tanks or on the fitful supply of water from the river. Large tracts of land, which had hitherto been left arid and desolate and waste, were thus reached and fertilized by innumerable streams and channels.

In 1878, Cotton had to appear before a House of Commons Committee to justify his proposal to build an anicut across the Godavari. A further hearing in the House of Commons followed by his letter to the then Secretary of State for India shows about his ambitiousness to built the anicut across the Godavari. His final sentence in that letter reads like this: My Lord, one day's flow in the Godavari river during high floods is equal to one whole years' flow in the Thames River of London.Cotton was almost despaired by the British Government's procrastination in taking along this project.

That Government of India's plans to interlink rivers was long envisioned by Cotton is a fact.

While at Rajahmundry, Arthur Cotton used to attend the Church of the Godavari Delta Mission.

Dowleswaram Barriage

The Dowleswaram Barrage (Telugu: ధవళేశ్వరం ఆనకట్ట) is an irrigation structure which is built on the last stretch of the Godavari River before it empties into the Bay of Bengal. It was built by a British irrigation engineer, Sir Arthur Thomas Cotton. His projects averted famines and stimulated the economy of southern India. Coordinates: 16°57′N 81°45′E

Cotton Museum is constructed on behalf of Mr.Cotton's memory. It has been one of the tourist places for locals who stay in nearby villages and for people of Rajahmundry. The Godavari River empties its entire water into the Bay of Bengal after flowing a few miles from the Dowleswaram Barrage. Sir Arthur Thomas Cotton, a British irrigation engineer, constructed the Dowleswaram Barrage which helped in boosting the economy of the state in large scale. The village of Dowleshwaram is at a distance of eight kilometers downstream of Rajamundry. Rajamundry is a city situated on the left bank of Godavari River. The upstream, where the River is divided into two streams or distributaries called the Gautami to the left and the Vasistha to the right, forms the dividing line between the West Godavari and the East Godavari districts. The height of the Dowleswaram Barrage is 15 feet and its construction was completed in the year 1850. Adjoining two mid stream islands, the barrage is constructed in four sections.

Rajahmundry City

Rajahmundry Town is the biggest town in East Godavari and it is a Divisional Head Quarters. Howrah Madras railway line passes through the town longitudinally and has two railway Stations namely "GODAVARI" and "RAJAHMUNDRY" Road cum Rail Bridge was constructed on river Godavari linking Kovvur and Rajahmundry is considered to be an engineering feat.

It is Asia's Second largest Road cum Rail Bridge. The Town is connected with all Centers of the State with motorable roads. Rajahmundry is first of East Godavari District to became Corporation. Rajahmundry with population of about 3 Lakhs, lying on the left bank of the river Godavari, located on National Highway, 560 Km. away from Chennai(Madras) and 520 Km. from Hyderabad, is not only an ancient town where rich literary activities flourished, but it is also an important commercial center. It came into existence even by 918 A.D.


Rajahmundry town is situated on 17o-1' Northern Latitude, 81o-41' Eastern Longitude. It is on the left bank of river Godavari just above the Head of Delta. The average rainfall is about 1057.2 mm. Rajahmundry Town has a large hinterland comprising of delta of Godavari. Which is blessed with vast agricultural land with irrigation potential.


By virtue of this unique location, Rajahmundry provides a communication link and a Trading Center for the hinter land. Rajahmundry is also large commercial area comprising of wholesale and retail trading centers dealing in Consumer goods, Textiles, Automobile, Agricultural Inputs, Engineering Hardware, Cement, Iron and Steel.


The greatness and celebrity of Rajahmundry as the seat of learning and culture and center of religious and political activities, the meeting place of scholars, poets, learned men, dancers and musicians, that commenced in the days of Vijayaditya Ammaraja--II and his half-brother prince Danamava,reached its zenith in the reign of Rajaraja Narendra and continued till the days of the fall of the Reddy dynasty

in the middle of the Fifteenth Century, survives to this day though in a lesser degree. Rajahmundry or Rajamahendravaram as it was called in those days as though all these maintained its high reputation and glory as the seat of Andhra learning and culture.

The British used Rajahmundry as “Head Quarters” of Godavari District but subsequently the seat of administration was shifted to Kakinada and the District named as East Godavari. This historical town has been subjected to the process of continuous remodeling through the ages.

The variety of its present form is the result of forces which dominated during the successive periods of its history. One can find the motives of town builders, from emperors to sub dividers, reflected in the design they have stamped upon the town.

It has a hoary past and is said to have been constructed by the Eastern Chalukya ruler Rajaraja Narendra in A.D. 1022. The town has some traces of fine palaces, fort walls, etc., of the 11th century A.D. Nannaya, the poet laureate, who was called 'Adi Kavi' belonged to this place. There are a number of temples here and the Kotilingala temple on the bank of the Godavari is one of the most important temples. The Godavari Pushkarams celebrated once in Twelve years, attracts a large number of pilgrims from all over the country and world. At a distance of seven kilometers south of Rajahmundry, there is the Dowleswaram anicut across the Godavari.

Other Tourist Places

Paul Chowk
This area was named after Mr. Bipin Chandra Paul who came to Rajahmundry in April 1907 during the Vandemataram movement. The present Kotipalli Bus Stand was his stage of speeches then. He gave speeches for 5 days continuously at this place. The senior citizens of Rajahmundry who are above 50 years might have known this history. The area covering the Petrol Bunk, Jetty Towers, Bus Stand and the three parks comes under Paul Chowk.

Seshaiah Metta

The area behind the District Court is known as Seshaiahmetta. It is said that Rajahmundry was on Panchagiris (Five Hills) and one of them was Sesha Giri (A hill named Sesha) and the place was named after it. But the story according to the historians is quite different. According to them the name of this place took it's transformation from "Sher Sahib Metta" to "Seshaiah metta". Sher Sahib was one of the ruler of Rajahmundry during the Mohammedan rule and the present Old - Post Office building was his residence.

Subrahmanya Maidanam

Subramanya Maidanam was known as Police Parade Grounds till 1947 15th August. On the Independence Day Col. D. S. Raju named it as Subrahmanya Maidanam after the name of Dr. Brahmajosyula Subrahmanyam, who was a freedom fighter from Rajahmundry.

Merakaveedhi Telagalu

In 1565, the Vijayanagara empire came to an end. Many people (most of them being soldiers of the defeated Vijayanagara army) shifted from Chandragiri to this area (near the present Town hall) and settled there. These people belong to Telaga caste. Some of the Surnames/First names of these families are Kandaala, Potula, Kattula, Muttangi, Yarra, Narra, Neelam, Kanchumarthi, Nadipalli, Bayapunida. Most of the people from these families had served as Senapathi's (Captains) in Vijayanagara army. Even now also we can find some armors and some other weapons with some of these families. The deity of these families is Sri Venugopala Swami and the procession of the Diety used to go through this street. All these people are Vaishnavas.

Nagula Cheruvu

The present Municipal stadium was Nagula Cheruvu. Nearly more than a century ago a man called Nagulu got this pond dug for the use of general public. Mr. Potula Veerabhadra Rao who was an athlete became Municipal Chairman in the year 1955. In 1956, he got the Stadium constructed. The Stadium was inaugurated by the Central Minister Mr. Surjit Singh Majigya for a Football Tourney. The market here is named after the same pond as Nagula Cheruvu Bazaar.

Sraddanand Ghat

Sraddanand Ghat was formed in the year 1920 near the Old Samacharam Office. This ghat was named after Saint Sraddananda, the head of Aryasamaj - Delhi. He lost his breath in the freedom movement. There was a bust size statue of Mr. Bose. People used to believe that Rajahmundry will get floods if the statue sinks in the river water up to its top. This statue was removed during the Godavari Pushkarams in 1991. (Pushkaram - The festival celebrated once in 12years for the rivers in India.) Many people including Acharya Kripalani, Mr. Prakasam, Mr. Tenneti Viswanadham, Mr. Kala Venkat Rao etc. used to address the public here. Foot steps are the gallery for the people who listen them.

Kambham Choultry and Kambal Tank

This is the only choultry in the country where death ceremonies only take place. It was constructed by Mr. Kambham Narasinga Rao Pantulu between 1845-1850 with his own resources. Kambala tank (Kambhala Cheruvu - Kambham vari Cheruvu) was also the dug during this time. The soil that came after digging this pond was used for making bricks to construct the choultry. Even in Varansi (Kasi) also we can't find a separate choultry that undertakes the death ceremonies. People come different parts of the country to conduct ceremonies to this choultry. This choultry is in ruins now. The water from different villages and other places join this pond. We can find water in this pond in all the seasons. The Government thought of constructing a Stadium in this place. But the public opposed the government and now it is converted into boating club & amusement park.

Rangaraju Peta

Some people from Rajasthan and Maharashtra came to Rajahmundry in 1870 and settled near Fort gate. They used to paint colors to clothes and pots etc. They belong to Bondhili religion. Ratnam pen works which is famous all over India has its head office in this area.

The Temple of Lord Markandeya
This temple is on the Godavari bund. The actual place of this temple was a ruined Mosque near Chanda Satram (Satram - Choultry). After examining this old-ruined mosque the archeological experts confirmed it to be a Shiva temple. This temple was constructed by a rich person Mr. Gundu Sobhanadriswara Rao in the year 1818. The street in which he lived is named as Gundu vari Street. The main entrance of this temple was in this street. But now this gate is being used as secondary. The present Vysya Hostel was the residence of Mr.Gundu Sobhadriswara Rao.

Ramdasu peta

This area was named after Mr. Yedla Ramadasu, a singer. He used to propagate vedanta, non-violence, truth etc. among the public with his folk songs. It is on the way to Korukonda Road, between Sanitarium and Quarry Colony. He died in 1917. We can find his tomb here. He used to work in the Sanitarium T. B. Center. The T.B. patients used to stay in this area.

Arya Puram

The Sub Collector Mr. Lister divided the government land into 130 plots with 3 streets in 1895. Nearly 90% of priests got the places for minimum prices. This area was named after him as Lister Pet. Later it was renamed as Aryapuram as maximum residents of this area are Brahmins. This area was annexed into Municipality in 1890. The school in this area was also named after the Sub Collector as Listerpet Municipal high school. It was also renamed after some period as Sri Nannayya Municipal High School. The "Aryapuram Library" was established in 1910 in Dr. A. B. Nageswara Rao Street. In later days the name was changed to "Sri Rama Bala Bhakta Pustak Bhandagaram" and shifted to Vankayalavari Street. The Temple of Lord Sri Satyanarayana was built in 1935. These days also the majority of residents in Aryapuram are Brahmins.

Veerabhadra Puram

In 1910 Mr. Duvvuri Veera Bhadra Rao divided his 100 Acres land into plots and sold them to Brahmins at very low prices and gave lands for free of cost to Washermen, ViswaBramins and others. It is in the mid of Kambala Tank, Subashnagar, Lalitha Nagar. Till 1930 the residents of this area refused to annex this area into Rajahmundry Municipality. He also gave a very big landscape near Kambala Tank to Sri Rama Krishna Mission and Math for free of cost. The authorities of this Mission sold this area. The place in which the present Income tax Office (AAYAKAR BHAVAN) was built was also the part of the same Sri Rama Krishna Math. The present place where Rama Krishna Math is situated was also given by Mr. Duvvuri Rama Krishna Rao.

Sri Gowtami Grandhalayam

The Gowtami Grandhalayam is a combination of Vasuraya Grandhalayam (established by Vasudeva Subbarayadu) and Ratnakavi Grandhalayam (established by Kokkonda Venkatratnam). Later many small libraries came and merged in to this big Library. It was named in 1898 and was registered in 1920.


This colony was formed due to the efforts of the then Sub Collector Mr. Innisin 1865. In its earlier stage the Innispet area covered from Kumari Talkies to Government Junior college. After 1910 till now Innispet has Veeresalingam Theistic Junior College and (Govt. Comprehensive College) Training College and Kumari Talkies as its borders.

Alcot Gardens

The gardens in which the meetings of Divya Jnan Samaj were conducted by their leader Mr. Alcot are named after him as Alcot Gardens.


Due to drought in Jaami areas of Visakhapatnam weavers shifted their board to Rajahmundry. The Rajahmundry Municipality bought the gardens of Guava and divided them into plots and distributed among these people. Till then this place was named as Jampet. The statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the center of the Road was inaugurated by Andhra Kesari Sri Tanguturi Prakasam.


The history of this place is yet to be known. Till now two theories exists in naming this area. The first theory states that this place was named after the leader of washer men, "Danavai", who dug a pond called "Danavaigunta". This name was famous till 1950. The second theory is different. According to that theory this place was the place of one of the Army officials, "Dalavai" and hence it is named as Danavaipet.


The area which was given to Pundits, Scientists and Priests by a rich man from Kandregula family in memory of his mother "Sitamma" is known as Sitampet. There was also one pond "Sitamma Cheruvu". It was converted into a park recently.

Godavari Pushkarams

Godavari Pushkaram is celebrated once every 12 years at Pushkar a Tirtam, near Rajahmundry. The legend has it that when sage Gautama was doing penance on the Brahmagiri hill a severe famine occurred in village. The sage by his divine power relieved the people of this famine. Since then these Pushkarams are being celebrated to commemorate the end of this serious famine. During the 12 days of Pushkaram, Pujas are performed after taking a dip in the river Godavari.

The origin of the river Godavari is at Triambakam, which is in the Nasik District of Maharastra state. The Godavari river passes through various districts of Andhra Pradesh and reaches Rajahmundry. At Rajahmundry Godavari is known as Akhanda Godavari, later it branches into seven streams and merges with the sea.

The Godavari Pushkarams are celebrated when the transition of the planet Jupiter (Brihaspathi) into Simha Rasi (Leo). These pushkarams was held from 30.7.2003 to 10.8.2003. For Every 12 years the Pushkaras are being celebrated. Lakhs of pilgrims will take a holy dip in the river Godavari during pushkarams.

What To See In Rajahmundry

If you want to check out a destination which is different than the rest then a place you must visit is Rajahmundry. This is a land which you'll feel is a perfect destination for religious tour which nestles on the very scenic bank of River Godavari. Being Andhra Pradesh 5th largest city, Rajahmundry is a city which is supposed to be an important tourist center of Rajahmundry. The origin of the city was believed to be laid by Rajah Narendra , a famous ruler of the Eastern Chalukyas in somewhere 1022 A.D. The names by which this city was known as are Rajaraja Narendrapuram then it transformed to Rajamahendrayaram and after it Rajamandiram and finally, it was named as Rajahmundry. Known as the birthplace of the famous Poet Laureate, 'Nannayya', the city has gained immense popularity as a tourist spot. In all, the city is speckled with numerous tourist spots which tourists can check out in an ideal sightseeing tour. Mentioned below are some of them.

Vijjeswaram is a place of immense interest in Rajahmundry: At a distance of about 20 Kms from the downtown, lies this interesting tourist destination of Rajahmundry. As we head towards the western side of Andhra Pradesh's Godavari District, we can reach the famous tourist spot of Rajahmundry, Vijjeswaram. It is basically a Power project unit which often fascinates the tourist coming to the city.

One of the best tourist destinations of Rajahmundry is Annavaram: A tourist destination which is highly fascinating for the crowd of Rajahmundry is Annavaram. This destination is at a distance of about 72 Kms from the city center. It is one of the very sacred spots of Rajahmundry which is located on the hill top and is popularly known as Ratnagiri. Annavaram's presiding deity is Veeravenkata Satyanarayana Swamy and people believe that people who perform certain fasts and thereafter offer prayers to the deity, get their wishes fulfilled. This is a temple of immense faith not only in Rajahmundry but in the entire nation.

Interesting tourist spots of Rajahmundry includes Ryali: When counting the interesting tourist spots of Rajahmundry, a name which stands out is Ryali. This is a famous tourist destination of Rajahmundry which is at a distance of about 25 Kms from the main city. This is a beautifully built temple bearing an idol of Jaganmohini- Kesavaswami. The immense faith of people in the deity as well as the exceptionally beautiful carvings on the black stone idol of the temple makes it stand tall amid the other tourist places of Rajahmundry.

In short, the place Rajahmundry is blessed with numerous places of tourist interest. So if you wish to check out a place which makes a great combination of religious as well as scenic destination, then check out Rajahmundry. Try not missing out the given destination in the city and also ask the local crowd about other temples and destination which a tourist can check out.

Rajahmundry City

3rd Railway Bridge
RAJAHMUNDRY CITY is Located in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh is a small and beautiful city called Rajahmundry. Though the city is not very popular worldwide, still it is regarded as one of the most important cities of South India. Rajahmundry is situated on the banks of River Godavari and has a rich cultural past as well as a blooming future.
Iskon Temple,Rajahmundry
Originally Rajahmundry was called Rajamahendravaram or Rajamahendri but slowly with passage of time the names underwent metamorphosis and the name Rajahmundry evolved. During the 19th century the city was counted amongst one of the biggest cities in South India. In the present era too, Rajahmundry is the fifth largest city of Andhra Pradesh.

The city is called the 'cultural capital of Andhra Pradesh' and it is also the birth place of the Telugu language. Even today one can find traces of beautifully built palaces and forts of the 11th century.

Rajahmundry is a pilgrimage site for Hindus and one can find several temples here worth visiting. The famous Kotilingalu temple which is said to have 10 million Shivlingas is also located in Rajahmundry. An enormous Krishna temple is built by the ISKCON foundation here on the banks of River Godavari. Tourists in massive numbers gather here once in every twelve years to celebrate the Godavari Pushkaram.

Other than the temples, Rajahmundry also has few more attractions like the river Godavari, the Papi kondalu region, the Dowlaiswaram anicut and the Rajahmundry traps.

Asia's largest rail-cum-road bridge which is considered an engineering masterpiece is built on the river Godavari which links Kovvur to Rajahmundry. People from all over the world visit the place to see this beautiful bridge.

The anicut (dam) was built by Sir Arthur Cotton in Dowlaiswaram mainly due its perfect location. The dam consisted of four divisions namely, the Ryali Branch Division, Dowlaiswaram Division, Madduru division and Vijjeswaram division. The entire structure is built in 900yards long and 9 feet high frame.

A beautiful attraction in Rajahmundry is the Papi kondalu region. It is an ocular pleasure due to its spectacular waterfalls and beautiful landscape. The entire area is said to resemble the enchanting region of Kashmir in North India.

The Rajahmundry traps which are part of the Deccan traps are another sight which attracts the visitors especially the geologists.

Thus, to sum up though Rajahmundry is a not so popular city on the world map but it definitely has much in store for people who have not visited this place. It has something to suit the taste of people by and large, so a trip to this quiet town should surely be on your charts.

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