Lime binds Sunnambukulam on the banks of the Pulicat lake to a glorious past. Brave young men of the fishing hamlet 60 km north of Chennai take long, deep and dangerous dives and scoop out seashells from the lakebed to extract lime, a mineral used for construction at least from the Sangam age. The lime from here now breathes new life into heritage structures in Chennai and elsewhere in Tamil Nadu.
Reddiyars, as the mining community around the lake is known locally, were originally from Andhra Pradesh, just a few kilometres away, but, with the arrival of the British, moved closer to the sea for economic reasons. Several centuries ago, the community ventured into deep-water mining and set up more than 30 crusher units at Sunnambukulam and nearby villages such as Rasapapalayam, Chinna Kokkupalayam, Periya Kokkupalayam, Periya Kuppam and Kattur, where nearly 600 families live.....................Read more
Source: The Hindu