Two thousand years ago, the great King Karikala Cholan built the banks of cauvery river on both the sides. The banks protected the land for many years from river floods however when Pandyas and Pallavas rose to power, the Cholas star declined. When kingdom was torn apart by war, there was no one to safeguard the land, from flooding river waters. This resulted in floods that changed the geography of the river. Small streams and large lakes were formed where there were none earlier. There was one such lake that flowed near the palaces of Chola kings in Pazhaiarai.
|Arisalaru River Today|
Later Chola kings, deepened this lake and maintained it to delight their anthapura women with boat rides. It also acted as a natural security for the palace. Common people couldn’t venture near this lake easily and only those who were associated with the palace and its noble residents were allowed to take a boat through the lake. Many palaces were built along with this lake and since Pazhaiarai was once the capital of the Cholas, many beautiful gardens were laid in along the banks of the lake. Many palaces had private areas, where the palace women could swim, bathe and play in the garden away from the prying eyes of the public.
Royal custom decreed that when a new king ascended the throne, he would build a new palace here, while the wives of the old king retained their old one. In the same manner, Princess Kundavai’s palace was situated right next to Queen Sembiyanmadevi’s. It was the palace that her father had lived, when he ruled from Pazhaiarai and since he moved to Thanjavur, Kundavai became its mistress.