Dams in Kerala might have come up mainly in the past four decades but being located in the most scenic spots these are now a major tourist attraction of the state. A walk on top of these humongous structures would reveal the splendour and calm of the river down and would also give the traveller, the breath taking sight of the surrounding landscapes. The best time to visit dams in the state would be during rainy season when the flood gates open to let out the roaring jet of water that gushes down to the river below.
Banasura Sagar Dam
The largest earthen dam in the country, Banasura Sagar Dam is built on the serene Kabani River in Wayanad district of Kerala. A view from the top of the Dam would give you the splendid sight of the river dividing into tributaries even as it stretches through the enchanting landscape. Bordered by the tall green Banasura Hills, the charm which the river emanates is breath taking. The sight of the string of Islands which are seen once the reservoir gets filled up might compel you to go on a boating tour of the river.
Interestingly, the dam site is also the place from where the adventurer in you can set out on a wild trek. Several trekking spots in Banasura Hills attract more tourists to the place. The dam is located 21 km from Kalpetta in Wayanad district and can be reached on road without much bother.
The 6066 Ft high dam built on Malampuzha river of Palakkad district would be the place which would thrill you beyond limits. The height of the dam and the magnificent scenery around the reservoir would just take one’s breath away. Sand banks, rare sight of wild birds and lush green surroundings would give you the visual feast you might just need during your vacation.
The scenic spot also has an amusement park – Fantasy Park, which will offer you rides that will thrill and chill the senses. The amusement park also has a rope way which will offer a tour of the reservoir in carts suspended over 40 feet above the ground. The dam and reservoir are located about 8 km from Olavakode railway station and 13kms from Palakkad town.
Chalakkudy Dam (Peringalkuthu dam)
Also known as Sholayar Dam, this dam is built on the tranquil Chalakudy River in Thrissur district of the state. The dam also captures the scene splendour of the river which is fringed with forests and lush greenery. Also one of the popular trekking locations the place is a hot spot for tourists from across the country and abroad. The dam is close to Athirapally and Vazhachal waterfalls which are known for their sparkling white spray and refreshing surroundings.
Located 85 km from Kochi and over 30 km from Thrissur, the place is the best locale to catch the sight of wildlife and rare avaian population. One can get there on road and the nearest railway station is Thrissur.
Built across Manali River, the dam has an unbelievable vast catchment area of 3,200 acres and is the spot which wildlife enthusiasts should not miss. Surrounded by several lush green botanical gardens and fountains with frothing spray, the location is one of the perfect vacation spots in the state. And for those interested in the wild side of nature, boating and trekking is allowed in the area.
If one gets lucky one might just come across tuskers and tigers on the reservoir banks where the Peechi wildlife sanctuary is located. The dense, moist deciduous forests and semi-evergreen forests in the catchment area are also treasure troves of orchids and medicinal plants. During guided tours offered by the state tourism department one could even get a sight of Tigers, Leopards, Wild Dogs, Sambar, Spotted and Barking Deer. Located at a distance of 23 km from Thrissur town, the dam can be reached on road. It is also close to the port city Kochi which is over 70 km away.
Built across Vadakkancheri Puzha, the dam is a place for adventure tourism. Those brave ones could go for trek in the forests in the catchment area and experience the lush greenery and undulating landscapes. The place is also developed into a weekend resting spot by the tourism department and hence parks, amusements slots and eateries are plenty near the dam.
Located in hilly terrain in Idukky district, the dam is that spot which is lush green perennially. Also a major source of hydroelectricity, the reservoir is usually full through the year, offering you the perfect location to spend your holidays.
While visiting this scenic location one could enjoy trekking through the dense Shola forests around Mattupetty which is also home to a variety of birds. A walk along the hillside with its many waterfalls and rivulets would bring to you a priceless sense of oneness with nature. The trekking enthusiasts among the group can even follow the rivulets to the spots where the water gushes down forming small waterfalls. The place is also a much favoured boating spot as several tour operators in the area offer even speed boat rides.
Also located close to the hill station Munnar (13 km away), Mattupetty dam attracts tourists through the year.
Located in the scenic green town of Kundala just about 20 km from Munnar the dam is a must visit spot during your visit to Kerala. Surrounded by undulating hills laden with tea gardens, the visit to the dam would give any traveller a complete sense of stillness and peace which in itself is rewarding. While the view atop the dam is breathtakingly beautiful, one should also not miss the feel of the sprawling nine-hole golf course located in the vicinity.
While visiting the spot one should not give the shimmering blue Kundala Lake a miss. Standing by the lake one can enjoy the stillness of a photographic frame which is splendid with the sedate mountains in the backdrop, the unending tea gardens dissected by a narrow meandering road in the rear side, fleeting mist up above and a mirror-like lake down below.
Built across the serene Parambikulam Lake, the dam offers a bird’s eye view of a sprawling green landscape. With the Shola forest, a natural abode of teak trees surrounding the dam, the place is the spot a wildlife lover should not miss. The Parambikulam Wildlife sanctuary situated in the lush green forests around the reservoir is treasure trove of flora and fauna. Over a hundred different species of mammals and birds are found in the area, nature lovers say. Also close to the Silent Valley the place is a must visit spot. Located in Palakkad district the place can be reached on road.
Idukki Arch Dam
The largest arch dam in Asia, Idukki dam built across Periyar River is 555 ft high. The dam is that spot which should be visited for the constructional beauty of the structure. Arching down from all the four sides the dam which was built in late 1960s looks like a dome holding gallons of water. The serene feel of the Periyar River the sight of which can be had from atop the dam is in itself an experience to be had.
Boating is also allowed in the reservoir and a conducted tour of the catchment area itself would offer riches including the sight of the big cats. Tigers and tuskers are a common sight in the area. Situated just 20 km from Idukki town, the place can be reached on road.
Built during the colonial rule at the converging point of Mullayar and Periyar rivers, the dam is a site where the beauty reaches a heavenly status. Interestingly, both the states of TamilNadu and Kerala use water for the dam. The dam is also close to the Periyar National Park. Tekkady is located near Periyar reservoir formed by the backwaters of this dam. What one should look for while visiting the place is a good boating tour and also a trekking tour to the nearby lush green forest.
Located in the scenic foothills of the Western Ghats around 30 km from Trivandrum city, the dam is a beautiful vacation spot. Nature lovers would enjoy being here as the wild life in the catchment area of the dam is baffling. Rare varieties of animals including Gaur, Sloth Bear, Nilgiri Tahr, Jungle Cat and Nilgiri Langur, Elephants and Sambar deer are found here. Close to the dam is the tall peak Agasthyagudham.
Mangalam Dam and Pazhassi Dam
Built across Cherukunnapuzha, a tributary of Mangalam River, the dam offers one the sight of lush plantations of rubber, pepper, coffee and tapioca (a tuber). The plantations which spread across length and breadth of the catchment area are also spots where one could get cottages for night stay. Typical central Kerala cuisine is offered to tourists. Situated just 16 km from Vadakkancheri town the dam can be reached on road.
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