Sunday, September 13, 2015

Dams in & around Tirunelveli

Dams in & around Tirunelveli

Papanasam Dam

Papanasam Dam is located in Tirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu. It was built during the British rule and is 5.4 m wide, 265 m long and 240 m high. The Papanasam dam is also known as the Thamiraparani River Dam and has a total catchment area of 147 sq km, actually it is two dams, Upper dam is called as Karaiyar Dam & Lower Dam is called as Papanasam dam
This holy place is on the Western Ghats of Pothigai Hill. It is close to the Papanasam Falls, on the banks of the Thamiraparani River where Siva and Parvathi appeared before the great saint Agasthiyar. Hence the falls is popularly called the “Agasthiyar Falls”. To commemorate the visit of’ the divine couple, the Agasthiyar temple was built there. Papanasam Dam is located 49 km away from Tirunelveli. This is a beautiful picnic spot. The dam is around 10 km west of Ambasamudram and is an hour’s drive from Courtallam.

The Papanasam dam is located 49 kilometers (30 mi) away from Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu, India. Dam is useful to irrigate 86,107 acres (34,846 ha) of paddy field cultivated in Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts.
It is 744 feet long, 200 feet high and 5.4 meters wide. The total capacity of this dam is 5500 million cusec feet. Water of this dam is spread over 2.24 square miles area. During overflow, water flows at 8000 cusec feet per second.

The design capacity of Papanasam Hydroelectric Power Plant is 28 MW. It features four Francis turbine generators. The first unit of this plant was commissioned in 1944 and the last unit in 1951. Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd operate this plant.
It features Papanasam dam, Thamirabarani River, Siva Temple, Hydro Electric Power Plant and Papanasam Falls, also called Agasthiyar Falls.
The surrounding lake with high mountains on the backdrop creates breathtaking scenes. The thunderous roar of water cascading down gives one feel of the power of nature. The mountains around the dam are green and thick with huge trees. Various breeds of monkeys roam around freely.

Boating is possible in the lake but swimming is strictly prohibited as it is populated with crocodiles. At the end of the lake there is a tunnel through which water flows to another river and Lower new dam.

Set amidst the wildlife sanctuary, the best time to visit is after the first bout of monsoon rains - may be Jul / Aug. abundant greenery around. The drive is through the sanctuary. One can see Langurs, Peacocks and Deer freely roaming around on the way. The dam is located amidst set up of mountains on 3 sides. Vehicles are allowed up to a point and we need to walk close to a 750 m to reach the Dam site. Public are not allowed to walk on the dam.

Leisure Activities

Ø  Take a boat ride operated by TTDC which is very Economical and Safe and travel by boat for about 15 to 20 minutes and reach the Banatheertham falls.
Ø  Climb the hill and have a wonderful time at the Banatheertham falls. 
Ø  Usually the boat will stop at this place for 1 hour and it is really a decent time including your bathing time in the falls.
Ø  The water is so fresh with lot of medicinal effects and you will be feeling completely fresh after the bath in the falls.
Ø  On the way back, you can see the medical treatment given by a family for the Jaundice Cure.
Ø  Then make a visit to the Hydro Power Plant from outside and take some beautiful pictures.
Regular buses are available from Tirunelveli and the neighboring towns to the temple. To reach this sanctuary, you need to go to the town of Papanasam via Ambasundaram. The tiger reserve is just 20 Kms from the town of Papanasam. The Banatheertham Falls are on the Karaiyar or the Upper Papanasam Dam, 12 Kms away from the Papanasam check post.
Boats are available at Karaiyar. The boats are available from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. The Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve is accessible only by road.
Manimuthar Dam
Manimuthar Dam is one of the major dams in Tamil Nadu located about nine kilometers west of the town of Kallidaikurichi. Construction of this dam was started in 1955 and was completed in 1958. This dam is 2900 meters long and has a storage capacity of 5.51 billion cubic feet. Water from this dam is used for irrigation and drinking at the southern districts of Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari. The river manimuthar originates at this dam and travels a distance of about 3.5 kilometers before it joins the river Thamirabarani.

Manimuthar Dam is a reservoir built on the river of Thamirabarani. It is located at just 20 km from the town of Papanasam. The dam is situated on the way from Ambasamudram to Pechiparai. The nearest towns are Kallidaikurichi and Ambasamudram.

The Manimuthar Dam is situated at the foothills of the scenic Podhigai Hills. It is built on Thamirabarani River. The area features marvelous natural beauty. The spot where the waters, the mountains, and the sky meet offers a spectacular view. The dam is 20 km from Papanasam town. Ambasamudram and Kallidaikurichi are the nearest towns from the dam area.

Manimutharu Dam in Kallidaikurichi is located at 8°39'13.8"N 77°24'46.9"E or 8.653842, 77.413022.

Manimuthar River originates on the eastern slopes of Western Ghats in Tirunelveli District of the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India. It is a major tributary of the Thambaraparani River.

The river begins in the dense forest on a mountain peak 1300 meters above sea level in Ambasamudram Taluk and flows 9 km though small cataracts until it reaches the Thambaraparani River near Kallidaikurichi.

The tributaries of the Manimuthar are the Keezha River and the Varattar River. As a tributary, the Manimuther River adds a considerable amount of water to the Thamiraparani River as it seasonally is always in full.

Servalar Dam

The Servalar Reservoir is across Servalar River. This is also a Masonry Gravity Dam of 450 m long and 53 m high. The reservoir has a storage capacity of 1,225 Mcft. The Power House at the reservoir will have an installed capacity of 20 MW. The Papanasam and Servalar reservoirs are interconnected by, a tunnel of 10,886 feet long. 

The River Servalar, a main tributary of Thambaraparani joins the main river at a running distance of 22-km. The diversion weir marks the confluence of Servalar and Thambaraparani. 

A diversion weir was constructed just below the confluence of Servalar. The weir has a storage capacity of 49 M.cft. The Powerhouse, just below functions with a gross head of 91 m and a capacity 4 x 7 MW. 

The tailrace water from Papanasam Power House joins the main river Thambaraparani and it serves the wetlands on both sides enroute before it confluences with Gulf of Mannar. Many tributaries join the river course in the plains both on the right and left flanks.

Kadana Nathi Dam

The Kadana Nathi is running around Alwarkurichi area and which has a dam namely Kadananathi Dam. Rama Nathi is running around Kadayam area and which has a dam namely Ramanathi Dam. These are the two rivers have keeping the Kadayam and surrounding villages are green. Thirst of the people and agri fields are being fulfilled by these rivers since long.

Kadana Nathi Reservoir is located at the foot of the Western Ghats in sivasailm village near Alwarkurichi which is one of the important tourist places of Tirunelveli district. Now a day’s many tourists visit the dam and park. During the Courtallam season and sabarimalai season more number of tourists visit this place. During the Courtallam season and sabarimalai season more number of tourists visit this place.

Gundar Dam

Gundar Dam was constructed in the year 1983 to cater for the irrigation requirements of the Tirunelveli district. Gundar is an earthen dam with a height and length of approximately 15m and 389 m respectively. The Gundar dam reservoir has an overall capacity is 0.70 MCUM. The irrigation capacity of the dam is 454.50 ha of agricultural land.

Gundar Dam is used as a Medium Irrigation Project. The construction of the dam commenced in 1979 and was completed in a span of four years.

The town of Courtallam which is quite nearby is the major attraction from Gundar Dam. There are five water falls in the close proximity. These waterfalls have high therapeutic and medicinal values. There are separate bathing spots for men and women for the convenience of tourists.

Tirunelveli can be best enjoyed during the winter season. The best period to visit this part would be between September to March. The summer months are hot and humid. Tourists cannot enjoy the dam site and the city in this harsh weather. The heavy rains in the monsoon period restrict the tourist activities. Nature is at its best during the winter months.

Gundar Reservoir is a place that is loved by families during the holidays and vacations. This dam is about 70 kms away from Tirunelveli. Courtrallam and Senkottai are the two places that are very close to the Gundar Reservoir. This dam is also located at the foot of Western Ghats. The amazing surroundings and the climate of the place make it a more preferable tourist spot. There is a very good waterfall located just 1 km away from the Gundar Reservoir. In order to reach the waterfalls safely it is advised to use only four wheelers. The number of domestic people visiting the spot is more rather than the outsiders.

Adavinainar Dam and Park

The adavi nainar reservoir is located at the foot of the Western Ghats in Mekkarai village of Senkottai Taluk in Tirunelveli district. It is located near Courtallam and Achanikoil in Kerala state. A small falls that is present in this place is also well known. The people who visit Courtallam mostly do not miss this dam also due to its attractive nature.

Ramanathi dams & parks
Ramanathi Dam is also well known by the tourists who visit Tirunelveli. This is another dam that is situated at the foot of Western Ghats, and it belongs to the Kadayam village of Ambasamudram. 

Numerous tourists have started to visit this spot during their vacations making this place more popular than usual. In fact, this is considered to be a very good tourist spot for the families. Dam supported by a well maintained park is ideal for picnickers
Upper Kodaiyar Dam
 It is only a short distance from Nalumukku. The water that is collected is pumped up from the Lower Kodaiyar catchment as there are no direct streams that serve this dam. 

There is a view point near this dam from which Pechiparai Dam, Perumchanni and Chittar reservoirs can be seen. The Agasthiar Mountain can also be seen from this viewpoint


Tirunelveli is well connected by road. The city is located on the National Highway no. 7. It is well connected to all the major cities of Peninsular India by National as well as state highways. 

The Tamilnadu Transport Corporation operates buses to Chennai, Bangalore, Salem, Coimbatore, Nagapattinam, Erode and Tirupati originating from Tirunelveli. The nearest major city is Tirunelveli, which is a two hour’s drive and 57 kms. away from Manjolai Estate. There are buses from Tirunelveli, Ambasamudram and Manimuthar.  

Local taxies are available and these operators will have the necessary passes and permits. The place is accessible from Ambasamudram which is 50 kms. away and Nagercoil.


The Tirunelveli Junction railway station is an extremely busy and important railway junction in Tamilnadu. It connects Tirunelveli to all the major cities in India and Tamilnadu such as Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Trichy, Thanjore and Kanyakumari. Various express and super fast trains pass through Tirunelveli.


The nearest airport from Tirunelveli is Tuticorin airport that is located at a distance of 28 kilometers from the downtown Tirunelveli & Madurai Airport is around 150 Kms away. Tuticorin airport sees very less flights but Trivandrum airport that is around 150 kilometers in Kerala has regular flights for various cities in India as well as South and West Asia.

1 comment:

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