Aerial view of Malampuzha Dam from a cable car

Aerial view of Malampuzha Dam from a cable car

photo by Jamal Nazar

Palakkad Dams

Palakkad Dams

Mostly during the 1950s and 60s several dams were constructed in the district of Palakkad. The dams were built to provide enough water to the people living near them and the surrounding farmland. They are some of the most popular tourist attractions in the region, and it is well worth setting aside time to visit at least one of them during your trip. They provide wonderful views of the surrounding countryside, and some dams have extra, family friendly activities.

Malampuzha Dam Construction of the Malampuzha Dam began in 1949 and took 6 years to complete. Its completion created Kerala's biggest reservoir. It stands 115.6 metres high and 2,069 meters long ¨C spanning the Malampuzha River. Water contained in the reservoir is used to provide water to farmland and people living in the area. The dam and its surroundings have been created into a tourist attraction, which includes the huge Yakshi sculpture. It sits beneath the spectacular scenery of the Western Ghats and provides kilometres of hiking trails.

Other features which make the dam worth visiting are its manicured gardens and boat rides on the lake. The 'rock' garden is truly unique. It is made up of thousands of pieces of what would have been thrown in the garbage. Here you will see fragments of tiles, cans, plastic, and bracelets. It was designed by Padmasree Neck Chand Sainil; a master sculptor. It also has a Japanese garden.

The dam has a ropeway that lets you travel above the gardens and take in amazing views. Children will enjoy the fish aquamarine, playground, and snake park. If you can stay until dark, you will be in for a treat. The dam is beautifully lit up, making it an even more impressive sight.

The dam is 9km from Palakkad town, which is reachable by train. You can then take a taxi to the dam.

Pothundi Dam At the base of the Nelliyampathy hills, spanning tributaries of the Ayalur river, is the Pothundi Dam. It is one of the more unique and older dams in the region, with building started in 1800. When it was built, no concrete was used in its core. Instead, the core is made up of jaggery, surki, and quick lime. The dam is situated 42km from Palakkard town and just 8km from the town of Nemmara. The main purpose of its construction was to provide water for the surrounding farmland. However, it is a place of wonderful natural beauty and magnificent views of the surrounding hills and rice fields.

Walayar Dam Walayar Dam construction began in 1953 and was completed in 1964. It is 20.42 metres high and 1478 meters long. It was built across the Walayar river. It was built as part of a water project to provide the main source of irrigation to the surrounding areas. The area around the dam is very pretty, but this scenery has yet to be taken advantage of with regards to tourism. Because of this, you will find that the dam will be quieter and less busy with visitors. It is perfect for people in search of hidden gems who want to avoid big crowds.

The dam is located 15km from Palakkad town and if you do not drive, you can take a train to Walayar train station, which is close to the dam.

Parambikulam Dam Parambikulam Dam is one of the best embankment dams in the world and the highest ranked in India, as far as water volume is concerned. The dam sits impressively at the foot of the Western Ghats, making it ideal for anyone that loves beautiful scenery and it is one of the prettiest Palakkad dams to visit. It is located within the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to many rare plants and animals.

Mangalam Dam Work on the Mangalam Dam was completed in 1966, bringing an important source of irrigation to the region. The dam spans the Cheruknnapuzha river. It is 16km from the town of Vadakkencherry, and is also near to Vattapara, Odenthode, and Olipara The surrounding area has farmland and dense forest. The tourist potential has been improved here, with plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, such as boating, hiking, and bird watching. The dam is situated 42km south from Palakkad town.