Weather :

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : INR 25

Timings : 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Idukki Arch Dam, Idukki Overview

Idukki Arch Dam, an engineering marvel, is located in the South-Indian state of Kerala. It is an arch dam with a double curvature and is built on River Periyar. Precisely, the dam is constructed in a gorge between two hills, Kuravathi and Kuravan. It is at the height of about 550 feet and is a breathtaking sight in the otherwise rugged terrain along which has been built. With this height, it is one of the highest arch dams in Asia. Because of its massive size, the dam can be seen from quite some distance and the sight of the structure in between the granite hills is breathtaking. The surrounding is lush green, and the reservoir serves as a quick getaway for locals. As part of promoting hydel tourism, boating in the reservoir is open for tourists.

The Idukki Arch dam was built by the Kerala State Electricity Board under a project to produce hydro-electric power for regions nearby. This marvel attracts tourists from all over the world. It is one of the few double curvature parabolic thin arc dams in India. The reservoir is a splendid sight from atop Kalvary. If you manage to make some extra time for this visit do make sure you hike up Kalvary and witness the spectacular view. Just absorb the mesmerizing beauty site while you are there because photography is not allowed and you don't want to forget about this grand structure.

The forest area surrounding the dam and the reservoir is home to many local species. About a kilometre further away is a cave that became famous for being featured in a Malayalam Movie named Vyshali. It has been named Vyshali Cave ever since and often visited by the people coming here to see the dam.

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Things To Do at Idukki Arch Dam

Idukki Dam Reservoir Boat Ride 
A thrilling boat ride sailing through the dam reservoir is a must for tourists visiting the dam. The ride begins at Kulamuva Dam and covers the entire reservoir before it ends at the Cheruthoni dam. Each ride is about 3 hours which is enough time to absorb the natural beauty of the surroundings. You can spot various species of birds and animals like deer, elephants and bison at the shore or watch the sunsets as you silently sail through the tranquil waters. Boat rides for tourists are available on all days except Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Cheruthoni Dam
The Cheruthoni dam is located just a kilometre from the Idukki Arch Dam. It is concrete gravity dam is the highest and the largest dam in Kerala. Sunrise and Sunsets from this dam are a sight to remember.

Kulamuva Dam 
Kulamuva dam is located about 30 kilometres from the Idukki Arch Dam. It is also a gravity dam and is quite famous for activities like boating, trekking and sight-seeing.

Hill View Park 
It is a natural garden that is opened up for tourists and is located about 360 feet above the Idukki Arch Dam on top of a hillock. It is a perfect place to get a breathtaking view of the Idukki and Cheurthoni Dams. The garden has a children's play area, a pond, herbal garden and Government run Guest House for accommodation. Do carry your binoculars while visiting the park to get a better view of the location.
Visiting hours are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM all days of the week.

Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary 
The Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is a few kilometres away from the dam. The tropical evergreen dense forests expand over an area of 78 square kilometres. The sanctuary is surrounded by the lake that is formed by the three dams and is home to snakes, bison, deer, elephants, and a variety of birds.

History of Idukki Arch Dam

The project to construct Idukki Arch Dam was proposed in 1919 by an Italian Engineer to the Travancore Government. It is said that in 1922, the head of Oorali race, Shri Chemban Karuvellayan Kolumban recommended the site for the dam to be constructed when he was on a hunting spree with the Superintendent of Malankara Estate, W.J.John and AC Thomas Edattu, his friend. W.J.John submitted a report in 1932 with a proposal of building a dam and a hydro-electric power plant, but it only after 1956 that the proposal went forward after a detailed investigation and a project report was prepared.

The planning commission approved the project in 1963 and 1969; the work on the dam began under the supervision and leadership of C.V Mathews, who was the Chief Engineer of Electricity Board. The trial run was carried out on October 4th, 1975 and the power plant was operated commercially on February 12th, 1976. The commercial operation was commissioned by Smt. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India.

Construction of Idukki Arch Dam

Idukki Arch Dam is constructed on River Periyar, between two granite mountains, Kuravathimala and Kuravanmala. It is over 168 metres tall, 365 metres in length on the top, over 7 metres wide on the top and about 20 metres wide in the bottom. The dam is situated in the district of Idukki, however, the powerhouse has been built about 44 kilometres away from the dam at Moolamottam. The reservoir creates a capacity of over 2,000 million cubic metres. The water is diverted to the Moolamattam Power House through a water conductor system that has power tunnel and underground pressure shafts. The powerhouse has six units of turbines with a capacity of 130 MW each. The tailwater is allowed to flow through a tunnel and diverted for irrigation purposes in Muvattupuzha.

Tips For Visiting Idukki Arch Dam

1. Photography is not allowed at the dam.
2. No electronic items are allowed inside.
3. Limited parking slots are available.

How To Reach Idukki Arch Dam

Idukki Arch dam is accessible by road within Idukki District can be reached by public transport like a cab or bus.

The nearest railway station is the Kottayam Railway Station, which is about 110 kilometres from the dam. Tourists can hail public transport from the Railway Junction via SH42. The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport which is about 112 kilometres away. Tourists can hail public transport to reach the dam site via NH185.

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