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Label : Must Visit

Tags : Dam

Timings : 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Time Required : 2-3 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

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Vaigai Dam, Madurai Overview

Vaigai Dam, a magnificent human-made structure, is constructed over River Vaigai near Andipatti, Theni District in the South Indian State of Tamil Nadu. Andipatti lies about 70 kilometres from Madurai and travellers on their way to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary often visit this massive and wondrous dam. Over the years, the site has become a favourite picnic spot as it gets beautifully illuminated in the evenings especially on weekends, and one can spend hours admiring the splendid view. The soft and warm sunrises by the reservoir are worth experiencing too.

On one side of the dam is a beautiful garden known as Little Brindavan maintained by the management for the visitors. Little Brindavan has a variety of exotic flowers and plants and is a preferred getaway for nature lovers living nearby. The play area made especially for children is a relief for parents as they watch their little ones have fun in the unpolluted air. Picturesque hills border the river on the other side, and the lush greenery surrounding the 111 feet tall dam will take your breath away.
The massive dam was built in 1959 and is often referred to as the lifeline of the region as the areas have flourished by leaps and bounds from its waters. Vaigai Dam is the central source of water for drinking and irrigation purposes in Madurai and hence of great strategic and political importance.

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Vaigai Dam Park

The children's park in the vicinity of Vaigai Dam is quite famous and a popular picnic hub for families. It offers rides and slides for children, and the well-maintained grass and plants surely delight tourists. The park also offers magnificent views of the dam which makes it a must visit while on a tour of the Vaigai Dam.

History of Vaigai Dam

The Vaigai Dam was inaugurated by K. Kamaraja, the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in 1959. It was proposed as a Major Medium Irrigation Project as part of a five-year plan and was implemented chiefly to provide water for Drinking and Irrigation and Hydroelectric purposes in Madurai. The actual cost of the project was over INR 34.5 million, and it is covered under the Command Area Development Authority (CADA scheme) and the Extension, Renovation and Modernization (ERM scheme).

Engineering and Layout of Vaigai Dam

Vaigai Dam is a gravity dam that has been made of concrete and stonework with a strong foundation that runs 34 metres deep. The dam has been constructed on River Vaigai in Tamil Nadu and comes under the Major Medium Irrigation Project. The regions irrigated from the water reserved with the help of this dam cover an area of 59,000 hectares. The Dam stretches over an area of over 3450 metres in length and stands 34 metres tall. It has seven spillway gates, each being 12 metres tall and 5 metres wide and has a spillway capacity of 1670 cubic metres.

The management maintains a park surrounding the dam. Since the park falls on both the sides of the dam, it is connected by a small bridge that runs in front of the dam. The park consists of numerous exotic flowering plants, a play area for children and enough shaded space for visitors to rest and admire the beauty of the site. The Vaigai Hydroelectric Power Plant and the Vaigai Agricultural Research Centre are also situated near the Dam. The power plant has two units, with a capacity of 3 MW each and the agricultural research centre is used to conduct valuable studies on crops in the region. The irrigation project has benefited Madurai, Theni, Dindigul, Sivaganga, Virudunagar and Ramanathapuram regions.

Best Time To Visit Vaigai Dam

The best time to visit Vaigai Dam is between July and December as the water levels are at its peak during the monsoons. One may choose to visit during the winters, between November and February, as the temperature is quite pleasant to explore the site.

Tips For Visiting Vaigai Dam

1. Carry eatables along as it is a 2-hour ride from Madurai.
2. Musical fountains installed near the dam function on weekends and government holidays from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
3. Make sure to carry insect repellants if you're planning to visit the dam after noon time.
4. Be careful while exploring the reservoir area.
5. If visiting the dam during monsoons, stay away from the flood regions.
6. If travelling with children, keep a watch on them at all times.
Musical fountains installed near the dam function on weekends and government holidays from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM. 
7. Do not litter the site and use dustbins.

How To Reach Vaigai Dam

One can avail a 2-hour private taxi or a bus ride from the city of Madurai to reach this magnificent man-made structure.

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