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Timings : 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : INR 2

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Sathanur Dam, Thiruvannamalai Overview

Sathanur Dam, a stunning engineering marvel, is located at a distance of 30 kilometres from the city of Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu. This breathtaking structure has been built over River Thenpennai (River Pennaiyar) flowing through the Chennakesava Hills in Thandarampet Taluk. The reservoir is called the Sathanur Reservoir and is considered as one of the major dams in the state. The structure consists of pleasant parks, a fish grotto and a huge crocodile farm that attracts nature enthusiasts and tourists from all over the world. The site is strikingly beautiful during the monsoons as the river gushes with clear waters. It is so attractive that it has been a favourite spot for many feature films, especially in the 50s and 60s.

The dam was built to benefit the agricultural produce in Thiruvannamalai and the adjoining regions of the city. The region is dotted with a children's park, a small zoo and a swimming pool. Photography is not allowed in the area.

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Things To Do at Sathanur Dam

Sathanur Dam Garden
The Sathanur Dam and the area that comes under the Command Area Development Authority (CADA scheme) consist of a magnificent garden that expands over a large area. The garden is maintained beautifully and is a preferred spot for day-long picnic. The garden exhibits various themes of the world through the miniature forts, fortresses, castles and the statues that are well preserved even today.

1. Children's Park and Zoo
The location also has a small Zoo and a Park designed only for children. Hence, it is an apt location for parents who want to take their children out for a picnic after a busy study week.

2. Swimming Pool
There's a swimming pool too for adults as well as children to take a swim before having some snacks.  

3. Crocodile Farm
The crocodile farm is yet another part of the dam area which attracts tourists in large numbers. The place is home to over 300 crocodiles that thrive on the fauna of the region.

4. Fish Grotto
A fish grotto is maintained inside the garden where one can find a variety of fishes swimming.

History of Sathanur Dam

The first ever Five Year Plan of India included a proposal for the construction of Sathanur Dam to benefit the agricultural produce of Thiruvannamalai and the adjoining regions. The construction of the dam started in 1953 and was completed in 1958, by the time the second Five Year Plan of India was being proposed. This project was one of the major irrigation plans implemented by K. Kamaraj, the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu who also inaugurated the dam. The project comes under Command Area Development Authority, also known as the CADA scheme and the actual cost of the entire construction was over INR 35 million against the proposed cost of INR 22 million.

Engineering of Sathanur Dam

The Sathanur Dam is a gravity dam made of stonework and concrete that holds back the Thenpennai river water that originates in the Chennakesava Hills. The reservoir thus formed is called the Sathanur Dam Reservoir. The capacity of the reservoir is over 300 million m3 and fills a depth of 119 feet when full. The dam foundation is a solid rock foundation with extremely high bearing strength.

The dam is designed in a way that allows each section of the structure to remain stable in spite of the pressure of the river water hitting horizontally against it. The spillway capacity of the dam is over 9.00 m3/ s. The left bank canal of the Sathanur dam provides water to an area of over 17,000 acres of land and the right canal to over 250 acres of land in Thiruvannamalai and Thandrampet.

Best Time To Visit Sathanur Dam

The best time to visit Sathanur Dam is between October and February as the weather is pleasant for exploring the site.

Tips For Visiting Sathanur Dam

1. There are no provisions for food around. Do carry enough snacks and water.
2. The crocodile farm is very close to the dam area. Be careful while exploring the location.
3. Keep a close eye on the whereabouts of your kids in the park and the zoo.
4. There could be monkeys around trying to snatch food and other items.
5. The afternoon sun could get unbearable, so wear a good sunscreen and a cap at all times.

How To Reach Sathanur Dam

One can avail public transport or rent cabs from the city of Thiruvannamalai to reach the gorgeous Sathanur dam. The dam is about 30 kilometres away from the city.

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