Weather :

Timings : 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : Dam: Free,
Park: INR 5

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Also Refered As:

Grand Anicut

Kallanai Dam, Trichy Overview

Located at a distance of only 15 km from Tiruchirapalli, the Kallanai Dam is built across the flowing River Kaveri. It spans over 1079 feet and is over 66 feet wide! This ancient dam was originally constructed about 2000 years ago, and it is the oldest functional water regulator structure in the entire country. It may not have much else to offer, but the mesmerising view is surely going to be worth taking a detour. The dam also serves as an inspiration for modern-day dams due to the excellent engineering behind it.

Also known as Grand Anicut, the enormous dam is famous not only because it is pertinent to the living of thousands of households around it, but also because of its unmatched scenic beauty. It is constructed with rough stones, but they have been indigenously supporting the dam's structure for over 200 decades. It is still in an excellent condition and is often frequented by locals for picnics. One finds true peace here, watching the sunset and the overall spectacular view. Various new developments, especially like a park, have also been made for kids.

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History of Kallanai Dam

The dam was originally built about 2000 years ago by the might Chola king, Karikalan. Remodelling of the dam was carried out by the British engineer Caldwell during the 19th century. He was appointed to do extensive research, and he found that most of the Kaveri waters were flowing into the Kollidam river and a tiny amount was being used for irrigation. This was why the height of the dam stones was considerably raised, and steps were taken to reduce the amount of silt in the river. Following this, Sir Arthur Cotton built the Lower Anaicut across the Kollidam, a major tributary of the Kaveri. It is said to be a replica of the Kallanai Dam. 

'Necessity is the mother of invention'- the desperate need for irrigation in the fertile delta region due to erratic rainfall and frequent flooding lead to setting the foundation of the Kallanai Dam. However, even in the absence of modern technology and superior equipment, the dam was built to be a masterpiece. Huge boulders and uneven stones were sunk into the River Kaveri after carefully analyzing the direction, speed and depth of the water. The strength, sturdiness, creativity and science of the structure has fascinated many historians and engineers.

Things To Do at Kallanai Dam

The Kallanai dam offers a panoramic view of still waters and lush shrubbery. It has facilitated the generation of several ecosystems in and around its periphery. The unhindered availability of water has allowed the growth of diverse flora, and hence attracts different species of butterflies and birds. This makes it a perfect picnic spot for family and friends. The cool breeze gently caresses the face as colourful butterflies flutter around you. Tiny birds chirp and play with joy and the sun gently kisses you with its warmth. Visiting Kallanai Dam and losing yourself in the hold of nature is sure to energize and refresh you for the entire week!

There is a small park adjacent to the dam that allows you to lay down your blankets and picnic baskets and spend quality time with your loved ones. The landscape is lush green and the lawns are manicured and well maintained. A game of badminton or Frisbee with your friends in the fresh air can really pump you with endorphins. There is a provision for games for children and little rides for them to enjoy. While the adults breathe in the peace and serenity of this dam, the children can run around playing games and making new friends!

Moreover, a part of the river is opened for visitors to enter into. You can splash around in the River Kaveri and swim with tiny fish and tadpoles. The thrill of showering in a natural bath can't be expressed by mere words. The backdrop of dense forests and thick shrubberyadds to this once in a lifetime experience. Visitors are also allowed to indulge in some fishing in that zone.

There are food stalls by the park that are renowned for their mouthwatering fish fry! It's a very famous dish that pleases the pallets of everyone who has ever tried it. There are other snack and fruit shops too ensuring that your time at the park is extra fun and convenient.

Tips For Visiting Kallanai Dam

1. The dam is home to thousands of species of insects. Be sure to apply a generous amount of insect repellant before visiting the dam to protect yourself from any bug bites.
2. Carry a cap to protect yourself from the afternoon sun.
3. Many exotic bird species have taken to this homely structure. Be sure to have a pair of binoculars and pamper the ornithologist in you!
4. Try to catch a view of the sunrise at the dam; the colours in the sky leave you hypnotized and spellbound by nature's raw beauty. Relish local snacks, and delicious fish fry sold nearby, especially on the weekends.

How To Reach Kallanai Dam

When they say 'the journey is the destination', they are probably talking about the route to Kallanai Dam. The entire drive is a preview of the scenic beauty that the dam has to offer.

The nearest bus stop to the Kallanai Dam is Chatiram Bus Stop which is located at a distance of 18 kms from the dam, a drive of approximately 20 mins. Kallanai dam is located 19 km from Tiruchirappalli. From Sarkarpalayam village, one can take the Sarkarpalayam-Kalanai road and 1.5 km after reaching Thogur village, lies the Kallanai Dam. Taxis can be hired from Tiruchirapalli.

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