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Idukki Dam: A Nature Lover’s Paradise in Kerala

Idukki, the second largest district of Kerala, is a haven for nature enthusiasts, boasting picturesque hills, dense forests, and rich biodiversity. Among its many attractions, the Idukki Dam stands out as a remarkable feat of engineering and a popular destination for travelers. Let’s delve into the fascinating world of Idukki Dam and explore the wonders it has to offer.

Idukki Dam: A Parabolic Marvel

Rising majestically across the Periyar River, the Idukki Dam is a double-curvature arch dam that spans a narrow gorge between two imposing granite hills named Kuravan and Kurathi. Located in the village of Mariyapuram, Kerala, this architectural marvel stands at an impressive height of 167.7 meters, making it one of the tallest arch dams in Asia and the third tallest in the world.

One of the primary reasons for the fame of Idukki Dam is its role in supporting a 780 MW hydroelectric power station. Since its inception on October 4, 1975, the dam has been a vital source of electricity for the state of Kerala. The power station harnesses the immense force of the Periyar River to generate clean and renewable energy, contributing significantly to the region’s power supply.

Idyllic Experiences at Idukki Dam

When visiting Idukki Dam, there are several exciting activities and attractions that await you:

  • Boat Ride on the Reservoir:
  • Embark on a soothing boat ride that takes you through the vast dam reservoir, starting from Kulamuva Dam and concluding at Cheruthoni Dam. The three-hour journey allows ample time to immerse yourself in the natural beauty surrounding you. As you glide through the tranquil waters, keep an eye out for various bird species, and if luck favors you, you might even spot deer, elephants, and bison along the shore. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness breathtaking sunsets from the boat, creating a magical ambiance.

  • Explore Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary:
  • Just a short distance from the dam lies the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary, a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike. Spread across 78 square kilometers, this tropical evergreen forest is enveloped by the lake formed by the three dams. Within its lush green expanse, you can encounter snakes, bison, deer, elephants, and a diverse array of bird species. Prepare to be captivated by the raw beauty of nature as you explore this enchanting sanctuary.

  • Stroll Around Hill View Park:
  • Situated atop a hillock, approximately 360 feet above the Idukki Arch Dam, Hill View Park offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the dam and the neighboring Cheurthoni Dam. Take a leisurely stroll through the park, which features a children’s play area, a pond, an herbal garden, and a Government-run Guest House for accommodation. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars to enhance your view of the surrounding landscape.

  • Discover Cheruthoni Dam, Kulamuvu Dam, and Waterfalls:
  • While at Idukki Dam, make sure to visit nearby attractions such as the Cheruthoni Dam, known for its magnificent concrete gravity structure, and the Kulamuva Dam, renowned for activities like boating, trekking, and sightseeing. Additionally, explore the hidden gem of Keezharkuthu Falls, a lesser-known yet mesmerizing waterfall. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the captivating seven-step Thommankuthu Falls, forming a picturesque pool.

Getting to Idukki Dam

To reach Idukki Dam, you can avail yourself of various transportation options. The nearest railway station is in Kottayam, approximately 103 kilometers away from the district

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

How can I reach Idukki Dam?

To reach Idukki Dam, you can take a train to the nearest railway station in Kottayam, which is about 103 kilometers away from the district. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a bus that will take approximately 3 hours to reach the dam. If you prefer air travel, the closest airport is in Cochin, around 120 kilometers away, and taxis and buses are readily available from there to Idukki.

What is the best time to visit Idukki Dam?

The ideal time to visit Idukki Dam is during the winter season, which spans from November to February. During this time, the weather is mild and pleasant, making it perfect for exploring the dam and its surroundings. Summers in Idukki can be hot and sultry, while monsoons (June to September) bring heavy rainfall, which may affect activities such as boat rides.

What are the activities available at Idukki Dam?

At Idukki Dam, you can enjoy a boat ride on the reservoir, offering a serene experience amidst the natural beauty. Exploring the nearby Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary allows you to encounter various wildlife species and immerse yourself in the dense forests. Additionally, taking a stroll around Hill View Park provides panoramic views of the dam and the opportunity to relax amidst nature. Don’t forget to visit the nearby Cheruthoni Dam, Kulamuva Dam, and waterfalls for a complete experience.

Are there accommodation options near Idukki Dam?

Yes, there are plenty of accommodation options near Idukki Dam, catering to various budgets. From budget to mid-range hotels, you can find a range of accommodations in different parts of the district. The starting price for a good hotel is approximately Rs. 900 per night. For those seeking a luxurious vacation, there are also several 5-star resort options available. Most accommodations offer stunning views of the valley, tea plantations, and hills.

What are some local delicacies to try while visiting Idukki?

While exploring Idukki, don’t miss the chance to savor the local cuisine. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food options are available, with a particular focus on meat-based dishes. Delicacies such as Kerala parotta, beef curry, chicken biryani, and mutton fry are popular choices. For a unique experience, visit the local “thattukadas” or small tea shops, which may not seem fancy but offer mouthwatering flavors that will leave you craving more.

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