About the Place:
The Mullaperiyar Dam or Mullaiperiyar Dam is a masonry gravity dam on the Periyar River in the Indian state of Kerala. It is located 881 m (2,890 ft) above mean sea level, on the Cardamom Hills of the Western Ghats in Thekkady, Idukki District of Kerala, South India. It was constructed between 1887 and 1895 by John Pennycuick and also reached in an agreement to donate water eastwards to the Madras Presidency area (present-day Tamil Nadu). It has a height of 53.6 m (176 ft) from the foundation, and a length of 365.7 m (1,200 ft).The Periyar National Park in Thekkady is located around the dam’s reservoir. The dam is located in Kerala on the river Periyar, but is owned, operated and maintained by Tamil Nadu state. Although the Periyar River has a total catchment area of 5398 km2 with 114 km2 in Tamil Nadu,the catchment area of the Mullaperiyar Dam itself lies entirely in Kerala. By reports on 21 November 2014, Mullaperiyar water level touches 142 feet for first time in 35 years.The Periyar river which flows westward of kerala Arabian sea was diverted eastwards to flow towards the Bay of Bengal to provide water to the arid rain shadow region of Madurai in Madras Presidency which was in dire need of a greater supply of water than the small Vaigai River could provide. The dam created the Periyar Thekkady reservoir, from which water was diverted eastwards via a tunnel to augment the small flow of the Vaigai River. The Vaigai was dammed by the Vaigai Dam to provide a source for irrigating large tracts around Madurai. Initially the dam waters were used only for the irrigation of 68,558 ha (169,411 acres).Currently, the water from the Periyar (Thekkady) Lake created by the dam, is diverted through the water shed cutting and a subterranean tunnel to Forebay Dam near Kumily (Errachipalam) in Tamil Nadu. From the Forebay dam, hydel pipe lines carry the water to the Periyar Power Station in Lower Periyar, Tamil Nadu. This is used for power generation (175 MW capacity) in the Periyar Power Station. From the Periyar Power Station, the water is let out into Vairavanar river and then to Suruliyar and from Suruliyar to Vaigai Dam.