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About Sholayar Dam, Valparai


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The Sholayar dam is supposed to the second deepest dam in Asia, but it is not this feature of the dam that strikes the most. Rather, it is the sheer size of the dam that astonishes.

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Generally, one does not get a real perspective of the dam’s size as our view is limited to one entrance or at most one side of the dam. However, the Sholayar dam is very different. In the case of this reservoir, one can drive around its entire length and breadth. In fact, the road from Valparai to Athirapally falls provides stunning views of this massive water body.

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The Sholayar dam is actually split into two reservoirs. One is called the Upper Sholayar dam, which we tourists have access to and the other deep in the forests is called the lower Sholayar Dam. It is the combined waters of the Sholayar and the downstream Parambikulam reservoir in Kerala that provide water to India’s Niagara – the famous Athirapally Falls.

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The Sholayar Dam is situated about 20 kilometres from the hilly town of Valparai, but the reservoir waters start very close to the town itself. In fact, it criss-crosses a large area from near the town to the actual dam setting. Most of its banks are decorated with tea gardens. The ones which are not are decorated by evergreen forests

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In terms of tourist infrastructure, there is not much, but the people can enjoy a good picnic near its banks, enjoy its beauty while driving through the winding roads that connect Valparai to Chalakudy or stand right below the dam walls and enjoy the water gushing out from the open sluice gates

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The Sholayar Dam is part of the Sholayar Hydroelectric Project (HEP). The project is comprises the main Sholayar Dam, the Sholayar Flanking, and the Sholayar Saddle Dam. Special permission is required to visit the dam.

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This dam is a vital reservoir under the Parambikulam Aliyar Project and has a water storage capacity of 160 ft. The reservoir's overflowing waters are let into the Parambikulam Reservoir through the saddle dam.

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Sholayar Dam was officially opened in 1965, the Sholayar Flanking was built in 1964 and the Sholayar Saddle Dam in 1965

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The area of the reservoir is 8.705 square km. The height of the main dam is 66 metres; its width is 430 metres, and length 430.60 metres. The Sholayar Flanking has a height of 28 metres and width of 19 metres. The Sholayar Saddle Dam is 259 metres high and 109 metres wide

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Places to visit in Valparai

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