Idukki is a large district in Kerala and is a treasure trove of natural wealth and limitless greenery. Idukki stands on top list in the attractions of Kerala with many wonderful stopovers including Munnar, Thekkady etc. The Idukki Dam that stands between the two mountains is another major attraction of here. It is a tall arch dam and is a unique symbol for the historic heritage of Idukki. Built on Periyar River between Kuravanmala and Kurathimala (both tall mountains), the dam is owned by Kerala State Electricity Board. The building of dam was aided with loans and grants by the Government of Canada and was the first arch dam in Asia.
The history says that Kolumban, the head of Araya tribe showed the location for the present arch dam in 1922. The construction of the dam commenced on 1969 and the inauguration of trial the run were on 4th October 1976 by the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. This arch dam along with the other two dams at Cheruthony and Kulamavu created an artificial lake which is serene and fabulous to watch. The lake is wide and is spread about 60 sq. kms. The water stored is used for the production of electricity and it covers the lion portion of electricity supply in Kerala. The powerhouse is located underground.
The charm of this place with beautiful green valleys and serene calm atmosphere invites a number of tourists every year to here. The Idukki Reservoir is formed by the above mentioned three dams. It is a habitat for elephants, tigers, sambars, bison, deer, jungle cats, wild dogs and many other species of wild animals. You can see many rare species of plants and trees from here. There are a large variety of snakes and other reptiles present in this area. The best season to visit these places is from August to March. The place is a bird watcher’s paradise with many rare birds including Black bulbul, woodpecker, kingfisher, mynah, jungle fowl, laughing thrush etc.
The dam goes filled during the monsoons. The shutters had to be open twice during the past. These were in 1981 and in 1992. The tail water from the dam is open to Kudayathurpuzha through a tunnel is diverted for irrigation purposes in the Muvattupuzha valley. The dam is not open all days for the public entry. The entry was restricted for Onam and Christmas festival days previously and nowadays it is relaxed for one month. You can enter here with Rs10 ticket but camera and mobile phones are not allowed inside. You can enjoy a short boating trip from here for Rs 600 per family of 5 persons. The dam and the premises are fascinating to visit and your trip to here will be really exciting.