Banasura Sagar: India’s Largest Earthen Dam
The Banasura Sagar Dam, located 21 km from Kalpetta, is the largest earthen dam in India and the second largest in Asia. It is created by impounding the Karamanathodu tributary of the Kabini River. Construction was started in 1979, with the main objective being to support the Kakkayam Hydro-Electric Project, as well as to meet the irrigation and drinking water requirements of the people of the region.
The dam which is a kilometer long mud structure, is located in the midst of towering, mist-clad hills. There is a beautiful flower garden attached to the dam that makes it a lovely picnic spot. Largely unspoiled, the area around the dam is an ideal starting point for treks to the Banasura peak. The reservoir formed by the dam is dotted with tiny islands enveloped in thick foliage, and with the Banasura hill in the background offers a breathtaking view.
The dam, with its vast expanse of fresh, crystal clear waters, is an important tourist place in Wayanad with several other attractions nearby. Speed boats are available for hire, using which you can skim across the water and take in the sites. Pedal boats are also available for visitors who prefer a more leisurely way to enjoy the scenic beauty of the place.
The dam is part of the Banasura Sagar project of the Government of Kerala. The Kerala Hydel Tourism Centre operated by the Kerala State Electricity Board, introduced the Hydel Tourism concept here, which has been attracting thousands of tourists to the place. A visit to the dam is a truly exhilarating experience and is something that one should not miss. The best season to visit is between November and May. The dam is located 18kms from Banasura Hill Resort and the inspiration to build the resort rated as Asia's largest Earthen Resort by BBC News came from Banasura Sagar Dam.