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Manimuthar And Papanasam Dam

Papanasam Dam is situated 49 km from Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu, while the Manimuthar Dam is 47 km from the same. Papanasam dam is constructed on Tamirabarani River to irrigate about 34,846 hectares of paddy field of Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts. The British constructed the Papanasam Dam in 1942.

It is 744 feet long, 200 feet high and 5.4 meters wide. The total capacity of this dam is 5500 million cusec feet. Water of this dam is spread over 2.24 square miles area. During overflow, water flows at 8000 cusec feet per second.

The design capacity of Papanasam Hydroelectric Power Plant is 28 MW. It features four Francis turbine generators. The first unit of this plant was commissioned in 1944 and the last unit in 1951. Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd operate this plant.


Located in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, Papanasam is a popular destination for tourists. It is 60 km from Tirunelveli. It features Papanasam dam, Thamirabarani River, Siva Temple, Hydro Electric Power Plant and Papanasam Falls, also called Agasthiyar Falls.

The Manimuthar Dam is situated at the foothills of the scenic Podhigai Hills. It is built on Thamirabarani River. The area features marvellous natural beauty. The spot where the waters, the mountains, and the sky meet offers a spectacular view. The dam is 20 km from Papanasam town. Ambasamudram and Kallidaikurichi are the nearest towns from the dam area. The dam falls enroute the drive from Ambasamudram to Pechiparai.

Manimuthar Waterfall is located a few kilometres from the dam. It offers an equally breath taking view. Tourists can enjoy a bath here and soak in the rich beauty of nature.

The Manimuthar River begins from the Eastern slopes of the Western Ghats located in Tirunelveli district. The river is the chief tributary of the Thambaraparani River.

Nearby Attractions

On the top of Manimuthar Dam and Waterfall are Manjolai Hills. This area consists of tea plantations. There are small settlements here, plus an attractive and windy view point known as Kuthiravetti. The hills are in elevation of 1000-1500 meters. The area is located deep in the Western Ghat in the premises of the Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve located in the Tirunelveli district.

The Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation Ltd operates the tea plantations and the entire Manjolai Estates. The Government of Tamil Nadu has leased the forest lands to this corporation. The Manjolai area features three tea estates: Manjolai Estate, Oothu Estate, and Manimuthar Estate.

The Papanasar temple is located at the bank of Thambaraparani River. The name “Papanasar” signifies “Destroyer of Sins.” The idol of Lord Papanasar is made completely of ‘Rudraksha’. So, it is also called Rudrakshanathar. The ancient name of Papanasar is Vairaja Lingam.

How to Reach

From Ambasamudram town, tourists can reach Manimuthar Dam by taking the road towards Kallidaikurichi. From there, tourists can either hire a private car or bus to reach the dam. Tourists need a boat to reach Manimuthar Falls.

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