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Mettur Dam

The town of Mettur, situated in Salem District of Tamil Nadu, is famous for Mettur Dam. The town is known for its tourism and industries, for the dam, chemicals, power and aluminium. Mettur is called the ‘Aluminium City of Tamil Nadu.’

It is but natural for Mettur Dam to steal the tourism limelight, as it caters to most of the irrigation needs of Tamil Nadu. The dam opens every year in the month of June for irrigation purpose in Kaveri Delta. The Mettur Power Station at this dam acts as Tamil Nadu Electricity Board’s base load power station. This makes the town of Mettur as one of the main sources of electricity for Tamil Nadu state.


Mettur Dam, one of the biggest and the oldest dams in India was constructed in 1934. It took nine years for the dam to be completed. Mettur Dam is also called Stanley Reservoir.


Mettur Dam is situated around 30 kilometers from Salem. The dam is constructed in a gorge, the spot where Kaveri River enters the plains.

Dam height is 65 meters and length is 1616 meters. It covers an area of 15,540 hectares. Dam capacity is 2648 cubic meter.

Mettur Dam caters to irrigation needs of districts like Salem, Thanjavur, Namakkal, karur, Erode, and Tiruchirapali. It provides water for irrigation to about 271,000 acres of agricultural land. During heavy rains or floods, water is stored in this dam and is let out to the deltaic areas of the Kaveri River for irrigation.

Mettur Hydro Electrical Power Project is also a huge one. The dam’s capacity for generating hydro power is 240 MW.


Mettur Dam features a beautiful garden. The Kaveri crossing near the dam is the spot where exists a canal that crosses over the river. There are overhead pipelines on the other side that transport water of the canal.

Tourists can see several factories around the dam, including those of detergent and soaps, Vanaspati units, galvanizing plants, and more. Tourists are allowed to enter the factories after taking proper permit.

Tourists can also see the hydro electric power station and enter the dam’s tunnel after taking permit.

Nearby Attractions

Apart from a lovely garden, Mettur Dam also features a beautiful park, a serene temple near Kaveri River, and majestic hills that surround the area. All this and more makes the place a perfect tourist destination.

A place called Pannavadi exists near Mettur. It is about 8 kilometers from Mettur Dam. It features a temple, plus Nandi Statue, which becomes visible when the dam has a low water level. The statue is said to have been built two centuries back and offers a mystical charm to tourists.

An old church also exists here, near Pannavadi. It is covered by the river. Again, it is visible when the water level of the dam is low.

Best Time to Visit

October to February is the best time to visit Mettur Dam. It is ideal to plan a trip during rainy season, which spans from October to December, when the reservoir is filled up and tourists can enjoy lush greenery.

How to Reach

Mettur Dam, which is around 30 kms from Salem, is well connected by rail with other areas of Tamil Nadu state. Tourists can also avail themselves buses from Salem to Mettur. Nearest airports are Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin, Madurai, Coimbatore, and Tiruchirapalli.

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