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Mullai Idukki Dam

Mullaiperiyar Dam is built on the Periyar River, to be precise, at the convergence of Mullayar and Periyar to bring into existence the Periyar-Thekkady Lake and reservoir, plus the Periyar National Park.

Mullaiperiyar Dam is located on Cardamom Hills in Idukki district of Kerala. However, it is maintained and run by Tamil Nadu State under inter-state Parambikulam-Aliyar Project agreement.

Downstream the dam, Periyar River continues to flow 35 kilometers northwestward, coming out from the Periyar Tiger Reserve. It passes through Vandiperiyar, Elappara, and Ayyappancoil. It reaches the Idukki reservoir, which is created by Idukki dam, along with Cheruthoni and Kulamavu dams.

The Idukki dam is built across Periyar River on the Idukki gorge, which is created by Kuravan and Kurathi hills.

Periyar River is called “Lifeline of Kerala,” as it provides water for domestic and irrigation purpose, plus supports thriving fishery. About 25 per cent of industries of Kerala are located at the banks of Periyar River.


Tamil Nadu witnessed severe food famine towards the end of the 17th century. During this time, the west area of Western Ghats, which is Kerala today, received heavy rains. This water got wasted and met the Arabian Sea due to lesser plains in Kerala.

The British government in India, in 1882, decided to construct a dam across Mullai Periyar to let water collect on one side. They decided to bore a tunnel in mountains and divert water to Tamil Nadu.

Construction of the dam began in 1887 under British Engineer Col. Benny Cook. It was completed in 1895.

To facilitate construction of this dam, the British government made a deal with the then Travancore king in 1886. The deal was for 999 years. Under the deal, water would be stored in 8000 acres of land. Full rights are given to the state of Tamil Nadu to operate and maintain the dam and conduct other useful activities.


Mullaperiyar Dam is a masonry gravity dam 2,890 feet (881 meters) above mean sea level. Dam height is 53.6 meters from its foundation and its length is 365.7 meters.

The dam was basically built to divert water from Kerala to Tamil Nadu. The Idukki Dam generates a significant proportion of electrical power of Kerala.

Nearby Attractions

A beautiful hill station, Peermede, lies south of Idukki district in Cardamom hills of Western Ghats. The area is known for cultivation of multiple kinds of spices. The hill station gets its name from the name of Peer Mohammad, who was a Sufi Saint.

Yet another hill station that draws tourists’ towards it is Ramakkalmedu in Idukki district. It lies at the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It features several breath taking tourist spots like Periyar Tiger Forest, Parunthumpara, Kuttikanam and spice farms.

How to Reach

Distance between Mullaiperiyar Dam and Idukki dam is 58 kilometers.

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