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Stanley Reservoir

Stanley Reservoir is located in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India. This water body is creation of construction of Mettur dam on River Kaveri. The dam took nine years to complete the construction. The reservoir is said to be one of the largest water bodies used for fishing. The whole of Salem district is surrounded by beautiful hills. Small hillocks provide eye catching attractions to visitors to the place. Mettur dam is located at a distance of 360 kms in the southwest direction of Chennai, the state capital.


Mettur Dam is one of the most successful stories of infrastructural development in the southern part of India, then under British rule. The dam is an example of the fulfillment of the aspirations and hard work. The dam construction started in the year 1925 and was completed in the year 1934. The River Kaveri has three tributaries, namely Palar, Chennar and Thoppar. These tributaries pour into Kaveri. The dam was constructed to retain the water. The dam is an example of stone masonry. The water body, thus created is named as Stanley Reservoir, in honor of Sir George Stanley, who is believed to be instrumental in providing irrigation facilities.


The water holding capacity of Stanley Reservoir is 90 Tmcft. i.e. 90 thousand million cubic feet, which is huge by all standards. The maximum width of the dam is 171 feet. The maximum height of the dam is 214 feet. However, water storage height is pegged at 120 feet. Total length of the dam is 1700 meters. The creation of reservoir caused submerging of two villages. The residents of the two villages were relocated at another place in Mettur.

The catchment area is 16,300 square miles. The reservoir feeds to over a million acres of cultivating land in adjoining areas as well as to distant places through a network of canals. Generation of Hydroelectric power from the reservoir is another landmark achievement of the project. The balance between irrigation and electricity generation is maintained as per prevailing needs of farmers.


Snake Park and Deer Park are created at the base of Mettur dam. These spots attract many tourists. Quite a few specific varieties of snakes are seen at the park. Similarly, the sight of deer in the park is appreciated by visitors. Interestingly, when the water level in the reservoir falls below 40 feet, a unique feature is seen. An old statue of Nandi and two towers of an old church are visible then. When the water level rises, these structures are submerged. Ellis Park across Mettur dam is largely frequented by visitors to have scenic views of the surroundings.

Tourists also visit temples and churches in Mettur town. The town boasts of some good architectural designs in these holy places. Overall the visit to the place makes a lasting impression in minds of tourists. The tourists are particularly delighted to see the magical blending of conservatism and modernity in the town and the edifice.

How to Reach Stanley Reservoir/Mettur Dam

The nearest rail head is located at district headquarters in Salem. Mettur is 55kms from Salem. Salem is well connected to all major cities in south India through an efficient railway network. Salem to Mettur travel can be undertaken by road. Convenient bus service is available.

The nearest airport is situated in Coimbatore, which is 150 kms away from Mettur. Coimbatore itself is connected to all major cities in India through convenient daily flights. Additionally Coimbatore is also a hub for few international flights.

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