Banasura Sagar Dam is the largest earthen dam in India and is also considered to be the second largest in Asia. The dam is constructed with massive stacks of stones and boulders. This mud structure stretch out for almost a kilometer and has vast catchment area. The dam impounds the waters of the Karamanathodu tributary of the Kabini River.
Banasura Sagar Dam is constructed at the foot of Banasura Hill. This hill is named after the Asura king ‘Banasura’, son of King Mahabali (who is believed to visit Kerala during every Onam festival). Legends says that Banasura undertook a severe penance on the top of these hills and thus the place was named after him.
Banasura dam is located 21 km from Kalpetta, nearest town in Wayanad district, Kerala. It is nestled at the valley of Banasura Hills, which is the third largest peak in Western Ghats.
The nearest city is Calicut (Kozhikode) which is 103 Kms from the dam site. It is around 288 Kms from Bangalore , the nearest metro.
The panoramic view is at its best during monsoon season. Small islands can be seen in the dam reservoir during monsoon and that with the green mountain range in the backdrop, is simply spectacular!
There is a ‘Nature park’ with lots of traditional tree swings which make us want to become a child again. They have a refreshment stall also there.
Boating facility is made available to tourists to enjoy the full view of the dam reservoir and catchment area. You can choose either speed boat or pedal boat for the ride but the speed boat ride, is an exhilarating experience and surely not one to be missed.
This dam comes under the Indian Banasura Sagar Project which was started in 1979. This project was started with two major goals;[list style=”arrow”]
- To support the Kakkayam Hydro electric power project
- To satisfy the demand for irrigation and drinking water in the region