Located at the foot of Banasura hill, Banasura Sagar Dam encloses the water from Karamanathodu tributary of the Kabini River. This dam is located at about 21 km from Kalpetta in the Wayanad district of Kerala. The dam was a part of the Indian Banasurasagar Project which was started in 1979. The project consisted of a dam and a canal project. This project was undertaken with major goals like supporting the Kakkayam Hydroelectric power project and also to satisfy the need of water for irrigation and drinking purposes. The area is well-known for water shortages during the dry season. Made up entirely using large stones and earth the Banasura Sagar Dam is an earth dam. The dam is the largest earth dam in India and the second largest in Asia.
The Banasura Sagar Dam – a kilometre long mud structure was named after the Banasura hills. The hills were named after Banasura, the son of Mahabali, the very well-known ruler of Kerala (who according to belief visits his subjects every year during the festival of Onam). As the story goes, Banasura undertook a severe penance atop the hill. The Banasura hill is third largest peak in the Western Ghats ranges.
The Banasura Sagar Dam provides amazing view to the unspoiled beauty of the Banasura hill. During the monsoon season the reservoir gets engulfed by the waters. This submerges the surrounding areas forming a set of islands. These islands and the picturesque background of the Banasura hills are truly mesmerizing sights to watch. The Banasura Sagar dam is the starting point for trekking and hence, is famous among adventure tourists. Many tourists trek the Banasura hill, starting from the Banasura Sagar Dam.
The views atop the hills are breath-taking. Thus, this place is one among the photographer’s paradise. Another major attraction here is that there are boating facilities arranged. Both speed and pedal boating facilities are available. Adventure junkies can cruise through the serene waters in the speed boat while others can opt for the low speed or pedal boats and enjoy the cool breeze and picturesque sights of the nearby Banasura Hills and the small islands.
The place is maintained neat and clean with facilities for eateries and basic needs. Other attractions in the place include the fish spa, horse riding for children and a children’s park. The dam is near to the Karald Lake, which is yet another scenic spot that’s worth a visit. Also, one could plan up a visit to the Meenmutty waterfalls that too is located close-by.