Nestled in the picturesque hill station of Munnar in Kerala, India, the Mattupetty Dam and Lake stand as an enchanting testament to the region’s natural beauty and tranquility. Surrounded by lush green tea plantations and rolling hills, this man-made reservoir is a popular destination for travelers seeking a serene escape and a glimpse into the stunning landscapes of Munnar. In this article, we will explore the allure and significance of Mattupetty Dam and Lake.
Mattupetty Dam and Lake are situated at an altitude of approximately 1,700 meters (5,577 feet) above sea level in the Western Ghats. Key features of the geographical landscape include:
- Man-Made Reservoir: The dam was constructed in the late 1940s for water conservation and hydroelectric power generation. It created a vast reservoir, known as Mattupetty Lake, which stretches across 24 acres (9.7 hectares).
- Tea Plantations: The surrounding area is adorned with verdant tea gardens, making it a quintessential Munnar landscape. The sight of tea plantations extending to the horizon adds to the beauty of the region.
- Western Ghats: The dam and lake are part of the Western Ghats, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its biodiversity and lush forests.
Boating and Leisure
Mattupetty Dam and Lake offer a range of leisure activities for visitors:
- Boating: Boating on Mattupetty Lake is a popular activity. Tourists can hire pedal boats and rowboats to navigate the calm waters, providing a unique perspective of the surrounding hills and tea estates.
- Picnicking: The well-maintained gardens and parks near the dam are ideal for picnics and leisurely strolls. Visitors can relish the peaceful ambiance and capture stunning photographs of the reservoir.
Flora and Fauna
The region around Mattupetty Dam and Lake is abundant in biodiversity:
- Avian Diversity: Birdwatchers will be delighted by the variety of bird species that inhabit the area. Kingfishers, darters, and the elusive Nilgiri wood pigeon can be spotted here.
- Wildlife Sightings: While sightings are not guaranteed, the forests around the dam are known for hosting occasional elephant herds, making it an exciting location for wildlife enthusiasts.
Visiting Mattupetty Dam and Lake
- Location: Mattupetty Dam and Lake are located approximately 13 kilometers (8 miles) from Munnar town in the Idukki district of Kerala, India. The drive to the dam offers stunning views of the tea gardens and surrounding hills.
- Entry Fees: Visitors may be required to pay nominal entry fees for boating and access to certain viewpoints. Check with local authorities for the most up-to-date information.
- Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Mattupetty Dam and Lake is during the post-monsoon and winter months, from September to February, when the weather is cool and pleasant.
Responsible Tourism and Conservation
Mattupetty Dam and Lake are under the care of the Kerala Irrigation Department and the Kerala State Electricity Board. Conservation efforts are in place to maintain the ecological balance of the region while accommodating the needs of tourism.
Mattupetty Dam and Lake are a testament to Munnar’s natural splendor and the harmonious coexistence of human engineering and nature’s beauty. A visit to this serene oasis allows travelers to unwind amidst lush landscapes, enjoy a boat ride on tranquil waters, and immerse themselves in the tranquility of the Western Ghats. Mattupetty Dam and Lake are not just a tourist attraction; they are an invitation to experience the serene heart of Munnar, where the verdant hills meet the tranquil waters, creating an idyllic setting for relaxation and rejuvenation.