Top Destinations in Kerala

Idukki Arch Dam

For Keralites, Idukki is synonimous with power generation because a lion's share of the state's power is generated by the hydroelectric power station at Moolamattom, the biggest in the state. The famous Idukki arch dam, the first of its kind in India, is built between two huge granite hills- 'Kuravanmala' (839 feets) and 'Kurathimala' (925 feets )- across the river Periyar. This is the world's second and Asia's first arch dam. This prestigeous project of the nation is situated in Idukki District and its underground Power House is at Moolamattom which is about 19 kms from Thodupuzha. Idukki Dam is 43 kms away from Moolamattom.


The possibility of Hydroelecric development at Idukki was first conceived in 1919. According to history Shri Karuvellayan Kolumban, the head of 'Araya' tribe, during 1922 showed the way, to the Malankara Estate Superintendent and his friend Thomas, the spot of present Arch Dam while the two were hunting in the forest. Thomas was inspired by the sight of the water flow between the mountains and his idea made the dream come true of Idukki Arch Dam. Sri. W.J.John of Malankara Estate submitted a report to the Government of Travancore in 1932 on the possibility of constructing a hydroelectric dam at Idukki.

In 1947 Sri.P.Joseph John,then Chief Electrical Engineer to the Government of Travancore made a preliminary investigation report. On the request of the Government, the Central Water and Power Commission took up detailed investigation in 1956. The project report was prepared in 1961 and the Planning Commission accorded sanction for the scheme in 1963.

The construction of this Dam commenced on 30 April 1969. Storage of water in Idukki reservoir commenced in February,1973. The inauguration of trial run of the first machine was celebrated on 4th October,1975. Commercial operation of the Power Station was Commissioned on 12 February 1976 by the then Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi.

Construction of this Arch Dam and two other dams at Cheruthony and Kulamavu has created an artificial lake of 60 sq. kms. and the water stored, is utilised for production of electricity at the Moolamattom Power house, which is located inside the rocky caves.

The Canadian Government gave financial aid to the Project while M/s S.N.C.Inc., Canada, a well-known firm of Consulting Engineers were advising and assisting Project Engineers under the Canadian Aid.
Write your comment now