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Upper cascades of the Siruvani Waterfalls
Siruvani Waterfalls and the dam named after them are located 35 km (22 mi) west of Coimbatore City in the Western Ghats. The reservoir at Siruvani was built for Tamil Nadu by the Kerala Government with funds collected by the Tamil Nadu government to meet the drinking water requirements of Coimbatore city. The gateways on either side of the road across the dam are typical of the Kerala and Tamil architectural styles. Siruvani is also home to certain tribals like the Mudugars and Irulars.. Water from Siruvani River is renowned for its taste and mineral properties, and the view from the falls and the dam is a great tourist attraction.
The falls are 6 km (3.7 mi) from Karunya University. Sadivayal Checkpost, where an entry fee is charged, is the gateway to the waterfalls. Bus lines 59C, 59, 14E, and the Sirvani and Sadivayal buses, ply at regular intervals from Coimbatore. Other interesting projects/places nearby are Parambikulam, Aliyar, Sholiyar, Palar rivers and the Anaimalai Hills range.
The sweetness has been attributed to the vegetation and rocks through which the water flows through in the Attapady area. The Siruvani dam, located in Kerala close to the picturesque Attapady valley, has an interesting history. The Government gave its approval for construction of the `masonry gravity' damin February 1915, work did not start immediately, if we correlate the information from the Archaeology Department, Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage (TWAD) Board and the district gazette. The villagers of Boluvampatti and Alandurai opposed the scheme, as they feared it would affect them. But they were convinced about the benefits of bringing Siruvani water to a town that was growing. Construction finally began in 1927. But it was no easy task, for the dam site was in an extremely unfriendly terrain. Worse, wild animals frequented the place. So, all those engaged in construction work stayed in the guesthouse near Iruttu pallam. They rode their way to the dam site on horses with gunmen providing security. Even now, a visit to the Siruvani dam is not much different (except for the fact that you don't have to travel on a horse). Forest guards continue to accompany those who visit the dam. The initial cost of construction was Rs. 2, 17,725 (for 23 feet). And, the reason for selecting the site - it had perennial streams. The area below the Siruvani, Muthikulam falls, Gobiyaru, Solaiyaru, Pattiyaru, Veeraru and Paambaru falls, the main sources of supply, was identified for construction. There were even plans to commission a hydroelectric project at Siruvani. But the move was dropped as the Pykara project in the Nilgiris was mooted at the time. Major and minor construction works continued till 1984 and the total cost worked out to Rs. 26.12 crores. The drawal from the dam was in 1931 was 113 lakh litres for a population of more than 95,000. All those who complain about inadequate water supply from Siruvani, take heart. Water shortage is nothing new. In the 1970s, the drawal was scaled down to 130 lakh litres from 186 lakh litres in the summer as inflow into the Muthikulam reduced by half.
Here are some photographs from August 2005.
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