Sholayar Dam is a significant tourist attraction near the town of Valparai. Since the dam has two reservoirs, there is an Upper Sholayar Dam and a Lower Sholayar Dam located at a little distance away from each other. The dam is surrounded by magnificent verdant hills. The best time to visit the Sholayar Dam is between the months of June and September. You must visit the dam during morning hours or evening hours, not in the afternoon. Sholayar Dam is about 20 km away from the Valparai town. It takes about 30 minutes to reach the dam from the town.
Sholayar Dam, being the second deepest dam in Asia, is a popular tourist attraction near Valparai. You get a fantastic view of the dam and reservoir from the roadside. A drive on this road will prove to be a memorable experience. You may be disappointed to visit the dam during the dry seasons because of less water, but the view is still quite good. But if you happen to see the dam when there is enough water to open the gates, the view is simply unbeatable. The green plantations and forests, the blue water bodies and the beautifully built dam create a pleasant scene. The place on the banks of the reservoir is great for picnics.
Sholayar Dam is considered to be the second deepest dam in the whole of Asia. Surrounded by the majestic Anamalai hills, the dam is a place offering marvellous scenic beauty. The massive reservoir of the dam is a visual treat. If you're travelling from Valparai to Athirapilly falls via road, you will get to have a stunning view of this reservoir. In fact, Sholayar Dam has two reservoirs. Hence, there is an Upper Sholayar Dam and a Lower Sholayar Dam. While the Upper Sholayar Dam is accessible to tourists, the Lower Sholayar Dam is situated deep inside the forest.
Built in 1965, the Sholayar Dam has an impressive height of 66 m and a width of 430 m. The area of the massive reservoir is 8.7 sq km. The waters from the Sholayar Dam combine with the waters of the Parambikulam reservoir to provide water to the glorious Athirapilly Waterfalls. During the rainy season, the dam has water gushing from it at great speed. So if you visit the dam during the pleasant morning or evening hours of this season, it's a real advantage.
Although the infrastructure of the dam is not spectacular in itself, the Sholayar Dam becomes a popular tourist attraction since the area around the dam offers a great place for picnics. Standing under the dam walls when the gates open is an exciting experience. You can even enjoy the beauty of the dam and reservoir when you're just driving on the winding roads of Valparai.