Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Sathnur Dam on Ponnaiyar River

Sathnur.jpg satnur.jpgDakshina Pinakini for Kannadigas & Thenpennai or Ponnaiyar for Tamilians takes birth at the famous Nandi hills close to Bangalore at Chikkaballapur District and flows through Karnataka & Tamilnadu. In Karnataka – in particular Bangalore this old river doesn’t exist – the old Dakshina Pinakini has become a part of the Bangalore sewerage system emptying itself to Varthur lake and other channels.
In Tamilnadu this river flows out of the Kelavarapali dam at Hosur, Krishnagiri dam at Krishnagiri into the Sathnur reservoir forming the picturesque Sathnur Dam. It finally empties itself out into the Bay of Bengal at Cuddalore at the end of its journey. Tirukkovilur in Tamilnadu is the largest city on the path of this Ponnaiyar river.
Sathnur Dam is about 210 kms from Bangalore. Good toll paying highway till Krishnagiri. After that state-highways – better fuel up your cars, bikes & draw cash at atms pack your eatables, beverages etc. It’s simple villages till Sathnur Dam. Head on towards Bagur, Chengam, Singrepethi road. No need to go to Tiruvanamalai, this place is 30 kms from there. Or one can stay at Tiruvanamalai, finish your Divine intervention and head back to Bangalore visiting Sathnur Dam. This Dam takes 2-3 hours of your time. Please ask locals, the roads are confusing – all roads lead to all over places like Krishnagiri or Bangalore. Roads are single lane or under construction. Lay out your travel plans and the local Tamil speaking population guide you beautifully. Lovely rural landscape is a welcoming sight here.
Sathnur Dam is a beautiful locale and a popular movie shooting location. It is vast and spacious. Apart from the dam across the rain fed river Ponnaiyar river, which is full during monsoon but dry during summer months… this place has a crocodile park and great gardens. Walking on the dam is a pleasurable sight. The dam is surrounded by Channakeshava hills and is mesmerizing. This place is crowded on weekends and public holidays, otherwise it’s serene! One could leave early and make it a day trip or stay at Tiruvanamalai overnight and club the dam vist the next morning. There are no restaurant or hotels at Sathnur Dam, please pack your eatables & beverages. This place is well connected by buses too.
The Sathnur Reservoir project was  Inaugurated on 2nd October 1954 by the then Chief Minister of Tamilnadu Mr. K.Kamaraj and opened by him on 10th November 1957. The Dam was completed in the year 1962 after construction begining in 1958. This Dam irrigates about 8000 hectares of land holding 7321 million cubic feet of water from its left & right gates. The small hydel generation plant generates 7.5 Mwe of power.
A nice drive out of town with family, friends or a corporate picnic. Choose a weekday to avoid crowds. A simple quiet place from the maddening crowd.

-Jagdeesh Laxman Singh
aka Jugie Singh
Text & Photography
[email protected]

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