Well, in my opinion, the difference lies in how the Dam has been developed and what are the possible attractions around it. Take for instance, the beautiful Brindavan gardens in Mysore, build near the Krishnarajsagara Dam on Kaveri River. The gardens are so beautifully laid that today they are a popular tourist and film shoot destination with their lovely landscape and lovely fountains – especially the musical fountain. The draw of the musical fountain is so popular that you will find tourists hanging around or planning a visit to the garden just to attend the show. Given this example, I do believe some Dams are definitely worth a visit.
Coming back to the Banasura Dam. This Dam is India’s Largest Earth Dam and the second largest in Asia. The dam has been built on a tributary of the famed Kabini river with boulders and earth and this very fact is what makes it unique. The dam is located in very scenic landscape – picture a lagoon like structure enclosed by beautiful green hills and valley. That is exactly, how this dam is. Surrounded by hills all around and green fields or gardens alongside it.
We set out from our resort on an adventurous drive to this dam. The resort had arranged for a small tempo traveller to take us to this dam and I call the same adventurous as the drive was nothing short of a roller coaster ride – downhill at a good speed on a dirt track. Most of us literally had butterflies in our stomach – not the scary types but the nice, thrilling ones. Along the way, we passed through some lovely paddy fields and some really classy homes.
On reaching this dam, as advised by our resort staff, we purchased the entry ticket and a ride that takes you right upto the dam. The route to Banasura dam is quite uphill, and from the entrance, you have a one kilometer trek upwards to the dam. Ideally, I would have trekked the same up but with the kids, we thought better of it. The officials at the dam, provide you with a ride up to the dam in an open jeep or an electric vehicle for a minimal fee. The ticket is valid for a return as well. One cannot take their own vehicle upto the dam. You need to park the same at the entrance and then take the official transport only. The tickets for the same cost you between INR 10 – 20 – depending on whether you opt for a jeep or an electric vehicle.
What greets you on top is a mind-blowing landscape. With fields on one side, the entire landscape is green as opposed to the blue on the exact opposite side of the dam. For a few minutes, we just stood there gazing out at the dam, taking in the breezy winds. As you gaze into the water, spot the little islands within the water body. These are quite unique to this.
The little garden along the dam, has some really pretty flowers and picnic spots. For the kids, there are some really lovely swings on trees. Of course, not just limited to the real kids, but the kid within an adult too. :-). I had a go at the swings too. 🙂
Once here, you can opt for speed boating as an activity. The cruising speed boats are quite recommended as they take you around the river with misty breeze hitting your face. A lot of tourists opt for this and visit the dam specially for it. The speed boat costs around INR 750 for a boat ride of 15 minutes. However, beware of the queues. Unfortunately for us, since the queue was huge and the wait was long, we had to let go of the activity.
The dam is a photographer’s delight. With its beautiful backdrops and green, colorful gardens , I went beserk taking pictures of not just the landscape but the little visitors here. You will find various types of bees and colorful butterflies flitting all around the dam.
Sometimes when there isn’t much to do, and yet some peaceful things to do, you end up feeling really good. The visit to Banasura Dam gave us that feeling. While you can say that there isn’t too much here, it is just being here with some amazing landscape, fresh breeze and nature, that made our visit to the Banasura Sagar Dam refreshing and memorable.
There isn’t too much of crowd here unlike the Vythri lake which is quite packed all the time. If you are in Wayanad for some peaceful time, I would recommend a trip to the Banasura Sagar Dam. It is definitely worth capturing it in your memories.
Getting to Banasura Dam:
- Driving is the only way to reach here. You can opt for a taxi at the resort that you are staying in and get the same to take you back.
- If you are driving, stick to the main roads on the Google Maps. Avoid the side roads as the driving conditions on the side roads are quite bad.
- Plan a picnic here if you can 🙂
- There are one or two general stores at the main dam for some quick snacks, ice creams and soft drinks.
- The place is quite breezy. Hence, in winters, keep some light woolens with you.