Water Resources PDF Print E-mail


Bharathappuzha, with her tributaries, sprawls across the entire district. The river takes its origin from Anamalai hills and flows through the districts of Palakkad, Malappuram and Thrissur before emptying into the Arabian sea at Ponnani. Its four main tributaries are Gayatrippuzha, Kannadippuzha, Kalpathyppuzha and Thuthappuzha.


This river originates from Anamala hills and after traversing through Kollengode, Nenmara, Alathur, Wadakkanchery and Pazhayannur, joins Bharathapuzha at Mayannur. This tributary has five main sub-tributaries;Mangalam river, Ayalurpuzha, Vandazhippuzha, Meenkara ppuzha and Chulliyar.


It is also known as Chitturpuzha or Amaravathippuzha. This river, which also starts from the Anamala hills, flows through Thathamangalam and Chittur and joins the main river at Parli. There Palar, Aliyar and Uppar streams combine to this river .


Also known as Korayar this river starts from the place called Chenthamarakulam in the hills, north of Walayar. Kalpathypuzha is formed by four streams, viz., Korayar, Varattar, Walayar and Malampuzha.


Thuthappuzha, otherwise known as Pilanthol river, starts from the Silent Valley hills and joins the main river about two kms off Pallipuram railway station. The important streams which feed this tributary are Kunthippuzha, Kanjirappuzha, Ambankadavu and Thuppanadippuzha. The length of Bharathappuzha is 374.40 kms and its catchment area is 6186 sq.kms.


The Bhavani river originates from the Kunda mountains in the Nilgiris, makes a circuitous course through the Attappady valley and returns to the shadow of Nilgiri mountains. The catchment area of the Bhavani river within Kerala is 220 sq. miles yielding an annual run off of 27,000 million cubic feet of water. Of the rivers of Kerala, Bhavani river is one among the three which prefers Bay of Bengal to the Arabian sea.


Palakkad district is blessed with irrigation facilities. Dams have been constructed across almost all the important tributaries of the Bharathapuzha to provide irrigation facilities to the district. completed irrigation projects in Palakkad district are Walayar, Malampuzha, Cheera kuzhi, Gayathri (Meenkara, Chulliar), Mangalam and Pothundy. The total ayacaut of all these completed projects is 77,306 hectares. In addition to this, the construction of two major irrigation projects, viz., Chitturpuzha and Kanhirappuzha are in progress. The total ayacut of these projects is 54,200 hectares.

Walayar dam

This dam is constructed across the river Walayar, a tributary of Bharathappuzha. The ayacut is 6476 hectares. This project was started in 1953, partially commissioned in 1956 and completed in 1964.

Malampuzha dam

The Malampuzha dam is a 6,066 ft. masonry structure built across Malampuzha, a tributary of Bharathappuzha, with a net-work of canal systems. It has an ayacut of 42,090 hectares. The dam and reservoir are located about eight kms. from Olavakode railway station and 13 kms. from Palakkad town. The project was started in 1949 and commissioned in 1955. Having a catchment area of 145 sq.kms., the reservoir has a capacity of 8000 m.e.ft. of water. There are two canal systems. The left bank canal traverses a distance of 32 kms. to irrigate cultivable areas in the taluks of Palakkad, Chittur and Alathur. The right bank canal with a length of 32 kms. irrigates areas in Palakkad taluk. The reservoir also provides drinking water to Palakkad town.

Gayathri Project (Meenkara-Chulliar dams)

This project consists of two storage reservoirs; Meenkara dam across the Meenakara river and Chulliar dam across Chulliar river. Both these rivers are tributaries of Bharathappuzha. There is a net-work of canal systems with a total ayacut of 10,930 hectares of land in Chittur taluk. The first stage of the project, viz., dam across Meenkara river with canals, was sanctioned in 1956 and opened for irrigation in 1960. The total cost of the project is Rs.220 lakhs.

Mangalam dam

This dam is constructed across the Cherukunnappuzha, a tributary of Mangalam river. There is a canal system with an aycaut of 6,880 hectares, in Alathur taluk. The project and left bank canal were completed and opened in 1956. Further extension of the right bank canal was continued and the project was fully completed in 1966.

Pothundy dam

This dam is constructed across the tributaries of the Ayalur river (sub-tributary of Bharathappuzha), namely, Meenchadyppuzha and Padi
puzha. It has an ayacut of 10,930 hectares in Chittur and Alathur taluks. The Project started in 1958, has been completed and commissioned.

Chittoorpuzha project

The Chittoorpuzha project envisages extension of irrigation facilities to an additional area of 9,200 hectares by remodelling and reconstructing, whenever necessary, of the four ayacuts in Chitturpuzha and the existing canal system. The ayacuts are at Moolathara, Thembaramadakku, Kunnakattupathy and Narnee. The total ayacut will be 32,400 hectares.

Kanhirappuzha project

This project on completion will provide irrigation facilities to an area of 9,720 hectares. This being constructed across kanhirappuzha, a sub-tributary of Bharathappuzha. An expansion programme of the scheme by constructing a reservoir across the Thuppanadupuzha is also on the anvil. This will benefit an additional area of 4700 hectares in Ottappalam taluk. The total ayacut of the project will be 21,800 hectares.

The Attappady Valley Irrigation Project is under construction to provide irrigation facilities to 12,140 hectares.