Key Facts about Periyar River


10:24 AM

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A mass fish kill struck the Periyar river in Kerala recently, leaving a path of destruction and sparking outrage.

About Periyar River

  • It is the longest river in Kerala.
  • Course:
    • It rises in the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu and then flows in the north direction to the Periyar National Park into the Periyar Lake, which is a man-made reservoir created in 1895.
    • The water from here then flows into the Vembanad Lake and, finally, into the Arabian Sea.
    • A tunnel carries water from the Periyar Lake eastward through the mountains to the Vaigai River in Tamil Nadu, where it is used for irrigation.
  • It has a total length of 244 kms and drains an area of 5,398 sq km.
  • It is also called the ‘Lifeline of Kerala’ due to its enormous economic contribution to this state. 
  • The Idukki Dam on the Periyar is the largest dam and hydroelectric project in Kerala. It is also one of the highest arch dams in Asia.
  • Other dams constructed across the river are Neriyamangalam, Pallivasal, Panniyar, Kundalam, Chenkulam, and Mullaperiyar.
  • The birthplace of Sankaracharya, the greatest Advaita philosopher, is at Kalady, which is situated on the bank of the Periyar.
  • Tributaries: The major tributaries of Periyar are the Muthirapuzha River, Mullayar River, Cheruthoni River, Perinjankutti River, and the Edamala River.

Q1: What is an Arch Dam?

Arch dams are curved in plan, and most of their water load is carried by the abutment of the arch horizontally. The amount of water load it can withstand is determined by its arch or curvature. 

Source: Mass fish kill incident in Periyar river amid industrial pollution