At a distance of 22 km from Kalpetta, 21 km from Mananthavady, 46 km from Sulthan Bathery, Banasura Sagar Dam is the largest earthen dam in India and second largest in Asia. This is one of the most popular tourist places in Wayanad and often represented in the promotion of Wayanad Tourism. It is also one of the top attractions you must include in Wayanad Package.
Banasura Sagar Dam across the Karamanathodu River, a tributary of River Kabini, is ideally placed in the foothills of Banasura hills, which got its name from Banasura, the son of King Mahabali, the famous ruler of Kerala. It is said that Banasura undertook severe penance on the top of the hills. Banasura hill is the third largest peak in the Western Ghats.
The dam was built in 1979 under the Indian Banasura Sagar Project that was started with an aim of supporting the Kakkayam Hydro Electric Power Project. This project also aimed at contributing to the drinking water and irrigation requirements of the locals during the hot summer season. Banasura Sagar Dam is made up of massive stacks of stones and boulders. The reservoir is marked with a cluster of small islands which were formed when the reservoir submerged the surrounding areas during monsoon season. These islands with the background of the Banasura hill provide a mesmerizing sight to the tourists.
About 1 km walk from the dam entrance will lead to the boating area which offers speed boating facility in the breathtaking backwaters of the dam. There are also Jeeps available that charge Rs. 100 per person to take visitors from entrance to the boating area. There is a small garden and children play area near the dam. This place is also famous for fish spa. Many people visit the place to go trekking at the Banasura Hill.
The best time to visit Banasura Sagar Dam is from November to May. The dam is a place of great natural beauty. The dam is near Aruval, which is connected by few buses with Kalpetta.