Kanyakumari District is a district of Tourist places. Under this category, here comes Pechiparai reservoir that is located just 43 kilometers away from the town Nagercoil of TamilNadu, 10 kilometers from Marthandam and 50 kilometers away from Trivandrum of Kerala. It is located very close to the village called Pechiparai in Kanyakumari District,TamilNadu, India. The Pechiparai dam in Kanyakumari is one of the major dams of this region spread over an area of 100.7 sq km.
The Dam was well-built across the river Kodayar River just 1.6 kilometers below the area where the tributaries Kallar, Chittar and Kuttiyar confluence. It was constructed during the period of 1897-1906 by one of the most famous European Engineer, Mr. Minchin (often nicknamed as Mookanthurai by the local people) during the period of the ruler, the Travancore Maharaja Moolam Thirunal.
In short, it was constructed during the period of 19th century and the expenses incurred for the complete construction of the dam is Indian Rupees 26.1 lakhs. The catchment area of the reservoir constitutes 207.19 km2 (80.00 sq mi), and the depth remains 14.63 m (48.0 ft). The dam is a straight gravity type masonry dam of 425.5 m (1,396 ft) long and 120.7 m (396 ft) height above the deepest foundation.The specific point to be mentioned here is that there is no inspection gallery.
The massive Dam is surrounded by the hills of the Western Ghauts and the water from the reservoir has been used for both irrigation of crops and for drinking purposes, Because of this Dam, a large area of barren land in Kanyakumari district has been converted into agricultural land. The reservoir has been embraced by dense vegetation of evergreen forests that account for the existence of many valuable trees, and many different types of wild lives such as tiger, deer, elephants, wild buffaloes, porcupines, wild cats, and so on. Here live a small number of hill tribes known as ‘Kanikars’. They live in the deep forests.
Water from the Pechiparai dam has been distributed to the fields through eight major channels including Pechiparai, Thovalai, Nanjinadu Puthanaru, Padmanabapuram Puthanaru and Pattanam.
For tourists, it is an important tourist spot because Boating facility is available here and for the locals it is an important picnic center, they can cook in fine places and enjoy their time peacefully. The fact to be mentioned here is that Thirparappu Waterfalls of Kanyakumari district in TamilNadu is receiving water from this Pechiparaii Dam.