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Location map of the Periyar River
|Origin||Sivagiri Hills, Sundaramala in Tamil Nadu|
|Source elevation||1830 m|
|Avg. discharge||295 m³/s|
|Basin area||5398 km²|
Periyar (meaning: big river) is a river flowing in the state Tamilnadu & Kerala, India, with a length of 244 km in Kerala. It is one of the few perennial rivers in the region and provides drinking water for several major towns. The Idukki Dam on the Periyar generates a significant proportion of Kerala's electrical power.
It originates from the Sivagiri peaks (1800m MSL) of Sundaramala in Tamil Nadu. The total length is about 244 km with a catchment area of 5,398 km2 (5,284 km2. in Kerala, 114 km2. in Tamil Nadu). It flows northwards for 48 km and at Thekkady joins the west-flowing Mullayar, which is a tributary of the periyar. The Mullaperiyar dam is constructed at the confluence of both the rivers Periyar and Mullayar to create the Periyar lake and reservoir and the Periyar National Park.
From Periyar Thekkady lake and reservoir, water is diverted eastwards to Tamil Nadu via a tunnel enabling the water to join the Vaigai River. From Periyar Thekkady Reservoir, the Periyar river flows northwestward for 35 km through Vandiperiyar, Elappara and Aiyyappankoil to join the Idukki reservoir formed by the Idukki, Cheruthoni and Kulamavu dams. From Idukki reservoir, Periyar river flows northwestwards and then westward to join the Arabian sea at Munambam near Kodungallur and the Vembanad lake at Kochi.
Anamudi (2,695m) is the highest point of the Periyar basin.
Its major tributaries are:
Minor tributaries are: Muthayar, Perunthuraiar, Chinnar, Cheruthony, Kattappanayar
The largest hydro- electric project of the state, namely Idukki with its arch dam is on this river. Pallivasal, Chenkulam, Panniyar, Neriyamangalam and Lower Periyar are the other hydro electric projects on river Periyar.
Mullaperiyar, Bhuthathankettu, Mattupetty, Munnar, Idukki,Cheruthoni, Kulamavu, Irattayar, Lower Periyar, Edamalayar, Chenkulam, Anayirangal and Ponmudi are the important dams across this river.
At Aluva, the river bifurcates into the Marthandavarma and the Mangalapuzha branches. The Mangalapuzha branch joins Chalakkudy river and empties into the Lakshadweep sea at Munambam, and the Marthandavarma branch flows southwards, through the Udhyogamandal area and joins the Cochin backwater system (part of Vembanad Lake) at Varapuzha.
The Idukki Dam on the Periyar is the biggest dam of its kind (a concrete, double curvature parabolic, thin arc dam) in Asia and the second biggest in the world. Its generators have a power output of 780 MW (6 X 130), and generate electricity through the underground Power House facility at Moolamattam, built by an India-Canada Joint Venture. Power generation at Idukki is minimal during the monsoon. The dam also permits storage of water for the dry summer period when many other reservoirs in the area are low.
The lower reaches of the Periyar are heavily polluted. Industries in the Eloor industrial zone discharge waste into the river. Greenpeace India describes the lower Periyar as "a cesspool of toxins, which have alarming levels of deadly poisons like DDT, endosulfan, hexa and trivalent chromium, lead, cyanide, BHC."
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Periyar (river)|
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