The Upper Bhavani reservoir is a part of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board's Kundah Power generation project. Water from here goes through an underground tunnel into the Avalanche - Emerald lakes, thereafter to Kundah and Geddai. This was originally called the Canada Power Project when it was set up sometime in the fifties.
The lake at 2270m is on the edge of the Nilgiri plateau, almost directly above Kerala's Silent Valley. Like most high altitude lakes, the waters here are an intense azure blue. Upper Bhavani has an earthen dam at Lakkidi and a concrete dam at U. Bhavani.
Surrounded by dense forest, the reservoir enjoys a boundary with the Mukurthi National Park. This is a wild and stunningly beautiful area, untouched by far and may it ever remain so. Wildlife sightings are guaranteed in the evening and early mornings.
Vehicles are not permitted across the dam without a permit though you may walk on the road above the dam and enjoy the view. The entry to the Mukurthi NP is at the end of this dam road. Entry to Mukurthi is restricted.
For those who enjoy nature and do not mind the absence of all facilities, this is a beautiful place worth visiting at least once. It is a great place for walking.
Motorable public road from Ooty . Approx 50km via Manjur and the scenic estates of Korakundah. Buses ply regularly from Ooty to Manjur. Buses from Manjur to U. Bhavani are infrequent so it is better to hire a jeep taxi either from Ooty or from the Manjur bus stand.
Another route exists from Ooty via Avalanche but you require a Forest Dept. permit to come through this restricted access road which in any event, is in poor condition and rarely repaired.
Forest Rest House [dorm type] at Upper Bhavani and at Bangi Thappal within the Mukurthi NP. Details of how to book are on the Tamil Nadu Forest Department website. If you get a booking here, be sure to take your food and provisions along. Sheets and towels too for those who are fussy.
Very basic lodging available at Manjur and at the Anamalai Ashram at Kil Kundah.
Easily doable as a day trip from Ooty, optimally with an early start.
No food or anything else available at U. Bhavani. Pack a picnic hamper from Ooty or stock up on goodies from Manjur's well known bakeries. If you forget to take water along, you can help yourself to pristine natural mountain stream water!
No toilets or any other facilities available after Manjur.
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