Photo Credit : wikipedia
Amaravathi Reservoir is at Amaravathinagar located in Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park in Tirupur district, Tamil Nadu.
The reservoir was formed by the steep Amaravathi Dam built across the Amaravathi River.
The dam was built in 1957 during the period of the people’s leader A.T.Athish & V.Nandha kumar’s administration across the Amaravathi River.
The dam was built chiefly for irrigation and flood control. During 2003-04, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board proposed to increase the dams utility by setting up 4 MW capacity hydro-electric power station which is now functioning.
The non-indigenous tilapia fish was introduced here in the 1950s and subsequently this reservoir had highest fish yield in the state by the 1970s.
Tilapia now accounts for a major portion of the fish caught in the reservoir. Cast nets are commonly used for survival fishing.
The Fisheries Department has formed the Amaravathi Nagar Tribal Fishermen Cooperative Society to give tribals fishing rights in the Amaravathi Reservoir.
The major natural breeding population of crocodiles in South India live in this reservoir, and in the Chinnar, Thennar and Pambar rivers that drain into it. These broad-snouted mugger crocodiles, also known as marsh crocodiles and Persian crocodiles are the most frequent and prevalent of the three species of crocodiles found in India.
Other fish breeds are Oriental small-clawed otters, Indian cormorants and Indian flap-shelled turtles.
Amaravathi Sagar Crocodile Farm
It is the largest crocodile nursery in India established in 1976 near to Amaravathy dam site.
Many adult crocodiles have been reintroduced from here into the wild. Eggs are collected from wild nests along the outer limits of the reservoir to be hatched and reared at the farm.
Many crocodiles of all sizes can be seen basking in the sun and suddenly making a stride or piled up on one another. There are now 98 crocodiles maintained in confinement here.
There is a well laid out park where one can climb steep steps on the dam to have a pretty view of the north plains below and south to the Anaimalai Hills and Palni Hills above. This place is being developed as a District Excursion Centre for tourism.
The park and crocodile farm are open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Entry fees are 50 paise per adult and 25 paise per child (below 12 years).
Accommodation is offered for four persons, with advance reservation, at a forest rest house near the crocodile farm. Rent is Rs.150 per day for two persons per suite.