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Salaulim Dam will make you go DAMN!

Updated: May 26, 2019

Goa is gifted with it's unique natural beauty in a number of ways but did you know of a man made structure that is the ONLY ONE of it's kind in India and the FIRST IN ASIA that exists in this state? The construction of this dam began in the year 1976 and went on up to the year 2000 where the final irrigation channels began operation. It has a length of about a kilometer making it the widest dam in Goa. The whole of south Goa gets its water from this structure. Due to its peculiar design, it is an interesting experience to watch it in action during the monsoons when the water level is at its peak.

top view of the salaulim dam in goa
First view of the Dam as you enter

top view of the salaulim dam in goa
Top of the dam

In the process of building this structure, several villages were affected as their land was in the plan of being submerged. Out of the 9 villages that were affected, one village 'Curdi' has earned the title of being the 'Atlantis of Goa’. This village is submerged almost the whole year and surfaces only in the month of April once the water level subsides. There are a few structures and ruins from the earlier days of the village. Another interesting fact is that there was a Temple from the Kadamba period which fell in the area of submergence. The temple was taken apart numbering every stone and reassembled once again 17 km away. This relocation was performed over a period of 11 years. Yes! Eleven frikkin years!

Duckbill spillway of salaulim dam in goa
Duckbill spillway at the Dam

backwaters of salaulim dam
Beautiful view of the Reservoir

The Duckbill Spillway aka Morning Glory type is a feature that makes this dam stand out from the rest. The excess water spills over the top and drops down 140 feet then flowing into the multiple irrigation channels that follow. Since there are no gates, there is no manual control of the flow. The spillway resembles the shape of the Niagara falls vaguely. I have fooled some friends when I posted a picture with a caption saying it is the 'Niagara falls' on a WhatsApp story. The mist that sprays into the air is soothing as it blows on your face with the breeze. This spot is perfect for half a day trip when you are in South Goa. Travelling on a two wheeler during the monsoons offers an amazing experience. The damp cool air rushing against you while the lush green natural view running past as you whiz towards your destination. you could also visit the Netravali wildlife sanctuary and have a look at the Savari waterfall and The Bubbling pond while you are at it. You would get a memorable blast of nature from Goa to rejuvenate your mind and body during your vacation.

Things to know before visiting.

  • Timings: 9am to 6pm everyday

  • Carry food and water with you as facilities are poor.

  • Carry a photo ID which you will have to produce at entry along with a small fee of Rs 20/adult.

  • Several sign boards mention that photography is prohibited but the rule isn't strictly followed.

  • Best time to visit is between August to mid November. Rains wouldn't be very intense and flow of water is at the peak.

  • Good spot for a days picnic which can be continued in the botanical garden nearby.



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