The beautiful Indian state of Goa has many hidden and offbeat attractions which are amongst the top places to visit in Goa beyond the tourist beaches. Sahakari Spice farm was one of those places we visited where many tourists don’t make way. Another attraction which is very unique and not to miss on your trip to Goa, especially during the monsoons, is the Salaulim Dam. A few months back we had seen some pictures of the stunning Salaulim Dam shared by one of our friends and we knew this had to be on the list whenever we plan a trip to Goa.
During our recent trip to Goa, we stayed in Agonda in South Goa and there are quite a few attractions to visit in South Goa. Salaulim Dam is one of them. The Salaulim Dam is located near Netravali wildlife sanctuary on the Salaulim River, a tributary of the Zuari River about 5 km from the town of Sanguem. The dam which is a composite structure of earth-cum-masonry dam type with a height of 140 ft was completed in 2000. It is part of the Salaulim Irrigation Project and today a major source of water supply for both industrial and domestic purpose in South Goa.
The Salaulim is unlike other dams with a unique design of semi-circular channel which forms a cascade of water which flows into the Salaulim river creating a magnificent sight. And the water gushing with force into the spillway creates a mist in the air which is enough to drench the spectators on the bridge viewing the spectacle.
We visited for Christmas and the dam was not overflowing and hence the spillway was dry. Below a picture from Wikimedia taken during the monsoons when the dam was overflowing.
The spillway of the dam is an ungated structure with unique Duckbill type design wherein the water cascades to a depth of about 50ft at the first level and again to a 100ft depth to join the Salaulim River below.
You can also walk along the km long dam and take in the views of the lush surrounding and the serene waters in the catchment area of the dam on one side and the lush gardens on the other side. The Botanical Garden which provides access to the dam is home to a variety of plants and trees.
The garden is said to be modeled based on the famous Brindavan Gardens of Mysore in Karnataka. The shaded lawns offer a perfect location for a family outing or picnic where you can sit back and relax. There is a play area for kids with slides and swings, a rock garden and a cactii house too.
There is a small canteen in the premises where you can but some juices and icecreams but make sure to carry your own food if you are planning a picnic here.
As per Wikipedia, an 8 ft statue of Mother Goddess dating from 5th century BC was relocated at Verna and also a temple dating from 10th–11th century of the Kadamaba period was also relocated.
The best time to visit when you can see the waters cascading into the dam is the monsoon months of June, July, and August. Other months the dam is dry, though you can enjoy the surrounding scenic vistas you will not be able to see the spectacle of the water being sucked into the semi-circular spillway. Make note that the dam bridge to view the catchment area and the unique spillway can be reached by a set of stairs which is not wheelchair accessible.
Do carry enough water when exploring the gardens and dams.
There is an entry ticket to enter the botanical gardens. You need to carry a photo identity card and you are permitted inside only after you make an entry into the register. You can park your car at the entrance there is a small parking. The dam is open for visitors from 9 AM to 6 PM. The dam is located about 60 km from Panajim and the best way to get to the dam is by a private vehicle or you can hire a taxi.
If you have a few days in Goa plan to explore the places around Goa which have some of the gorgeous hidden beaches, quaint villages, and mouthwatering seafood.
Things to do in Temple Town of Gokarna – Gokarna is about 150 km from Goa
Karwar – The Pristine untouched beaches and the Scrumptious Sea Food – 85 Km from Goa
Murudeshwar Temple – A Visit to the World’s Second Tallest Shiva Statue – 200 km from Goa