Hyderabad: November is here and there is a nip in the air. This is experienced better in the rural landscapes. Kaddam Narayana Reddy Project, also popular as Kadem project, a reservoir on the River Kaddam in Nirmal district is a perfect destination that combines a long drive with nature in its pristine form.
The journey to Kaddam is via the NH44 and is about 250 km from Hyderabad. Once past the service road, the road narrows down. The drive, which is about 50 km from Nirmal town, calls for care from drivers as there are intermittent stretches of small pools along the road. The white and pink lotus blooms in these water bodies makes for a picture perfect drive to project.
Seven decades old
Kaddam river originates in the hills of Dedra reserved forest area and joins river Godavari at Dasturabad in Kaddam mandal after travelling about 80 km. The reservoir project covers ayacut under Nirmal and Mancherial districts. This has been integrated with the Sriram Sagar Project. The project has two major canals for water distribution- the left canal length is 76.8 km and the right canal is about 8 km.
The project construction taken up in 1949 across Kaddam river as part of Godavari Valley Scheme by the erstwhile Government of Hyderabad to irrigate lands on the North flank of Godavari, was completed in 1958. But that year saw unprecedented floods in August and the dam was breached. The observed flood was 14,696 cumces (5.19 lakh cusecs) against the designed flood discharge of 7,080 cumecs (2.5 lakh cusecs). It was reconstructed with an increased spillway capacity adding nine flood gates, and with an increased storage capacity raising full reservoir level. The reconstruction of the project with erection of flood gates was completed in 1969. The reservoir is being supplemented through Saraswathi Canal of SRSP since 1984 to stabilise the localised ayacut in close to 100 villages.
The place is known for growing paddy, corn and cotton. There are heaps of corn put on either side of the road or sun-drying. While they wait for the dealer or the middlemen to lift the stocks, the recent widespread rains have resulted in moss growing on them. Of course, they do not mind if someone stops to click some pictures of the corn, the fields, or the wooden carts, which seem in good number along the road.
The Haritha Hotel of the Telangana Tourism department is a decent place for a night halt, if required. The in-house restaurant is closed temporarily but you will not go hungry as there are some dhabas and small hotels on the main road. There is a play pen and even a trampoline to keep the kids engaged. The place, lush with trees and a river view, is already a favourite place for pre-wedding and post-wedding couple shoots.
Just a few paces away is the boating point. There are four-seater speed boats and a 12-seater one too. It is the boatsman call to wade into the waters or not depending on the pulsating water intensity. The boat drives up to the hillocks. The view is scenic with the waterway between two hillocks and the water is clean and teal due to the greenery on the surrounding hillocks. There is a way up to the reservoir gates and cars are allowed on it for some distance. It presents a scenic view of the villages downstream. Sign off your visit with a steaming hot chai offered in matka on the banks.
One can also plan a visit to the Sriram Sagar Project, which is on the Nirmal highway, before or after visiting Kaddem. That will throw more light on the course as the two reservoirs are integrated.
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