Engg Marvel: Markonahalli dam with water self release mechanism - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Engg Marvel: Markonahalli dam with water self release mechanism

While we were heading towards Hasana from Bengaluru, Ravi suddenly remembered that there’s a dam some 6kms off the highway and we decided to check it out.
The place is called “Marconahalli” and has a small dam. Located in Kunigal taluk of Tumkur district and is built against Shimsa river. The dam curator (or care taker) told us “This was built by Sir M Vishveshwarayya in the 1930s”. 
The dam is relatively small in size and caters to irrigational purposes. The caretaker Charged Rs 10 person to show us the “water self releasing mechanism” (may be we can call it auto-siphoning mechanism) which was first in Asia, conceptualized by Dr Sir M Vishveshwaraya.
From what I understood of his explanation:

The dam has several wells, built with spiral walls. When water level reaches critical height (90 feet), water enters these wells and get released to the downstream area without affecting dam’s structural design. There is no need to open the crust gates every time or for any person to be manually present to release excess water. The reason for including this mechanism is to prevent a neighboring temple from submerging.

The caretaker said the spiral walls were built with jaggery and honey for better strength.
 We keep this opening closed with mud (jedi mannu)... he said
 Some more pics
 Below: Aria under a big banyan tree routes
While returning we also stopped at an abandoned building. A local elderly man asked us for lift and we took him onboard. He said he had thought we had come to buy land. He talked about his kids- how everyone are moving to city, how his son in laws are useless fellows, who even after providing with finance for business or helping them with jobs are unable to settle in life and are roaming around doing mundane things. He said life is very difficult in villages due to labor problems and agricultural investments never result in positive return. There wasn’t much we could do with him except sympathize for his situation and drop him off at the main road.
If you’re having a boring highway drive between Hasan and Bangalore, you can consider taking a detour to check out this place. There're few other picnic spots around, including Kunigal lake (have you heard the song Moodal Kunigal Kere...)
Some photos were clicked by Raviraj

Also see: Shetti halli  * 


  1. Good educational material. Great pictures.

  2. lovely captures! i too have been to this dam twice & liked it. your post brought back memories of our trips

  3. Thanks. Any link to your blog posts (if any?)


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