View of the dam, Periyar Lake taken by an unknown photographer in the 1900s. The photograph is part of an album containing views of various locations in India, formerly in the collection of Horatio Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener of Khartoum and Broome, (1850-1916), who was Commander in Chief of India between 1902 and 1909.
The dam was planned by a British engineer, Colonel Pennycuick and constructed in 1895. It was built across the Periyar River in the Cardamon Hills of the Western Ghats, to provide irrigation to the irrigate the drier parts of neighbouring Tamil Nadu around Madurai. The creation of the dam submerged large tracts of land creating Periyar Lake. The surrounding area with forests was granted protection by the Maharaja of Travancore. In 1934 the area was declared a wildlife sanctuary at the instigation of the Maharaja