India stands third in the world below the U.S., and China for their endless dam structures and plans. Dams are a multipurpose project as they not only control the water flow but also reserve it for a dry day. The first dam built in this world dates back to the Mesopotamian civilization. Before that the ancient Egyptians built gravity dams that were made of concrete and stone. Today the world sees mostly earthen dams that are made of solid rocks and soil.
India houses 5,264 dams as of 2020 with over 437 dams under construction. Most of the dams in India today were built after Independence from the British rule. Dams in India have truly been a lifesaver for drought-stricken areas. These architectural marvels attract thousands of tourists each year. Here is the list of the most popular dams in India that you should consider visiting.
Tehri Dam: The Highest Dam in India
Located in Uttarakhand, the Tehri Dam is built over the Bhagirathi River and is the highest in India. This embankment dam made of rock and earth fills is also one of the tallest in the world. Tehri Dam is a reservoir for irrigation and stands at 260.5 meters high and 592 meters wide. Getting to the dam is a mesmerizing drive uphill through pine-covered hills and quaint villages.
The completion of the dam resulted in a 17 sq miles artificial lake that provides a plethora of water sports from snorkeling to kayaking and even jet skiing. Tehri Dam’s multipurpose features make it one of the most important dams in India.
Bhakra Dam: The New Temple of Resurgent India
Unlike Tehri Dam, this is a gravity dam on the River Satluj that took 15 years to construct. This magnificent structure attracts tourists from all over to marvel at this architectural wonder. This gravity dam is situated on the border of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh acting as a powerhouse for irrigation purposes.
The dam construction began in 1948 but was halted after which Jawaharlal Nehru resumed the work in 1955. The name ‘New Temple of Resurgent India’ was given to the dam by Nehru as he considered the dam a symbol of India’s progress.
Sardar Sarovar Dam: The World’s Second Largest Gravity Dam
This concrete gravity dam is the second largest in the world right after the Grand Coulee in the United States. The Sardar Sarovar Dam that sits on the Narmada River in Gujarat was inaugurated in 2017. It may come as a shock to most but the foundation was laid in 1961 by the first Prime Minister of India. The Dam’s construction was delayed due to a dispute of water distribution among the nearby states.
Sardar Sarovar Dam is surrounded by lush greenery and the monsoon season adds to its scenic beauty. Many tourists visit this dam to admire this architectural marvel and indulge in the serene atmosphere.
Nagarjuna Sagar Dam: The Second Largest Water Reservoir in India
The Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is a beautiful masonry dam built on the Krishna River in the Nalgonda district of Telangana. The dam is a beauty by itself but the rich vegetation and untouched nature add to its overall magnificence. You can find cascading waterfalls, rare flora, and fauna around this majestic structure.
The dam is just a 3-hr drive from the city of Hyderabad which is easily accessed by road. While most travelers visit the dam all year round, the best time would be from October to March. During this time the dam is full and the serene surroundings are blossoming. Like most dams in India, the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam was also planned right after independence.
Hirakud Dam: World’s Longest Earthen Dam
The Hirakud Dam built in the Sambalpur region of Odisha on the River Mahanadi stretches over 9.3 miles. This stupendous structure was the first multipurpose river valley project after Indian independence. The Hirakud Dam is twice the size of the island of Sri Lanka.
The dam opened an infinite spectrum of possibilities in terms of irrigation and water reservation. Asia’s largest artificial lake was also formed with the completion of this mighty project. The dam is truly a sight for sore eyes as you drive across the dike with a clear view of the dam and the glistening lake.
India is a farmers’ country and the dams in India are a means to support their agricultural needs. The importance of dams in India goes beyond development and power but as security to always have water. Now that you know about the 5 major dams in India, the next step is simply booking cheap flight tickets. Indian Eagle is as simple as it gets with its curated lists of airlines based on your requirements.