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Important Dams of India, Longest, Highest, Oldest and Importance

Important Dams of India

Dams have been instrumental in India’s development story, providing irrigation water for agriculture, generating clean hydroelectric power, and controlling floods. In India, there are currently 5,334 dams, with 447 of them being particularly significant.

Because they are built across a river or stream to hold water back, dams are significant structures. They are obstructions that can be used to store water, control flooding, and generate energy. Dams provide reservoirs, which provide water for irrigation, flood control, aquaculture of plants and animals, irrigation for people, and navigation.

An artificial barrier called a dam is made to hold water; the resulting reservoir is utilized for irrigation, electricity production, etc. Dams are classed based on their structure, intended use, etc.

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Top 5 Dam in India

1. Tehri Dam

In the state of Uttarakhand, there is a dam called the Tehri. Its 260.5-meter height makes it India’s tallest dam. Additionally, it ranks among the 10 highest dams in the world. On the Bhagirathi River is where this Dam is located.

Tehri Dam
Height of the Dam 260.5 m
Length of the Dam 575 m
Type of Dam Rock fill
The reservoir capacity 21,00,000 acre feet
Capacity that is installed 1000 Megawatt

2. Bhakra Nangal Dam

In the state of Uttarakhand, there is a dam called the Tehri. Its 260.5-meter height makes it India’s tallest dam. Additionally, it ranks among the 10 highest dams in the world. On the Bhagirathi River is where this Dam is located.

3. Hirakud Dam

The Hirakud Dam is situated in the Orissa state. With a total length of 25.79 km, it is the longest dam in India. Additionally, it is among the top ten longest dams in the world. On the River Mahanadi is where the Hirakud Dam is located.

Hirakud Dam
Height of the Dam 61 m
Length of the Dam 4.8 km (Main Dam)
Type of Dam Composite Dam
The reservoir capacity 47,79,965 acre feet
Capacity that is installed 347.5 Megawatt

4. Nagarjuna Sagar Dam

The Telangana state is home to the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam. It is the largest masonry dam ever constructed in India. It is the world’s largest lake created artificially. It is 1.55 kilometres long and features 26 gates. It is located along the Krishna River.

Nagarjuna Sagar Dam
Height of the Dam 124m
Length of the Dam 4863 m (Total Lenght)
Type of Dam Masonry Dam
The reservoir capacity 93,71,845 acre feet
Capacity that is installed 816 Megawatt

5. Sardar Sarovar Dam

Gujarat is where the Sardar Sarovar Dam is situated. The Narmada Valley Project’s largest dam, it. The Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra neighbouring states stand to gain from this dam. It is located by the Narmada River.

Sardar Sarovar Dam
Height of the Dam 163m
Length of the Dam 1210m
Type of Dam Gravity Dam
The reservoir capacity 77,00,000 acre-feet
Capacity that is installed 1450 Megawatt

Check out the linked article on the UPSC CSE Syllabus 2024 Here!

State-wise Dams in India

List of Dams in India with River and State:

Name of Dams State River Name
Somasila Dam Andhra Pradesh Pennar River
Srisailam Dam Krishna River
Ukai Dam Gujarat Tapti River
Dharoi Dam Sabarmati River
Kadana dam Mahi River
Dantiwada Dam Banas River
Bhakra Nangal Dam Himachal Pradesh and Punjab Border Sutlej River
Pandoh Dam Himachal Pradesh Beas River
Nathpa Jhakri Dam Satluj River
Chamera Dam Ravi River
Baglihar Dam Jammu and Kashmir Chenab River
Dumkhar Hydroelectric Dam Indus River
Uri Hydroelectric Dam Jhelum River
Maithon Dam Jharkhand Barakar River
Chandil Dam Swarnarekha River
Panchet Dam Damodar River
Tunga Bhadra Dam Karnataka Tungabhadra River
Linganamakki dam Sharavathi River
Kadra Dam Kalinadi River
Alamatti Dam Krishna River
Supa Dam Kalinadi or Kali river
Krishna Raja Sagara Dam Kaveri River
Harangi Dam Harangi River
Narayanpur Dam Krishna River
Kodasalli Dam Kali River
Malampuzha Dam Kerala Malampuzha River
Peechi Dam Manali River
Idukki Dam Periyar River
Kundala Dam Kundala Lake
Parambikulam Dam Parambikulam River
Walayar Dam Walayar River
Mullaperiyar Dam Periyar River
Neyyar Dam Neyyar River
Rajghat Dam Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh Border Betwa River
Barna Dam Madhya Pradesh Barna River
Bargi Dam Narmada River
Bansagar Dam Sone River
Gandhi Sagar Dam Chambal River
Yeldari Dam Maharashtra Purna river
Ujani Dam Bhima River
Pawna Dam Maval River
Mulshi Dam Mula River
Koyna Dam Koyna River
Jayakwadi Dam Godavari River
Bhatsa Dam Bhatsa river
Wilson Dam Pravara River
Tansa Dam Tansa river
Panshet Dam Ambi River
Mula Dam Mula river
Kolkewadi Dam Vashishti River
Girna Dam Girana river
Vaitarna Dam Vaitarna river
Khadakwasla Dam Mutha River
Gangapur Dam Godavari river
Singur dam Telangana Manjira River
Radhanagari Dam Bhogawati River
Lower Manair Dam Manair River
Mid Manair Dam Manair River and SRSP Flood Flow Canal
Upper Manair Dam Manair River and Kudlair River
Nizam Sagar Dam Manjira River
Jalaput Dam Andhra Pradesh and Odisha Border Machkund River
Indravati Dam Odisha Indravati River
Hirakud Dam Mahanadi River
Vaigai Dam Tamil Nadu Vaigai River
Perunchani Dam Paralayar River
Mettur Dam Kaveri River
Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar Dam / Rihand dam Uttar Pradesh Rihand River
Tehri Dam Uttarakhand Bhagirathi River
Dhauli Ganga Dam Dhauli Ganga River

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List of Important Dams in India

Here is a complete List of Important Dams in India 2023:

Name of Dam State River
Bhavani Sagar dam Tamil Nadu Bhavani
Tungabhadra Dam Karnataka Tungabhadra
Rihand Dam Uttar Pradesh Rihand
Maithon Dam Jharkhand Barakar
Koyna Dam Maharashtra Koyna
Bisalpur Dam Rajasthan Banas
Mettur Dam Tamil Nadu Kaveri
Krishnarajasagar Dam Karnataka Kaveri
Indira Sagar Dam Madhya Pradesh Narmada
Cheruthoni Dam Kerala Cheruthoni
Sardar Sarovar Dam Gujarat Narmada
Nagarjuna Sagar Dam Telangana Krishna
Hirakud dam Odisha Mahanadi
Bhakra Nangal Dam Punjab-Himachal Pradesh Border Sutlej
Tehri Dam Uttarakhand Bhagirathi

Check out the linked article on the UPSC CSE Exam 2024 Here!

Major Dams in India

The population of India gains from the large dams in several ways. Dams benefit irrigation facilities in India and provide enough water for home use and industry.

  • The primary goal of building dams is to lessen the frequency of flooding.
  • Dams facilitate river movement and provide hydroelectric power for the vicinity where they are located.
  • The largest dams in India and their tributaries provide water for boating and fishing, which serve as tourist attractions.
  • The cheapest mode of transportation is rivers, which may be navigated with the use of dams.
  • India’s largest dams provide water for a variety of businesses.

Major Dams in India

Highest Dam in India Tehri Dam(Uttarakhand) Height: 260.5 meters

Length: 575 meters

River: Bhagirathi River

Location: Uttarakhand

Year of completion:2006 (1st phase)

Longest Dam in India Hirakud Dam (Odisha) Total Length: 25.79 km (16.03 mi)

Length of Main Dam:4.8 km (3.0 mi)

River: Mahanadi

Location: Odisha

Year of completion:1953

Oldest Dam in India Kallanai Dam(Tamil Nadu) River: Kaveri

Location: Tamil Nadu

Year of completion: 100 BC –100 AD

Longest Dam in India

The longest Dam in India is the Hirakud Dam. In the Sambalpur district of the state of Odisha, the Hirakud Dam is constructed on the Mahanadi River. The main dam measures 4.8 km in length while the Hirakud Dam is 25.79 km long overall. In 1953, the Hirakud Dam was completed.

Highest Dam in India

Tehri Dam is the tallest dam in India and the 12th highest or tallest dam in the world, standing at 260.5 meters. In the Indian state of Uttarakhand, the Tehri Dam is situated on the Bhagirathi River in the town of New Tehri. The Tehri dam measures 575 meters in length and 260 meters in height. The Tehri Dam’s initial phase was finished in 2006. It is a part of the Tehri hydropower complex and THDC India Ltd.

Oldest Dam in India

Oldest Dam in India is the Kallanai Dam on the Kaveri River. It is situated in Tamil Nadu’s Thanjavur district. Since it was finished between 100 BC and 100 AD, the Kallanai Dam is now run by the Tamil Nadu government.

Benefits of Dams

  • Irrigation: Dams provide a reliable source of water for irrigation, ensuring agricultural prosperity and food security.
  • Hydroelectricity: Dams generate clean hydroelectric power, reducing dependence on fossil fuels and combating climate change.
  • Flood control: Dams regulate river flows, preventing devastating floods and protecting communities.
  • Drinking water: Some dams supply drinking water to cities and towns, playing a vital role in public health.

Challenges and Concerns

  • Displacement and Rehabilitation: Construction of dams often leads to displacement of communities, raising concerns about their livelihood and resettlement.
  • Environmental Impact: Dams can have negative impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, and riverine communities.
  • Siltation: Accumulation of silt in reservoirs reduces storage capacity and impacts dam efficiency.
  • Social and Economic Inequality: Benefits of dams may not be distributed equally, leading to disparities between regions and communities.

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Important Dams in India FAQs

How many dams are important in India?

As of July, 2019, total number of large dams in India is 5,334. About 447 large dams are under construction in India. In terms of number of dams, India ranks third after China and USA.

Which is the 1st dam in India?

Kallanai Dam built across the Kaveri river of Tamil Nadu is the oldest dam (first dam) in India. It is also known as the Grand Anicut.

Which is the largest dam in India?

Tehri dam on Bhagirathi River in Uttarakhand is the largest in India.

Which is the longest dam in India?

Hirakund dam on Mahanadi River in Odisha is the longest in India.

Which is the oldest dam in India?

Kallanai Dam on Kaveri River is the oldest in India. It was built by Karikala cholan of Chola Dynasty in 100 BC –100 AD.

Bhakra Nangal Dam is on which river?

Bhakra Nangal Dam is on Setluj River.

Where is the Rihand Dam?

Rihand Dam is in Uttar Pradesh

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