India ranks third in the world after China and the USA in terms of the number of dams. The country has about 4710 completed large dams. With the ever-increasing population and the consequent increased demand for water for various uses, it has become necessary not only to construct new dams but also to rehabilitate and maintain existing ones. The dams provide storages to tide over the temporal and spatial variation in rainfall for meeting the year-round requirements of drinking water supply, irrigation, hydropower, and industries in the country which lead to the development of the national economy. Biggest Dams in India have helped immensely in attaining self-sufficiency in food grain production besides flood control and drought mitigation.

At a time when the hydropower sector has taken a beating in India, power major NTPC is planning to set up the country’s biggest hydel project in Arunachal Pradesh.  The hydropower project at Siang will alone generate between 10,000 to 12,000 MW when completed, making it the largest hydroelectric dam in South Asia. And 27,000 MW when collaborated with other power companies.

Below are the 10 Largest Hydroelectric Dams in India in terms of Power Generation.

1.) The Tehri Dam – is the highest dam in India and the tenth tallest dam in the world.  It is a multi-purpose rock and earth-fill embankment dam on the Bhagirathi River near Tehri in Uttarakhand, India.  The dam is a 260.5 meters (855 ft) high rock and earth-fill embankment dam. Its length is 575 meters. Tehri Hydro Power Complex (2400 MW), comprises the following components:

The Tehri Dam
Tehri Dam
  1. Tehri Dam & Hydro Power Plant (1000 MW)
  2. Koteshwar Hydro Electric Project (400 MW)
  3. Tehri Pumped Storage Plant (PSP) (1000 MW) (Total capacity   2400 MW)

2.) The Koyna Hydroelectric Dam – is the second largest hydroelectric power plant of India. The total Installed capacity of the project is 1,960 MW. The project consists of 4 stages of power generation. All the generators are located in the underground Powerhouses excavated deep inside the surrounding mountains of the Western Ghats. A dam foot powerhouse also contributes to the electricity generation.

Koyna Hydroelectric Project

1st stage 4 x 70 MW = 280 MW
2nd stage 4 x 80 MW = 320 MW
Dam foot 2 x 20 MW = 40 MW
3rd stage 4 x 80 MW = 320 MW
4th stage 4 x 250 MW = 1,000 MW
Total capacity 1,960 MW

3.) The Srisailam Dam – is a dam constructed across the Krishna River at Srisailam in the Kurnool district in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India and is the 3rd largest capacity hydroelectric project in the country with 1,670 MW generation of electricity.


Turbines  left              6 × 150MW reversible Francis-type
Turbines  Right          7 × 110MW Francis type
Total capacity          1,670 MW

4.) The Nathpa Jhakri Dam – is a concrete gravity dam on the Satluj River in Himachal Pradesh, India. The primary purpose of the dam is hydroelectric power production and it supplies a 1,500 MW underground power station with water.

Nathpa Jhakri Dam
Nathpa Jhakri Dam

Turbines                           6 × 250 MW Francis-type
Total capacity                 1,500 MW

5.) The Sardar Sarovar Dam – is a gravity dam on the Narmada River near Navagam, Gujarat in India. It is the largest dam and part of the Narmada Valley Project, a large hydraulic engineering project involving the construction of a series of large irrigation and hydroelectric multi-purpose dams on the Narmada River.

Sardar Sarovar Dam
Sardar Sarovar Dam

Turbines:                         6 x 200 MW Francis pump-turbine
Canal:                               5 x 50 MW Kaplan-type
Total  capacity               1,450 MW

6.) The Bhakra-Nangal Dam – is a concrete gravity dam across the Sutlej River, and is in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh  in India. Its reservoir, known as the “Gobind Sagar”, stores up to 9.34 billion cubic metres of water, making it the  second largest reservoir in India, enough to drain the whole of Chandigarh, parts of Haryana, Punjab and Delhi.

The Bhakra-Nagal Dam
Bhakra-Nagal Dam

Turbines                  5 x 108 MW, 5 x 157 MW Francis-type
Total capacity    1325 MW

7.) The Karcham Wangtoo Dam – is a 1,000 megawatts power station on the Sutlej River in Himachal Pradesh at Kinnaur district of India. The dam is located between the villages of Karcham and Wangtoo and get its name from their. it was constructed by Jaypee Group who later sold it out to JSW Group. The main spillway is along the crest of the dam and is controlled by six radial gates.

Karcham Wangtoo Dam

Turbines           4 x 250 MW Francis-type
Total capacity 1,000 MW

8.) The Indirasagar Dam – is a multipurpose project of Madhya Pradesh on the Narmada River at Narmadanagar in the Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh in India. The reservoir of 12,200,000,000 m3 was created. It withholds the largest reservoir in India, in terms of storage of water. Indira Sagar Project is a multipurpose Project with an installed capacity of 1,000 MW.

The Indirasagar Dam

Turbines              8 Units of 125 MW each
Total capacity    1000 MW

9.) Nagarjuna Sagar Dam – is a masonry dam on the Krishna River at Nagarjuna Sagar in the border of Guntur and Nalgonda districts of Andhra Pradesh State, India. The construction duration of the dam was between the years of 1955 and 1967.

Nagarjuna Sagar Dam

Turbines              1 x 110 MW Francis turbines,
Turbines              7 x 100.8 MW reversible Francis
Total capacity    816 MW

10.) The Idukki Dam – located in Kerala, India, is a 168.91 m (554 ft) tall arch dam. The dam stands with a beautiful view between the two mountains – Kuravanmala and Kurathimala. It was constructed and is owned by the Kerala State Electricity Board. It supports a 780 MW hydroelectric power station in Moolamattom.


Turbines                        6 x 130 MW Pelton-type
Total capacity              780 MW

Detail List of 10 Biggest Dams in India



  1. Great amount of information! very valuable…

  2. nice work… well done!

  3. Normally I don’t read write-up in blogs, however i would like to express that this particular write-up incredibly required me to see and do so! Ones creating taste has been shocked me personally. Thanks a lot, good document.

  4. This site give more information about dams in India

  5. thanks for the information

  6. It helped a lot thanks

  7. I think it will be very helpfull and I got lot of information about Hydel plants in India

  8. this is all i wanted
    really good piece of work…
    THANKS 🙂

    1. thanks Samriddhi

  9. There are certain range in himalayas where there is perpetual high wind. You can plant
    thousands of wind mills and produce electricity. The engineering work does not take long like a construction of a dam. Develop a town around for retd personnel. Like china is going to build shangrilla in tibet and open it to the world. And they will earn $. You will thus develop the entire himalayan region. Dont waste time to construct roads. Use
    helicopters instead.

  10. Good Information.. But i wonder why we are far behind other countries with dams producing electricity with more than 5k – 6k mw. Despite so much scarcity of energy and constant power cuts. I think its high time now and its better we now start understand the actual caliber of the hydro electric power plant than those of any other( majorly thermal) and take onus to build and satisfy India’s high energy requirements.

  11. Excellent informaton n images r too good……….. thanks.

  12. Tehri Garhwal dam has established its name among the ten largest dams of India. Apart from this reputation it is drawing hordes of tourists to its location at the foothills. You can watch this dam from the heights of New Tehri. Thanks for sharing this valuable information

  13. it is very useful

  14. This is very essential portion for the student

  15. Thank lot
    It really help me. ……..

  16. Iam havin geo exam tomm. thanx 4 the info…..
    actually this is wht i was lukin for

  17. after going through tha 10 biggest hydel power plants in the world i am shocked that india appears no where .Instead of thermal and gas based power plants Modi govt should try for more hydal plants which will be beneficial both for environment and irrigation .

  18. Very good

  19. good short information . for further details one can refer CBIP publiction ” Hydro power projects in India”

  20. We know that india is a country of river and valleys half part is arounded by ocean so we have lots of apportunity to generate the hydal plant which is more benefit for public requirement.
    So central goverment should allow to make evergreen enviroment.

  21. maybe or new five hydraulic power dam

  22. That was a very valuable information. Thank you very much

  23. it was very informative.
    Thank u so much.

  24. Well, I commented that information was incomplete as Sharavati valley project produces 1400 MW (approx) which was taken down saying I am confusing multiple projects. Even then, they agreed that Sharavati power plant produces 1035 MW, which makes it no. 7. In reality, This power plant is series of plants (tail races and runoffs) just like Narmada Valley project with total capacity of 1400 (approx) MW. More details can be found at KPTCL website (operator). Can’t post link here.

  25. I am thankful to you.for this important information.

  26. Thank you so much

  27. It is very useful information.

  28. Thank you.It was really useful.

  29. It’s a great information regarding hydel projects.
    Thank you very much sir!

  30. useful information

  31. Lot of thank

  32. good .!!!

  33. Once the proposed dams in Lower Subansiri in Assam and other dams in Arunachal Pradesh are built all these ten top dams will go into oblivion.

  34. Very informative and helpful for the students who are preparing for competitive examination. Good work Thanks a lot

  35. It’s very important and valuable information about the major power projects in India to the young generation .. nice photographs with it of information. thanks

  36. Very good content I am preparing for a national quiz in central water commission
    It is quite informative and nice

  37. Hi you people are are ignorent about our country’s installed capacity of hydroelectric power stations. There are 2 nos of major power stations in the state of Karnataka namely Sharavati valley and Kali river projects each of having installed 1000Mw and more. Please contact KEB and get vital information.

  38. Very educative things,to know about India’s hydro power project,
    running from couple of yrs,in which river,state and its location,
    thanx a lot giving details about hydro power.

  39. Great! Thank you for sharing valuable information about India’s top 10 biggest dam. Really i don’t know about that it’s a helpful for me

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