10 Biggest Dams in India

Dams are the masterpiece of civil engineering wonders. They are considered to be one of the toughest and strongest tangible structures in the world. They are so powerful that even a high explosive shell could not bring a crack on its concrete walls easily. To block up massive rivers and to create hydro-electricity or simply control big reservoirs are not at all easy. The way they are built using tons of concrete blocks with a mix of stone, earth, bricks and steel is simply incredible.

Dams are very important for us to survive efficiently. They not only provide electrical energy to our houses but also provide water for domestic, industry and irrigation purposes. In India, there are nearly 4200 small and big dams that have been constructed by the end of the year 2016. Being rivers land, India has great potential to make a good amount of electricity production each year. Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN), National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) are few major Indian government organizations who are working ingeniously to strengthen DAMS Projects in India.

Below, we have compiled the list of the 10 Most Powerful and Biggest Dams in India:

1) Koyna Dam (Maharashtra)

Koyna Dam present in Maharashtra

Maharashtra has the maximum number of large-scale dams in India, which are about 1845 in number. Koyna Dam is one of the biggest dams in Maharashtra, with a height of about 103 meters. It is a rubber- concrete type dam and is built on the Koyna River. The principal purpose of Koyna dam is hydroelectricity and for some irrigation in neighboring regions. It has a total production capacity of about 1920 MW.

2.) Sardar Sarovar Dam (Gujarat)

Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujurat

Sardar Sarovar Dam is the biggest of all the projects that have been built and are planned to be built on the Narmada River. It has a height of 163 meters. The length of the Sardar Sarovar Dam is 1,210 meters. On September 17, 2017, Sardar Sarovar dam was inaugurated by the present Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi.
The head power plant of this dam has about six 200 MW Francis pump-turbines, which are used to generate hydro-electricity. Adding to this, there five 50 MW Kaplan turbine-generators in the power plant on the intake for the main canal. The total reservoir capacity is 1,450 MW.

3.) Bhakra Nangal Dam (Himachal Pradesh)

Bhakra Nangal Dam-Himachal Pradesh

The next biggest and highest dam on this list is the Bhakra Nangal Dam which is present in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is built on the river- Satluj(also spelled as Sutlej). Bhakra Nangal Dam is the 2nd highest dam and the largest dam in India. It has a height of 226 meters and a length of 520 meters. It is a concrete gravity type of dam. This dam forms the ‘Gobind Sagar Lake Reservoir’ which has a capacity of 7,501,775 acre·ft. It produces a power range of about 1325 MW. this dam is really beautiful and a must see when visiting the Himachal Pradesh- Punjab border.


Tehri Dam- Uttarakhand

The highest dam in India is the Tehri Dam. It has a height of 261 meters and it is also the 8th tallest dam in the world. It has a height of 260 meters and has a length of 575 meters, Also it has a reservoir capacity of 2,100,000 acre·ft. It is situated on the Bhagirathi River. Tehri Dam is said to produce 1,000 MW of hydro-electricity. The first phase of creating the ‘high rock and earth-fill embankment dam’ was completed in 2006. The next other two phases of the project are under construction.

5.) Indira Sagar Dam (Madhya Pradesh)

Indira Sagar Dam, Madhya Pradesh

The next powerful and big Dam on this list is the Indira Sagar dam. It has been built on the Narmada river in the state of Madhya Pradesh. It stands at a height of 92 meters. It is a concrete gravity type dam. It is situated in Khandwa district, Madhya Pradesh. Of the many projects on the Narmada River, the Indira Sagar project was the key project for aiding in the water shortage issue. Indira Sagar Dam also has one of the biggest reservoirs in India with a capacity of 7,904,454 acre-ft. It has an installed capacity of 1000 MW.

6.) Nagarjuna Sagar Dam (Telangana)

Nagarjuna Sagar Dam -Telangana

At the height of 124 meters, the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is the world’s largest masonry dam. It was built across Krishna River in Andhra Pradesh (now in Telangana). Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is without any doubt the vanity of India, as it is the largest man-made lake in the world. The 1.6 km stretch with about 26 gates dam is seen as the symbol of modern India’s architectural and technological victory over the ever strong nature. It has an installed capacity of 816 MW.

7.) Hirakud Dam (Orissa)

Hirakud Dam -Orissa

Hirakud dam has been built across the Mahanadi River in the state of Orissa. it is one of the longest dams in the world with a length of about 26 km. One of the not so common features of this beautiful and powerful dam is that there are two observation towers present on it. One of the towers is “Gandhi Minar” and another one is “Jawahar Minar”.
The reservoir of the Hirakund Dam is 55 km long. It is used as a multipurpose scheme, primarily intended for flood control, irrigation and power generation. It has a reservoir capacity of 4,779,965 acre·ft and an Installed Capacity of 347.5 mW.

8.) Rihand Dam (Uttar Pradesh)

Rihand-Dam, Uttar Pradesh

The Rihand Dam, also known as ‘Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar’, is the largest dam (by volume) in India. It was built and started during the period from 1954-62. The reservoir of Rihand Dam is located on the border of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. It is a concrete gravity type dam. It has a total capacity of 300 MW and the powerhouse of the Rihand Dam is present at the toe of the dam. The maximum height of the Rihand dam is 91.44 m.

9.) Mettur Dam (Tamil Nadu)

Mettur-Dam, Tamil Nadu

Mettur Dam is also built across the Kaveri River at Salem district in the state of Tamil Nadu. It has a height of 120 ft. It was built in 1934, making it one of the oldest dams of India. This dam has the biggest and the most power generating capacity among all the ones in Tamil Nadu. not only is this an important source of power and hydroelectricity but is also an important source of tourism in Tamil Nadu. The dam and the river are a great attraction for the explorers. It has an installed capacity of 200 MW.

10.) Krishnarajasagar Dam (Karnataka)

Krishnarajasagar Dam, Karnataka

As one of the prime and largest dams built on the Kaveri River (which is one of India’s major rivers), Krishnarajasagar dam is built across Kaveri River near Mysore in Karnataka, South India. Kaveri is one of the most important and beautiful rivers in India. Also, there is a Famous and really beautiful Brindavan Gardens which is a part of the Krishna Raja Sagar Dam. It is the most beautiful garden you can visit in Mysore and one of the best in India.


In terms of percentage, Maharashtra has 41.29% of India’s Large Dams when compared to the other States of India. The state has the maximum number of dams in India right now. Kallanai Dam is one of the oldest dams in India, which was built across the Kaveri river in Thogur, Tamil Nadu (got constructed around 2 A.D by a Tamil King ‘Karigalan’ of the Chola Dynasty). The Hirakud Dam is the longest major earthen dam in India, measuring 25.8 km (including dikes, and stands across the river Mahanadi).

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