Dam is a structure made on river and other water bodies, that stop water flow and store the water in a reservoir. The water stored in a reservoir is used for various purposes, that include irrigation, power generation, human consumption, etc.
Dams are of many types, that include Gravity Dam, Arch Dam, Embankment Dam, Earthen Dam, etc. The storage capacity of the dam is generally measured in Million Cubic Metre, which is a unit of volume used for measuring the water stored in a reservoir.
The history of dams in India dates back to the 2nd Century AD, when Kallanai Dam was constructed in Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu. Constructed by the Chola king Karikalan, Kallanai Dam is the oldest dam in India and still used for water diversion. At present, there are more than 3,000 dams and barrages in India, which are used for various purposes. This post describes about the Top 10 Biggest Dams in India on the basis of storage capacity:
10. Hasdeo Bango Dam, Chhattisgarh
With a storage capacity of 3,417 Million Cubic Metres, Hasdeo Bango Dam of Chhattisgarh stands in the 10th position in the list of top 10 biggest dams in India. Constructed across Hasdeo river, Hasdeo Bango Dam has a height of 87 metres and a length of 554.5 metres.
Located in Korba district of Chhattisgarh, Hasdeo Bango Dam is used for irrigation and power generation. The dam has a power generation plant, which has a total capacity of 120 MW.
Storage Capacity: 3,417 Million Cubic Metre
9. Supa Dam, Karnataka
9th position on this list is occupied by Supa Dam, which is constructed across the Kali river and has a storage capacity of 4,718 Million Cubic Metre. Located in Uttar Kannada district of Karnataka, Supa Dam has a height of 101 metres and a length of 331.29 metres.
The construction of Supa Dam was started in the year 1974 and finally in 1987, the construction was completed. The dam has a hydroelectric power project with 2 units, each of 50 MW, making the total capacity of 100 MW. The power generated by this project is supplied to different parts of Karnataka.
Storage Capacity: 4,178 Million Cubic Metre
8. Ukai Dam, Gujarat
Ukai Dam with a storage capacity of 7,497 Million Cubic Metre is the next dam in this list. Constructed across the River Tapti, Ukai is 81 metres high and 4,927 metres long and has a catchment area of more than 62,000 km².
Storage Capacity: 7,497 Million Cubic Metre
7. Pong Dam, Himachal Pradesh
Pong Dam of Himachal Pradesh is next on this list, with a storage capacity of 8,570 Million Cubic Metre. Pong Dam is an earthen dam constructed on the River Beas and has a height of 132.59 metres and a length of 1950.7 metres.
Located in Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh, Pong Dam’s construction completed in 1974. Pong Dam has a catchment area of more than 12,500 km², which makes it stand among the largest dams in India.
Storage Capacity: 8,570 Million Cubic Metre
6. Srisailam Dam, Andhra Pradesh
Next dam in this list is Srisailam Dam of Andhra Pradesh, whose construction was completed in the year 1984. Constructed across the River Krishna, Srisailam Dam is 145 metres high, 512 metres long and has a storage capacity of 8,722 Million Cubic Metre.
Srisailam Dam has a catchment area of more than 2 Lakh km², making it one of the largest dams in India. Also, Srisailam Dam has a hydroelectric power project with a total capacity of 1,670 MW.
Storage Capacity: 8,722 Million Cubic Metre
5. Sardar Sarovar Dam, Gujarat
With a storage capacity of 9,500 Million Cubic Metre, Sardar Sarovar Dam of Gujarat has occupied 5th place in the list of top 10 biggest dams in India. Located in Navagam, Gujarat, Sardar Sarovar Dam is the largest dam built on the river Narmada.
Sardar Sarovar Dam has a height of 163 metres, length of 1,210 metres and catchment area of more than 88,000 km², which make it one of the largest dams in India.
Sardar Sarovar Dam has a great importance and provide water for irrigation to more than 17,000 km² land of Gujarat and over 700 square kilometre land of Rajasthan. Also, Sardar Sarovar Dam is used for providing power and has a hydroelectric power plant with a total capacity of 1200 MW.
Storage Capacity: 9,500 Million Cubic Metre
4. Rihand Dam, Uttar Pradesh
Rihand Dam is the fourth biggest dam in India with a storage capacity of 10,600 Million Cubic Metre. Constructed in the year 1962, Rihand is 91.46 metres high, 932 metres long and used for power generation and irrigation.
Storage Capacity: 10,600 Million Cubic Metre
3. Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, Andhra Pradesh
Nagarjuna Sagar Dam with a storage capacity of 11,561.3 Million Cubic Metre is next on this list, which was constructed in the year 1974. Located in Andhra Pradesh, Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is constructed on the river Krishna and is the World’s Largest Masonry Dam.
Nagarjuna Sagar Dam has 26 gates, each with a height of 14 metres and width of 13 metres. Talking about dimensions, Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is 124.66 metres high and 4,865 metres long.
Storage Capacity: 11,561.3 Million Cubic Metre
2. Indira Sagar Dam, Madhya Pradesh
Indira Sagar Dam of Madhya Pradesh ranks 2nd in the list of top 10 biggest dams in India. Constructed across the holy river, Narmada, Indira Sagar Dam has a storage capacity of 12,200 Million Cubic Metres, height of 91.4 metres and a length of 654 metres.
The construction of the Indira Sagra Dam was started in the year 1992 and completed in 2006. Indira Sagar Dam is one of the largest dams in India with a catchment area of more than 61,000 km².
Located in Khandwa district, Madhya Pradesh, Indira Sagar Dam also has a hydroelectric power project with a total capacity of 1,000 MW. The Hydroelectric Power Project has 8 units, whose generators and turbines are made by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited.
Storage Capacity: 12,200 Million Cubic Metre
1. Bhakra Dam, Himachal Pradesh
Bhakra Dam is the biggest dam in India, whose construction began in 1948 and completed in the year 1963. Constructed across the Sutlej River, Bhakra Dam is 167.64 metres high and 518.16 metres long and its reservoir called Govind Sagar is spread in an area of more than 160 km². Apart from being the biggest dam in India, Bhagra Dam is also among the highest dams in India.
Located in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh, Bhakra Dam is used for the purpose of irrigation and power generation. Bhakra Dam provides water for irrigation in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Also, Bhakra Dam is used for power generation and has a power plant with a total capacity of 1325 Mega Watt. The power generated by the dam is supplied to Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Chandigarh.
Storage Capacity: 12,220 Million Cubic Metre