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Dams in India and their Importance

Dams are the structures which are created to hold back  the flowing water of rivers. And store the water for future uses. Which would have been wasted in the raining season and this water is used during the summer season when there is no rain. It  plays an important  role in water conservation. Dams have various uses and are important for humans as well as for nature.

List of Dams in India

Uses of Dams

  1. Stored water in the dam can be used for domestic, industry and irrigation purposes.
  2. Hydroelectric power production is one of the most important uses of the dam. Which helps in  the generation of renewable energy.
  3. They help in flood control.
  4. It attracts tourists for boating and fishing which can be an income source for the government and local residents.

Type of Dams in India

  • Rock-Filled Dams: Rock-fill dams are embankments of compacted free-draining granular earth with an impervious zone. The earth utilized often contains a high percentage of large particles, hence the term “rock-fill”. Example : Tehri Dam
  • Concrete Gravity Dam is also known as “Gravity Arch Dam,” and is a freshwater-retaining concrete structure that has a wider footing (base) than the top-section. The purpose of a Concrete Gravity Dam is to maintain a low center of gravity, in order to avoid collapsing in the event of an abutment seal failure. Example  Bhakra Nangal Dam
  • Composite Dam : Composite dams are a combination of concrete and embankment dams. Construction materials of composite dams are the same used for concrete and embankment dams. Example : Hirakud Dam
  • Masonry dams are dams made out of masonry – mainly stone and brick, sometimes joined with mortar. They are either the gravity or the arch-gravity type. Example: Nagarjuna Sagar Dam
  • Gravity Dam: Dams constructed from concrete or stone masonry are Gravity dams. They are designed to hold back water by using only the weight of the material and its resistance against the foundation to oppose the horizontal pressure of water pushing against it. These are designed in such a way that each section of the dam is stable and independent of other sections. Example : Sardar Sarovar Dam

Important Dams of India

Ukai Dam

Ukai Dam
Ukai Dam

The Ukai Dam, constructed across the Tapi River, is the second largest reservoir in Gujarat after the Sardar Sarovar. It is also known as Vallabh Sagar. Constructed in 1972, the dam is meant for irrigation, power generation and flood control.

Type of Dam :  Earth-cum-masonry dam

Tehri Dam

The Tehri Dam is located in the state of Uttarakhand. It is built on the Bhagirathi river. This is considered as the highest Dam in India with a height of 260.5 metres. 

Type of Dam- Rock fill

Krishna Raja Sagara

Krishna Raja Sagara, is a lake and the dam that is located in the Mandya District of Karnataka.The gravity dam made of surki mortar is below the confluence of river Kaveri with its tributaries Hemavati and Lakshmana Tirtha. It is the main source of water for Mysore and Mandya. The water released from this dam flows into the state of Tamil Nadu and is stored in Mettur dam in the Salem district.

Type of Dam: Gravity Dam

Bhakra Nangal Dam

The Bhakra Nangal Dam is located in the state of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. It is the largest dam in India having a height of 225 metres and also in the second position in the largest dams in all over Asia. It is situated on the river Sutlej.

  • Type of Dam- Concrete Gravity

Hirakud Dam

The Hirakud Dam is located in the state of Orissa. It is the longest dam in India with a total length of 25.79 km. It is also in the list of the longest dams in the world. The Hirakud Dam is situated on the river Mahanadi.

  • Type of Dam- Composite Dam

Nagarjuna Sagar Dam

The Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is located in the state of Telangana. It is India’s largest Masonry Dams built till date. It is the largest manmade lake in the world. It has 26 gates and is 1.55 km in length. It is situated on the river Krishna.

  • Type of Dam- Masonry Dam

Sardar Sarovar Dam

The Sardar Sarovar Dam is located in the state of Gujarat. It is the largest dam in the Narmada Valley Project. This Dam is to benefit the other neighbouring states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. It is situated on the Narmada River.

  • Type of Dam- Gravity Dam

List of dams in India with river and state

To Know about the Dam’s location and the river they are built in is important for the aspirant preparing for the competitive exams. The name of the dam or its location is usually asked in this type of exam. In the high level examinations like UPSC, CDS or the State PSC more details are asked. Here is the complete list of all the important dams of India along with Pdf.

DamRiverState
Dibang DamDibang RiverArunachal Pradesh
Ranganadi DamRanganadi RiverArunachal Pradesh
Srisailam DamKrishna RiverAndhra Pradesh
Subansiri damSubansiri RiverAssam
Ukai DamTapti RiverGujarat
Kadana damMahi RiverGujarat
Dantiwada DamBanas RiverGujarat
Bhakra Nangal DamSutlej RiverHimachal Pradesh and Punjab Border
Chamera DamRavi RiverHimachal Pradesh
Baglihar DamChenab RiverJammu and Kashmir
Uri Hydroelectric DamJhelum RiverJammu and Kashmir
Maithon DamBarakar RiverJharkhand
Chandil DamSwarnarekha RiverJharkhand
Panchet DamDamodar RiverJharkhand
Tungabhadra DamTungabhadra RiverKarnataka
Linganamakki damSharavathi RiverKarnataka
Alamatti DamKrishna RiverKarnataka
Krishna Raja Sagara DamKaveri RiverKarnataka
Narayanpur DamKrishna RiverKarnataka
Malampuzha DamMalampuzha RiverKerala
Peechi DamManali RiverKerala
Parambikulam DamParambikulam RiverKerala
Idukki DamPeriyar RiverKerala
Walayar DamWalayar RiverKerala
Mullaperiyar DamPeriyar RiverKerala
Rajghat DamBetwa RiverUttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh Border
Barna DamBarna RiverMadhya Pradesh
Bansagar DamSone RiverMadhya Pradesh
Gandhi Sagar DamChambal RiverMadhya Pradesh
Yeldari DamPurna riverMaharashtra
Mulshi DamMula RiverMaharashtra
Koyna DamKoyna RiverMaharashtra
Jayakwadi DamGodavari RiverMaharashtra
Panshet DamAmbi RiverMaharashtra
Mula DamMula RiverMaharashtra
Kolkewadi DamVashishti RiverMaharashtra
Girna DamGirna riverMaharashtra
Vaitarna DamVaitarna riverMaharashtra
Umiam DamUmiam RiverMeghalaya
Khuga damKhuga riverManipur
Tuirial DamTuirial RiverMizoram
Rangit DamRangit RiverSikkim
Radhanagari DamBhogawati RiverTelangana
Manair DamManair RiverTelangana
Nizam Sagar DamManjira RiverTelangana
Singur damManjira RiverTelangana
Gumti DamGumti RiverTripura
Jalaput DamMachkund RiverAndhra Pradesh and Odisha Border
Indravati DamIndravati RiverOdisha
Hirakud DamMahanadi RiverOdisha
Vaigai DamVaigai RiverTamil Nadu
Mettur DamKaveri RiverTamil Nadu
Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar DamRihand RiverUttar Pradesh
Tehri DamBhagirathi RiverUttarakhand
Dhauli Ganga DamDhauli Ganga RiverUttarakhand

FAQ: Dams in India GK questions

Terhi Dam is the largest and highest dam of India.Thisi Dam is located in the state of Uttarakhand. It is built on the Bhagirathi river
Hirakud Dam of Orissa built on the Mahanadi River is the longest dam of India.
Tehri Dam stands tall as one of the highest dams in Asia and the highest dam in India.
Cheruthoni Dam is the smallest dam of India located on the Periyar River.
Kallanai Dam on Kaveri river is the oldest in India. It was built by Karikala cholan of Chola Dynasty in 100 BC –100 AD.
The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in China is the world's biggest hydroelectric facility.

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