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Major Dams in India: Major Dams and Hydropower Projects in India



  • Prelims: Indian Geography


Dams in India

  • India has around 200 hydropower projects. Being a peninsular country, and having a rich network of water basin, India features as the seventh-largest generator of hydroelectricity in the world. In this article, we will discuss some of the important dams in India and their distinctive features.


What is hydroelectric power?

  • Hydroelectric power means the procedure of harnessing electricity through water. It is a process of conserving efficient energy from rapidly flowing water. It is s one of the most established and broadly utilized renewable sources of energy.


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List of major dams and hydropower projects in India


Sl. No. Name State and river Year of establishment Distinctive points
1. Tehri Uttarakhand; on Bhagirathi river 1978 Highest dam in India. Collaboration with USSR.
2. Srisailam Andhra Pradesh; on Krishna river 1960 Second-largest hydropower project in India
3. Bhakra Nangal Dam Himachal Pradesh; on Satluj river 1948 Both Punjab and Haryana use the outflowing water from this dam.
4. Nagarjuna Sagar Dam Andhra Pradesh and Telangana; on Krishna river 1967 World’s largest masonry dam protected with 26 gates
5. Idukki Kerala; on Periyar river 1976 Largest and the most trusted source of electricity in Kerala
6. Sardar Sarovar Dam Gujarat; on Narmada river 1987 largest dam of Narmada Valley Project
7. Shivanasamudra Karnataka; on Kaveri river 1902 first hydropower plant of India
8. Teesta Dam Sikkim; on Teesta river 2003 comprises of 3 turbines for hydropower generation
9. Koyna Maharashtra; on Koyna river 1956 largest hydel power project in India
10. Salal Jammu and Kashmir; on Chenab river 1970 constructed in two stages, stage I and stage II
11. Ranjit Sagar Dam Punjab; on Ravi river 1981 also referred to as the Thein Dam
12. Machkund dam Odisha; on makchund river 1955              —
13. Hirakud Odisha; on Mahanadi river 1957 one of the first major multipurpose river valley projects started after India’s independence.
14. Rangit dam Sikkim; on Ranjit river 2000 Highest dam of Sikkim
15. Bansagar MP; in Sone river 2006              —
16. Indra Sagar dam MP; on Narmada river 2005 It is the largest reservoir in India
17. Mukkombu Dam TN; on Kaveri river 1838 It is the smallest dam in India.
18. Nathpa Jhakri Himachal Pradesh; on Satluj river 1993 Comprises 6 turbines for hydropower generation
19. Omkareshwar Odisha; on Indravati river 1996             —
20. Karcham Wangtoo Himachal Pradesh; on Satluj river 2005             —

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Q. Which is the first hydropower plant of India?

Ans. Shivanasamudra

Q. Which is the first major multipurpose river valley projects started after India’s independence?

Ans. Hirakud dam.

Q. Which is the largest reservoir in India?

Ans. Indra Sagar dam

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