Who is the dam?

Definition of dam: A dam is a barrier that prevents water from flowing through and helps to form a reservoir. Due to this, not only does it stop floods, the water stored is also helpful in irrigation, hydroelectricity, supply of drinking water, shipping etc.

Dam Type: 

There are many dams in India, and hence there is a need to know about them as there are questions based on dams of India. Bank exams like IBPS or SBI consist of questions from this section. The types of dams on the basis of structure are as follows:

  • Arch Dam: An arch dam is a concrete dam that is curved upwards in plan. It is designed such that the hydrostatic pressure (the force of the water against it) presses against the arch, causing the arch to straighten slightly and strengthen the structure as it pushes into its foundation or abutment. An arc is best suited for narrow dams.
  • Gravity Dams: Dams constructed from concrete or stone masonry are gravity dams. They are designed to hold back water by using the weight of the material and its resistance against the foundation to resist only the pressure of the water. These are designed in such a way that each section of the dam is stable and independent of the other section.
  • Arch-Gravity Dam: This dam has the characteristics of both an arch dam and a gravity dam. It is a dam that curves upward in a narrow state that directs most of the water pressure to the canyon's rock walls. The inward compression of the dam by the water reduces the lateral (horizontal) force on the dam.
  • Barrage: A barrage is a type of low-head, diversion dam consisting of several large gates that can be opened or closed to control the amount of water flow. This allows the structure to regulate and stabilize the river's water elevation for use in irrigation and other systems.
  • Embankment Dam: An embankment dam is a large artificial dam. It is typically created by the placement and compaction of a complex semi-plastic mound of various compositions of clay, sand, clay or rock. It has a semi-deformable waterproof natural cover to its surface and a dense, impervious core.
  • Rock-fill dams: Rock-fill dams are compact free-draining granular earth embankments with an impenetrable area. The term "rock-fill" earth is often used to mean a high percentage of large particles, hence
  • Concrete-face rock-fill dam: Concrete-face rock-fill dam (CFRD) is a rock-fill dam with concrete slabs on its upper side. This design provides the concrete slab as an impervious wall to prevent leakage
  • Earth-fill dams: Earth-filled dams, also called earthen dams, rolled-earth dams or simply earth dams, are constructed as a simple embankment of well compacted earth. A homogeneous rolled-earth dam is made entirely of one type of material, but may have a conduit lining to collect oyster water.

Advantages of Dam:

Dams and reservoirs contribute significantly in meeting the following human basic needs:-

  • Properly designed and well constructed dams utilize the water stored in the reservoirs to meet the drinking water needs and industrial needs of the people.
  • The excess water during the rainy season from a construction of dams and reservoirs can be used for irrigation on dry land.
  • This type of planning is helpful in preventing terrible danger like flood.
  • The water collected in the dam generates electricity. Energy plays a vital role for the socio-economic development of the country. Hydroelectricity is a cheap, clean and renewable source of energy.
  • Due to the construction of the dam, the surrounding area presents beautiful like a lake, which becomes a source of entertainment. Apart from this, people can also take advantage of boating, swimming, fishing, etc. from the lake.

Damage (losses):

  • Due to the construction of a dam on the river, the flow of water of the river is obstructed.
  • The river branches off the dam, which transfers the vegetation that lives in the water.
  • Vegetation gets submerged in the water bodies formed in the flood plain and the soil gets decomposed.
  • Multipurpose projects and big dams have become the originators of Narmada Bachao Andolan and Tehri Dam Movement as people had to migrate from their homes because of these.
  • Water logging due to dams kills many species of fish, causing loss of aquatic biodiversity.
  • Malaria germs thrive in the stagnant water in the reservoirs of the dams. Which increase the diseases of the people living in the vicinity of the water bodies.
  • Leaves, twigs and animal carcasses in the reservoirs of the dam freeze and rot.
  • They do not get oxygen at the bottom of the pond, due to which methane gas is formed which increases global warming more than carbon dioxide.

Interesting facts about major dams of India:

  • India's tallest and largest Tehri Dam is located in Uttarakhand.
    Tehri Dam is the second highest dam in Asia and the eighth tallest dam in the world.
  • The height of this dam is 857 ft (260.5 m) while its length is 575 m and it generates 2400 MW of electricity.
  • Sardar Sarovar Dam is the largest dam in India and second largest in the world.
  • The Sardar Sarovar Dam located at Dabhoi in Vadodara district in Gujarat has a height of 138.68 meters and a length of 1210 meters.
  • One of the longest dams in the world is Hirakud Dam in Sambalpur, Odisha. The length of this dam built on the Mahanadi in the year 1956 is 26 km, which is the longest in the country and one of the longest dams in the world.
  • Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, built with modern technology, is famous for its strength as well as its grand structure and beauty. This dam built on the Krishna river in
  • Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh is an important source of irrigation for Andhra Pradesh. Nagarjuna Sagar Dam has a height of 124 meters and a length of 1450 meters.

Let us know which dam of India is built on which river and in which state it is located:-

List of biggest dams in India:

Name of dam On which river is it built In which state is it located
Sardar Sarovar Dam Narmada River Vadodara, Gujarat
Tehri Dam Bhagirathi River Pratapnagar, Uttarakhand
Lakhwar Dam Yamuna River Dehradun, Uttarakhand
Idukki (Ab)/Idukki Arch Dam Periyar River Todupulai, Kerala
Bhakra Dam Sutlej River Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh
Pakal Dul Dam Marusudar River Kishtwar, Jammu Kashmir
Sardar Sarovar Gujarat Dam Narmada River Rajpipal, Gujarat
Srisailam Dam Krishna River Nandikotkur, Andhra Pradesh
Ranjit Sagar Dam Ravi River Pathankot, Punjab
Baglihar Dam Chenab River Panacea, Jammu Kashmir
Chemerai Dam Ravi River Bhatiyat, Himachal Pradesh
Cheruthoni Dam Cheruthoni River Todupulai, Kerala
Pang Dam Beas River Gopipur, Himachal Pradesh
Jamarni Dam Gola River Nainital, Uttarakhand
Subansiri Lower Dam Subansiri River Subansiri, Arunachal Pradesh
Ramganga Dam Ramganga River Lansdowne, Uttarakhand
Nagarjuna Sagar Dam Krishna River Gurujala, Andhra Pradesh
Kakki (Ab) Dam Kakki River Queen, Kerala
Nagi Dam Nagi River Jamui, Bihar
Salal (Rockfill & Concrete) Dam Chenab River Gulab Garh, Jammu Kashmir
Lakhya Dam Lakhya Hole River Mudigere, Karnataka
Sholayar Dam Sholayar River Pollachi, Tamil Nadu
Koyna Dam Koyna River Fall, Maharashtra
Idamalayar (Ab) Dam Idamalayar River Devikolam, Kerala
Supa Dam Kali River Supa, Karnataka
Karjan Dam Karjan River Rajpipla, Gujarat
Dharoi Dam Sabarmati River Mehsana, Gujarat
Hirakud Dam Mahanadi Sambalpur, Odisha

What are some important dams in India?

1. Highest Dam in India: Tehri Dam (Uttarakhand)
     1. Height: 260.5 m
     2. Length: 575 meters
     3. River: Bhagirathi River
     4. Location: Uttarakhand
     5. Year of Completion: 2006 (Phase I)
2. Longest Dam in India: Hirakud Dam (Odisha)
     1. Total Length: 25.79 km (16.03 mi)
     2. Length of the main dam: 4.8 km (3.0 mi)
     3. River: Mahanadi
     4. Location: Odisha
     5. Year of Completion: 1953
3. Oldest Dam in India: Kallanai Dam (Tamil Nadu)
     1. River: Kaveri
     2. Location: Tamil Nadu
     3. Year of Completion: 100 BC-100 AD

Now practice related questions and see what you learnt?

Major Dams of India GK Questions and Answers 🔗

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Dam Names FAQs:

The Bhakra Nangal project is the second largest dam in India, with a height of 740 feet. It is situated on the Sutlej River in the state of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.

The Rana Pratap Sagar Dam is located on the Chambal River in Rawatbhata, Rajasthan, it was completed in 1970. It is a gravity masonry dam.

The Farakka Dam was built for the protection of the Kolkata port, in which the Kolkata port was to be freed from silt and the second was to send 40,000 cusecs of water from the Ganges to the Hooghly so that large ships could ply between Kolkata and Farakka in the Hooghly. 109 gates were built in this dam.

The Bhakra Nangal Dam is the world's highest gravity dam located in a seismic zone. This dam is built on the Sutlej River in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh. This dam was till now the second highest dam in India after Tehri Dam.

The Hirakud Dam is built across the Krishna River in Visakhapatnam district, Andhra Pradesh, India. The dam is situated at the border of Visakhapatnam and Guntur districts. The Hirakud Dam controls the Krishna River and serves as an important source of water supply, irrigation and power generation.

  Last update :  Tue 23 Aug 2022
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  Post Category :  Physical Geography of India