List of Important River Dams in India PDF for SSC,UPSC

List of Important River Dams in India PDF for SSC, UPSC

In this article, we will provide a list of important river dams in India including PDF for SSC,UPSC and other competitive govt job exams like SBI,IBPS, RRB NTPC, RRB Group D, SEBI, NABARD, LIC etc. Important question on dams are repeatedly asked in General Knowledge sections of the competitive examinations. The pdf file of the list of important river dams in India will be provided at the bottom of the article. Let’s learn.

List of Important River Dams in India PDF for SSC,UPSC


Know Some Basics of Dams

What is the Dam?

A dam is a barrier to store, retain or controls the river water, lake, estuary or underground flow for various purposes such as domestic, industrial and irrigation etc.

Types of Dams
  • According to use dams are three types 
  1. Storage Dams
  2. Diversion Dams
  3. Detention Dams
  • According to materials used dams are classified into two types
  1. Rigid Dams
  2. Non Rigid Dams

Rigid Dams are further classified as 

  • Gravity Dams: Created by concrete or stone masonry and designed to hold back water and resist horizontal pressure of water.
  • Arch Dams: Solid Concrete curved upstream dams.
  • Masonry Dams: Masonry dams are made of masonry or using stone and brick and sometimes combined usage of stones, bricks with mortar. These are the sub category of the gravity or the arch-gravity type dams. 
  • Steel Dams: Made of steels, timber or construction materials.
  • Buttress Dams: The dams are characterized by watertight upstream side and series of the buttress at the downstream side.
  • Earth Dams: Created by a semi-plastic mound of soil, clay, sand, rock etc.
  • Embankment Dams: These type of dams are large artificial dam. Embankment Dams are constructed by the semi-plastic mound of soil, clay, sand or rock. A semi-pervious waterproof natural coat is there over the dam.
  • Barrages: Barrages are special type of diversion dam, containing of a number of large gates to control the flow of river water. Barrages are constructed with an aim to regulate and stabilize river water elevation upstream specially for flood control or innigation purposes.

Difference Between Dam and Reservoir

Dam: The barrier designed to control the flow of water of a river, lake, estuary or underground flow. Dams are used especially for generating hydropower.

Reservoir: Reservoir is an integral part of the dam. Reservoirs are designed for storage purpose according to the functionality of the dam.

Difference Between Dam and Reservoir
Difference Between Dam and Reservoir

Advantages of Dams

  • Dams are created for hydroelectric power generation, industrial water supply, domestic drinking water supply and irrigation purposes.
  • Reservoirs around the dams are used for recreation areas for fishing and boating. Thus it boosts local economical activities.
  • Dams are beneficial in mitigating and controlling floods in the region.

Highest,Longest,Largest Dams

Type Name of the Dam River
Highest Dam in IndiaTehri DamBhagirathi River,Uttarakhand
Highest Dam in the WorldJinping-I DamYalong River,China
Longest Dam in IndiaHirakud DamMahanadi River,Odisha
Longest Dam in the WorldThree Gorges DamYangtze River,China
Largest Dam in IndiaTehri DamBhagirathi River,Uttarakhand
Largest Dam in the WorldKariba Dam( water storage capacity)
Three Gorges Dam(Installed capacity)
Lake Kariba,Zimbabwe
Yangtze River,China

Do You Know?
Hirakund Dam is also longest Earth dam in the world.

Which Dam is the Oldest in India?
Grand Anicut Dam or Kallanai Dam is the oldest dam in India.It was built over Cauvery river in Thanjavur district,Tamil Nadu. 

Which Dam is the Oldest in the world?
Lake Homs Dam over Orontes river in Syria is considered to be the  oldest operational dam in the world right now. The dam was built in between 1319-1304 BCE.

Know About the Largest and Highest Dam in India: Tehri Dam

  • The Tehri Dam is the highest dam in India.
  • The dam is a multi-purpose rock and earth-fill embankment dam. The was built over the Bhagirathi River near Tehri in Uttarakhand, India.
  • A primary industrial assessment and analysis of the Tehri Dam Project were completed in 1961 and the construction design was started in 1978 with a 600 MW capacity power plant after financial, environmental and social impacts.
  • The Tehri Dam comes with a reservoir capacity for irrigation, municipal water supply and the generation of 1,000 megawatts of hydroelectric energy.
  • The project was assisted by technical and financial support from Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1986, but due to geopolitical unrest, the assistance was withdrawn and India finished the project by its own.
  • The dam was constructed under Tehri Hyrdo Development Corporation (THDC), later the hydroelectric project was taken over by NTPC Limited in 2019.
  • The critical concern regarding the dam is that the Tehri dam is located in the Central Himalayan Seismic Gap, which is considered a major geologic fault zone. The site experienced an earthquake in October 1991 of 6.8 magnitudes in the Richter scale.

Know About the Highest Dam in the world: Jinping-I Dam

  • The Jinping-I Dam was built over the Yalong River or Yalong Jiang in Liangshan, Sichuan province, China.
  • Construction on the hydroelectric project started in 2005 and finished by 2014.
  • The hydroelectric power station of the dam has a 3,600 MW capacity to produce 20 TW·h (billion kW·h) per year.
  • The power station has a reservoir of 305-meter-tall arch dam, which is considered as the tallest in the world.
  • The dam was constructed to supply energy for local industries and urban households, improve flood protection, and prevention of soil erosion in the vicinity.

Know About the Longest Dam in India: Hirakud Dam

  • Hirakud is the longest dam in India. The dam was built over Mahanadi river, in the Sambalpur region of Odisha.
  • The Hirakud Dam is also the longest earthen Dam in the world.
  • It was the first major multipurpose river valley project after India became Independent in 1947.
  • The primary objective behind the construction of the project was the prevention of devastating floods in the Mahanadi delta. 
  • The initial assessment and investigation of the project were started in 1945. Then-President of India, Dr B. R. Ambedkar took expeditious efforts to start the construction of the multipurpose Mahanadi Dam which was later known as Hirakund Dam.
  • The project was started under the Central Waterways, Irrigation and Navigation Commission.

Know About the Largest and Longest Dam in the World: Three Gorges Dam

  • Three Gorges Dam over Yangtze River in China is considered as the largest and longest river dam in the world.
  • It is the multi-functional water-control system which was constructed to control the flood in the region.
  • The dam is a 2,310-metre-long and 186-metre-high dam and includes 34  turbo-generators with a combined generating capacity of 22.5 million kilowatts.
  • The dam is so big that the scientists believe that the rotation of the Earth is also affected by a small extent by the pressure on the centre of gravity of the Earth.  
  • The dam started its operation in 2012.
  • The construction of the project was proposed by Sun Yat-sen in 1919

Three Gorges Dam is the largest dam in terms of installed capacity.The dam is the main reason behind the massive flood in China.Read the article listed below to know more.

Know About Bhakra Nangal Dam

  • Bhakra and Nangal are two different dams, located in different locations.
  • Bhakra Dam is a hydroelectric project in India, it is a concrete gravity dam over the Sutlej River in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh
  • Nangal Dam is another dam in Punjab, located at the downstream of Bhakra Dam. Both the dams together are called Bhakra-Nangal Dam.
  • The construction was assisted by Soviet Russia.
  • The project was approved by then-Punjab Revenue Minister Sir Chhotu Ram in 1944.
  • The dams has the installed capacity of 1325 MW.
  • The dam is the second tallest dam in Asia.

Bhakra Nangal Dam location: Punjab-Himachal Pradesh

Bhakra Nangal Dam is built on which river? Sutlej River.

Know About Nagarjuna Sagar Dam

  • Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is a masonry dam over the Krishna River at Nagarjuna Sagar.
  • The dam is located at the border between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
  • The Nizam of Hyderabad proposed the idea of the dam over the Krishna River in the year 1903 to the British engineers.
  • The official construction work was started during the time of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1955.
  • The hydroelectric power plant of the dam has a power generation capacity of 815.6 MW using all its 8 units.

Know About Indirasagar Dam

  • The Indira Sagar Dam is a multipurpose concrete gravity dam in Madhya Pradesh over the Narmada River at the town of Narmada Nagar.
  • The construction work of the dam was proposed during then-prime minister Smt Indira Gandhi in 1984. Then the construction of the dam started in 1992.
  • There are few more important downstream projects over Narmada River like Omkareshwar, Maheshwar, and Sardar Sarovar Project.
  • All these projects were built by displacing a town of 22,000 people and 100 villages.
  • The project was a joint effort of  Madhya Pradesh irrigation department and National Hydroelectric Power Corporation.
  • The dam contains the largest reservoir in India in terms of water storage capacity. The water storage capacity of the reservoir is 12.22 billion cu m or 12,2 km³.

Important River Dams in India

Name of the DamSituation
Somasila DamPennar River,Andhra Pradesh
Srisailam DamKrishna River,Andhra Pradesh
Ukai DamTapti River,Gujarat
Dharoi DamSabarmati River,Gujarat
Sardar Sarovar DamNarmada River,Gujarat
Bhakra Nangal DamSutlej River,Himachal Pradesh
Nathpa Jhakri DamSutlej River,Himachal Pradesh
Pong Dam or Maharana Pratap Sagar DamBeas River,Himachal Pradesh
Bhakra DamSutlej River,Himachal Pradesh
Baglihar DamChenab River,Jammu and Kashmir
Salal DamChenab River,Jammu and Kashmir
Hydroelectric Dam
Indus River,Jammu and Kashmir
Uri Hydroelectric
Jhelum River,Jammu and Kashmir
Maithon DamBarakar River,Jharkhand
Panchet DamDamodar River,Jharkhand
Tunga Bhadra DamTungabhadra River,Karnataka
Alamatti DamKrishna River,Karnataka
Krishna Raja Sagara
Cauvery River,Karnataka
Idukki DamPeriyar River,Kerala
Mullaperiyar DamPeriyar River,Kerala
Neyyar DamNeyyar River,Kerala
Gandhi Sagar DamChambal River,Madhya Pradesh
Indira Sagar DamNarmada River,Madhya Pradesh
Omkareshwar DamNarmada River,Madhya Pradesh
Koyna DamKoyna River,Maharashtra
Jayakwadi DamGodavari River,Maharashtra
Ujani DamBhima River,Maharashtra
Ranjit Sagar Dam or Thein damRavi River,Punjab
Rana Pratap Sagar DamChambal River,Rajasthan
Jawahar Sagar DamChambal River,Rajasthan
Indravati DamIndravati River,Odisha
Hirakud DamMahanadi River,Odisha
Vaigai DamVaigai River,Tamil Nadu
Mettur DamCauvery River,Tamil Nadu
Nagarjuna Sagar DamKrishna River,Telengana
Tehri Dam Bhagirathi River,Uttarakhand
Koteshwar Dam Bhagirathi River,Uttarakhand
Farakka damGanga River,West Bengal

Pakistan has raised objection in Indus Water Treaty violation for hydroelectric projects in Jammu & Kashmir.Read this article to know more about the issue.

Read this article to know more about the historical controversy of Mullaperiyar Dam

Important River Dams of North East States of India

Ranganadi DamArunachal Pradesh
Doyang DamNagaland
Tuirial DamMizoram
Khuga DamManipur
Gumti DamTripura
Rangit DamSikkim
Subansiri DamAssam

The Dam Safety Bill

  • The Government of India has introduced the Dam Safety Bill in 2019 by the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  • As per the 2019 data available,  there are over 290 hydroelectric power projects dams in India which are more than 100 years old.
  • The Dam Safety bill was introduced to look after the safekeeping and maintenance of these age-old dams in India.
  • The bill empowers to set up the National Committee on Dam Safety and National Dam Safety Authority for the purpose of monitoring, inspection, and repair & maintenance of enlisted dams in India.

Also Note

  • Central Dam Safety Organisation: The Central Dam Safety Organisation was established in May 1979 in the context of protection and monitoring the dams in the country. The Central Dam Safety Organisation is operated by the Central Water Commission under the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  • National Centre for Seismology: The National Centre for Seismology is a research cum monitoring centre, which is operated under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences. The main objective of the National Centre for Seismology is earthquake surveillance in the country. This organisation plays an important role in assessing potential earthquake risks and hazards in the dam sites too. The concern is that the many river dams in North India and North-East India are located in severe earthquake zones.

Current Affairs: Important Dams in India and in Foreign country with Indian Assistance

Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Power Plant

  • The Mangdechhu hydroelectric power plant project is the joint venture by the Indian and Bhutan governments.
  • The project cost is around Rs 4500 crore.
  • The hydroelectric power plant has the capacity to generate 720 MW of power.
  • It is a run-of-river system project.

To know What is a run-of-river system, Read the article

  • The dam has been constructed by the Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project Authority (MHPA).
  • The cost of the Mangdechhu hydroelectric project is being funded by India via a 70% loan and a 30% grant.
  • It is to be noted that the energy produced at the Mangdechhu hydropower project will be used to serve the energy demands of Bhutan and the surplus electricity will be exported to India.

Tunga Dam Construction Controversy

  • The Tunga Dam is built over the Tunga River in Karnataka.
  • The water of the Tunga River is considered the sweetest water in the world. The river is originated from the Western Ghats.
  • Tunga and Bhadra rivers combine to form the Tungabhadra river, which is a tributary of the Krishna river.
  • Mandagadde bird sanctuary recently experienced a huge decline in the number of migratory birds. Environmental activists are expecting that these are caused by environmental hazards due to Tunga Dam Construction.

Why is Shahtoot dam in news recently?

  • Minister of External Affairs Shri S Jaishankar has recently announced that India will construct the Shahtoot Dam in Afghanistan.
  • The dam will be built across the Maidan river, a tributary of River Kabul in Afghanistan.
  • The planning and commissioning of the dam across the river began in 2016.
  • The dam will be instrumental in irrigation facilities to about 10,000 hectares of agricultural land.
  • The cost of the project has been estimated at 305 million USD.

Tipaimukh dam and Ithai dam

  • Tipaimukh Dam is a proposed embankment dam over the Barak River in Manipur, India with the aim to control the devastating flood in the region and hydroelectric power generation.
  • National Energy and Electrical Power Company has recently approved the controversial Tipaimukh dam construction. Environmental activists are protesting over the potential negative environmental impacts due to the construction of the dam.
  • The same controversy is with the Ithai dam in Manipur.

Lower Subansiri Dam Controversy

  • The construction of Lower Subansiri dam had started in 2005 with the primary objective to control flood in that region but the work delayed due to protests over its environmental impact.
  • The dam is located in Assam.

List of dams in India with river and state pdf

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The article is written to guide all the candidates who are preparing for Important dams in India GK. The students who are preparing for competitive examinations will definitely find the List of dams in India with river and state pdf very beneficial.

Quiz on Dams in India for Bank, SSC, Railways Examination

Here we are providing important questions on dams and rivers.  Attempt the Quiz on dams in India for self-evaluation and improve your preparation.


Try Quiz on Important River Dams

Indira Sagar Dam is built on which river?
Cheruthoni Dam is built on Cheruthoni river, is situated in which state?
Tehri Dam is built in Uttarakhand on which river?
Which dam is also known as Maharana Pratap Sagar dam?
Lakhwar Dam is built on which river?
Salal Dam is situated on which river?
Mangdechhu hydroelectric power plant is in news, located in which country?
PM Narendra Modi addressed Mangdechhu hydroelectric power plant in Bhutan. The dam has been built on the Mangdechhu river in the Trongsa Dzongkhag district of Bhutan. The Mangdechhu hydroelectric power plant project is Rs 4500 crore.
Kishanganga hydroelectric project is a bone of contention between India and Pakistan, is built on which river?
The recent dispute is triggered regarding the construction of the Kishanganga project on the Neelum river or Kishanganga river in Jammu and Kashmir. It is called Neelam river in Pakistan and Kishanganga in India.
Mullaperiyar dam is located in which state?
  • The Mullaperiyar dam was built on the inter-state Periyar River in Idukki district of Kerala.
  • The dam was built on the confluence of the Mullayar and Periyar rivers.
Etalin hydel project is in news, is located in which state?
Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has cleared the proposed mega hydel power projects (Etalin hydel project) in Arunachal Pradesh. Environmental activists are concern as the biodiversity of Dibru Saikhowa National Park and the chapories (riverine islands) could be affected.



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List of Important River Dams in India PDF for SSC,UPSC

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