Hirakud Dam world’s longest dam is located in Sambalpur in the state of Odisha. 

The Hirakud Dam built on the Mahanadi River is the longest man-made dam in the world and one of India’s first major multipurpose river valley projects. 

The lake of the dam is Hirakud Reservoir, which is also an important tourist attraction. 

A substantial number of migratory birds are here during the winter season.

Hirakud Dam is not only a scenic spot but also an ideal environment that facilitates the flourishing of wildlife. 

During the construction of the dam, some old temples were discovered. 

Tourists can visit these temples by boat in May and June. 

Apart from this, tourists can opt for an exciting activity like scuba diving to explore the waters of Hirakud.

So for essential facts and travel-related information about Hirakud Dam, you must read this article completely 


The dam creates a vast reservoir known as the Hirakud Reservoir or Hirakud Lake, which covers an extensive area and provides water for irrigation to the nearby agricultural lands. The reservoir also supports a variety of flora and fauna and is used for boating and other recreational activities.

Technical details of Hirakud dam


Type of Dam

 The Hirakud Dam is an earthen dam, also known as an embankment dam. It is primarily constructed using earth, rocks, and other natural materials.


 The dam is located on the Mahanadi River in the Sambalpur district of the state of Odisha, India.


The height of the Hirakud Dam is approximately 61 meters (200 feet) from its foundation to the top of the dam structure.


The dam is one of the longest earthen dams in the world, with a total length of approximately 25.8 kilometers (16 miles). It stretches across a vast area of land.

Reservoir Capacity

 The Hirakud Dam creates a massive reservoir known as the Hirakud Reservoir or Hirakud Lake. The reservoir has a storage capacity of about 4.74 billion cubic meters (BCM) of water.


 The dam features a spillway designed to safely release excess water during periods of heavy rainfall or flooding. The spillway helps prevent downstream flooding and controls the water level in the reservoir.

Hydroelectric Power Generation

 Hirakud Dam has several powerhouses with a total installed capacity of over 300 megawatts (MW). These powerhouses utilize the flow of water from the reservoir to generate electricity.

Gandhi Minar and Nehru Minar

 Two prominent observation towers, Gandhi Minar and Nehru Minar, are constructed near the dam. These towers provide panoramic views of the dam and the surrounding area.

Irrigation Canals

 The dam has an extensive network of canals and channels that distribute water for irrigation purposes in the region. These canals have played a crucial role in transforming the agricultural landscape of Odisha.

Flood Control

 One of the key functions of the Hirakud Dam is flood control. It can store excess water during heavy rainfall and release it gradually, helping to mitigate the impact of seasonal monsoon floods in the Mahanadi River basin.



History of Hirakud Dam

The construction of the Hirakud Dam is on the Mahanadi River.

Commence in 1948 and completion in 1953.

Whereas in the year 1957, this dam was fully functional.


Construction history of Hirakud dam


The construction history of the Hirakud Dam is a significant part of India’s post-independence development efforts. Here’s an overview of the construction history of the Hirakud Dam:

Planning and Design (1940s)

The idea for the construction of a dam on the Mahanadi River in Odisha was first conceived in the 1930s. After detailed surveys and studies, the planning for the Hirakud Dam project began in the early 1940s. The primary objectives were to provide irrigation water to the drought-prone areas of Odisha, generate hydroelectric power, and control the annual floods of the Mahanadi River.

Construction Commencement (1948)

The construction of the Hirakud Dam officially started in 1948 under the leadership of Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, one of India’s eminent engineers. The project was managed by the state government of Odisha (then known as Orissa), and it was one of the earliest river valley projects in independent India.

Challenges and Innovations

 The construction of the Hirakud Dam faced several challenges, including the need to divert the Mahanadi River during construction and the sheer scale of the dam. Innovative engineering techniques and materials were employed. The dam is an earthen dam, one of the longest in the world, and was constructed using millions of tons of earth and stone.

Completion (1957)

 The construction of the main dam, spillway, canals, and powerhouses was completed in 1957. The dam stands at a height of 61 meters (200 feet) and has a length of approximately 25.8 kilometers (16 miles). The Hirakud Reservoir, created by the dam, covers a vast area.

Hydroelectric Power Generation

 The project included the installation of hydroelectric power generation units. The dam has several powerhouses, and its total installed capacity is over 300 megawatts (MW). This electricity generation contributes to the region’s power needs.

Irrigation and Agricultural Impact

 One of the primary objectives of the Hirakud Dam was to provide irrigation water to the drought-prone areas of Odisha. The dam’s canals and water distribution network have significantly expanded agricultural productivity in the region, leading to economic development.

Flood Control

 The Hirakud Dam serves as a flood control mechanism by regulating the flow of the Mahanadi River during monsoons. It helps prevent downstream flooding by storing excess water and releasing it gradually.

Tourism and Development

 Over the years, the Hirakud Dam and its reservoir have become popular tourist destinations. The dam and the surrounding area have also witnessed infrastructure development, including the construction of two observation towers, Gandhi Minar and Nehru Minar, which offer panoramic views of the dam and the reservoir.

The Hirakud Dam stands as a symbol of India’s engineering prowess and its commitment to harnessing water resources for economic development and flood control. It has played a crucial role in transforming the agricultural landscape of Odisha and continues to serve the region’s needs for water, power, and flood management.



The Hirakud Dam is a classic example of the country’s engineering brilliance.

Best a composite structure of clay, concrete, and masonry. 

The length of the dam is 4.8 km which is between the two hills of Burla and Hirakud. 

Hirakud reservoir has a coastline of more than 639 km. 

There are two towers on the dam, one on either side.

 One is the “Gandhi Minar” and the other is  “Nehru Minar”.

Both towers offer spectacular views of the lake.

Essential Facts of Hirakud Dam 

Let us tell you that Hirakud Dam has been constructed in 1957 on Mahanadi.

The bulk of this dam contains earth, concrete, and masonry material.

It is sufficient to make a road 8 meters wide and pave it from  Kanyakumari to  Kashmir.

The length of the Hirakud dam is 8 km, due to which 810 crore cubic meters of water are stored.

The dam covers an area of ​​1,33,090 square kilometers, which is twice the area of ​​Sri Lanka.

It generates electricity and irrigates 7,500,000 hectares of land.

The lake of Hirakud Dam is the largest man-made lake in Asia, its purpose is to control floods and generate electricity.

What you can do on Hirakud Dam Tour

If you are going to visit Hirakud Dam, one of the largest dams in India with your family or friends, then you can enjoy various activities on your trip which we are going to tell you about below-

Best picnic spot.

On a visit to Hirakud Dam, one can opt for an exciting activity like scuba diving to explore the waters of Hirakud Lake.

On a trip to Hirakud Dam, you can visit many other attractions of Sambalpur like Huma Temple, Badrama-Sakothi Wildlife Sanctuary, and Devlajhari.

After your visit to the dam, you can indulge in local delicacies at the local eateries in Sambalpur.

Debrigarh wildlife 

Samaleswari Temple 

Huma Temple 


Cattle Island

Cattle Island is a herbal wonder.

It is close to Kumarbandh village of Belpahar-Banharpali.

It may be reached through release from Hirakud Dam.

The island is a submerged hill.

Lost Temples of Hirakud Dam

Perhaps you may be surprised to know that even lost temples can be seen, but this is true.

After the completion of the dam in 1957, the remains of the temples were in and around.

it is in water.

But during the summer, when the water level recedes,  you can see these temples.

These temples catch the attention of many historians and tourists.

Become a popular scuba diving spot.

The interest in finding these lost temples arose when two stones, said to be inscriptions, were discovered at the Padmaseni temple in Padmapur village.

Although about 200 of them were submerged, 150 of them have been destroyed and at present 50 other temples can be seen only during summer.

People suffering from the construction

The initial important motive of the Hirakud Dam is to check the huge floods that have been affecting a massive part of coastal Odisha.

But, the development of the dam substantially affected the natives of the western part of Odisha.

1500000 human beings have been suffering from the Hirakud assignment.

almost 22,000 households have been displaced.

Best Time To Visit Hirakud Dam

The climate of this place is very extreme.

 the temperature drops to around 40 °C in summer and as low as 1 °C in winter.

The region receives heavy rainfall during the monsoon season.

That is why the best time to visit Hirakud Sambalpur is from September to March.

Apart from this, if you want to see Hirakud Dam with full indignation, then you should do Hirakud Dam during the monsoon season.

How To Reach Hirakud Dam

If you are planning to visit Hirakud Dam located in Sambalpur, Odisha state with your friends and wondering how we will reach Hirakud Dam?

So for your information, let us tell you that you can travel to Hirakud Dam by choosing any of the flight, train, or road routes at your convenience.

 By Flight

let us tell you that the nearest airport to Hirakud Dam is Raipur Airport

located at a distance of about 271 from Hirakud Dam.

Traveling to Hirakud Dam by flight can be a bit inconvenient.

But if you are going to travel by flight, then after reaching Raipur airport, you can book a bus or taxi and reach Hirakud Dam.

 By Train

If you have chosen the rail route to visit Hirakud Dam.

the nearest city of Hirakud, Khetrajpur, and Sambalpur.

However, Khetrajpur Railway Station is the main railway station of Sambalpur and most of the trains stop here.

Both railway stations are located a few minutes away from Hirakud Dam.

After reaching the railway station, you can reach your destination with the help of local vehicles.

 By Road

Two bus stands are also present in Sambalpur like two railway stations that connect Sambalpur with many major cities of Odisha through buses.

Apart from this, National Highway 6 connecting Mumbai to Kolkata passes through Sambalpur.

Thus, to travel to Hirakud by road, you can travel by bus, taxi, or your own personal vehicle.

Entry Fee

No entry fee is for Hirakund dam.


As the largest multipurpose river valley project in the world, it is a great gift to the nation.

Overall, the Hirakud Dam is a multifunctional infrastructure project that has played a crucial role in the economic and agricultural development of the region, as well as in managing water resources and mitigating flood risks.


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