Hirakud Dam


Hirakud Dam is built across the Mahanadi River, about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from Sambalpur in the state of Odisha in India. Behind the dam extends a lake, Hirakud Reservoir, 55 km (34 mi) long. It is one of the first major multipurpose river valley projects started after India's independence.

Hirakud Dam Orissa, constructed across the Mahanadi River, is one of the world 's longest man-made dams in the world. The dam with the channel has an ideal atmosphere for wildlife and making it an important place of the tourist interest. Located at a distance of 15 kms from the Sambalpur district and at a distance of around 305 km from Bhubaneshwar, Hirakud is a small town which has a major dam which was built during the year 1956. This dam has been the source of tourism in this region since a lot of years, the magnificence of it a reflection of India's fast development process.

Situated near the dam is a hill called Budharaja hill which has a temple at its top, known as Budharaja temple dedicated to Lord Shiva which has stunning views of the dam from atop the hill. Another temple which is a must-visit in Hirakud is the Ghanteshwari Temple which served as a lighthouse for the incoming ships and the bells were used to warn the sailors. Hirakud has its own railway station and trains connect this place to other major parts of the country. One can also take a flight to Bhubaneshwar and then take a cab or a bus to reach here as buses and cabs are also available from other nearby towns and cities.

Hirakud Dam Project is built across river Mahanadi at about 15 Kms. upstream of Sambalpur town in State of Odisha. This happens to be the first post independence major multipurpose river valley project in India. The dam is 6 Kms from NH 6 . The nearest rail head is Hirakud railway station (S.E.R) which is 8 Kms from the dam site. The project provides 1,55,635 Hects of Kharif and 1,08,385 Hects of Rabi irrigation of Sambalpur, Bargarh, Bolangir, and Subarnpur. The water released through power house irrigates further 436000 Hects of CCA in Mahanadi delta. Installed capacity for power generation in 307.5 MW through its two power houses at Burla , at the right bank to and Chiplima , at 22 Kms down stream of dam . Besides the project provides flood protection to 9500 sq Kms of delta area in district of Cuttack and Puri.

Sightseeing in Hirakud Dam


Budharaja Temple, Ghanteswari Temple, Leaning Temple of Lord Shiva are some places of worship one can head to while visiting Hirakud dam. The Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary situated here is visited by a number of tourists each year. You can see a variety of species of migratory birds coming to the reservoir during the winter season here. These are some of the places for sightseeing in the place.

History


After high floods of 1937, Sir M. Visveswararya gave proposal for detailed investigation for storage reservoirs in Mahanadi basin to tackle problem of floods in Mahanadi delta, In 1945, it was decided under the chairmanship of Dr. B.R.Ambedkar, the then Member of Labour in Govt. of India that the potentialities of river Mahanadi should be fruitfully and expenditiously investigated for multipurpose use. Central Water- ways Irrigation and Navigation Commission took up the work. The foundation stone of Hirakud Dam was laid by Sir Howthrone Lewis, the then Governor of Odisha on 15th March 1946. The project report was submitted to Government in June 1947. The first batch of concrete was laid by Pandit Jawaharalal Neheru on 12th April 1948. The project was formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru on 13th, January 1957. Power generation along with supply for irrigation started progressively from 1956 and full potential was achieved by 1966.

Project Features of Hirakud Dam


Hirakud dam is a composite structure of Earth, Concrete and Masonry. The main dam having an overall length of 4.8 K.m. spans between hills Lamdungri on left hand Chandili Dunguri on the right. The Dam is flanked by 21 K.Ms. long earthen dykes both on left and right sites to close the low suddles beyond the abutment hills. It has the distinction of being the longest dam in the world, being 25.8 K.Ms. long with dam and dykes taken together. It has also the rare distinct of forming the biggest artificial lake in Asia with reservoir spread of 743 sq Kms at full reservoir level. Hirakud dam intercepts 83400 sq. km (32200 sq miles) of Mahanadi catchments. The reservoir has a storage of 5818 M. Cum with gross of 8136 M Cum. The Completed Cost of the Project was Rs.100.02 crores (in 1957).

Best time to visit Hirakud Dam


The climate of this place is very extreme, temperature rising to about 40ë?C in summer and descending about as low as 1ë?C in winter. The place receives heavy rainfall during the rainy season. The best time to visit Sambalpur is from September to March as the weather is mostly pleasant during this time. The months of February, November and December are also ideal for travelling to this town.


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