The next destination in our list was the Hirakud Dam which holds the credit for being the first successful river valley project of the country after the end of the colonial rule. It is around 15 km away from the northern part of Sambalpur. The Dam is considered to be so huge that it falls in the list of logest dams across the globe.
Being a mechanical engineer, I was extremely excited to explore the different kinds of machines that are being run inside the dam. There is no doubt about the fact that the total dam is a very complex structure constructed over the Mahanadi. It is currently utilized for the usual purposes of flood control and irrigation. We could easily spot lines of earthen dykes on both sides of the dam which has a total length of 4.8 km.
We came to know that the total storage capacity of the dam is around 5818 m3. The dam occupies a total area of 743 sq. km and leads to the formation of an artificial lake which is considered to be in the list of biggest ones in the continent.
There is a 21 km long road running beside the dyke so that you can experience the true madness of a good long drive. One of the most marvellous things about the dam is the presence of a revolving minaret called as the Gandhi Minar over the dam’s top. If you happen to be at the Gandhi Minar in some way or the other, you are bound to get mesmerized with the overall view of the surroundings from a single site.
One of the locals told us that it was built for taking care of the extremely violent Mahandai River. He told us that there were droughts at different parts of the lower basin and floods at different parts of upper plain regions. The construction of the dam took care of this problem as people are now able to control the volume and flow of water. Additionally, the dam generates tons of hydro electricity. It is also one of the best sites for the breeding ground of different forms of tourists.