What Are the Top 10 Largest Dams in the World?

Dams are believed to be an integral part of our lives and always will be. There are some reasons why provinces and countries fight among themselves over building dams and destroying rivers. Dams have a long history. From the way it was built to how it works, every little thing about it was so interesting! However, the oldest known dam is believed to have been built across the Nile River, Egypt, in 4000 BC, the Kalnai Dam.


1. Tarbella Dam

It is the largest dam in the world by structural size. In 1976, its construction was completed and it contains water from the Indus River (Pakistan). The surface area of the reservoir created by this dam is about 250 square kilometres! This not only makes Tarbela the world’s largest earth-filled dam, but also the world’s fifth-largest dam by volume.


Summer is the best time to visit Tarbela Dam as the water level in the reservoir is rather low in winter due to sedimentation which also affects its age. The expected function of the Tarbella Dam is only until 2060.


2. Fort Peck Dam

The structural size of this dam is 96 square kilometres. Located in Montana, it is the second largest dam in the world and almost the largest dam in the world. It is the largest of six different dams built on the Missouri River. The reservoir is the fifth largest in the United States, Fort Peck Lake, which is man-made and the dam is the tallest in the world.


After seven years of reconstruction and repeated failures, the dam was finally completed in 1940.


3. Ataturk Dam

Apart from being another largest dam around the world, it is also the tallest dam with a height of 166 metres. On the banks of the Euphrates River in Turkey, the Ataturk Dam, built in 1990, has become a major tourist attraction due to its large reservoirs. The best time to visit this dam is from September to October because of the famous water sports festival and the International Atatürk Dam Sailing Competition.


4. The Houtribdijk

It was built in 1968 along the Ijsselmeer and Lake Constance. Houtribdijk is often referred to as “the dam” because of the long highway that runs through the dam. In fact, the locals also called it the “Enkhuizen-Lelystad Dam”.


It belongs to the most beautiful drives, and is a very scenic 27 km long uninterrupted drive. A favorite of the largest dams around the world you have to go with it.


5. The Oahe Dam

In addition to being one of the largest dams in the world, the O’Hay is the second largest dam along the Missouri River. It was 1968 when this dam was built and an artificial reservoir was created which is the fourth largest in the United States: This is Lake Oh. Due to the abundance of biodiversity, this makes the lake a major tourist attraction. The habitat of the pale sturgeon, which is an endangered species, and various types of fish.


6. The Gardiner Dam

The largest worldwide when it comes to dam. It was completed in 1967 to form Lake Diefenbaker. It is named after James G. Gardner, a Canadian federal government minister.


The dam is a popular tourist destination in Canada that is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm and has a luxurious visitor center. While traveling through the dam, you can find many restaurants, souvenir shops, and watch a movie about the history of the dam and how it was built. Gardner Dam is one of the largest and oldest dams in the world. They also offer hiking, camping and picnic facilities in the nearby parks on this larger dam.


7. Jinping

There is debate about the tallest dam in the world. Others believe that it is the Rogan Dam in Tajikistan, which is also listed as the highest dam in the world. However, this is only projected height until 1993 when it was destroyed by floods. After that, it is still in the construction phase. Therefore, the Jinping-I Dam built in 2014, which had the largest number of dams worldwide. With a high arch of 305 meters and a major source of energy for urbanization, industrialization, etc.


The fact that the first Jinping Dam was occupied by seismic cables is what creates the mystery and interest surrounding the dam.


8. The Mangla Dam

This beautiful Mangala Dam is located in the disputed valley of Kashmir, also known as ‘Azad Kashmir’. Completed in 1967 on the Jhelum River. Due to its controversial location, it was not available to visitors until a few years ago. They provide boating and other facilities, Mangala also has a water sports club. People can also plan a day trip to Mangala Dam the drive is really amazing and on the way you can pass by Rohtas Fort on GT road.


9. Oroville Dam

Built in 1968 across Feather River in California. The tallest dam in the USA and forms Lake Oroville as its reservation. It is open daily and has a lot to offer in terms of knowledge and natural beauty. Bald Rock and Father Falls can be accessed around Lake Orwell. Perfect place for a picnic.


10. The Hirakud Dam

Hera Kid Dam was built in 1957 which is 27 km long and is said to be the tallest dam in the world. It is of great historical significance as it is the first multi-purpose river valley project undertaken after the independence of India. Hira Kid Dam is India’s oldest dam.


Built across Odisha and the Mahanadi River, a trip here would not be complete if you did not pass the tallest dam in the world. It is marketed with several shops selling biscuits and crisps within the complex. It has two minarets: Nehru Minar and Gandhi Minar which rotate and provide the best calming sight for the tourists.


It can be visited throughout the year, as each season reveals a different side that will surely fascinate you. In monsoons, the Mahanadi River is at its peak and guarantees a breathtaking view. In winter, migratory birds can be seen flocking to the water body and it has a rich biodiversity: Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary. View of ancient temples flooded during summer rains.


It engages and brings out the history lover in you with over 200 temples that were flooded due to the construction of Hera Kid. Most of them died but there are some that reappeared in the summer season. When the Padmasini temple was discovered, the Archaeological Survey of India became interested. It is believed to belong to the village of Padmapur which was the oldest and most populated place before Hirakad was built.

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