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Gandhi Sagar Dam - the 3rd Largest Reservoir in India

Gandhi Sagar Dam, Karanpura Block, Madhya Pradesh 458118

Man-made Structures- Other

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About Gandhi Sagar Dam

The Gandhi Sagar Dam is a multipurpose dam located in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It was constructed between 1955 and 1960, with the main purpose of providing irrigation to the nearby districts. The dam is built on the Chambal River, and its reservoir has a capacity of 7.3 billion cubic meters. In addition to irrigation, the Gandhi Sagar Dam also provides drinking water to approximately 1 million people and generates hydroelectric power.

Things to Do at Gandhi Sagar Dam

One of the largest dams in India, Gandhi Sagar Dam is a popular tourist destination. The dam spans the Chambal River and forms a large artificial lake, offering visitors a chance to enjoy a variety of water sports. Boating, fishing, and swimming are all popular activities. 

The dam is also a well know spot for bird watching. It attracts many migratory and domestic birds throughout the year. The congregation of water birds exceeds 20,000 at some parts of the reservoir, the International BirdLife Agency qualifies it under A4ii criteria.

History of Gandhi Sagar Dam

The Gandhi Sagar Dam is a masonry gravity dam on the Chambal River in Madhya Pradesh, India. The dam forms the Gandhi Sagar Reservoir, which has a live storage capacity of 7.33 billion cubic metres and an extensive irrigation network. The foundation stone of the dam was laid by Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on 1954, and construction of the dam was completed in 1960. It was named after Mahatma Gandhi.

The dam was built as part of the larger Chambal Valley Project, which was designed to promote irrigation and flood control in the region. Between 344 kilometres and 440 kilometres from the Chambal's source is an area of deep gorges, the dam is located in the middle reach of this gorge section. It is 62.17 meters high and 514 meters long.

The project included the construction of three dams (Gandhi Sagar, Rana Pratap Sagar, and Jawahar Sagar) along the Chambal River, as well as a network of canals and dykes. The area was an ideal location to have multiple projects as the river drops 625 meters between its source and in Mhow and the city of Kota, which marks the exit of the river from its gorge section to the plains of Rajasthan. 

Water released from the upstream dam is then used by the lower dam to generate electricity and divert water for irrigation. The large project was developed in three stages by the states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

The reservoir is used primarily for irrigation purposes, but it also provides water for hydroelectric power plants located downstream from the dam. In total, the three dams along the Chambal River generate around 389 megawatts of electricity. 

Best Time to Visit Gandhi Sagar Dam

The best time to visit the Gandhi Sagar Dam is during the monsoon season. During the monsoon season, the dam is filled with water, and the surroundings are lush and green. There is also a chance to see the gates opening up to release the water. However, be sure to pack your rain gear, as the rains can be heavy at times.

Tips for Visiting Gandhi Sagar Dam

  1. During the monsoon months, all 19 gates of the dam open up offering spectacular views for the visitor. This happens generally in August.
  2. In case you are coming to do some fishing at the reservoir, it is prohibited between 16 June and 15 August of every year.

Interesting Facts and Trivias About Gandhi Sagar Dam

  1. The reservoir created by the dam is the third largest in India after the Indiranagar Reservoir and Hirakud Reservoir.
  2. The Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary is in the catchment area of the Gandhi Sagar reservoir. The sanctuary's forested area was once a hunting area of the Holkar royal family of Indore.

How Much Time Did Visitors Spend at Gandhi Sagar Dam

On average, visitors spend about three hours exploring the Gandhi Sagar Dam. It is possible to access the top of the dam, and also to do some boating and bird watching in the reservoir.

How to Reach Gandhi Sagar Dam

From Kota, you can take buses or taxis to the Gandhi Sagar Dam. It is about 100 kilometres by road. Kota is connected to the rest of the country by the national railway lines.

Entrance Fee of Gandhi Sagar Dam

There is no entrance fee for Gandhi Sagar Dam but if you are planning to do boating, the pricing is extra.

Opening Hours of Gandhi Sagar Dam

The dam is open 24 hours a day and the activities in the reservoir close by evening.

Attractions Near Gandhi Sagar Dam

Chand Baori
Chand Baori32.19km from Gandhi Sagar Dam

Chand baori is a stepwell located in the Kota district of Rajasthan. Chand Baori is said to be named after a local ruler called Raja Chanda . However, no epigraphic evidence has been found regarding the construction of the Chand Baori or the adjoining Harshat Mata Temple.

Jawahar Sagar Dam Hydroelectric Power Plant
Jawahar Sagar Dam Hydroelectric Power Plant39.71km from Gandhi Sagar Dam

Jawahar Sagar Dam is the third dam in the series of Chambal Valley Projects on the Chambal river. It is a concrete gravity dam, 45 meters high and 393 meters long, generating 60 MW of power with an installed capacity of 3 units of 33 MW. Its construction was completed in 1972

Mandakini Temple
Mandakini Temple55.6km from Gandhi Sagar Dam

Mandakini temple is a perfect example of the Rajasthan architecture. Main attraction of Bhilwara district.

Morwan Dam
Morwan Dam56.34km from Gandhi Sagar Dam

A huge dam that has been constructed over the river Gambhiri which was mainly used for irrigation and drinking water purpose of this area. Boating facilities are also available near the dam, along with a large garden. A nice place to hang out.

Chambal Garden
Chambal Garden58.25km from Gandhi Sagar Dam

Stroll on the lush green garden or enjoy the view of the shimmering Chambal Lake, this park is a perfect sight for all the nature lovers. Located next to the retreat, Amar Niwas, this place was the royal retreat for all the rulers of Kota.

Kota Barrage
Kota Barrage59.73km from Gandhi Sagar Dam

Kota barrage is the fourth in the series of Chambal valley projects. It was built to store the waters stored by the three previous dams of the project Gandhi Sagar Dam, Jawahar Sagar Dam and Rana Pratap Sagar Dam, and then channelize it to the dry areas of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh for irrigation purposes via canals. At present, it helps in agriculture in around 20,000 acres of land.

Where is Gandhi Sagar Dam

Discover More Attractions in Neemuch, Where Gandhi Sagar Dam Is Located

4 attractions

Neemuch district is one of the 51 districts of Madhya Pradesh state in central India. Asia's largest solar power plant is situated here. It is bordered by Rajasthan state on the west and north, and by Mandsaur district to the east and south.