The dam, at
741 ft (226 m), is one of the highest gravity dams in the world
(compared to USA's largest Hoover Dam at 743 ft). The 166 km²
Gobindsagar Reservoir, named after Guru Gobind Singh, is created
by this dam which is the third largest reservoir in India the
first being Indira Sagar Dam and second Nagarjunasagar Dam. The
river Satluj used to flow through a narrow gorge between two hills,
Naina Devi ki dhar and Ramgarh ki dhar, and the site was chosen
to dam the river. The map nh-43-03.jpg shows the location of the
original Bhakra village that was submerged in the lake formed
behind the dam.
It is 15 km from Naya (New) Nangal and 20 km from Sh. Naina Devi.
The dam was
part of the larger multipurpose Bhakra Nangal Project whose aims
were to prevent floods in the Sutluj-Beas river valley, to provide
irrigation to adjoining states and to provide hydro-electricity.
It also became a tourist spot for the tourists during later years
because of it huge size and uniqueness.
The dam was
constructed with an aim to provide irrigation to Punjab and Himachal
Pradesh. Another reason behind the construction of the dam was
to prevent damage due to monsoon floods. The dam provides irrigation
to 10 million acres (40,000 km²) of fields in Punjab, Himachal
Pradesh, Haryana, and Rajasthan. It also has four flood gates
to control floods.
Nangal dams house hydroelectric power generators, which are situated
on both the sides of the dams. Nangal hydel Channel and Anandpur
Sahib Channel are used for power generation and irrigation purposes.
Each power plant consists of five turbines. Two power houses with
a total capacity of 1325 MW flank the dam, on either side of the
river. The left power house contains 5 x 108 MW Francis turbines
while the right 5 x 157 MW.
generated at Bhakra Power houses is distributed among partner
states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh
and also supplied to common pool consumers like National Fertilizers
Ltd. and Chandigarh.
Tourist destination and attraction
Second highest dam in India, it attracts a large number of tourists
who visit its reservoir and attractive location. The distance
between the Ganguwal and Bhakra Dam is about 30-35 km.