Tehri Dam

Tehri Dam

Tehri Dam is the highest dam of India and one of the biggest dams of India. The dam is build across the Bhagirathi river near Tehri, Uttarakhand, India. Tehri Dam used as a reservoir for irrigation, municipal water supply and the generation of 1,000 MW hydroelectricity.

Tehri Dam

Location: Uttarakhand, India
River: Bhagirathi river
Type: Embankment, earth and rock-fill
Height: 260.5 m
Length: 575 m
Total Capacity: 4.0 km3
Power Generation: 1,000 MW

Construction History

Tehri Dam Project’s inspection was completed in 1961 and its design related work was completed in 1972. Initially it was planned with a 600 MW capacity power plant based on the study. Construction of the dam was began in 1978 after feasibility studies but was delayed due to some reasons.

Technical assistance and funding was provided by the USSR, but this was interrupted years due to political instability. Later India was forced to take control of the project from USSR and placed under the direction of the Irrigation Department of Uttar Pradesh.

After few year the Tehri Hydro Development Corporation was formed to manage the dam and 75% of the funding would be provided by the Indian-central government, 25% by the state.

Technical Structure

Tehri Dam has a height of 260.5 m, length of 575 m,crest width of 20 m, and base width of 1,128 m earth-fill embankment dam. The dam has a water reservoir capacity of 4.0 cubic kilometres with a surface area of 52 square km. The installed hydro power generation capacity is 1,000 MW. The lower reservoir for the pumped-storage plant of the dam is created by the Koteshwar Dam’s downstream.

Tehri Dam and Tehri Pumped Storage Hydro-electric Power Plant are part of the Tehri Hydropower Complex. Power generated from the dam is distributed to states like Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Delhi, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Chandigarh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh .

The Dam helps irrigation to an area of 270,000 hectares , irrigation stabilization to an area of 600,000 hectares and a supply 270 million imperial gallons of drinking water per day to Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.


Tehri Dam project has been objected by environmental organisations and local people of the region. Also environmental activist named Sunderlal Bahuguna led the Anti-Tehri Dam movement from 1980s till 2004. The protest was also against the displacement of native people and environmental consequence of the weak ecosystem.

Tehri Dam reduced water flow of bhagirathi river and is central to local protest against the dam, since the Bhagirathi is considered part of the sacred Ganges whose waters are crucial to Hindu beliefs.

Tehri Dam Map

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