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Sardar Sarovar Dam

The Sardar Sarovar Dam, considered to be the lifeline of Gujarat, is built on the Narmada River near Navagam. This is the largest of the 30 dams planned for the river Narmada. With an estimated height of 136.5 m (455 feet), the dam has drawn attention not only from builders but also from environmentalists and social service groups like Narmada Bachao Andolan activists.  This hydraulic engineering project is considered to be the largest water resources project in India which covers four major states i.e., Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan. With a spillway discharging capacity of 30 lakh cusec, the dam will rank as the third in the world.  No wonder, the place is gradually becoming an important tourist destination which deserves a visit once, if you want to experience the vastness of the project as well as the surrounding natural beauty.


The 1312 kilometer journey of Narmada River starts from the Maikal ranges at Amarkantak which is 1057 meter above the sea-level. The river traverses a long route covering three important states of India, i.e. Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, before it joins the Arabian Sea. While MP is benefited by nearly 90% of the flow, Gujarat stands as the second beneficiary. The Sardar Sarovar Dam is approx. 1163km from the river estuary.

The plan to utilize the river for purposes like irrigation, drinking water and power generation was actually initiated in the year 1946. The foundation stone was laid by the then Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on 5th April, 1961. At a later stage, based on updated contour sheets provided by the Survey of India, the idea of raising the height of the dam for optimum utilization was pondered upon.

Controversy Related to the Sardar Sarovar Dam

The Sardar Sarovar Dam project has been marred with controversies from the very beginning.  In an effort to resolve the dispute about sharing river water between the two states of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, the Government of India came up with an expert committee headed by late Dr. Khosla. The committee recommended a higher dam measuring about 152.44m in the year 1965. However, the M.P. Government was not very happy with the decision which resulted in coming up of the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal (NWDT) by the Government of India in October 1969.  The final green signal came from NWDT in December 1979 and hence the construction work started.

The World Bank which was the initial funder withdrew itself from the project in 1994 because of all these controversies.  Mass protests have been organized several times by different NGOs and social service organizations.

Tourists and Dam

In spite of protests and disputes, the dam site has been able to attract considerable number of tourists from within the country and abroad. Of course, lots of credit goes to successful promotional campaigns and road-shows organized by the Gujarat Tourism in different mega cities. This has resulted in heavy tourist flow not only at the site of Sardar Sarovar Dam but also surrounding spots like the hill station of  Saputara. There are few heritage and natural sites with exceptional scenic beauty, like Rajpipla, Champaner and Jambughoda. Being easily accessible from the Kevadia colony these places draw heavy tourists too.

Attractive packages including single day tour to the dam site and adjoining spots are offered within reasonable rates. The package expense includes the bus fare, breakfast and lunch. Special stress is given on weekend packages, considering huge tourist turnout during this time. Apart from emphasizing on promoting tourism, the Gujarat Government has taken every measure to upgrade basic infrastructure and amenities so that tourists don’t face any problem.

By availing of a suitable package, take a tour of beautiful destinations like the Kevadia Colony from where you can experience the splendor of the overflowing dam.  What captivate visitors are the breathtaking scenery, serene ambiance and that overpowering feeling of oneness with the nature. By taking a look at the reservoir and ongoing construction work at the dam site, you get an idea of the enormity of the project. Few other tourist attractions include the Narmada Main Canal head regulator, Godbole gate, Thulpaneswar Temple, Panchvati Garden and Garudeswar. Once you complete the tour, do try out exceptional food delights of Gujarat. There are food-courts near the dam site, dishing out mouthwatering cuisines which you will feel like tasting again and again!

The month long Monsoon Festival held at Saputara specially attracts tourists because of diverse attractions. Experience some adventure with water sports, jungle walk or rock climbing. Exhibitions, cultural activities and dance programs enthrall a large number of visitors. You can make the trip memorable and thrilling with tent stay, offered by the Gujarat Tourism.


You need to cover a distance of 86 km from Vadodara, 190 km from Ahmedabad, 86 km from Ankleshwar and 144 km from Surat to reach the dam site.

Best Season to Visit

Starting of winter, i.e., October and November are best time to plan a visit.

How to Reach

By Air

Vadodara Airport is the closest, at a distance of 91kms.

By Train

The nearest railway station is Bharuch.

By Road

Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) operates bus services from different parts of the state, which takes you up to the Kevadia colony.

You can also hire private car to reach the Sardar Sarovar Dam site. With well-organized parking facilities, it is really no problem to find proper parking at the site.

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Sardar Sarovar Dam
Sardar Sarovar Dam
Sardar Sarovar Dam
Sardar Sarovar Dam
Sardar Sarovar Dam
Sardar Sarovar Dam

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