25 Tallest Dams In The World

Throughout history man has been building dams for various reasons, whether it was to prevent floods, generate electricity, or create a water supply. Starting thousands of years ago in the middle east as small walls, today dams are immensely huge power generation facilities that fulfill a number of tasks and take years to build. So, whether you recognize the impact these architectural wonders have had on your life or not, these are the 25 tallest dams in the world. (courtesy: http://list25.com)

25  Toktogul Dam

A hydroelectric and irrigation dam on the Naryn River in the Jalal-Abad Province of Kyrgyzstan, this dam is the shortest on our list at 215 meters high.

Toktogul Dam

24  Longtan Dam

Longtan DamLongtan Dam is a large roller-compacted concrete gravity dam on the Hongshui River in China. It stands at 216.5 meters.

23  Glen Canyon Dam

Glen Canyon DamNamed for Glen Canyon, a colorful series of gorges most of which now lies under the reservoir, the dam created the second largest artificial lake in the United States.

22 Dworshak Dam

Dworshak DamAt 219 meters, Dworshak is the third tallest dam in the United States and the tallest straight-axis concrete dam in the Western Hemisphere.

21 Contra Dam, Switzerland

Contra DamCommonly known as the Verzasca Dam and the Locarno Dam, the Contra is an arch dam on the Verzasca River in Switzerland.

20  Hoover Dam, Arizona

Hoover DamOnce known as Boulder Dam, the Hoover Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the US states of Arizona and Nevada.

19  Luzzone Dam, Switzerland

Luzzone DamFeaturing the world’s highest artificial climbing wall on one of its sides, this dam stands at 225 meters.

18  Bhakra Dam, India 

Bhakra DamThis is a concrete gravity dam across the Sutlej River near the border between Punjab and Himachal Pradesh in northern India.

17  Karun-4 Dam, Iran

Karun-4 DamAn arch dam on the Karun River in Iran its primary objectives are electric power supply and flood control.

16  Shuibuya Dam, China

Shuibuya DamBuilt not just for power but also to promote flood control, navigation, tourism and fishery, the Shuibuya Dam is 233 meters tall.

15  Chirkey Dam, Russia

Chirkey DamThis arch dam on the Sulak River is the tallest arch dam in Russia at 232.5 meters.

14  El Cajón Dam, Honduras

El Cajón DamOfficially known as Central Hidroeléctrica Francisco Morazán, this dam is a hydroelectric power plant located in Western Honduras.

13  Oroville Dam, California

Oroville DamAt 230 meters high this earthfill embankment dam on the Feather River in California is the tallest in the United States.

12  Ertan Dam, China

Ertan DamThis 240 meter high arch dam can be found on the Yalong River, a tributary of the Yangtze River in Sichuan Province, southwest China

11  Sayano–Shushenskaya Dam, Russia

Sayano–Shushenskaya DamLocated on the Yenisei River, near Sayanogorsk in Russia, this dam is the largest power plant in the country and the sixth-largest hydroelectric plant in the world.

10  Mica Dam, Canada

Mica DamThis 243 meter high dam spans the Colombia River 135 kilometres north of Revelstoke, Canada.

9  Deriner Dam, Turkey

Deriner DamNamed after İbrahim Deriner, who died while serving as the Chief Engineer of its research team, the dam is located on the Çoruh River 3 miles east of Artvin, Turkey.

8  Laxiwa Dam, China

Laxiwa DamThe Laxiwa Dam is a 250 meter high arch dam on the Yellow River in Qinghai Province, northwest China.

7  Mauvoisin Dam, Switzerland

Mauvoisin DamWith Mont Blanc de Cheilon in the background the Mauvoisin Dam creates the Lac de Mauvoisin in the Swiss alps.

6  Tehri Dam, India

Tehri DamThis multi-purpose rock and earth-fill embankment dam on the Bhagirathi River near Tehri in Uttarakhand, India is 261 meters high.

5  Vajont Dam, Italy

Vajont DamA disused dam north of Venice, Italy, in 1963 a landslide caused the overtopping of the dam and around 2,000 deaths.

4  Inguri Dam, Georgia

Inguri DamThis hydroelectric dam on the Inguri River in Georgia is the second highest concrete arch dam in the world.

3  Grande Dixence Dam, Switzerland

Grande Dixence DamA concrete gravity dam on the Dixence River in Switzerland, at 285 meters it is the tallest of its kind in the world.

2  Xiaowan Dam, China

Xiaowan DamAn arch dam on the Lancang (Mekong) River in China, its primary purpose is to provide hydroelectric power.

1  Nurek Dam, Tajikistan

Nurek DamThis earth fill embankment dam on the Vakhsh River in Tajikistan is currently the tallest dam in the world at 300 meters.


The 5 Biggest Dams in India

After independence we have made lots of progress in Dam and water reservoirs, Now India is one of the world’s most prolific dam-builders. Around 4300 large dams already constructed and many more in the pipeline, Almost half of which are more than twenty  years old. These dams are major attraction of tourists from all over India.

Some facts about the Indian dams are:

  • Tehri Dam is the eighth highest dam in the world.
  • The Idukki dam is the first Indian arch dam in Periyar River Kerala and the largest arch dam in Asia.
  • The Grand Anicut, Kallanai, located on Holy Cavery River in Tamil Nadu, is the oldest dam in the world.
  • Indira Sagar Dam is the Largest Reservoir in India. These dams with the channel provides an ideal environment for wildlife.

Tehri Dam -Uttaranchal

Tehri Dam

Tehri Dam located on the Bhagirathi River, Uttaranchal Now become Uttarakhand. Tehri Dam is the highest dam in India,With a height of 261 meters and the eighth tallest dam in the world. The high rock and earth-fill embankment dam first phase was completed in 2006 and other two phases are under construction. The Dam water reservoir use for irrigation, municipal water supply and the generation of 1,000 MW of hydroelectricity.

  • Height: 260 meters
  • Length: 575 meters
  • Type: Earth and rock-fill
  • Reservoir Capacity: 2,100,000 acre·ft
  • River: Bhagirathi River
  • Location: Uttarakhand
  • Installed capacity: 1,000 MW

Bhakra Nangal Dam -Himachal Pradesh


Bhakra Nangal Dam is a gravity dam across the Sutlej river Himachal Pradesh. Bhakra Nangal is the largest dam in India, with a height of 225 meters and second largest Dam in Asia. Its reservoir, known as the “Gobind Sagar Lake” it is the second largest reservoir in India, the first being Indira Sagar dam.

  • Height: 226 meters
  • Length: 520 meters
  • Type: Concrete gravity
  • Reservoir Capacity: 7,501,775 acre·ft
  • River: Sutlej River
  • Location: Punjab and Himachal Pradesh
  • Installed capacity: 1325 MW

Hirakud Dam -Orissa


Hirakud dam built across the Mahanadi River in tribal state Orissa. Hirakud Dam is one of the longest dams in the world about 26 km in length. There are two observation towers on the dam one is “Gandhi Minar” and another one is “Nehru Minar”. The Hirakud Reservoir is 55 km long used as multipurpose scheme intended for flood control, irrigation and power generation. It was one of the major multipurpose river valley project after Independence.

  • Height: 60.96  meters
  • Length: 25.8 km
  • Type: Composite Dam
  • Reservoir Capacity: 4,779,965 acre·ft
  • River: Mahanadi River
  • Location: Orissa
  • Installed capacity: 307.5 MW

NagarjunaSagar Dam -Andhra Pradesh


Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is the world’s largest masonry dam with a height of 124 meters, built across Krishna River in Andhra Pradesh. Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is certainly the pride of India-considered the largest man-made lake in the world. The 1.6 km long with 26 gates dam was symbol of modern India’s architectural and technological triumphs over nature.

  • Height: 124 meters
  • Length:1,450 meters
  • Type: Masonry Dam
  • Reservoir Capacity: 9,371,845 acre·ft
  • River: Krishna River
  • Location: Andhra Pradesh
  • Installed capacity: 816 MW

Sardar Sarovar Dam -Gujarat


Sardar Sarovar Dam also known as “Narmada Dam” is the largest dam to be built, with a height of 163 meters, over the Sacred Narmada River in Gujarat. Drought prone areas of Kutch and Saurashtra will get irrigate by this project. The gravity dam is the largest dam of Narmada Valley Project with power facilities up to 200 MW. The dam is meant to benefit the 4 major states of India Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

  • Height: 163 meters
  • Length:1,210 meters
  • Type: Gravity Dam
  • Reservoir Capacity: 7,701,775 acre·ft
  • River: Narmada River
  • Location: Gujarat
  • Installed capacity: 1,450 MW