Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, Andhra Pradesh | Dams In India

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Nagarjuna Sagar Dam

In the Andhra Pradesh district of Nalgonda, Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is located. Completed from 1955 to 1967, the dam provided a reservoir of 11.472 billion cubic meters of water with large storage space. The dam is 590 feet (180 m) tall from its deepest foundation and 0.99 miles (1.6 km) long with 26 flood gates which are 42 feet (13 m) wide and 45 feet (14 m) tall.

Initial to reach the green revolution in India, Nagarjuna Sagar was the earliest of a series of major infrastructure projects called ‘ modern temples ‘. It is also one of the first multi-purpose irrigation and hydro-electric schemes in India. In addition to the production of hydro-electric power, the Dam provides water to the districts of Nalgonda, Suryapet, Khammam, East Godavari, and Guntur and Prakasam. The Nagarjuna Sagar dam was designed and constructed to use all the water stored in its 312 TMC reservoir, which is the second-largest reservoir of water in India.

Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh and Nalgonda district, Telangana
16°34′32″N 79°18′42″E
Hydroelectric & Irrigation
Construction began
December 10, 1955
Opening date
Construction cost
132.32 crore rupees
Dam and spillways
Krishna River
124 meters (407 ft) from river level
1,550 metres (5,085 ft)
Nagarjuna Sagar Reservoir
Total capacity
11.56 km3 (9×106 acre⋅ft)
(405 Tmcft)
Active capacity
5.44×109 m3 (4,410,280 acre-ft)
Catchment area
215,000 square kilometres (83,000 sq mi)
Surface area
285 km2 (110 sq mi)
Power Station
Commission date
1 x 110 MW Francis turbine, 7 x 100.8 MW reversible Francis turbines
Installed capacity
816 MW (1,094,000 hp)
nagarjuna sagar dam2


In 1903, the Nizam directed British engineers to conduct the survey of the reservoir on the Krsna River. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, however, launched the building project formally on 10 December 1955, for the next 12 years.

Raja Vasireddy Ramagopala Krishna Maheswara Prasad, popularly known as late Muktyala Raja was instrumental in the construction of the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam via active political lobbying, a donation of 100 million British pounds and 55000 acres of land.

It was at the time the world’s largest masonry dam built fully with local know-how under the competent engineering supervision of Kanuri Lakshmana Rao, then Vijayawada MP (Member of Parliament).

On August 4, 1967, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi release the dam water into the left and right bank canals. It preceded the building of the hydropower facility, which expanded between 1978 and 1985, with additional units being brought into service.


The right canal (Jawahar canal) is 203 km (126 mi) long with a maximum capacity of 311.5 cumecs and irrigates 1,117 million acres (4,520 km2) of land in the districts of Guntur and Prakasam.

The left Canal (Shastri Lalbahadur) is 179 km (111 mi) long and has a capacity of up to 311.5 cumecs, irrigating an area of 1,008 million acres (4,080 km2) in the districts of Nalgonda, Suryapet, Krishna, West Godavari, and Khammam. Fifty-four villages were immersed in water (48 in Nalgonda and 6 in Guntur), affecting 24000 people. The relocation of the people was completed in 2007.

Power generation: The hydropower plant has a capacity for production of 815.6 MW (1×110 MW+7×100.8 MW) with 8 units. The first unit was commissioned on 7 March 1978 and the 8th unit was commissioned on 24 December 1985.

The right canal system has a 90 megawatt (120,000 hp) electric power generation capability with a 30 megawatt (40,000 hp) range of three modules. The left canal plant has a capacity of 60 megawatts with 2 units of up to 30 MW each. The ducting bath is currently being built to utilize 7 x 100.8 MW of pumped storage. 


Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is one of the popular weekend getaways from Hyderabad. Thousands of tourists visit Nagarjuna Sagar when the dam gates are open in monsoon season (around September / October). VIHAR Hotel is one of the best places to stay in Nagarjuna Sagar, operated by Telangana Tourism.

There are several other places around Nagarjuna Sagar that can be visited as a one-day trip from Hyderabad.

  • Nagarjunakonda in Telangana – Has to be reached by a boat from boating point operated by TSTDC
  • Anupu

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