Monday, November 5, 2007

Hirakud Dam

Hirakud Lake..hard to differentiate between water and blue and serene

Road along the Catchment area...just look at the submerged hills in the back ground

After staying overnight at Jharsuguda,we left for Hirakud Dam in the early morning. Hardly 20 minutes drive from Sambalpur is the dam. Since,photography of the dam is not allowed from security point of view,I am posting the pics of the Lake...though its funny,,since Google earth gives a better satelite picture than my camera. 
Just imagine a tourist place on earth where one pass for taking the vehicle upto the dam costs Rs 1...yes 
you read it right...Just Rupees One...
Since,there are lot of techicalities and numbers associated with Hirakud Dam,I am posting some selected text from Wikipedia.

The Hirakud Dam is a composite structure of earth, concrete and masonry. Ten km north of Sambalpur, it is the longest major earthen dam in the world measuring 24km including dykes, standing across the river Mahanadi. The main dam has an overall length of 4.8km spanning between two hills; the Lamdungri on the left and the Chandili Dunguri on the right. The dam is flanked by 21km long earthen dykes on both the left and right sides, closing the low saddles beyond the ajoining hills. The dam and dykes together measure 25.8km. It also forms the biggest artificial lake in Asia, with a reservoir holding 743km² at full capacity with a shoreline of over 640km.

Cattle Island exists in one of the extreme point of Hirakud Reservoir, a natural wonder. It is near Kumarbandh village of Belpahar-Banharpali range which is about 90 km from Sambalpur. By motor launch from Hirakud Dam, it is closer by 10km via the river. The island is nothing but a submerged hill, and prior to Hirakud Dam construction, it was a developed village. Only cattle inhabit the island. During the resettlement period, villagers left some of their cows and bulls behind; when the dam construction was over the cattle settled down on the hill-top. By the passage of time the nearby area filled up with the reservoir water, turning the hill-top to an island. Being away from mankind, the cattle are now wild, very swift and not easily caught. Living on a hilltop with dense forest, they are larger than tame cattle. Almost all are white in colour. Nearby residents attempt to hunt these animals from time to time, but these hunts are rarely successful. Though descended from tame cattle, these animals provide a contrasting picture of this breed of animal returning to life in the wild.

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