[Himachal GK] Pong Dam

The Pong Dam, also known as the Beas Dam, is an earth-fill embankment dam on the Beas River just upstream of Talwara in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. The purpose of the dam is

water storage for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation. As the second phase of the Beas Project, construction on the dam began in 1961 and was completed in 1974. At the time of its completion, the Pong Dam was the tallest of its type in India. The lake created by the dam, Maharana Pratap Sagar, became a renowned bird sanctuary.

                                                fig : Pong Dam (courtesy : India-wris)

                                                           fig: Pong Wetland Map

Important Details :

31°58′17″N 75°56′48″E Coordinates: 31°58′17″N 75°56′48″E
Construction began
Opening date
Bhakra Beas Management Board
Dam and spillways
Type of dam
Embankment, earth-fill
Beas River
133 m (436 ft)
1,951 m (6,401 ft)
Elevation at crest
435.86 m (1,430 ft)
Width (crest)
13.72 m (45 ft)
Width (base)
610 m (2,001 ft)
Dam volume
35,500,000 m3(46,432,247 cu yd)
6 x radial gates
Spillway type
Overflow gated chute
Spillway capacity
12,375 m3/s (437,019 cu ft/s)
Maharana Pratap Sagar
Total capacity
8,570,000,000 m3(6,947,812 acre·ft)
Active capacity
7,290,000,000 m3(5,910,099 acre·ft)
Catchment area
12,560 km2(4,849 sq mi)
Surface area
260 km2 (100 sq mi)
Max. length
41.8 km (26 mi)
Normal elevation
426.72 m (1,400 ft)
Power station
Commission date
Hydraulic head
95.1 m (312 ft)
6 x 60 MW Francis-type
Installed capacity
360 MW


The idea for a dam on the Beas at the Pong site was first proposed in 1926 and subsequent surveys of the Indus River and its tributaries were ordered by the Punjab Government in 1927. Interest in the dam declined after the report deemed the project difficult because of flood waters. In 1955, geological and hydrological studies were carried out on the Pong site and an embankment design was recommended. In 1959, extensive studies were carried out and recommended an embankment dam with a gravity section. A final design was issued and construction began in 1961 on the dam which was the second-phase of the Beas Project, the Pandoh Dam 140 km (87 mi) upstream being the first. It was completed in 1974 and the power station was later commissioned between 1978 and 1983. About 150,000 people were displaced by the dam's large reservoir under a poorly planned and executed relocation program.

The Pong Dam is a 133 m (436 ft) tall and 1,951 m (6,401 ft) long earth-fill embankment dam with a gravel shell. It is 13.72 m (45 ft) wide at its crest and 610 m (2,001 ft) wide at its base. The total volume of the dam is 35,500,000 m3 (46,432,247 cu yd) and it its crest sits at an elevation of 435.86 m (1,430 ft) above sea level. The dam's spillway is located on its southern bank and is a chute-type controlled by six radial gates. Its maximum discharge capacity is 12,375 m3/s (437,019 cu ft/s). The reservoir created by the dam, Maharana Pratap Sagar, has a gross capacity of 8,570,000,000 m3 (6,947,812 acre·ft) of which 7,290,000,000 m3(5,910,099 acre·ft) is active (live) capacity. The reservoir has a normal elevation of 426.72 m (1,400 ft) and catchment area of 12,560 km2 (4,849 sq mi). The reservoir reaches from the dam to 41.8 km (26 mi) upstream in length and covers a surface of 260 km2 (100 sq mi). Located at the base of the dam is its power house. It is supplied with water via three penstocks which each meet a 60 MW Francis turbine-generator located inside. The dam's elevation to the power house provides a maximum of 95.1 m (312 ft) in hydraulic head.