Pong Dam

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Pong Dam Blog Image


Several villages within the Beas River catchment area in Punjab have been submerged following the release of a substantial amount of water from the Pong Dam.

About Pong Dam


  • The Pong Dam, also known as the Beas Dam, is an earth-fill embankment dam on the Beas River in the state of Himachal Pradesh.
  • The purpose of the dam is water storage for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation.
  • The construction of the dam began in the year 1961 and was completed in 1974 and at that time was known as the tallest of its type in the country.
  • The raised water level thus invariably created an artificial lake called the Maharana Pratap Sagar, after the great ruler of Mewar. The lake became a renowned bird sanctuary for birds of numerous species including Bar-headed Goose and the Red-necked Grebe.
  • Features:
    • The Pong Dam is a 133 m tall and 1,951 m long earth-fill embankment dam with a gravel shell. 
    • The dam is 13.72 m wide at its crest, which sits at an elevation of about 435.86 m above sea level.
    • The base of the Pong Dam is about 610 m wide and has a total volume of 35,500,000 metre cube. 


Key Facts about Beas River

  • The Beas River is a river in north India
  • Origin: The River rises 4,361 metres above sea-level on the southern face of Rohtang Pass in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh.
  • Course: It flows for some 470 kilometres to the Sutlej River in the Indian state of Punjab
  • The river was also known as Arjikuja of the Vedas, or Vipasa to the ancient Indians, and the Hyphasis to the Ancient Greeks.
  • Tributaries:
    • The main tributaries are Bain, Banganga, Luni, Uhlal, Awa, Banner, Chakki, Gaj, Harla, Mamuni, Parvati, Patlikuhlal, Sainj, Suketi and Tirthan.
    • The tributaries that branch out in the Northern part are snow fed and hence, perennial.
    • The tributaries down the South are seasonal and get their water from the rains.


Q1) What is an earth-fill embankment dam?

An earth-fill embankment dam, also known simply as an embankment dam or earthen dam, is a type of dam that is constructed primarily using compacted earth and rock materials. It is built by placing layers of earth and compacted soil materials, such as clay, sand, gravel, and sometimes rock, in a specific manner to create a stable and watertight structure.The core of the dam is the central portion that provides the impermeable barrier to prevent water from seeping through the dam. It is often made of fine-grained materials, such as clay or silt, which have low permeability. The outer shell, or outer slopes, are made of coarser materials and provide stability to the dam.

Source: Several villages in Punjab's Hoshiarpur, Rupnagar inundated after water released from Pong, Bhakra dams