Bargi Dam is one of the first completed dams out of the chain of 30 major dams to be constructed on Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh, India. Two major irrigation projects, named Bargi Diversion Project and Rani Avantibai Lodhi Sagar Project, have been developed by Bargi Dam. The Narmada is the largest river in Madhya Pradesh, flowing towards the west and falling in the Arabian Sea. Its total length is 1312 km of which it covers 1072 km in Madhya Pradesh. The Central Water and Power Commission conceptualized the proposal of this dam construction in 1968 envisaging irrigation in 2,980 square kilometres and hydropower generation capacity of 90 MW (2x45 MW). (Source: DPR, Govt of M.P. 1968). Later the Bargi diversion scheme was planned, increasing the total irrigation potential to 4,370 square kilometres. The dam construction work started in 1974 and was completed in 1990 when the dam was filled to its complete capacity. Although the proposed power generation was 105 MW, currently only 90 MW is being generated in this HydroPower Generation Plant. Two independent units of 45 MW each have been set up and they function mainly during the evening peak in demand. A visit to the HydroPower Station, which is located right besides the Dam, is possible with prior written permission from the Dam Authorities.
The height of the dam is 69 m and length 5.4 km. A lake of about 75 km in length and 4.5 km width, spreading over 267.97 km². In Jabalpur, Mandla and Seoni districts is formed when the water is impounded up to the dam FRL of 422.76 m.
Recently, M.P. Tourism has constructed a resort on the far right bank of the Bargi Dam (besides the Right Bank Canal Sluice). The resort, Maikal Resort, is a small hotel mainly including 6 rooms (all air conditioned) and a restaurant. The view from each of these rooms is splendid as each of the rooms overlooks the Dam Water / Reservoir. Besides all these rooms, there is also a cruise in the reservoir water on a boat / cruise liner called as Narmada Queen. Also facilities like Speed Boating, Water Scooters, Paddle Boating, etc. have been provided for the tourists. The main attraction of Bargi Dam and the surrounding area is the calm that the water provides by introducing a soothing feeling in oneself.
Also due to the Dam waters, a number of birds are spotted in and around the Dam area. The main birds spotted are the Crane, Mayna, Pigeons, Parrots and local Sparrows / Black Sparrows. The place is a must visit for any student of the subject of Ornithology.