Pandoh Dam

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Pandoh Dam
View of Spillway of Pando Dam.JPG
Pandoh Dam is located in India
Pandoh Dam
Location of Pandoh Dam in India
LocationMandi district
Coordinates31°40′17″N 77°04′01″E / 31.67139°N 77.06694°E / 31.67139; 77.06694Coordinates: 31°40′17″N 77°04′01″E / 31.67139°N 77.06694°E / 31.67139; 77.06694
Opening date1977
Owner(s)Beas Construction Board
Dam and spillways
Type of damEmbankment
ImpoundsBeas River
Height76 m (249 ft)
Length255 m (837 ft)
Dam volume1,580,000 m3 (2,066,562 cu yd)
Spillway capacity9,939 m3/s (350,992 cu ft/s)
CreatesPandoh Lake
Total capacity41,000,000 m3 (33,239 acre⋅ft)
Surface area1.7 km2 (1 sq mi)[1]
Dehar Power Plant
Coordinates31°24′37″N 76°51′43″E / 31.41018°N 76.86205°E / 31.41018; 76.86205
Commission date1977
Hydraulic head335 m (1,099 ft)
Turbines6 x 165 MW (221,000 hp) Francis-type
Installed capacity990 MW (1,330,000 hp)

The Pandoh Dam is an embankment dam on the Beas River in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, India. Under the Beas Project, the dam was completed in 1977 and its primary purpose is hydroelectric power generation. Part of a run-of-the-river power scheme, it diverts the waters of the Beas to the southwest through a 38 km (24 mi) long system of tunnels and channels. The water is used for power generation at the Dehar Power House before being discharged into the Sutlej River, connecting both rivers. The power house has an installed capacity of 990 MW.[2] The system diverts 256 cumecs (9000 cusecs) of Beas waters to the Satluj River. The project was completed in 1977.[3]


The two major rivers Beas and Satluj flow out of the himalayas and reach a point where they are separated by a crow fly distance of approximately 36 km and have an elevation difference of approximately 1099 ft. The waters of Beas are continuous flow from ice-melt and flow throughout the year. This was realized and a plan made to exploit the potential of this river system. The power potential was estimated as 1,000 MW. The plans originally called Beas Project Unit - I Beas Satluj Link Project went through several revisions for diverting the waters of Beas river. The first plan prepared by Punjab Irrigation Department in 1957.[3] The 1957 plan contemplated a diversion dam at Pandoh, 11.26-kilometre (7.00 mi) tunnel, 19.31-kilometre (12.00 mi) open channel, 4.82-kilometre (3.00 mi) tunnel. The 1957 report was followed by a 1960 report and the final proposal in 1961. The final proposal included 76.25-metre (250.2 ft) diversion dam at Pandoh, a 7.62-metre (25.0 ft) dia, 13.11-kilometre (8.15 mi) Pandoh baggi tunnel, 11.8-kilometre (7.3 mi) Sunder Nagar hydel channel, 8.53-metre (28.0 ft) dia, 12.35-kilometre (7.67 mi) Sundernagar Satluj tunnel, 22.86-metre (75.0 ft) dia 125-metre (410 ft) high surge shaft, three Dehar penstocks split to six penstocks and Dehar power plant with 6 x 165 MW generators. The system would divert 9,000 cubic feet per second (250 m3/s) of the Beas to the Satluj. An added benefit of the project was the increased inflow to Gobind Sagar thereby increasing power generation capacity at Bhakra Dam and added irrigation waters for the states of Punjab and Haryana. The project was approved in 1963 and commissioned in 1977.[3]


Dehar power plant.jpg
Plan view of the project
Plan View showing Beas and Satluj rivers; Pandoh dam, tunnels, hydel channel and power house

The seven components of the Dehar hydroelectric Project for diversion of 9000 cusecs of water and power generation as shown on the figures are:[3]

  1. Pandoh dam - 76.25 m (250 ft) earthen dam
  2. Pandoh Baggi Tunnel - 7.62 m dia, 13.11 km long
  3. Sundernagar Hydel Channel - 11.8 km long open channel
  4. Sundarnagar Dehar Tunnel - 8.53 m dia, 12.53 km long
  5. Surge Shaft - 22.86 m dia x 125 m high
  6. Penstocks - Three 4.877 m split to six 3.353 m
  7. Dehar Power House - 6 × 165 MW

Pandoh Dam[edit]

View of Pandoh Dam from NH-21

The 76 m (249 ft) tall Pandoh Dam is an embankment dam on the Beas River. The dam was commissioned in 1977 and its primary purpose is hydroelectric power generation. Part of a run-of-the-river power scheme, it diverts the waters of the Beas to the southwest through a 38 km (24 mi) long system of tunnels and channels. The water is used for power generation at the Dehar Power House before being discharged into the Satluj River, connecting both rivers.[2]

Pandoh Lake[edit]

View of Pandoh Lake from Chandigarh-Manali NH-21

Pandoh Lake is created by Pandoh Dam and is located about 19 kilometres (12 mi) upstream from Mandi on the River Beas.


Water diverted by the Pandoh Dam is first sent through the 7.62 m diameter, 13.1 km (8 mi) long Pandoh-Baggi tunnel which terminates at the beginning of a 11.8 km (7 mi) long channel.[4] At the end of the channel, the water is stored at the Sundar Nagar Balancing Reservoir at 31°32′05″N 76°53′11″E / 31.53472°N 76.88639°E / 31.53472; 76.88639 (Sundar Nagar Balancing Reservoir). The reservoir has a live capacity of 3,700,000 m3 (3,000 acre⋅ft). From the balancing reservoir, water is again sent south through the 8.53 m dia, 12.38 km (8 mi) long Sundar Nagar Slapper tunnel. The tunnel ends just before the Dehar Power Plant at 31°24′47″N 76°52′06″E / 31.41306°N 76.86833°E / 31.41306; 76.86833 (Dehar Power House). It splits into three 4.877 m dia followed by six 3.353 m dia penstocks before reaching the power house. The 22.86 m dia 125 m tall surge shaft at the end of the tunnel is designed to take any backfow due to sudden shutdown of the power plant and avoid tunnel rupture due to water hammer.

Dehar Power Plant[edit]

The Dehar Power Plant is situated on the banks of the Satluj at the Slapper bridge. Water from penstocks is fed into a six 165 MW Francis turbine-generator and then discharged in the Satluj. The power house has an installed capacity of 990 megawatts (1,330,000 hp).[2] The change in elevation affords a hydraulic head of 335 m (1,099 ft).[5][6]

It is managed by the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB),[7] which is engaged in regulation of the supply of water and power from Bhakra Nangal Dam and Beas Projects to the states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi.

Diverted waters from Beas also increased the generation capacity of the Bhakra Dam downstream of Dehar Power Plant.[3]

Salient features
Turbine Vertical shaft Francis turbine
Total no. of units 6
Capacity of each unit 165 MW
Total installed capacity 990 MW
Speed 300rpm
maximum head 341.4m
minimum head 254.6m
No of pen-stock headers 3
No of penstock branches 6


The Pandoh dam diverts 256 cumecs (9000 cusecs) of Beas to river Satluj.[8] Diversion of the Beas water has done considerable damage to the towns downstream on Beas river and left a trail of misery to Mandi. In winter the river bed almost dries and leaves a deserted look.[9][10]

See also[edit]

  • Pong Dam – located 140 km (87 mi) downstream, the second phase of the Beas Project
  • Bhakra Dam – downstream of Dehar Power Station


Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX
  1. ^ "India: National Register of Large Dams 2009" (PDF). Central Water Commission. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "Dehar Power House". Bhakra Beas Management Board. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e "BBMB - Developmental History of Beas Project". Bhakra Beas Management Board. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Information on some major projects".
  5. ^ Jain, Sharad K.; Agarwal, Pushpendra K.; Singh, Vijay P. (2007). Hydrology and water resources of India. Dordrecht: Springer. p. 493. ISBN 1-4020-5179-4.
  6. ^ "Developmental History of Beas Project". BBMB. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Bhakra Beas Management Board". Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  8. ^ Kaushish, S. P.; Naidu, B. S. K. (1 January 2002). Silting Problems in Hydropower Plants. CRC Press. ISBN 9789058092380.
  9. ^ "The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Himachal Pradesh". Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  10. ^ "The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Himachal Pradesh". Retrieved 3 January 2016.