Near Rajpipla, 1163 km away up the river from the sea, is Sardar Sarovar dam. At the reception center there is a map and an interpretation center. You can book a guided tour which will take you through six points around the dam site: a garden; the foundational stone laid by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1961; a site with a side view of the flow of the water from the dam; a lake where boating takes place; the first lock gate of the main canal; a trekking site with a nature education camp for students. Near the site is also the Surpaneshwar Shiva temple that the Government had built to replace the original ancient temple that was submerged by the dam. At the foot of the dam is the Kevadia colony, where the employees of the dam live and where there are also places for visitors to stay.
At a height of 128 m and growing, Sardar Sarovar dam is the largest dam on the Narmada. The dam builders state their mission as “harnessing the untapped waters of the Narmada for survival of millions of people and environmental sound sustainable development of the western India by providing the essence of life-Water and Energy.”. The dam provides water for irrigation and drinking water supply, hydropower, and flood protection across the state of Gujarat.
The Narmada river runs through Narmada district, along the border of Vadodara district, and through Bharuch district, emptying near the city of Bharuch into the sea. There are various sites along the way, and therefore various ways to visit the river.
Places to Visit
- Swagat Sthal – Entry passes, media centre with dam model and restaurant.
- Aditeshwar Mahadev temple – and ancient temple of Lord Shiva.
- River view point – The original foundation stone laid by Pandit Nehru offers a beautiful view of river Narmada.
- Shoolpaneshwar temple- ancient temple originally located at village Shoolpaneshwar, now under submergence, has been rebuilt here.
- Model room and Interpretation Centre.
- River bed power house (RBPH) – 1200 MW power house accessible by a 0.83 km tunnel. Visitors are not allowed. Information on the power house available near entry point.
- Dam view point 1 – offers a commanding frontal view of the Sardar Sarovar Dam.
- Dam view point II – offers a close view but entry of vehicles restricted for want of parking space.
- Dam view point III- the original view point with basic information charts and statue of Sardar Patel.
- Way to Canal head power house-the CHPH has started generating power. Visitors not allowed.
- Vadgam Lake (rock filled pond 1)
- Baharphaliya Lake (rock filled pond II)
- Panchmuli Lake (rock filled pond III)
- Khalvani Lake (rock filled pond IV) All lakes are beautiful large water bodies created between the dam and canal head regulator.
- Godbole gate – while operational, it offers a beautiful view of water released back to the river Narmada for downstream ecology.
- Site for tent city
- Head regulator for main canal – the starting point of a 532 Km. long main canal which will flow through Gujarat to Rajasthan.
- Site for trekking and jungle-walking.
How to reach
By road: Bharuch, Rajpipla, Chanod, and Dabhoi are accessible by buses. The Sardar Sarovar dam site can be reached by private vehicle.
By rail: Bharuch is the nearest railway station.
By air: The closest airport is at Vadodara.