Hirakud is the longest earthen Dam in the world and stands across the mighty river, Mahanadi, in the Sambalpur region of Odisha. It was the first major multipurpose river valley project after India’s Independence in 1947. This human-made structure is located 15 km north of Sambalpur – its majesty only rivaled by the sparkling waters of the river it stands on. With an area of 1,33,090 sq km, the Dam is more than twice the area of Sri Lanka. The main Hirakud Dam has an overall length of 4.8 km (3.0 mi), stretching across the Laxmidungri hills on the left and the Chandili Dunguri hills on the right .
The bulk of Hirakud dam contains earth, concrete and masonry materials sufficient to make a road 8 metres wide and pave it from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and Amritsar to Dibrugarh in Assam. From horizon to horizon the resorvoir forms the largest artificial lake in Asia with an area of 746 Sq.Kms. and a shore line over 640 Kms. A twenty-one Kilometres drive on the dyke offers a unique experience of calm serenity and majesty of nature.