Hirakud Dam with its deep shimmering blue waters is a huge tourist attraction of Sambalpur and Bargarh Districts. Thousands of tourists visit the dam for picnics during the winter. The edge is studded with forests which provide adequate shade for picnickers. Beware of the deep waters before you board a local boat for a quick ride. Wear a life jacket before you board it.
The Dam is a birder’s paradise and one can see most winter migratory water fowl that visit Odisha during this season. You will not miss the spectacular antics of the Great Crested Grebe who come pretty close to the shore as they swim about with their magnificent crest and dive underwater for their fish feed.
The longest dam in Asia, 4.8km long, built on Mahanadi river. 16km from Sambalpur town. Though one is not allowed to actually go on the dam bridge, one can enjoy the scenic beauty from well chosen high points. Absolutely breathtaking views. Winter and evening times are the best. Lets you spend good 1-2 hours there.
Don’t miss GHANTESWARI temple, located about 15 km from Hirakud dam, amidst thick jungle setting, offering you an unmatched walk on high iron bridges beside Mahanadi river canal.
Combined, the two spots do complete justice if you choose to visit Sambalpur as a 2 day tourist