“Hirakud“ the name suggests a place of diamonds. If water is diamond, then Hirakud lives up to its name. It is the first multi-purpose hydro project built in India. Located on the river Mahanadi, it is the longest man-made dam in the world. It runs for 25.7 kilometers. Many places are hidden to us. We can’t visit them because they are not highlighted.
Hirakud is one such beautiful place which is underrated. Being the longest dam, you would think it is flocked by people all time of the year. No, Hirakud is a quiet place. Not many tourists visit it. What will I do here? You might ask. For that reason only we have listed some of the activities you can do when you visit Hirakud.
CLIMB ATOP GANDHI MINAR
If you are not afraid of heights, you can climb the spiral staircase of Gandhi Minar. It is located adjacent to Hirakud dam. At the tower, the view is gorgeous. Minar will start rotating if it is not overcrowded with people. You can see the vast body of water submerging nearby mountains.
The artificial lake Tehri is beautiful from here. When you visit it in monsoon, you can see the clouds crawling over water. The monsoon wind will blow over the minaret. And in flood situations the gates of the dam are open. You can see massive crests of water bubbling out of the dam. Watch nature in its untamed glory. Climb and withhold the communion of nature and man. Before heading here remember to book a pass at the counter on your way up.
DRINK FROM LOCAL CAFÉ
Once you have the view of the longest man-made dam, You can come down. The temperature here is always pleasant. A cup of tea sounds heavenly when the river is roaring beside you. Or if you crave something cold too, you can have ice-cream. It is more of a stall rather than a café. Just to add a romantic twist to tea, there are mini huts here. You can seek shelter there if it’s drizzling. Cuddle up with your partner and sip tea. The view of the river from the hut beside the café is lovely.
RIDE ON THE DAM
Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? The thought will cross your mind here. Two minars are at each end of the dam. One is located in Burla, the other in Hirakud. There is a straight road connecting the two minars above Mahanadi. Just standing on the minar you will want to drive on that risky road. An epic ride on longest man-made dam!
But you need a pass to take a ride along that road. Because it is dangerous, it is not frequented and is closed to locals. But if you have planned your trip ahead of time, you might get a pass. “ Water water everywhere not a single drop to drink.” We are quoting Coleridge, as that is how you will feel when you drive above that angry current of water.
RELAX IN THE PARK
When Hirakud was inaugurated in 1957, it was popular. Maybe because it was the longest man-made dam in the world, it was thought to become a tourist attraction. That is why there are some attractions created to lure tourists. Sadly, the number of visitors have decreased. But the park is still beautifully lush. You can walk hand in hand with your partner along plantations. Coconut trees are towering above the garden. The nearby Tehri Lake is also worth a look if you want to have a picnic.
HAVE LUNCH AT HONG KONG
We are not talking about the city! But the restaurant. After your sightseeing, you can head to Sambalpur. It is 15 kilometers from Hirakud. After reaching there in no time have a delicious meal at Hong Kong. It is an exclusive Chinese restaurant. The little red lanterns hanging everywhere give a Chinese feel to it. You should try the momos here. They are lip-smackingly delicious. But if you prefer vegetarian you can order a hot and sour soup. What tastes better than it on a cold day.