The Hirakud Dam in Odisha stands in the Sambalpur district across the Mahanadi River. The dam was built in the year 1957 and is the largest earthen dam that exists. It is also a major multipurpose river valley project in India, that was built after India was liberated from the British Rule in the year 1947. The Hirakud is six km from NH and eight km from the Hirakud railway station. It is 61 meters in height and 4801 meters in length, stretching between the hills of Lamdungri in the left and the Chandili Dunguri on the right. The Hirakud is not only the longest earthen dam but also the biggest artificial lake in Asia which has a storage capacity of 743 sq km and a shoreline of over 640 km.
The importance of the Hirakud Dam is that it has facilitated the exploitation of the rich resources of Odisha like iron, coal, manganese, bauxite, chromite and limestone. At present, the Hirakud project has facilitated power supply to an aluminium plant at Hirakud paper mills at Brijrajnagar, cement works at Rajgangpur, iron and steel plant at Rourkela and several other industries in Cuttack, Puri, Sambalpur, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Bolangir and other districts. In the recent years pisiculture has been a growing activity in the areas around the Hirakud project.