Kulekhani traveling for 1’st time

Kulekhani, also known as Indra Sarobar, is a significant reservoir located in Nepal. It plays a vital role in supplying water and hydroelectric power to the region. In this 2000-word article, we will explore the history, geography, importance, and impact of Kulekhani, shedding light on its multifaceted significance.


Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Nepal, It is a name that resonates with both natural beauty and human ingenuity. This serene reservoir, also known as Indra Sarobar, is situated approximately 40 kilometers southwest of Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. Kulekhani is much more than just a picturesque body of water; it is a lifeline for the region, providing essential resources and generating power that fuels Nepal’s development.


Geographical features

It’s geographical features are nothing short of spectacular. It is nestled within the rugged terrain of the Mahabharat Range, which is a sub-range of the Himalayas. The reservoir spans across two major rivers in Nepal: the Indrawati and the Tama Koshi. The confluence of these two rivers forms the foundation of the reservoir.

The surrounding hills and lush forests add to the reservoir’s charm. The altitude of It’s ranges from approximately 1,400 meters to 1,600 meters above sea level. The reservoir itself covers an area of about 7.14 square kilometers when full, making it one of the largest in Nepal.

Historical Significance
The history of Kulekhani is intertwined with Nepal’s quest for energy and water resources. The construction of the Kulekhani Hydropower Plant began in the early 1970s and marked a significant milestone in Nepal’s pursuit of harnessing its hydropower potential. The reservoir was created by building a dam across the confluence of the Indrawati and Tama Koshi rivers.

Kulekhani’s primary purpose was to serve as a reservoir for the Kulekhani Hydropower Plant, which is a major contributor to Nepal’s electricity generation. The hydropower plant has been instrumental in meeting the growing energy demands of the country and reducing its reliance on imported electricity.
Hydropower Generation

One of the most critical aspects of Kulekhani is its role in generating hydropower. The Kulekhani Hydropower Plant is a significant powerhouse that generates electricity through the flow of water from the reservoir. The plant has a total installed capacity of 60 megawatts (MW), making it one of the key players in Nepal’s energy sector.

 Kulekhani River side

The power generated at Kulekhani is transmitted to the national grid, providing electricity to homes, industries, and businesses across Nepal. This has not only improved the quality of life for the Nepalese people but also facilitated economic development and growth.
Water Supply

Besides its contribution to electricity generation, It is also a critical source of drinking water for the Kathmandu Valley. The reservoir stores a substantial volume of water that is channeled through pipelines to meet the water needs of the capital city and its surrounding areas.

Kathmandu, with its rapidly growing population, has faced numerous water supply challenges over the years. It’s role in supplying fresh water to the city has been pivotal in addressing this issue. The clean, clear waters of the reservoir provide a reliable source of drinking water, reducing the burden on other water sources and groundwater reserves.

Environmental Impact

While it has brought substantial benefits to Nepal, its development has not been without its share of environmental challenges. The construction of the reservoir and hydropower plant altered the natural flow of the rivers and disrupted the local ecosystem.

The damming of the rivers created a significant change in the riverine habitat, impacting the flora and fauna in the region. The altered water flow downstream affects aquatic life, and the construction process resulted in deforestation and habitat loss. These environmental consequences have prompted ongoing efforts to mitigate the impact of the reservoir and ensure the sustainability of the ecosystem.

Recreation and Tourism

It’s natural beauty and serene surroundings have also made it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The reservoir and the surrounding hills provide ample opportunities for recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and picnicking. The calm waters of the reservoir offer a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Tourists are drawn to Kulekhani not only for its natural attractions but also for the chance to witness the engineering marvel of the dam and hydropower plant. Guided tours are available for those interested in learning more about the technical aspects of the project.

Challenges and Future Prospects

Despite its many benefits, Kulekhani faces several challenges. The reservoir’s siltation rate is a growing concern, as it reduces the storage capacity over time. Additionally, climate change and erratic rainfall patterns can impact water levels, affecting both electricity generation and water supply.
Efforts are underway to address these challenges and ensure the long-term sustainability of Kulekhani. This includes sediment management strategies, infrastructure maintenance, and the exploration of alternative energy sources to complement hydropower.

Some infromative information of kulekhani

The travel time from Kathmandu to Kulekhani can vary depending on the mode of transportation you choose and the road conditions. It is a popular destination in Nepal known for its reservoir and hydropower project. Here are the details for traveling from Kathmandu to Kulekhani:

By Road (Private Vehicle):

Travel Time: Approximately 2 to 3 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.
Distance: The distance between Kathmandu and Kulekhani is roughly 57 kilometers.
By Public Bus:

Travel Time: It can take 3 to 4 hours or more, as public buses may make multiple stops along the way.

Facilities: Public buses are a budget-friendly option, but the facilities may be basic. Expect crowded seating, no air conditioning, and limited legroom.

By Motorcycle or Scooter:

Travel Time: Similar to private vehicles, it takes around 2 to 3 hours.
Facilities: The facilities depend on the type of motorcycle or scooter you rent. Some may have basic features, while others may offer more comfort.
By Bicycle:

Travel Time: This can take considerably longer, typically around 5 to 6 hours or more, depending on your cycling speed.
Facilities: Limited facilities are available on the route, so make sure to carry sufficient water and snacks.
As for facilities in Kulekhani, here are some of the key attractions and amenities:

Kulekhani Reservoir: The main attraction is the Kulekhani Reservoir, which is surrounded by beautiful hills and offers opportunities for boating and fishing. The reservoir is also used for generating hydroelectricity.

Kulekhani Hydropower Plant: You can visit the Kulekhani Hydropower Plant, which is one of Nepal’s significant hydropower projects. However, access to the plant may be restricted, and guided tours may be required.

Accommodation: There are some guesthouses and resorts in the Kulekhani area where you can stay overnight if you wish to extend your visit. These may offer basic to moderate facilities.

Restaurants: You can find local restaurants and eateries serving Nepali cuisine around Kulekhani. These places may offer traditional Nepali dishes and refreshments.

Restaurants: You can find local restaurants and eateries serving Nepali cuisine around Kulekhani. These places may offer traditional Nepali dishes and refreshments.


Before traveling, it’s a good idea to check the current road conditions, especially during the monsoon season when landslides and road closures are more common. Additionally, be prepared for varying levels of facilities depending on your choice of transportation and accommodation.

A Comprehensive Research Report on Kulekhani Hydropower Plant


Kulekhani Hydropower Plant is a vital component of Nepal’s energy infrastructure, playing a significant role in meeting the country’s electricity demands. Situated in it’s River valley, this hydropower project has a rich history and considerable economic and environmental implications. This research report aims to provide a detailed analysis of it’s Hydropower Plant, encompassing its historical background, technical specifications, environmental impact, economic significance, and future prospects.

I. Historical Background

Kulekhani Hydropower Plant, located in the Makwanpur District of Nepal, has a history dating back to the late 1970s when its construction was initiated. The project’s primary purpose was to harness the hydroelectric potential of the River and contribute to Nepal’s energy self-sufficiency. The project consists of two phases: Kulekhani I and Kulekhani II.

Kulekhani I:

Construction initiated in 1978.
Completed and commissioned in 1982.
Installed capacity: 60 MW.
Utilizes water from the it’s River to generate electricity.

Kulekhani II:

Construction initiated in 1986.
Completed and commissioned in 1989.
Installed capacity: 32 MW.
Receives water discharged from the dam sides

II. Technical Specifications

A. Kulekhani I:

Concrete gravity dam.
Height: 92 meters.
Length: 363 meters.
Area: Approximately 8.8 square kilometers.
Capacity: 43 million cubic meters.
Houses two 30 MW turbines.
Annual generation capacity: Approximately 190 GWh.

B. Kulekhani II:

Concrete gravity dam.
Height: 32 meters.
Length: 285 meters.
Houses two 16 MW turbines.
Annual generation capacity: Approximately 130 GWh.
Water Transfer:
Receives water released from Kulekhani I reservoir through a tunnel.

III. Environmental Impact

Kulekhani Hydropower Plant, like many hydroelectric projects, has both positive and negative environmental impacts:

Positive Impacts:

Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions:

Provides a clean source of energy, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
Reservoir-Based Ecosystem:

The creation of reservoirs has led to the development of aquatic ecosystems, benefiting local biodiversity.
Negative Impacts:

Displacement of Local Communities:

Construction and reservoir creation displaced local communities, leading to social and economic disruptions.
Altered River Flow:

The regulation of river flow affects downstream ecosystems and may have ecological consequences.
Sediment Accumulation:

Reservoirs trap sediment, potentially leading to downstream erosion and reduced water quality.

IV. Economic Significance

Kulekhani Hydropower Plant has several economic implications:

Energy Generation:

Provides a stable source of electricity to meet the country’s growing energy demands.
Revenue Generation:

Contributes significantly to the national revenue through electricity sales.
Job Creation:

Provides employment opportunities during construction and operation phases.
Economic Development:

Enhances regional development by improving infrastructure and access to electricity.

V. Future Prospects

Kulekhani Hydropower Plant continues to play a vital role in Nepal’s energy landscape. Future prospects include:


Potential for expanding capacity through additional turbines or projects in the same river basin.
Environmental Mitigation:

Ongoing efforts to mitigate the project’s environmental impacts and enhance sustainability.

Integration with other renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, to create a more diverse and reliable energy mix.
Regional Cooperation: Collaboration with neighboring countries to enhance cross-border energy trade.


Kulekhani Hydropower Plant stands as a significant achievement in Nepal’s efforts to harness its hydropower potential and meet its energy needs. While it has brought about notable economic benefits, it has also raised environmental and social concerns. The future of the project lies in its ability to balance these aspects, expand capacity, and integrate with other renewable sources to ensure a sustainable and reliable energy supply for Nepal. It continues to be a symbol of the country’s commitment to sustainable energy development.

In conclusion, It is also known as Indra Sarobar, stands as a symbol of Nepal’s pursuit of sustainable development. Its pristine beauty, combined with its vital role in hydropower generation and water supply, makes it a critical asset for the nation. As Nepal continues to grow and develop, It’s importance in meeting energy and water needs remains paramount. With responsible management and conservation efforts, this reservoir will continue to benefit the people of Nepal for generations to come.

Written by

Name : Sandeep Maharjan

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