Dharoi Dam is a gravity dam on the Sabarmati, near Dharoi, Satlasana Taluka in Mehsana district, north Gujarat. Constructed in 1978, the dam is meant for irrigation, power generation and flood control.
However, the scenic beauty of the locale coupled with its strategic location (close to Ambaji Temple and Modhera Sun Temple), have long been under-utilised. The vicinity does receive an encouraging footfall, given that within its radius lie the Ambaji Temple, Vadnagar, Polo Forest, Modhera Sun Temple, Siddhpur and Taranga. Also, close-by is Devni Mori, a Buddhist archaeological site in the Aravalli while Siddhpur is known for its distinct Bohri imprint, be it in the monumental mansions made of wood with stuccoed facades or in its trellised balconies and gabled roofs.
All in all, Dharoi’s placement as a tourist-cultural-spiritual hub in North Gujarat, has been disregarded. Locals says lack of lodge and hotels are largely responsible.
Not any longer! The state government plans to package Dharoi Dam as a “world-class tourist destination” in the north Gujarat circuit. At an estimated spend of Rs 1,000 crore, the project will be completed in two phases. The first phase is pegged at Rs 650- 700 crore. After five years, work on the second phase will begin at an estimated Rs 200 crores.
The plan is to construct a riverfront on both banks of the Sabarmati. The promenade will facilitate walks, have a cycling trek and also eateries for tourists. Also lined is a barrage construction, 3.5 km below the Dam for tourists to experience the waterfront. Alongside, an adventure water sports area will be developed for boating, speedboats and other water sports activities.
A grand plan is afoot to erect a 142 m high observation deck with a 360° view. This will be the state’s second tall affair after the Statue of Unity near the Narmada Dam.
A tourism circuit will be developed within a 90-km radius of Dharoi. This would round up places within an hour-and-a-half as a planned day trip. The stops include Balaram-Ambaji Wildlife Sanctuary, Mount Abu, Patan Ranki Vav, Modhera Suryamandir, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Ambaji, Palanpur, Matrugaya Tirth Siddhpur, Taranga Hills, Vadnagar, Mehsana, Vijapur, Mahudi Tirth, and Pohni Morri.
Officials also briefed on the pitch for a world class botanical garden along the Sabarmati. A water-themed gallery will showcase the aqua flora and fauna of the region. Provision is also being made for a large amphitheater, to host laser shows on the history and culture of Mehsana. With a seating capacity of 1,500, the event is expected to be a crowd-puller.
Seems Dharoi is truly set to re-invent itself as a tourist destination. With incentives being doled out for hotels, resorts, caravan parks, camping grounds and guest-houses, the project is all poised to generate mass employment.