Prakasam Barrage is built across the Krishna River and is located at the outskirts of Vijayawada in Krishna District. Prakasam Barrage is 1223.5 m long and was completed in the year 1957.
The barrage across the Krishna, first built by "Sir Arthur Cotton" more than a hundred years ago and later reconstructed in the 1950s, had been in a state of disrepair since the construction of the Vijayawada Thermal Power Station (VTPS) in 1979, as water level up to a minimum of 17.42 metres has to be maintained to facilitate the passage of water into the cooling canal which carries water to the thermal plant at Ibrahimpatnam.
As VTPS with a capacity of 1,260 MWs (six units of 210 MWs each) is one of the major sources of power to the power-starved State, the barrage could not be depleted for the past 22 years.
This modern regulator and road bridge stretches across the Krishna River and is named after the first Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Sri Tanguturi Prakasam. Prakasam Barrage is one of the earliest irrigation projects of south India and the scheme has transformed Krishna delta into the granary of Andhra Pradesh.
The impressive structure of the Prakasam Barrage stretches 1223.5 meter long across the Krishna River. The barrage serves also as a road bridge and spans over a panoramic lake. The three canals associated with the barrage, run through the city of Vijayawada criss crossing it and giving it a Venetian appearance.
The idea of constructing a barrage across Krishna dates back to 1798. But it took some shape in the hands of captain Buckle and was revised in 1839 and 1841 by captain Best and captain Lake. After the endorsement of Major Cotton, the board of Directors of East India Company approved it on 5th January 1850. The barrage was started in 1852 and completed in 1855. Later the State Government constructed a new regulator cum-round bridge that was named after Sri Tanguturi Prakasam, the first Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. Completed in 1957 it helps irrigating over 12 lakh (1.2 Million) acres of land. One of the first major irrigation projects of South India, the Prakhasam Barrage in Vijayawada was completely successful in its mission.
Andhra Pradesh largely owes its richness in agriculture to the Prakasam Barrage as the project has helped in the irrigation of huge agricultural lands. The barrage provides gorgeous view with the shimmering lake. The balmy breeze and the placid waters make it one of the major travel attractions in Vijayawada.it is the largest in the asian continent.