Rivers in India

Tungabhadra River – Major Irrigational River

Tungabhadra River is a major irrigational river the flows through the Indian state of Karnataka, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh before joining River Krishna near Sangameswaram, Kurnool District, Andhra Pradesh and it has a rich history where it was named as River Pampa in the epic book of Ramayan. 

Tungabhadra River Information

  • Name of the river – Tungabhadra
  • Location – Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana
  • Source – Koodli, Bhadravati, Karnataka
  • Length – 531 km
  • Elevation – 610 m
  • Dams – Tungabhadra Dam, Hospet

The Course of the River

Tungabhadra River is two rivers combined namely Tunga and Bhadra which confluences at Koodli and flows eastwards in the state of Karnataka. The two rivers originate in Mudigere Taluk, Chikmagalur district and along with these two rivers, the Netravati river too originates which flows westwards and it joins the Arabian Sea.

The Tunga and Bhadra river originates at Gangamoola in Varaha Parvatha in the Western Ghats and it rises at an elevation point of 1198m. However, these two rivers meet at Koodli, Bhadravati at an elevation of 610m.

After the origin, Tunga river flows through Sringeri Taluk, Thirthahalli Taluk, and Shimoga Taluk and Bhadra river flow through Kudremukh mountain region, Tarikere Taluk and the industrial city of Bhadravathi, More than 100 tributaries, stream, and small water sources contribute to these rivers and the total distance of these separate rivers are different where Tunga flows around 147kms and Bhadra flows around 171kms before they join at Koodli where the river Tungabhadra takes the name.

After its confluence, the mighty Tungabhadra river flows to major parts of Karnataka such as Harapanahalli, Hoovina Hadagali, Hagaribommanahalli, Hospet and Siruguppa Taluks of Bellary district, Honnali and Harihara taluks of Davangere district and in Siruguppa Taluka of Bellary district, it receives its major tributary named Vedavati River which acts as a natural barrier between Bellary and Koppal district.

Later it moves to Andhra Pradesh where it flows through Mantralaya and then through Kurnool where it receives another tributary river named Handri River. And finally, at Alampur Village of Mehboobnagar district of Telangana state, it joins the Krishna River and is one of the holy sites of worship.

Places to Visit

Many holy places particularly belonging to the Shaiva cult are present on the banks of Bhadra river and all cults along the Tunga River. Out of which the famous is Sharada Peetam established by Adi Shankaracharya is on the bank of Tunga River.

Holy place, Mantralaya, Thungabhadra River, Rivers in Karnataka
Holy place

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hampi is located on the banks of Tungabhadra River, Virupaksha Temple, enchangudda, Siruguppa. Manthralayam Sree Raghavendra Swamy Muth, Alampur are all situated along the banks of Tungabhadra River.


Compared to other tributaries, Tungabhadra river has fewer dams and these include

Gajanur Dam, Lakkavali Dam, Tungabhadra Dam which is located at Hospet and is a multi-purpose dam having a capacity of 134Tmcft. The Tungabhadra Dam is near to the heritage site of Hampi and is one of the touristic sites.

Gajanur Dam, Tungabhadra Dam, Rivers of Karnataka, Karnataka Rivers
Gajanur Dam

The Sunkesula Barrage is located near Kurnool City which acted as navigation during British Raj and now it is one of the major water sources for Kurnool and Kadapa districts.

[ Also Checkout: Rivers in Karnataka ]

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