|The Tungabhadra River is a sacred river in southern India that flows through the states of Karnataka and part of Andhra Pradesh to merge with the larger Krishna River in Andhra Pradesh.It is the chief tributary of the Krishna River. In the epic Ramayana the Tungabhadra river was known by the name of Pampa (though another river in Kerala now bears the name Pampa.) |
The Tungabhadra River is formed by the confluence of two rivers, the Tunga River and the Bhadra River , which flow down the eastern slope of the Western Ghats in the state of Karnataka.It then takes a northeasterly direction through rugged ridges formed by boulders piled on ancient granite outcroppings over the elevated plateau that dominates peninsular India, the Deccan Plateau. The wilderness is extremely beautiful.
Piles of granite in varying colors of grey, ochre and pink dominate the landscape. The river has cut through weaker rocky substrata of the Hampi landscape and created a narrow gorge where granite hills confine the river in a deep ravine.
In this setting the ruins of Vijayanagara and Hampi, the seat of power of the Vijayanagar empire, overlook this holy river, creating a mythological landscape merging sacred traditions about a multitude of significant divinities.
The granite outcrops slowly disappear as the river flows south and the land opens into a long, broad plain ending at the rising slopes of the Sandur hills, rich in iron and manganese, beyond which is the town of Hosapete. A dam, the Tungabhadra Dam, was constructed at Hosapete in the middle of the 20th century to harness the river water, aiding the growth of agriculture and industry in this region.
The Tungabhadra River then flows east, joining the Krishna in the Andhra Pradesh state. From here the Krishna continues east to empty into the Bay of Bengal. x The wedge of land that lies north of the Tungabhadra River, between the Tungabhadra and the Krishna, is known as the Raichur Doab.
Tungabhadra is a major river in the south Indian peninsula. Hampi is located on the south bank somewhere in the middle of this river’s path. In this area the river takes a number of twists are turns owing to the rocky terrain. The river has immense significance in forming the political & religious history of Hampi. The river along with along with the boulder-strewn hills formed the northern barrier of the capital. It was not easy for an invading army cross the river without the fate of a sure defeat.
The river is in fact formed by the union of two rivers Tunga and Bhadra and hence the name. Both Tunga & Bhadra Rivers are originated on the eastern slops of the Western Ghats. Tungabhadra flows in a more or less northwest direction before joining the eastern river Krishna. The Krishna River finally ends into the Bay of Bengal.
In modern India a huge dam and hydroelectric project is constructed across Tungabhadra (about 20 kilometer southwest of Hampi), curtailing the original vigor of the river in this part.
The Vijayanagara kings took advantage of the river by constructing a host of irrigation canals and aqueducts. A highly networked water supply system fed the manmade water bodies in the urban core of the palace area. Many of the ancient canals are still in use to irrigate the surrounding agriculture fields.