Rivers in Karnataka


There are 7 main river systems in Karnataka, with their tributaries: Godavari, Krishna, Cauvery, North Pennar, South Pennar, Palar, and West Flowing Rivers.

We are lucky to have so many rivers in Karnataka, the state consist of Rivers due to its geographical location, Western Ghats, Coastal Regions, and many other reasons.

Most of the River water is used for drinking purpose, agriculture, Industry and used as a source of hydroelectric power, and are used for transportation in some areas.

Most of the rivers come from the Western Ghats and head towards the east direction of the state. These are some of the largest rivers in the state and flow into the Bay of Bengal. As a result, almost all major rivers in the east are inter-state rivers.

List of Rivers in Karnataka

The rivers are mainly classified into 3 main river basins, such as Krishna basin, Kaveri basin, Godavari basin, and others. Here is the information on the list of rivers in Karnataka:

1. Krishna River

Krishna River, List of Rivers in Karnataka

River Source: Maharashtra.

States Covered: Maharashtra, Karnataka & Andhra Pradesh.

Districts Covered: Ballari, Bijapur, Chitradurga, Gulbarga, Raichur, Kopala, Bagalkot, Gadag, Belgaum and more.

Dams: Almatti & Narayanpura Dam in Bijapur District.

Sub-Tributaries: Bhima, Koyna, Ghataprabha, Malaprabha, Tungabhadra, and Doni.

Total Length: 483 Km.

Size: 1,13,030 Sq Km.

Most of the south part of India depended on the Krishna River for their cultivation, drinking water, and other hydro-projects. Apart from these even many species living in Wild-life Sanctuaries where the water is flown. It has 28 tributaries where Tungabhadra is the largest river.

Continue Reading >> Krishna River

2. Kaveri River

Kaveri River

River Source: Talakaveri in Kodagu, Karnataka.

States Covered: Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Kerala, and Puducherry.

Districts Covered: Kodagu, Mysore, Mandya, Hassan, Chikkamagaluru, and Bengaluru.

Sub-Tributaries: Harangi, Hemavati, Shimsha, Arkavati, Lakshmana Tirtha, Kabini, Bhavani, Amaravati, and Suvarnavathi.

Dams: Krishna Raja Sagara Dam(Mandhya)

Waterfalls: Gaganachukki, Bharachukki, Chunchanakatte, Shivanasamudra, and Hogenakkal Falls.

Meeting Place: Kaveripattinam, Tamilnadu (with River Kaveri).

Total Length: 320 Km.

Size: 36,139 Sq Km.

Kaveri River is one of the 7 major holy rivers of India, a very important river for drinking water, irrigation, hydro-electric power, and agriculture. The rivers flows from western ghats and make the way to the ocean along with many other rivers crossing different states.

Continue Reading >> Kaveri River

3. Ghataprabha River

Ghataprabha River

River Source: Ratnagiri, Maharashtra.

States Covered: Maharashtra, and Karnataka.

Meeting Place: Near Alamatti (with River Krishna)

Districts Covered: Belgaum and Bagalkot.

Sub-Tributaries: Hiranyakeshi and Markandeya.

Dams: Hidkal dam.

Waterfalls: Hidkal Falls.

Total Length: 216 Km.

Size: 8829 sq Km.

Ghataprabha River originates from the Western Ghats and flows towards the east, the Markandeya River is a tributary of the Ghataprabha River. This river is famous for the Godchinamalaki Falls (near Gokak Falls), before reaching its confluence in Gokak. The river also flows with the boundaries of the Ghataprabha bird sanctuary.

Continue Reading >> Ghataprabha River

4. Malaprabha River

Malaprabha River

River Source: Kanakumbi, Khanapura Taluk, Belgaum District, Karnataka.

States Covered: Karnataka.

Districts Covered: Belgaum and Bagalkot.

Meeting Place: Kudala Sangama (with River Krishna)

Sub-Tributaries: Navilatirtha, Benni Halla, Hirehalla River, etc.

Dams: Malaprabha Dam.

Total Length: 304 Km.

Size: 11,540 sq Km.

Malaprabha River from a holy place situated in the Western Ghats, the river flows and joins the Krishna River. The Navilatirtha Dam is the major dam constructed across the river. It has multiple tributaries as mention above.

Continue Reading >> Malaprabha river

5. Bhima River

Bhima River

River Source: Bhima Shankar, Maharashtra.

States Covered: Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana.

Districts Covered: Bijapur, Gulbarga, and Raichur.

Meeting Place: Jaladurga in Maharashtra (with River Krishna)

Sub-Tributaries: Bennithora

Total Length: 298 Km.

Size: 18,315 sq Km.

Bhima River is a tributary of the Krishna River passes through different states and helps farmers in their agricultural land to grow crops. There are many holy places and dams cover on its way covered in detail in a separate article link is given below.

Continue Reading >> Bhima River

6. Tungabhadra River

Tungabhadra River

River Source: Kudli Village, Shimoga District, Karnataka.

States Covered: Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka.

Districts Covered: Shimoga, Haveri, Davanagere, Chitradurga, Chikkamagaluru, Ballari.

Sub-Tributaries: Kumudvathi, Varada, Vedavathi, Swarnamukhi, etc.

Dams: Anjanapura, Tunga, Bhadra, Vani Vilasa.

Meeting Place: Kurnool district, Andra Pradesh(with River Krishna)

Total Length: 483 Km.

Size: 1,13,030 sq Km.

Tungabhadra River flows through southern states and finally joins the Krishna river, the name actually formed with 2 rivers namely, Tunga and Bhadra these both rivers meet at Koodli, Bhadravati. The river passes across many holy places which make it sacred water, people take bath to worship God near the river.

Continue Reading >> Tungabhadra River

7. Doni River

Doni River

River Source: Datta patana, Maharashtra.

States Covered: Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Districts Covered: Belgaum, Bijapur, and Gulbarga.

Waterfalls: Chaya Bhagavathi Falls (122 m height)

Total Length: 176 Km.

Even though the river originate in Maharashtra it flows into North Karnataka regions, this river is not pure and not suitable for agriculture aswell hence it cannot be used for drinking purposes, and faces lot of problems when floods arises. It just flows 150 kms approx but still it damages more in flood situations.

Continue Reading >> Doni River

8. Arkavati River

Arkavati River, List of Rivers in Karnataka

River Source: Nandi Hills of Chikkaballapur district, Karnataka.

States Covered: Karnataka

Districts Covered: Chikkaballapur, Kolar and Bengaluru.

Sub-Tributaries: Kumudavathi, Suvarnamukhi, and Vrishabhavathi.

Meeting Place:  Kanakapura, Ramanagara District (with River Kaveri)

Dams: Arkavathi Dam, Ramanagara.

Total Length: 161 Km.

Size: 4351 sq Km.

Arkavathi River is a tributary of River Kaveri originate in Nandi hills Chikkaballapur and flows towards the surrounding areas of Bengaluru. Previously it was the main source for natives living in this place but because of encroachments by the city, the river dried up in most of the places on its way.

Continue Reading >> Arkavati River

9. Suvarnavathi River

Suvarnavathi River

River Source: Nasurghat Hills, Mysore.

States Covered: Karnataka.

Districts Covered: Chamarajanagar district, Karnataka.

Dams: Suvarnavathi Dam, Chamarajanagar (built between Karnataka and Tamilnadu border)

Total Length: 88 Km.

The Suvarnavathi River that originates from Mysore is one of the southern tributaries of the Kaveri River. This river is also called Honnuhole (Honhole). The river is used for various purposes such as drinking water, agriculture, and many more. People visit Suvarnavathi Reservoir to have a beautiful view as a day trip.

Continue Reading >> Suvarnavathi River

10. Hemavati River

Hemavati River

River Source: Mudigere, Chikkamagaluru district, Karnataka.

States Covered: Karnataka.

Districts Covered: Chikkamagaluru, Mandya, and Hassan.

Sub-Tributaries: Lokapavani River.

Dams: Gorur Dam (Hassan).

Total Length: 245 Km.

Size: 5,419 sq. Km.

Hemavati River is one of the tributaries of the river Kaveri originates in Chikkamagaluru district, a dam is built across the river called “Hemavati Dam” which helps people for their livelihood. There are some tourist attractions near the river such as Shettihalli Rosary Church, Paravasudeva, Yoganarasimha Temple, etc.

Continue Reading >> Hemavati River

11. Harangi River

Harangi River

River Source: Pushpagiri Hills, Kodagu, Karnataka.

States Covered: Karnataka.

Districts Covered: Kodagu and Mysore.

Dams: Hudgur village, Somwarpet taluk, Kodagu district.

Meeting Place: Kudige, Somwarpet taluk (with River Kaveri)

Total Length: 50 Km.

Size: 419.6 sq Km.

Harangi River is one of the tributary of River Kaveri, it originates on Pushpagiri hills in Kodagu district. It is one of the famous tourist spots in monsoon season, people visit to see river flows from the hills. A dam is built across Mysore-Kodagu border that facilitates water for agriculture locally.

Continue Reading >> Harangi River

12. Kabini River

Kabini River

River Source: Pakramthalam hills, Wayanad, Kerala.

States Covered: Kerala and Karnataka.

Districts Covered: Mysore.

Sub Tributories: Taraka,Hebballa, Nugu, and Gundal.

Meeting Place: Tirumakudalu Narasipura (with River Kaveri).

Dams: Kabini Dam, Beechanahalli Village,  Heggadadevankote Taluk, Mysore.

Total Length: 240 km.

Size:  2,141.90 sq Km.

13. Shimsha River

Shimsha River

River Source: Devarayanadurga hill, Tumkur, Karnataka.

States Covered: Karnataka.

Districts Covered: Tumkur, Mandya, and Chamarajanagar.

Meeting Place: Chamarajanagar (with River Kaveri)

Sub Tributaries: Chikkahole, Hebbahalla, Kanihalla, Kanva, Mullahalla, and Veeravaishnavi.

Dams: Markonahalli Dam, Tumkur.

Total Length: 221 Km.

Size: 8469 sq Km.

14. Palar River

Palar River

River Source: Nandhi Hills, Chikkaballapur district, Karnataka.

States Covered: Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.

Districts Covered: Chikkaballapur and Kolar.

Sub Tributaries: Cheyyaru River.

Total Length: 348 Km.

Size: 17,633.19 sq.Km.

15. Kali River

Kali River

River Source: Supa, Uttara Kannada District, Karnataka.

States Covered: Karnataka.

Districts Covered: Uttara Kannada.

Sub-Tributaries: Tattihalli, Pandari, Kaneri, and Madri.

Dams: Supa Dam.

Water Falls: Lalguli Falls, Yelappur Taluk.

Total Length: 184 Km.

Size: 4,297 sq Km.

16. Gangavalli River

Gangavalli River, List of Rivers in Karnataka

River Source: the Western Ghats, south Dharwad, Karnataka.

States Covered: Karnataka.

Districts Covered: Dharwad.

Total Length: 152 Km.

Size: 3,574 sq Km.

17. Sharavati River

Sharavati River

River Source: Ambuthirtha Mountain, Thirthahalli Village, Shimoga, Karnataka.

States Covered: Karnataka.

Districts Covered: Shimoga and Uttara Kannada.

Sub-Tributaries: Haridra, and Yennehole.

Dams: Linganamakki Dam, Sagara Taluk.

Water Falls: Jog Falls (253 m height).

Total Length: 128 Km.

Size: 2,771 sq Km.

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18. Aghanashini River

Aghanashini River, List of Rivers in Karnataka

River Source: Western Ghats, Gadihalli, Sirsi, Uttar Kannada, Karnataka.

States Covered: Karnataka.

Districts Covered: Uttar Kannada District.

Sub-Tributaries: Bakurhole, Chandika hole, Donihalla, Masti mane halla, Benne holé, Badala, Santeguli, Divalli, Hulidevara kodalu and many more..

Total Length: 84 km.

Size: 1,350 sq Km.

19. Netravati River

Netravati River, List of Rivers in Karnataka

River Source: Ballalarayana Durga, Kuderemuka, Chikmagalur District, Karnataka.

States Covered: Karnataka.

Districts Covered: Chikmagalur and Uttara Kannada.

Sub-Tributaries: Charmadi, Shishila, Phalguni, and Kumaradhara.

Dams: Netravati, Dharmasthala

Water Falls: Bandaje falls.

Total Length: 96 Km.

Size: 3,355 sq, Km.

20. Varahi River

Varahi River, List of Rivers in Karnataka

River Source: Kavaledurga, Shimoga district, Karnataka. (also known as Halady or Haladi river)

States Covered: Karnataka.

Districts Covered: Shimoga District.

Water Falls: Kunchikal falls.

Total Length: 66 Km.

Size: 221.38 sq Km.

21. Sita River

Sita River, List of Rivers in Karnataka

River Source: the Western Ghats, near Hebri, Narasimha parvatha, Agumbe, Shivamogga, Karnataka.

States Covered: Karnataka.

Districts Covered: Shivamogga District.

Water Falls: Barkana Falls.

Total Length: 60 Km.

22. Swarna River

Swarna River, List of Rivers in Karnataka

River Source: the Western Ghats, Udupi, Karnataka.

States Covered: Karnataka.

Districts Covered: Udupi District.

Dams: One is at Hiriyadka and another one is at Shiroor.

Total Length: 61.05 Km.

23. Mahadayi River

Mahadayi River, List of Rivers in Karnataka

River Source: Khanpur, Belgaum district, Karnataka.

States Covered: Karnataka, Goa, and Maharashtra.

Districts Covered: Belgaum.

Sub-Tributaries: Kalasa and Banduri.

Total Length: 77 Km.

Size: 2,032 sq Km.

24. Manjira River

Manjira River, List of Rivers in Karnataka

River Source: Balaghat Range Hills, Maharashtra.

States Covered: Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh.

Districts Covered: Bidar District.

Sub-Tributaries: Karanja

Dams: Karanja Dam.

Total Length: 116 Km.

Size: 4,430 sq Km.

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