Krishna River

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This article is about the Indian river. For other uses, see Krishna (disambiguation).
కృష్ణా నది, कृष्णा नधी, ಕೃಷ್ಣಾ ನದಿ
Soutěska řeky Kršny u Šríšajlamu.jpg
Krishna river gorge by Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh, India
Country India
States Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh
 - left Bhima, Dindi, Peddavagu, Halia, Musi, Paleru, Munneru
 - right Venna, Koyna, Panchganga, Dudhaganga, Ghataprabha, Malaprabha, Tungabhadra
Source Near Mahabaleswar, Jor village
 - location Satara district, Maharastra, India
 - elevation 914 m (2,999 ft) Geographic headwaters
 - coordinates 17°59′18.8″N 73°38′16.7″E / 17.988556°N 73.637972°E / 17.988556; 73.637972
Mouth Hamsaladeevi, Krishna district, Andhra pradesh
 - location Bay Of Bengal, India
 - elevation 0 m (0 ft)
 - coordinates 15°44′10.8″N 80°55′12.1″E / 15.736333°N 80.920028°E / 15.736333; 80.920028Coordinates: 15°44′10.8″N 80°55′12.1″E / 15.736333°N 80.920028°E / 15.736333; 80.920028 [1]
Length 1,400 km (870 mi) approx.
Basin 258,948 km2 (99,980 sq mi)
 - average 2,213 m3/s (78,151 cu ft/s) [2]
Discharge elsewhere (average)
 - Vijayawada (1901–1979 average),
max (2009), min (1997)
1,641.74 m3/s (57,978 cu ft/s)
The main rivers of India
A view of Krishna river and surroundings in Vijayawada. The Prakasam Barrage is on the right.
Krishna river near Vijayawada

The Krishna River is the fourth longest river which flows entirely in India, after the Ganges, Godavari and Narmada. The river is almost 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) long.[3] The river is also called Krishnaveni. It is a major source of irrigation for Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana[4] and Andhra Pradesh.


The Krishna river's source is at Mahabaleswar near the Jor village in the extreme north of Wai Taluka, Satara District, Maharashtra in the west and empties into the Bay of Bengal at Hamasaladeevi (near Koduru) in Andhra Pradesh, on the east coast. It flows through the state of Karnataka before entering Telangana State. The delta of this river is one of the most fertile regions in India and was the home to ancient Satavahana and Ikshvaku Sun Dynasty kings. Amaravathi, Capital of Andhra Pradesh (Vijayawada) is the largest city on the River Krishna.

It causes heavy soil erosion during the monsoon season. During this time, the Krishna takes fertile soil from Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana towards the delta region of Andhra Pradesh. It flows fast and furious, often reaching depths of over 75 feet (23 m). Ironically, there is a saying in Marathi (language of Maharashtra) "Santh vaahate Krishnamaai" which means "quiet flows Krishna". This term is used to describe that a person should be as quiet as Krishna.


The largest tributary of the Krishna River is the Tungabhadra with a drainage basin measuring 71,417 km2 running for about 531 km but the longest tributary is the Bhima River which makes a total run of 861 km and has an equally large drainage area of 70,614 km2.

There are four rivers that join the Krishna at a confluence known as Preeti Sangam, or "Lover's Meeting Point" in the Satara District. These are Venna river, Urmodi River, Tarli River and Koyna river.

Three tributaries meet Krishna river near Sangli. These places are very holy. It is said that Lord Dattatreya spent some of his days at Audumber on the banks of river Krishna. Sangameswaram of Kurnool district in Andhra Pradesh is a famous pilgrim center for Hindus where Tungabhadra and Bhavanasi rivers join the Krishna river. The Sangameswaram temple is now drowned in the Srisailam reservoir, and visible for devotees only during summer when the reservoir's water level comes down[5]

Right-bank tributary Town, District, State of confluence Left-Bank Tributary
Venna River Sangam Mauli, Satara, Maharashtra
Urmodi river Kashil, Satara, Maharashtra
Tarali/Kali Ganga river Umbraj, Satara, Maharashtra
Mand river Umbraj, Satara, Maharashtra
Tasawade, Satara, Maharastra Kolamba river
Koyna River Karad, Satara, Maharashtra
Bramhanal, Sangli, Maharashtra Yerla river
Warana River Haripur, Sangli, Maharashtra
Panchganga River Narsobawadi, Sangli, Mahrashtra
Dudhaganga Yadur, Belgaum, Karnataka
Ghataprabha River Almatti, Bagalkot District, Karanataka
Almatti Reservoir
Malaprabha River Kudala Sangam, Bagalkot District, Karanataka
Basava Sagar Reservoir
Ammapur, Kalburgi, Karnataka Doni River
Kadlur, Raichur, Karnataka Bhima River
Jurala Project,Mahaboobnagar, Telangana
Tungabhadra River Alampur, Mahaboobnagar, Telangana
Srisailam Dam Reservoir
Nalgonda, Telangana Dindi River
Nagarjuna Sagar
Nalgonda, Telangana Halia River
Wazirabad, Nalgonda,Telangana Musi River
Paleru, Telangana Paleru River
Mukteswarapuram, Krishna, Andhra Pradesh
Khammam, Telangana Munneru River
Munnaluru, Krishna, Andhra Pradesh


The Krishna River is spanned by several bridges along its course, some of which are listed below.

  • Krishna Bridge, Wai, Maharashtra – This bridge, which is located in the Dharmpuri Peth area of the town of Wai, is one of the oldest bridges that were built by the British in India. It spans the Krishna over nine kamans (arches) and is made of black rock. The bridge serves as a flood mark (when the water rises to the level of the road on the bridge) for the "Waikar" people.
  • Irwin Bridge, Sangli – This is one of the oldest, historic and largest bridges over the Krishna that were built by the British. The Irwin Bridge, which is built of reddish stone, has two passages where one can climb down to the river in the middle of its span to view the water.
  • B. Soundatti Bridge, Raibag – This is also one of the oldest bridges built during the British rule. This bridge connects Maharashtra to Karnataka state.

Places and temples[edit]

Pre Historic sites of Middle Krishna-Tungabhadra Valley in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh

The first holy place on the river Krishna is "Dakshin Kashi Wai", known for the Mahaganpati Mandir and Kashivishweshwar temple. It has seven ghats along the river. Temples like Dattadeva temple, which is revered by the people of Maharashtra, are located on the banks of Krishna at Nrusinha Waadi and Audumbar near Sangli. Also, located on the banks of the river Krishna are the Sangameshwar Shiva temple at Haripur, goddess Durga temple in Vijayawada and Ramling temple near Sangli, as well as, villages such as Jihe.


There are many dams constructed across the Krishna river.

Krishna Basin[edit]

Krishna Basin extends over an area of 258,948 square kilometres (99,980 sq mi) which is nearly 8% of the total geographical area of the country. This large basin lies in the states of Karnataka (113,21 km2), Telangana, Andhra Pradesh (76,252 km2) and Maharashtra (69,425 km2).6

The Krishna river rises in the Western Ghats, at an elevation of about 1337 m just north of Mahabaleshwar, about 64 km from the Arabian Sea. It flows for about 1400 km and outfalls into the Bay of Bengal. The principal tributaries joining Krishna are the Ghataprabha, the Malaprabha, the Bhima, the Tungabhadra and the Musi.

Most of this basin comprises rolling and undulating country, except for the western border, which is formed by an unbroken line of the Western Ghats. The important soil types found in the basin are black soils, red soils, laterite and lateritic soils, alluvium, mixed soils, red and black soils and saline and alkaline soils.

An average annual surface water potential of 78.1 km³ has been assessed in this basin. Out of this, 58.0 km³ is utilisable water. Culturable area in the basin is about 203,000 km2, which is 10.4% of the total culturable area of the country.

Mullayanagiri peak, in Karnataka, is the highest point (1,930 m) of the Krishna basin.


In 2009 October heavy floods occurred, isolating 350 villages and leaving millions homeless,[6] which is believed to be first occurrence in 1000 years. The flood resulted in heavy damage to Kurnool, Mahabubnagar, Guntur, Krishna and Nalagonda Districts. The entire city of Kurnool was immersed in approximately 10 feet (3.0 m) water for nearly 3 days.

Water inflow of 1,110,000 cu ft/s (31,000 m3/s)st was recorded at the Prakasam Barriage, which surpassed the previous record of 1,080,000 cu ft/s (31,000 m3/s)recorded in the year 1903.

Religious significance[edit]

This river is revered by Hindus as sacred. The river is also believed to remove all sins of people by taking a bath in this river. There are many pilgrimage places in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on the course of this river.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Krishna at GEOnet Names Server
  2. ^ Kumar, Rakesh; Singh, R.D.; Sharma, K.D. (2005-09-10). "Water Resources of India" (PDF). Current Science (Bangalore: Current Science Association) 89 (5): 794–811. Retrieved 2013-10-13. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Gazette Notification of commencement, Formation of Telangana" (PDF). Government of India. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  5. ^ Srisailam project manual
  6. ^ "Flooding along the Krishna River: Natural Hazards". Retrieved 11 October 2009. 

External links[edit]

Origin of the Krishna River : Krishna river originates in the western ghats near Mahabaleshwar at an elevation of about 1,300 meter, in the state of Maharashtra in central India. It is one of the longest rivers in India. The Krishna river is around 1,290 km in length. It flows through the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh before merging in the Bay of Bengal at Hamasaladeevi in Andhra Pradesh. The principle tributaries of the Krishna River includes Koyna, Bhima, Mallaprabha, Ghataprabha, Yerla, Warna, Dindi, Musi, Tungabhadra and Dudhganga rivers. The river basin is approximately 200 meter deep. Krishna river is the oldest river in India.

Religious Significance : River Krishna is sacred among the Hindus in India. The river is named on the name of the Lord Krishna. It is believed that by taking the ritual dip in its water can purify all the past sins of the human beings. The river is referred to as the Krishnaveni mata among the Hindus. There are many pilgrimage centers on the banks of the River Krishna including Mallikarjuna temple (Srisailam), Amareshwara Swamy temple (Amaravati), Dattadeva temple, Sangameshwara Shiva temple, Ramling temple and Durga Malleshwara temple (Vijyawada). The center of attraction is the Krishna Pushkaram fair which is held one in twelve years on the banks of the Krishna river.

Flora and Fauna : The wide spread area near to the Krishna river holds the rich flora and fauna. The last surviving Mangrove forests in the Krishna estuary have been declared as the Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary is the home to the large number of resident and migratory birds. Fishing cat, otter, Estuarine crocodile, spotted deer, sambar, black buck, snake, lizards and jackal can also be spotted in the sanctuary. The sanctuary also supports rich vegetation with plants like Rhizophora, Avicennia, and Aegiceros.

Pollution : River Krishna is dying at an increasing rate. The river receives the waste from the large number of cities