Shanti Sagara

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Shanti Sagara
Shanti Sagara
Shanti Sagara in 2010
Location Channagiri, Karnataka, South India
Coordinates 14°7′48″N 75°54′17″E / 14.13000°N 75.90472°E / 14.13000; 75.90472Coordinates: 14°7′48″N 75°54′17″E / 14.13000°N 75.90472°E / 14.13000; 75.90472
Type reservoir
Primary inflows Haridra, Controlled Bhadra Dam's right bank canal
Primary outflows Sidda canal, Basava canal
Catchment area 329.75 km2 (127.32 sq mi)
Basin countries India
Max. length 8.1 km (5.0 mi)
Max. width 4.6 km (2.9 mi)
Surface area 2,651 ha (27 km2)
Average depth 10 ft (3 m)
Max. depth 27 ft (8 m)
Shore length1 30 km (19 mi)
Surface elevation 612 m (2,008 ft)
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Shanthi Sagara (Kannada: ಶಾಂತಿ ಸಾಗರ), also called Sulekere (Kannada: ಸೂಳೆಕೆರೆ) Asia’s second largest irrigation tank. It is located in Kerebilchi of Channagiri taluk[1] of Davanagere in Karnataka, India.

Importance of the Lake[edit]

Shanti Sagara tank, created by an embankment with sluice outlets, built in 1128, the tank has a history of 800 years. It took three years to construct the massive tank. The tank, which has a water spread of 6,550 acres (2,651 ha), has a circumference of 30 km (19 mi). It has a total drainage basin of 81,483 acres (32,975 ha). It irrigates 4,700 acres (1,900 ha) of land and more than 50 villages are benefited by it.[2]

The tank receives the drainage of twenty square miles. All of the drainage pours into the gorge where it is built (the main stream bearing the name of Haridra, a tributary of the Tungabhadra). The embankment is constructed between two hills, and embankment is of no great length; it is around 950 ft (290 m), but it is of stupendous width (Max 120 ft (37 m),min 70 ft (21 m)), height and strength, though not quite straight. The main road connecting between channagiri and Davanagere pass through on this embankment. It has resisted successfully the floods of centuries, but owing to the great pressure of the volume of the water in tank.[3]

It has two sluices. That to the north is called the "Sidda", and that to the south the "Basava". Notwithstanding the damaged state of the sluices and the great force of the water when escaping through them, the embankment has always remained firm and uninjured, a satisfactory proof of the solidity of the structure.[4]

If required (as during drought) the tank can be fed by surplus water from Bhadra Dam's right bank canal.


The name is derived from "Sule" courtesan and "kere" tank. Sulekere renamed to Shathi Sagara, where "shanthi" is the first name of princess Shantava, who constructed this tank. "Sagara" means Ocean, as this tank is one of biggest tanks in Asia, so the tank is compared to an ocean.


The construction of the tank is assigned to 11th or 12th century, and remains are pointed out, said have belonged to Svargavathi, the city was submerged, its king Vikrama raaya, who had no children, adopted the son of gowda of Billahalli. This youth received name of Ragi raaya. But a daughter was subsequently born to the king in reward for his devotion to shiva. She was called Shantava, who having formed a connection with some divinity, built, as an expiatory act, the tank, which submerged the town of her father, who cursed her as a prostitute, so the name "Sulekere".[5]

There is stone to be dated shaka 1311, in the tank.[6]

History also has it that the Lt. General Sir Richard Hieram Sankey, Chief Engineer of Mysore state, once commented during 1856, that the region (where Sulekere once was) was not ideal for the construction of a tank, but was still built all thanks to the engineering expertise of people of those times. It is indeed remarkable, he commented.[7]

Sulekere Tank, taken in the 1890s by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'

Sulekere tank, 40 mi (64 km) round, which receives all the streams from the south, and from which Haridra issues to the north. The south and west are crossed by lines of hills, as it mentioned in The Imperial Gazetteer of India in 1903-4.[8]

On 22 September 1952 an adult Eel (Anguilla bengalensis) measuring 44 ft (13 m) was found in a drag net in the Sulekere reservoir. After the construction of Tungabhadra dam, the migration of the eel from sea to the upper reaches of the Thungrabhadra is prevented, on 17 April 1955.[9]

Drinking Water Supply System[edit]

Drinking water is supplied from Shanthi Sagara to Chitradurga, Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board (KUWS&DB) has funded 80 crore to this project.[10]

Presently, Chitradurga city is getting 30 million litres of water a day from the Shanti Sagara Water Supply System.[11]


Its one of the best picnic spot in Davanagere district. Recently a guesthouse has been built near the tank, the aim of the project would be to attract foreign tourists. Facilities for boating and allied activities would also be provided soon.[12]


An aqueduct designed by Sir M Vishweshwariah which is almost parallel to this embankment, which will carry Bhadra Dam's right bank canal from one hill to another. The length of aqueduct is around 0.5 km (0.31 mi), width is around 17 ft (5.2 m). This setup is unique where same two hills are used for embankment for tank and be pillars to pass a canal. This place is beautifully captured in Ninne Preetisuve Kannada film song.

Shanthi Sagara is at 40 km (25 mi) doddaghatta Davanagere, and 21 km (13 mi) from Channagiri

Siddeshwara Temple[edit]

View from Siddeshwara main doorway

To the north of the embankment of the Sulekere tank is a small hillock on which is situated the temple of Siddeshwara which is approached through a stone gateway supported on either side by a two-handed dvarapala, having a mace in one of his hands.[13]

The temple has numerous features, for example the pillars, the stepped tower, etc., which preserve the Hoysala Empire tradition on granite. But the style is not of Hoysala Empire. An inscription placed near the main doorway bears the date S 1468 or 1546 AD. On the deepastambha is the standing image of a bhakta having the look of a Vijayanagara Empire period image. It may well be surmised that the temple belongs to the early Vijayanagar Empire period when perhaps the Hoysala Empire tradition was yet lingering.[14]

To the south-west of the main temple is the shrine of the goddess Durga having a garbhagriha and a porch of rude Dravidian pillars. The doorway is in imitation of Hoysala Empire type. The image however is s rude relieve of Kapalika form with two hands, the right holding a padma, and left a kapala. On the pedestal are carved the figures of two lions with that of an elephant between them.[15]

On the bund of the Sulekere, around 10,000 assemble for the Siddesvara rathothsava, held for 3 days in February.[16]

A large festival is held at the temple at the time of Maha Shivaratri.

Fish Seed Production[edit]

There is a Fish seed Production Farm of the Department of Fisheries, Government of Karnataka, located below the tank which has an area of 4.15 ha (10.3 acres). Majority of the ponds in the farm are in dilapidated condition and are weed infested. Very few ponds, presently, are in use. There are about 400 fishermen actively engaged in fishing throughout the year.

The lake is surrounded Kerebilchi village from three sides of village. Kerebilchi is also the main village which is full connected with this lake ( kerebilch, Kere= lake, Bilchi= Name of Fish which is inside this lake) The present fish production is estimated to be 140 million tonnes valued at 35.00 lakhs at 25/- per kg. The fishermen land their fish catches at Hosahalli (more than 100 fisher man live over there), Ittige, Somalapura, Kerebilchi, Kagathur, Basavarajapura and embankment site. The average fish catch per day ranges from 150 – 400 kg, the peak fish production is being during the monsoon months. The indigenous fish fauna account to 20% only. The average annual fish catch for a fishing unit works-out to about 3.5 million tonnes. The fish harvested, to an extent of 20% is sold locally and rest is supplied to fish merchants which they normally market at Davanagere, Harihar,Nallur, Channagiri and Santhebennur. The fish is transported in baskets / gunny bags without ice. The fisher women are generally engaged in the marketing of fish locally.

Nowadays there is no population. shanthi sagar is very beautiful place a very big village is in the side of shanthi sagar that's called kerebilchi nearly 20 thousand of population of this village.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jal effect swells Sulekere, Asia’s second largest tank DNA- Diligent Media Corporation Ltd
  2. ^ A lake with a history of 800 years... The Hindu - Online edition of India's National Newspaper
  3. ^ Mysore: a gazetteer compiled for government, Vol 2 Page No. 482 Google Books Online
  4. ^ Mysore: a gazetteer compiled for government, Vol 2 Page No. 482 Google Books Online
  5. ^ Mysore: a gazetteer compiled for government, Vol 2 Page No. 481 Google Books Online
  6. ^ Mysore: a gazetteer compiled for government, Vol 2 Page No. 482 Google Books Online
  7. ^ Sulekere in Davangere district has the distinction of being Asia’s second largest tank. The Hindu - Online edition of India's National Newspaper
  8. ^ Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 10, p. 173. Website of Digital South Asia Library
  9. ^ Environmental Information System Centere for ecological sciences Indian institute of science (IISc) Bangalore
  10. ^ Shanthi Sagara water for Chitradurga The Hindu - Online edition of India's National Newspaper
  11. ^ Water supply system to get revamped Times of India - Online edition of India's National Newspaper
  12. ^ Rs. 8 cr. for Soolekere development The Hindu - Online edition of India's National Newspaper
  13. ^ Annual Report of the Mysore Archaeological department for the year 1937 Archaeological Survey of India, Government Of India
  14. ^ Annual Report of the Mysore Archaeological department for the year 1937 Archaeological Survey of India, Government Of India
  15. ^ Annual Report of the Mysore Archaeological department for the year 1937 Archaeological Survey of India, Government Of India
  16. ^ Mysore: a gazetteer compiled for government, Vol 2 Page No. 441 Google Books Online

External links[edit]