Vani Vilasa Sagara

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Vani Vilasa Sagara
Vani Vilasa Sagara is located in India
Vani Vilasa Sagara
Vani Vilasa Sagara Dam in Chitradurga district, Karnataka
Location Chitradurga district, Karnataka
Coordinates 13°53′26″N 76°28′37″E / 13.89056°N 76.47694°E / 13.89056; 76.47694Coordinates: 13°53′26″N 76°28′37″E / 13.89056°N 76.47694°E / 13.89056; 76.47694
Dam and spillways
Impounds Vedavathi River
A view across the dam.

Vani Vilasa Sagara, popularly known as Mari Kanive (Kannada: ಮಾರಿ ಕಣಿವೆ) is a dam near Hiriyur Taluk, Chitradurga District, in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is the oldest dam in the state.

The dam was built by the Mysore Maharajas pre-independence across the river Vedavathi. The dam is an exquisite piece of architecture, an engineering marvel for that time, and provides water to lots of surrounding cities, towns and villages, which are largely dry lands of the Deccan area of Central Karnataka.


This dam is the source of domestic water for Hiriyur and Chitradurga. It irrigates more than 100 km² of land in Hiriyur and Challakere taluks through right and left bank canals. This place is 160 km from Bangalore on the NH-4 highway and 40 km from Chitradurga. The dam was initiated by the regent queen who was a widow of Maharaja Chamaraaja Wodeyar. She is known for her social works which were exemplary. For the construction of this dam royals of Mysore had to pledge royal jewellery due to shortage of money, that is why it was named as "Vani Vilasa Sagara". Vani Vilasa was the name of youngest daughter of the then Maharaja of Mysore. This dam is higher than KRS dam of Mysore.


The Mari Kanive irrigation project was initiated by Sir. Mark Cubbon, the British Resident of Mysore.[1] Further improvements to the dam was initiated by Diwan Sheshadri Iyer in 1897[2] at the order of his Highness the Maharaja of Mysore Sri Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV.


The dam has been a tourist attraction for many years, but has been apparently neglected as a prime tourist destination. Recently, though, the development work undertaken by the forest department to restore the nearby forest cover, and the 'panchavati' gardens - a garden of medicinal plants with the old Indian cultural theme has improved the tourist figures, making it a popular weekend picnic spot. The 'panchavati' garden has medicinal plants lined up representing cultural themes - the 'Rashis', 'Sapta swaras', 'Nava grahas' and many more. The tourists who visit Chitradurga and Hosdurga often visit Mari kanive on the way. The historic maarikaamba temple here also attracts many tourists. The place is around 20 km drive from Hiriyur on a deviation from NH4 (Bangalore - Mumbai National Highway).

Vanivilas Dam-Loaps


Vanivilas dam is about 160 km from Bangalore. So it is highly advisable to tag Chitradurga fort with this beautiful place. No clear sign boards are available on the highway(but one landmark is there ofter we reach nd cross hiriyur bypass right side from Bangalore to Puna highway we see one sugar factory opposite side service road we take left nd go straight in 18 km), so once you reach Hiryur, slow down for the next 5 km and ask the locals for the correct deviation. Once the deviation is taken clear sign boards are available and the place is about 20 km from the deviation from the highway.



  1. ^ Sastri (1932):99
  2. ^ "Vani Vilas Sagar Dam waits for better days". Retrieved 2 March 2015.