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Rivers of India: The Krishna

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Krishna River
| Mahabaleshwar | Srisailam | Nagarjuna Sagar | Amaravati | Vijayawada |

The Legend: The source of the river is believed to be a spout from the mouth of a cow’s statue in the ancient temple Lord Shiva in Mahabaleshwar. The Krishna is said to be the Lord Vishnu himself as a result of a curse on the triumvirate of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh by Savitri. Its tributaries – Venna and Koyana – are said to be Brahma and Shiva themselves.

krishna River map

The origin of the Krishna River is in the Western Ghats near Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra. The river then flows east through the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh for a distance of approximately 1300 km before merging in the Bay of Bengal at Hamasaladeevi in Andhra Pradesh. The river has a number of tributaries but Tungabhadra is the principal tributary of the lot. Other tributaries include the Mallaprabha, Koyna, Bhima, Ghataprabha, Yerla, Warna, Dindi, Musi and Dudhganga.

Leaving Mahabaleshwar behind, the Krishna takes the form of the Dhom lake in Panchgani, a popular hill station just 17 km from Mahabaleshwar. Crisscrossing its way through Wai, Narsobachi and Wadi (near Kolhapur) in Maharashtra, the river enters Karnataka at Kurundwad, 60 km from Kolhapur. In Karnataka, the river passes through the Belgaum, Bijapur and Gulbarga districts, covering a total distance of 220 km.

The Krishna enters Andhra Pradesh near Deosugur in Raichur district and meanders through Mehbubnagar, Kurnool, Guntur and Krishna districts. The river merges into the Bay of Bengal at Hamasaladeevi.

Two dams, Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar (also written as Nagarjunasagar) are constructed across the Krishna River. Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is world’s tallest masonry dam (124 meters).

Here are some important places of tourist interest on the banks of the Krishna.


Not many know, Mahabaleshwar besides being a popular hill station and a weekend getaway from Mumbai is also the source of the Krishna River. Mahabaleshwar is located at an altitude of 1,372 meters in the Western Ghats. Mahabaleshwar can also be called the ‘land of five rivers’, since the holy streams Krishna, Koyna, Venna, Gayatri and Savitri emerge from here.

Mahabaleshwar is a popular weekend getaway from Mumbai. It is also a favourite spot among honeymooners. There are many places of tourist interest in Mahabaleshwar. Lodwick Point is an important landmark in Mahabaleshwar. It is considered one of the finest locations in Mahabaleshwar from where one can enjoy the beauty of the surrounding area. This point was earlier known as Sydney Point. Arther Point is the queen of all points. It is fascinating to see the barren deep valley Savitri on the left and shallow green valley on the right.

Other places of tourist interest in Mahabaleshwar include Elphinstone Point, Tiger’s Spring, Kate’s Point, Bombay Point, Wilson Point, Venna Lake and Kate’s Point. Lingmala, Chinaman and Dhobi Waterfalls are also worth visiting in Mahabaleshwar. Kate’s Point (also known as sunrise point) in particular offers fabulous view of the Krishna River.

Reaching Mahabaleshwar: Pune is the nearest airport and is also a convenient railhead to reach Mahabaleshwar. Buses to Mahabaleshwar are available from Mumbai and Pune.

Read more on Mahabaleshwar

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Srisailam Sanctuary

Leaving Mahabaleshwar behind, the river takes the form of Dhom in Panchgani, a beautiful hill station close (17 km) to Mahabaleshwar. It meanders through Narsobachi, Wadi in Maharashtra and crisscrosses its way through Karnataka before entering Andhra Pradesh. Srisailam (in Andhra Pradesh) is a holy town located on the banks of the Krishna. Srisailam is surrounded by lush greenery and has beautiful locations around. It is a wonderful weekend getaway from Hyderabad. Srisailam is approximately 230 km from Hyderabad.

Srisailam Sanctuary is the main attraction that covers an area of 3568 sq kms.
The sanctuary is home to a large number of animals, which include tiger, leopard, deer, sloth bear, jungle cat, spotted dear, hyena, bonnet macaque and pangolin. Srisailam Dam is another attraction. The dam is built on the Krishna River and is 512 km in length. The down waters Srisailam dam is home to a variety of crocodiles. The local government supports a breeding program which has been highly successful.

Bhramaramba Mallikharjunaswamy Temple is another important landmark in Srisailam. The temple is perched atop a hill on the south bank of the Krishna. Sikhareswara Swamy Temple is also a popular temple in Srisailam. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Reaching Srisailam: Hyderabad is the nearest airport. Markapur Road on the Guntur-Hubli meter gauge line. Srisailam is well connected by APSRTC and Devasthanam buses with Hyderabad, Mahaboobnagar, Nalgonda, Devorkonda, Guntur, Vijayawada and Kurnool.

Nagarjuna Sagar
Nagarjuna Sagar Dam

Popularly known for the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, Nagarjuna Sagar is approximately 170 km from Hyderabad. The dam is the most exciting and popular attraction here. Its sheer size and magnitude leaves one with awe and surprise. The dam is an engineering marvel. Stretching across the mighty river Krishna, the barrage also has another distinction to its credit - it has created one of the world's largest man-made lake. The dam has played an important role in agricultural sector of the state.

Nagarjunakonda was the largest and most important Buddhist centres in South India in the past. The place derives its name from Acharya Nagarjuna, a renowned Buddhist scholar and philosopher, who had migrated here from Amaravati to propagate and spread the Buddha's message of universal peace and brotherhood. Not too far from Nagarjunakonda is Anupa, where a Buddhist University and Stadium were excavated. Ethipothala Waterfalls is another popular attraction in Nagarjuna Sagar, which is located 11 km from Nagarjuna Sagar Dam.

Reaching Nagarjuna Sagar: Hyderabad, 170 km away is the nearest airport. The nearest railhead is Macherla (22 km), on the Hyderabad-Guntur-Vijaywada railway line. Nagarjuna Sagar is well connected by road from Hyderabad and Vijaywada.
Amareswara Temple

Situated on the banks of the Krishna, Amaravati is a small town in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. Amaravati is an excavation site and was once the capital of Satavahanas. It is one of the important Buddhist sites in India. Amaravati is located about 60 km from Vijayawada.

Amareswara Temple is the major tourist attraction in Amaravati. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed that Lord Shiva is present here in the form of five lingams -Pranaveswara, Agasteswara, Kosaleswara, Someswara and Parthiveswara. The temple is built in the Dravidian style of architecture and has many legends associated with it.

The remains of a 2000-year-old Buddhist settlement along with the great Buddhist stupa are among the main attractions in Amaravati. Mahachaitya or the Great Stupa was constructed approximately 2000 years ago. The stupa is made of brick with a circular vedika and depicts Lord Buddha in a human form, subduing an elephant.

Reaching Amaravati: The nearest airport is at Vijayawada, 65 km away. Guntur is the nearest railway station, 32 km away. Frequent buses are available from Guntur and Vijayawada to Amaravati.
Victoria Jubilee Regional Museum

Vijayawada is also known as ‘Bezawada’. It is 257 km from Hyderabad and is located on the banks of the Krishna. Vijayawada being a popular trade and commerce centre is also referred to as ‘the business capital of Andhra Pradesh’. Vijayawada is the 3rd largest city in Andhra Pradesh. The city of victory as Vijayawada literally means is also renowned for delicious mangoes.

Victoria Jubilee Regional Museum is a must see attraction in Vijayawada. The museum is situated on Bandar Road and houses beautiful sculptures and attractive paintings. Kanaka Durga Temple is dedicated to the Goddess of power. The temple is located on the Indrakiladri hill. The deity in the temple is regarded as Swayambhu or self-manifested, hence is considered very powerful.

Prakasam Barrage is another place of tourist interest in Vijayawada. The barrage stretches across the river Krishna and is approximately 1,220 meters in length. 

Bhavani Island is located upstream the river Krishna and is close to Prakasam Barrage. Bhavani Island is a wonderful picnic spot. The other two popular attractions are Gundala Church and Undavalli Caves.

Reaching Vijayawada: Vijayawada is well connected by air, rail and road transport. The airport is at Gannavaram, 20 km from the city.

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