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Bangalore India
Vanivilas Sagar Dam : Beautiful Scenic Spot.
Aug 04, 2009 03:19 PM 6845 Views
(Updated Aug 04, 2009 03:57 PM)

Vanivilas Sagar Dam : Beautiful Scenic Spot.


Vanivilas Sagar Dam popularly known as Mari Kanive. This dam is near Hiriyur Taluk,twenty two kms from Chitradurga district of Karnataka & 175 kms from Bangalore. This is the oldest dam in Karnataka. Built in the pre-independence days around 1907, by Maharaja of Mysore Sri Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV built across the Vedavati River.


The length of the dam is about 400 meters and its height is 49 meters has two mantapas (pavilion halls) built in the saracenic style with the two ends of the dam and is considered an engineering marvel. Two channels have been excavated to irrigate the lands around. The lake presents a beautiful sight when it is full of water. The vast expanse of blue water is skirted by a series of green hills on either side and the fading hills on the horizon complete the panorama.


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.


The water provides irrigation to a very large are of land with out which life would be very difficult in may part of central Karnataka. The most interesting part of the dam is it is in the shape of India map.



Vanivilas sagar has been a tourist attraction for many years, but has been apparently neglected as a prime tourist destination. Recently the development work has undertaken by the forest department to restore the nearby forest cover.


In the middle of the lake is an island, which has been developed as a mini forest and serves as an excellent spot for picnicking. Boating facilities are also available if you want to spend some time at the island. Close to the dam is the shrine of the deity Kanive Maramma, a village goddess.


Near the dam there is 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 evenings are particularly beautiful here. As the glorious sunset begins, the hills become mere silhouettes. On a full moon night, one can spend a few hours more into the night looking at the lake drenched in a flood of moonlight.


At the break of dawn, there is a lot of birdsong. A pair of binoculars would come in handy, if you are interested in bird watching.


It is one of the very beautiful scenic spots around Bangalore. It has lot of beautiful hills with emerald green waters stored in the dam.


It is very unfortunate that this beautiful & useful vanivilas Sagar dam which is the main source of drinking water in the drought-prone Chitradurga district is under threat of water contamination and siltation owing to illegal mining of iron and manganese ore in the Vedavathi catchment area.


According to sources, mining in Hosadurga taluk, especially in Mattodu hobli, is going on unchecked. Safety norms and regulations are not followed. More areas in the catchment areas are being opened up every day.


From 2004, there is uncontrolled mining in the district, Even the dam bed is not spared from mining. The maximum reservoir level (MRL) is 142 feet. But the reservoir has just 90 feet of water. If the concerned authorities do not take immediate action to put an end to illegal mining, then there will be water around the majority of islets. If the trend continues, the dam will be filled with only silt and not water.


Then it was the time for sunset. It was a great experience to see sun syncing exactly in side the earth. I had never seen sun syncing like this. The sky was not very colorful because there were no clouds around.


The place is so windy the there are wave like in sea, Silent water with green tint, Huge wall to give a feel of fort, Peace and silence every where around, Wind mills on the hill top.


Overall a nice place unspoilt by commercialization, go in a large group can have fun. An ideal one day trip away from maddening crowds of Bengaluru.


Sun disappeared and I drove my car back to the same way from which I came. On the drive to home, I was just thinking about this beautiful place. Immediate action should be taken to curb the illegal mining, if not the oldest dam in the state an exquisite piece of architecture, an engineering marvel which provides water to lots of surrounding cities, towns and villages will die slowly.


How to get there:


Vanivilas Sagar is about 175 kms from Bangalore and twenty kilometres from Hiriyur, and can be reached by road. A deviation after Hiriyur takes the visitor right up to the dam.


By Air:The nearest airport is at Bangalore.


By Rail : The closest railhead is at Davangere and Bangalore (via Tumkur, Arsikere, Birur, Chikkajajur). By Road:Chitiradurga is located at the junction of NH-4 (Bangalore-Poona National


Highway) and NH-13 (Sollapur-Mangalore National Highway), and hence, is well-connected by a vast network of roads.


Where to stay :


Some of the major hotels in Chitiradurga, offering a remarkable blend of tradition and modernity as well as a comfortable stay, are Maruthi Inn Deluxe Lodge, Mayura Deluxe Lodge, Brudhavana Lodge & Sri Krishna Vilas Tourist Hotel.


Best time to Visit :



Throughout the year.


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