Vrishabhavathi River

The Vrishabhavati River is an urban industrial river that flows through the south of the Indian city of Bangalore.[1] The river was once so pristine that the water from it was used for drinking and used by the famous Gali Anjaneya temple.[2] It is one of the tributaries of River Cauvery

Vrishabhavathi River
DistrictBengaluru Urban, Ramanagara
Physical characteristics
SourceBig Bull Temple
 • locationBasavanagudi, Bangalore, India
 • coordinates12°56′34″N 77°34′5″E / 12.94278°N 77.56806°E / 12.94278; 77.56806
 • elevation933 m (3,061 ft)
2nd sourceKadu Malleshwara Temple
 • locationMalleshwaram, Bangalore, India
MouthArkavati River
 • location
Doddamudavadi, Ramanagara, India
 • coordinates
12°35′56″N 77°24′17″E / 12.59877°N 77.40477°E / 12.59877; 77.40477Coordinates: 12°35′56″N 77°24′17″E / 12.59877°N 77.40477°E / 12.59877; 77.40477
 • elevation
638 m (2,093 ft)
Length52 km (32 mi)approx.
Basin size360.62 km2 (139.24 sq mi)
Basin features
 • rightPaschimavahini

An inscription on the 17th century Nandi in Bangalore mentions the place as the source of a river. Vrishabhavathi, (Vrishaba, Bull) , it is claimed, flows underground for a while before emerging as a proper rivulet. That flow now, hardly resembles living waters[3]

Current StateEdit


Bengaluru’s lakes, rivers and storm water drains are open sewers for a toxic wastewater mix of human waste, industrial effluents and disintegrating solid waste including plastic. Vrishabhavati river originating in the suburbs of Yeshwanthpura, runs through the south-western parts of Bengaluru and Ramanagara district for about 69 kms before joining Arkavathy near Kanakapura town, is no different. With a catchment area of 170 sq-km , the minor river carries toxic wastewater of 1/3 of Bengaluru which is approx. 500 MLD. The river is flanked on both sides with huge industrial areas – Peenya Industrial Area , Yeshwanthpura Industrial Area, Kumbalgodu Industrial Area, Bidadi Industrial Area and Harohalli Industrial area. This egregiously polluted Urban-Industrial River feeds into critically polluted major river Arkavathi which joins Cauvery river near Mekedatu (A few kms downstream of Sangama)

Downstream of the industrial areas is the Byramangala Tank which was constructed across Vrishabhavati river in 1942 for irrigation and lies 15kms south of Bengaluru.  Up until 1970 the water from the tank was used for drinking in addition to irrigation, with a command area of approx. 5000 acres. The government was collecting irrigation water cess up until year 2000, after which it stopped owing to the polluted state of the tank. The plight of the farmers over the past 20 years has been increasing day by day with more and more toxic pollutants released into the river. Posing it as a solution to the farmers woes, the minor irrigation department has initiated the Vrishabhavati Diversion Project at Byramanagala lake by building a concrete diversion channel to push the polluted waters downstream. Bangalore Environment Trust filed a PIL along with the farmers in the command area and got a stay order for this diversion project [5][6][7]


  1. ^ "Vrishabhavati - Industrial River Map".
  2. ^ Bharadwaj, Arun (20 June 2016). Seen & Unseen Bangalore. pp. 394–. ISBN 9789386073181.
  3. ^ "LivingRiversDyingRivers" (PDF).
  4. ^ Bangalore Environment Trust. "Water and Air Archives -". Retrieved 18 March 2021.
  5. ^ Sandrp (24 August 2019). "Brewing Farmer Crisis in heavily polluted, frothing Byramangala Tank Region". SANDRP. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
  6. ^ Bangalore Environment Trust. "PIL: BYRAMANGALA DIVERSION PROJECT -". Retrieved 18 March 2021.
  7. ^ Nov 25, TNN / Updated; 2020; Ist, 06:24. "Bengaluru: Rs 110 crore Vrishabhavathi-diversion project stayed | Bengaluru News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 18 March 2021.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)