The Bhadra Dam was commissioned on the River Bhadra, a tributary of the River Tungabhadra, in the year 1965 in the Chikkamagaluru district in the western part of Karnataka. The localities situated around the dam gain a lot of benefits from the construction of the dam. The reservoir storage has a potential of irrigating an area of about 162,818 hectares, it helps in the generation of about 39.2 MW of power and also provides clean and pure drinking water to the neighbouring villages and also provides water for industrial purposes.
A number of industrial activities and firms are located on the banks of the river and close to the Bhadra River Project. The Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd., The Mysore Paper Mills and the Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Industries are all located near the dam and rely solely on the reservoir for their water supplies.
The water that is stored in the reservoir is diverted to the right and the left banks where power houses have been built. This then proceeds into the irrigation canal systems. The project, in total, has the capacity to produce about 39.2 MW of power.
The Bhadra Dam Project is a plan that was undertaken by the National Water Management Project (NWMP). It mainly aimed at improving the agricultural prosperity of the nearby village, especially when it comes to the production of rice. The dam is constructed on the shattered rock base with a central masonry spillway. There are a number of little islands that have been constructed in the reservoir. These islands act as a major tourist attraction.
The backwaters of the reservoir are seen to extends largely into the forest reserve and also has a lining of moist deciduous forests in the northern fringes. The reservoir is also known for being host to a variety of water sports like water trampoline, sport fishing, sailing, water cycling and kayaking. A variety of wildlife can also be noticed in the reserve while boating in the backwaters. Crocodiles, common river otters, smooth Indian otters, gaurs, leopards are some the animals which are a common sight in the reservoir. Bird lovers will also have a fun time as the reservoir is also home to a variety of birds.
The dam is a marvel in architecture and is a beauty to eyes of its visitors.
The backwater is known for the conduction of water sports like that of sport fishing, sailing, water cycling etc.
The area is also home to a variety of flora and fauna which makes the sightseeing even more adventurous. A number of crocodiles can be spotted while sailing in the backwaters.
A wide variety of birds are seen to visit the spot from various parts of the globe.
Since the dam’s capacity is at its peak during the monsoons and it mostly does creates a flood it is often recommended for tourists to not visit the dam during monsoons. The dam is open to visit during any other time of the year.
The dam is well connected by roads from all the major cities and is also located at a distance of about 28km from Shivamogga (Shimoga).
The nearest railway station is the Tarikere Railway Station which is at a distance of about 24.9 km. Tourists can take either private vehicles like taxis or buses from the railway station to the Dam.
The nearest Airport is the Mangalore International Airport and is located at a distance of about 191.9 km. People can reach the Dam from the airport either by road or by taking a train.
Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary – 24 km- The sanctuary is known for it’s wide variety of birds that migrate through the year. The bird sanctuary is covered with dense forests and it is said that the sanctuary becomes home to about 5000 different varieties of birds during peak seasons.
Kuppali – 34 km- Kuppali is a small village that is located in Shivamogga (Shimoga). It is the birth place of the famous poet and playwright Kuvempu and is therefore, is of great historical significance.
Gajanur Dam – 38 km- The dam plays a crucial part in the additional irrigation and flood control system of the River Tunga. The waters are a pleasant sight to watch during the monsoons when the dam is full to its limits and the gates are open.
Sakrebailu Elephant Camp – 40 km- It is the first spot of attraction for most elephant lovers in the state of Karnataka. The camp provides training to the elephants and also provides them with water and snacks. These majestic creatures are allowed to roam the camp freely and move into the forest when they wish to.
Anandagiri Hill – 43 km- Anandagiri Gudda is a hillock located at a walk-able distance from the small town Thirthahalli. It is about 300mt in height and is made up of a rough hilly terrain. It is an excellent spot for trekking and also provides it’s visitors with a full view of the town.
Siddheshwara Gudda – 48 km- The hill is about 200mts in height and is a beautiful trek spot. Tourists are recommended to trek the hill during early morning hours as that is when the beauty of the hill is obtained at its best. On clear days one can also see the Kodachadri as well as the Kundadri hills from the top.
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary – 52 km- The sanctuary is home to all sorts of natural beauties. A number of hill ranges surround the sanctuary, a number of streams flow through the sanctuary and it is also covered with rich flora and fauna. A number of wild animals are seen to roam through the sanctuary mainly tigers, elephants and wild boars.
Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple – 51 km- The temple was built in the 13th Century during the Hoysalas’ rule by Veer Narasimha. The temple is, today, maintained by the Archaeological Department of the State. The temple is an architectural marvel and is home to the deity Lord Narasimha.
Bheemana Katte – 52 km- Bheemana Katte is also otherwise known as the Sri Bheemasethu Munivrinda Mutt and is located on the banks of the holy River Tunga. The Mutt is of utmost historical significance and also gives it’s visitors with an eye cooling natural surroundings.
Shivappa Nayaka Palace – 52 km- The Shivappa Nayaka Palace is now the Government Museum. The original palace was built in the 18th Century by the then Mysore Province ruler, Hyder Ali though it is named after the famous 17th Century King Shivappa Nayaka.