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South Pennar River

South Pennar River


The South Pennar River is known as Dakshina Pinakini in Kannada and Thenpennai in Tamil. It is also referred as Ponnaiyar .

The river originates in the Nandi Hills in the Kolar district of Karnataka and flows through Tamil Nadu before entering into the Bay of Bengal. It has a catchment area of 1,424 mi2. The river is dry for the most part of the year. Water flows during the monsoon season when it is fed by the southwest monsoon in catchment area and the northeast monsoon in Tamil Nadu. However this water flow raises the water table throughout the river basin and feeds numerous reservoirs/tanks.

The sand build of the river is quite impressive, suggesting that it may have been a perennial river with much larger water flow in the past. Mention of the river is found in Sangam & Medevial (Thevaram - Bhakti cult era) literature, where it is depicted as rich with lush vegetation on its banks. There are various temples on its banks.

Nandi Hills or Nandidurg is a hill fortress of southern India, in the Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka state. It is located just 16 km (till base) 24 km (top of the hill) from Chickballapur town and approximately 60 km from the city of Bangalore.

Location info:

Address:The river originates in the Nandi Hills in the Kolar district of Karnataka and flows through Tamil Nadu before entering into the Bay of Bengal.
District:Kolar district
Nearest City:Chickballapur
Best time to visit: monsoon season


The Penner basin has a dry tropical monsoon climate. The upper basin of the Penner is semi-arid, with summer temperatures of 25-46°C and winter temperatures of 18 - 28°C. Most of the rainfall is provided by the moisture-bearing southwest monsoon, which provides rain to most of India between June and September. The Penner basin lies in the rain shadow of the high Western Ghats ranges, which prevents much moisture from reaching the region. Post-monsoon cyclonic storms in the coastal region produce additional rain during September and October. The winter northeast monsoon, which provides rain between December and March, provides little rain to the upper basin and slightly more to the lower basin. It varies greatly from year to year in south India, sometimes bringing powerful cyclonic storms with flooding and high winds. The mean annual rainfall is 550 mm/year in Anantapur, and 900 mm/year in Nellore. The Penner basin suffered from a prolonged drought in the 1990s, which caused much misery among the regions farmers and generated political demands to build an aqueduct to bring water from the Krishna River to Rayalaseema..


Nandidurg was traditionally held impregnable, and its storming by Cornwallis in 1791 was one of the most notable incidents of the first war against Tipu Sultan of Mysore. It was formerly a favourite resort for British Raj officials during the hot season. Francis Cunningham built the summer residence here for Sir Mark Cubbon.

...this droog, one now used as a hotel, built by General Cubbon, sometime British resident; but the rock has a bad reputation for malaria, and except in the very dry months is shunned by visitors, in spite of its, to the senses, delightful climate

Interesting things to do:

The hills are now a popular tourist spot during summer. The state horticulture department maintains a garden for the tourists. The pressure of tourists on the environment here is great with a considerable problem of litter, noise and physical disturbance.

Interesting things to Visit:

If the Supreme Lord manifests as a strident Trivikrama in Thirukoilur, on the banks of south Pennar river, where indeed the three Alwars sang their first hymns in praise of the lord, He appears in the fascinating reclining posture just a few miles upstream the same river in a kshetra known as Thiruvarangam.

The ancient temple at Thiruvarangam is spread over an area of nearly three and half acres on the south bank of Then Pennar river, is located, about 18 km from Tirukoilur, 30 km from Tiruvannamalai via Manlurpet, 25 km from Sankarapuram. One might wonder if it would be proper to call the place "Arangam" in as much as Tiruvarangam is not surrounded by rivers, even if the Lord is in the reclining posture. The word "Arangam" has several meanings, and can also be interpreted to mean "stage". The Lord of Tiruvarangam possibly presents the stage in which the cosmic play of creation, and sustenance are ceaselessly enacted and hence the name. The account in Skanda Puranam seems to lend support to this view.

Mobile range info:


How to reach?

Nearest Railway Station:Chickballapur
Nearest Airport:Bangalore
Road Transport:It is well connected by roads various KSRTC & Private Buses ply daily to Kolar from various places.

Nearest Visiting places:

1. Tipu's Drop the place from where Tippu Sultan made his prisoners fall.
2. Tipu's Summer Residence a beautiful palace on top of this hill. This palace is closed to the general public .
3. Temples There are temples dedicated to Sri Bhoga Narasimha, Sri Ugra Narasimha and Sri Yoga Narasimha .
4. Gavi Veerbhadra swamy temple on top of the hill (The temple inside a big rock/cave)
5. Nehru Nilaya, where Jawaharlal Nehru used to stay, now a guest house of the horticulture department of India.
6. Rivers The rivers Pennar, Palar and Arkavati originate from these hills.Most of the sources have dried up .
7. Brahmashram It is said that Sage Ramakrishna Paramhamsa meditated here.Its a cool cave .
8. Muddenahalli The home town of Sir M. Visvesvarayya, the architect of modern Karnataka. Muddenahalli is just a few kilometres from Nandi Hills. His house is now a museum.

Nearest Petrol Pump:



☀ American Club
☀ Inn on Woodlake
☀ The Carriage House at the American Club

Things to carry:


Tips & Suggestions:

Gottigere lake with a water spread area of about 14.98 ha is located in the Bellandur Lake catchment of the South Pennar River basin. In recent years, this lake catchment has been subjected to environmental stress mainly due to the rampant unplanned developmental activities in the catchment. The functional ability of the ecosystem is impaired due to structural changes in the ecosystem. This is evident from poor water quality, breeding of disease vectors, contamination of groundwater in the catchment, frequent flooding in the catchment due to topography alteration, decline in groundwater table, erosion in lake bed, etc. The development plans of the region (current as well as the proposed) ignore the integrated planning approaches considering all components of the ecosystem. Serious threats to the sustainability of the region due to lack of holistic approaches in aquatic resources management are land use changes (removal of vegetation cover, etc.), point and non-point sources of pollution impairing water quality, dumping of solid waste (building waste, etc.).

Help Line/Phone Number:

Police Station:Chickballapur
Nearest Hospital:Chickballapur
Society/Community Phone Number

South Pennar River Nearest Attraction

Savana Durga Hills
A left turn some 7 kms before Magadi in Magadi road reduced our travel distance by some 8 kms and itz around 65 kms from bangalore city. Nice road to drive on and lotz of quarries on the way and road having lotz of bends and turns makes your drive a splendid one....more
Antharagange Temples
One of the ancient temples of india. It has miraculous water coming from mouth of got cow statue 365 dayz a year. It is a holy place people visit this temple from many parts of the Karnataka, Kolar District and karnataka state on Mahashivratri festival day every year. It is protected by Forest authority of india, has lots of Monkeys and wild Deers....more
Chikka Thirupathi Temples
Chikka Thirupathi : This sleepy little town is 10 km off Sarjapur. It takes about an hour from the Sarjapur ring-road junction. The road (if you can call it that) is very bad for a few kilometres after the Wipro office. It gets much better as you near Sarjapur. The scenery certainly isn't breathtaking, but it is a nice break from the chaos in Bangalore.....more
Kaivara Temples
Kaivara is centre for pilgrimage. This place is located in the Chintamani Taluk of Kolar district in Karnataka, a state that is in the south western part of India.. It is about 65 km from Bangalore. This place is historically significant. It is said that the Pandavas of the great Indian epic Mahabharata lived here during the exile in the forest (Vanavasa).....more
Kudumalai Temples
Though the name sounds like a place in Tamilnadu, this historically important place is located in Mulabagal taluk of Kolar district in Karnataka. Many people would have seen the century-old giant idol of Lord Ganesha in Bangalore on Bull Temple Road. The idol at Kurudumalai is as awe-inspiring.....more
Palar River
Palar is a river of southern India. It rises in Nandidurg hills in Kolar district of Karnataka state, and flows 93 km in Karnataka, 33 km in Andhra Pradesh and 222 km in Tamil Nadu before its confluence into the Bay of Bengal at Vayalur about 100 KM south of Chennai.....more
Ponnaiyar River
249 The river finally surrenders in to the Bay of Bengal at Cuddalore. The Ponnaiyar river basin is encircled by the Cauvery river basin in the west and south and Palar and Tondiar basins in the east and north respectively.....more