Rivers and Mountains
The Sahyadris mountain range run from Belgaum in the north to Mysore in
the south. They form a triangular area in conjunction with the Eastern
Ghats. The Ghats are only 305 to 610 meters in height in the middle but
towards the south, they are quite tall and rise to a height of 1830 meters
above sea level. It is here that the Nilgiris overlap the Ghats and at
places, they rise to 2440 meters. Naturally at that height there are wooded
areas and evergreen valleys, deep gorges, and pleasant plateaus. They
lend themselves to the growth of plantations of different kinds which
yield coffee, tea, areca nut, cashew nut and cardamom.
Kalinadi, the Gangavathi Bedti, the Tadri, and the Sharavati are the prominent
rivers of North Karnataka. Sharavati is the shortest river and is famous
for the mighty Jog Falls, the site of the hydel projects. All these rivers
are west flowing and some of them are torrential streams which are in
full flow in the monsoon.
Most of the major rivers of the state have their origin
in the Ghats and flow eastwards towards the Bay of Bengal, through Andhra
Pradesh or Tamil Nadu. Krishna with its tributaries like the Bhima and
Ghataprabha and Tungabhadra is among these mighty rivers. The Kaveri river
in the southern part of the state, which has its origin on Brahma Giri
in Coorg, with its tributaries like the Shimsha, Hemavati, Kapila and
others enters Tamil Nadu and is a major source of irrigation both in Karnataka
and Tamil Nadu. It is a river of discord between the two states because
of the great demand on its waters for the farmers in each of the two states
and the matter often reaches emotional where politicians take over. The
rivers Polar and Pennar in the eastern parts of the state are among the
other important rivers.
The Krishna which originates in Maharashtra, is also
a cause of dissension between Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The coast
has several ports. Ports like Karwar, Ankola, Honavar and Bhatkal are
situated at the mouth of the rivers where they fall into the Arabian sea.
Mangalore and Malpe are important ports in the southern part of the state
and the river of significance is the Netravathi. In ancient times these
ports provided India's contacts, commercial and cultural with far way
and near lands like Egypt and Sumeria.