Ghataprabha is a village in Gokak taluk of Belgaum district, Karnataka. Ghataprabha river is an important tributary of the Krishna River which flows eastward for a distance of 283 kilometers before its confluence with the Krishna River at Almatti. The river basin is 8,829 square kilometers wide and stretches across Karnataka and Maharashtra states. Distance between Bengaluru and Ghataprabha River is 574.4 km and traveling in this route takes around 8 h 34 min via NH48. Hiranyakeshi river and Markandeya river are tributaries of Ghataprabha. The river is crossed by a suspension bridge near the Gokak Falls. The bridge was constructed in the late 1800s/early 1900s.
Ghataprabha River originates in the Western Ghats near chaukul village, tehsil sawantwadi in the Sindhudurg district of Maharahtra. It arises about 12 km away from the well-known hill-station of Amboli forming at the east-face of the same hills which give birth to the Hiranyakeshi river, one of its important tributaries. From hereon, the river flows eastward into the Kolhapur district of Maharashtra forming the Phatakwadi lake, an artificial water body created by daming the river. It is the only dam built on this river within the jurisdiction of Maharashtra and also includes an Hydro-electric power plant generating about 13 MW. The river ends its short course within Maharashtra near the town Daddi, Belgaum district of Karnataka which is also the site where the river Tamiraparani drains into it.
The river provides a natural boundary between the adjoining states of Maharashtra and Karnataka for a short length of about 10 km. It then collects into the Hidkal reservoir providing water through the man-made canals. The river is then joined by the Hiranyakeshi river, its most important left-bank tributary. It then runs through sandstone hills near Gokak before running over a cliff to form the Gokak Falls. Less than a kilometer from the falls, the Markandeya river, a right-bank tributary joins. The river takes a north-easterly course towards the town of Mudhol and thereafter turns south-easterly untl it reaches Bagalkot. At Bagalkot it widens out to merge with the backwaters of the Almatti dam built on river Krishna, though prior to the dam its confluence with the river Krishna was situated further down along its course at Almatti.
Ghataprabha Bird Wildlife Sanctuary
Ghataprabha Bird Sanctuary is 29.78 square kilometres, and its boundaries enclose a stretch of about 28 km of the Ghataprabha River, including the reservoir resulting from the dam built near Dhupdhal. The sanctuary is known for migratory birds such as the demoiselle crane and European white stork. It is surrounded by agricultural fields. Between November and March is the best time to visit the sanctuary, when most of the migratory bird species nest there.