Netravati River has its origins at Bangrabalige valley, Yelaneeru Ghat in Kudremukh in Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka. This river flows through the famous pilgrimage place Dharmasthala and is considered as one of the Holy rivers of India. It merges with the Kumaradhara River at Uppinangadi before flowing to the Arabian Sea, south of Mangalore city. This river is the main source of water to Bantwal and Mangalore. The Netravati railway bridge is one of the known bridges which serve as the gateway to Mangalore.
Earlier in the last century it was known as the Bantwal River; the important town of Bantwal is seen on its banks. A reference to the River Netravati, as unfordable during the South-West Monsoon, can be seen in the Gazetteer of Southern India,, published in 1855. It has an apparent breadth of about 200 yards with a bed encumbered by large rocky masses, chiefly of hornblende rock, containing spangles of mica and small garnets. Sienites also occur, as fragments of a beautiful pegmatite with flesh coloured feldspar are seen in the beds of rivulets. The Netravati River is navigable by small country craft for many miles.
Often Bantwal has been submerged in bygone years during the monsoon by overflowing river Netravati. Many residents left the town, settled elsewhere, and prospered. The major floods remembered by the elders of the town occurred in 1928 and 1974.
Netravati river originates in the Western Ghats in Bangrabalike forest Valley in Yellaner Ghats of Kudremukha range in Karnataka. The river drains an area of about 1,353 square miles. The Kumaradhara River, which originates in the Subramanya range of Western Ghats, meets the Netravati river near Uppinangadi village.