Vani Vilasa Sagara or Mari Kanive Dam
Mari Kanive also called as Vani Vilasa Sagara is the oldest dam in the state is near Hiriyur Taluk, Chitradurga District, in Karnataka. The dam was built by the Mysore Maharajas pre-independence across the river Vedavathi. Vani Vilasa Sagara is an artificial lake built across River Vedavathi by Mysore Wodeyars. Vani Vilasa Sagara is recognized as Architectural Masterpiece. The dam was constructed by a team led by an Engineer called 'Tara Chand Dalal' at the order of his Highness the Maharaja of Mysore Sri Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. The dam is an exquisite piece of architecture, an engineering marvel for that time, and provides water to lots of surrounding cities, towns and villages, which are largely dry lands of the Deccan area of Central Karnataka.
This dam is the source of domestic water for Hiriyur and Chitradurga. It irrigates more than 100 sq km of land in Hiriyur and Challakere taluks through right and left bank canals. This place is 160 km from Bangalore on the NH-4 highway and 40 km from Chitradurga.
The dam has been a tourist attraction for many years, but has been apparently neglected as a prime tourist destination. Recently, though, the development work undertaken by the forest department to restore the nearby forest cover, and the 'panchavati' gardens - a garden of medicinal plants with the old Indian cultural theme has improved the tourist figures, making it a popular weekend picnic spot. The 'panchavati' garden has medicinal plants lined up representing cultural themes - the 'Rashis', 'Sapta swaras', 'Nava grahas' and many more. The tourists who visit Chitradurga and Hosdurga often visit Mari kanive on the way. The historic maarikaamba temple here also attracts many tourists. The place is around 20 km drive from Hiriyur on a deviation from NH4 (Bangalore - Mumbai National Highway).
A Temple is situated at the bottom of the Vani Vilasa Sagara dam with a Beautiful Park. This Temple is dedicated to Kanive Maramma. Hence, Vani Vilasa Sagara is also called as Maari Kanive.