Tungabhadra River is a holy river in the South Indian peninsula that flows from Karnataka to Andhra Pradesh. Hampi is situated on the southern bank of the Tungabhadra River. This river is formed when Tunga and Bhadra rivers meet, thus giving it the name Tungabhadra. A huge dam (around 20 km South West of Hampi) had been built across the Tungabhadra River as a part of a hydroelectric project.
During ancient times, the kings of Vijayanagara dynasty used this river by building numerous irrigation canals and aqueducts. An efficient network of water supply system used to feed the manmade water bodies of the palace. Some of the ancient canals are still used by people for irrigation purposes at near by agricultural fields. It is also a popular tourist attraction of Hampi and draws a huge crowd to its banks each year.
Tungabhadra River was earlier known by the name Pampa. According to popular belief, Pampa (daughter of Brahma), performed penance to impress Lord Shiva. Pleased by her devotion, he decided to marry her and took the name Pampapati that means husband of Pampa. Hampi name has its origin in the story of Pampa as well. Tourists visiting the Tungabhadra River can explore innumerable idols of Lord Shiva.