Bendru Theertha is a natural hot water spring in South India. It is located at a distance of about 15 kilometres from Puttur town in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka. It is one of the less known natural wonders of Karnataka.
Bendru Theertha contains traces of sulphur and is known to have curative properties. It is listed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as the only natural hot spring of South India. The temperature of the spring water generally remains at 99 F to 106 F.
- Timing: From dawn to dusk on all days of the week
- Entry Fee: No entry fee required
- Photography: Allowed
- Video Camera: Allowed
- Visit Duration: About 30 min
- Best time to visit: Throughout the year, except peak summer season
Uniqueness of Bendru Theertha, Karnataka
Unlike the boiling and steaming hot sulphur springs found in the Himalayan foothills, Bendru Theertha is a spring with lukewarm waters. People visiting this spring can take a dip in its water without the fear of burning their skin.
A unique fact about Bendru Theertha is that it is located in a non-volcanic region. As such, it is a rare phenomenon to find a hot spring there. It is believed that the geothermal energy of the hot rocks underground heats up the water table. As the density of the heated water is lower than normal water, it comes out in the form of a spring.
Curative Properties of Bendru Theertha, Karnataka
The hot water of Bendru Theertha is a better solvent than cool water. As such, it contains more minerals and possesses curative properties. The water is considered to be effective for healing a variety of diseases, especially skin related problems, such as eczema, allergic rashes, etc.
Scenic Beauty of Bendru Theertha, Karnataka
Bendru Theertha is situated in rural surroundings, in an area near the river Seerehole, a small tributary of the river Netravathi. The road that leads to the hot spring is flanked by areca nut plantations on both sides. The spot of the spring is almost a non-descript place that can be easily mistaken to be an irrigation tank. However, it is a good picnic spot for those looking for a quiet location.
Mythology Related to Bendru Theertha, Karnataka
Bendru Theertha is considered to be an auspicious spring by the local people. According to legend, the area surrounding the spring was once filled with forest and streams where wild animals used to roam freely. One day the disciples of Sage Kanva came across the forest. The disciples were surprised to notice that in this particular forest tigers used to live peacefully with cattle and other animals.
The disciples found the spring of hot water on looking around the area. Further, they discovered that the place had a large number of cows. So, they named the place as ‘Gopalakshetra’. They decided to live there and built a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnumurthy at that place. With the passage of time Gopalakshetra came to be known as Bendre Theertha.
Religious Significance of Bendru Theertha, Karnataka
As Bendre Theertha is located at the confluence of three streams – Chelyadka, Byladi and Bettampadi, it adds to the religious significance of the place. People revere the place and bathe in the spring before stepping into the temple to pray to the Lord.
Every year Bendru Theertha is visited by a large number of local people on the Teertha Amavasya day that falls in first week of September. People consider this day to be auspicious and come to the hot spring for a holy bath.
Present Condition of Bendru Theertha, Karnataka
Today Bendre Theertha is slowly inching towards oblivion. The area surrounding the hot water spring has undergone a huge change over the years. Dense forest has been replaced by areca nut plantations. The unchecked digging of bore wells in the area is directly affecting the hot spring.
It is estimated that the depth of the hot spring is about 85 ft. However, there are more than 18 bore wells in that area with a depth of about 100 ft. Due to this, the warm water is drawn to a lower water table instead of springing out. As such, during summer, the spring turns into a shallow pool of murky water. It is only during the monsoon season that the spring jumps back to life.
How to reach Bendru Theertha
Bendre Theertha is visited by several people who want to witness this natural phenomenon. The road leading to the hot spring is approachable by vehicle.
The nearest airport to reach the spring is the Mangalore International Airport which is at a distance of around 74 kilometres from Puttur. Tourists can opt for road transport to reach the hot water spring from Mangalore.
The hot water spring can be easily reached through the rail transport system. The Puttur Railway Station falls on the railway line linking Mangalore and Bangalore. Tourists can hire local means of transport to reach the hot water spring from the Puttur Railway Station.
Puttur is situated on Mangalore – Mysore state highway. The town can be reached by private and public means of road transport. There are frequent public transport buses that connect Puttur to Bengaluru (Bangalore) and Mangalore. There are private buses that carry people from Puttur to Bendre Theertha.