The Chitravathi is an inter-state river in southern India that is a tributary of the Pennar River. Rising in Karnataka, it flows into Andhra Pradesh and its basin covers an area of over 5,900 km2. The pilgrim town of Puttaparthi is located on its banks.
Chitravathi river originates at Chikkaballapur and flows through the Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka before entering Andhra Pradesh where it drains the districts of Anantapur and Cuddapah before joining the Pennar. The Chitravati river basin covers an area of 5,908 km2. Among the mandals that it drains in the two states are Bagepalli, Gorantla, Hindupur, Bukkapatnam, Dharmavaram, Tadipatri and Kadiri. The river joins the Pennar at Gandikota in Kadapa district where the Gandikota irrigation project is being undertaken by the Government of Andhra Pradesh as part of its Jalayagnam project. Chitravathi is a seasonal river that comes alive after the monsoons. Along with the Papagni, it forms a part of the middle Pennar sub-basin and is a right bank tributary of the Pennar.
The proposal to build a barrage at Paragodu by the Government of Karnataka has been opposed by politicians from Andhra Pradesh who argue that the move is likely to affect the availability of water for the various tank irrigation projects that exist in the Andhra districts.
Sand mining, much of it illegal, is rampant in the Chitravathi basin and this has resulted in severe depletion of groundwater resources in the region.
Chitravathi is also known as the Deva Kanya and it flows through the pilgrim town of Puttaparthi, the abode of Satya Sai Baba. It is considered sacred by many people on account of its association with Satya Sai Baba.