Suranga are defined as manmade horizontal adit systems cut into slopes in order to extract groundwaters used for drinking water and irrigation. Suranga are found in the southern parts of Karnataka and north region of Kerala states of the Western Ghats of India. More specifically suranga are found in many parts of Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka and Kasaragod district of northern Malabar. In some parts of southern Kasaragod, these are called 'Surangams' .

These are often used alongside traditional irrigation technologies like pond/tank irrigation. According to local people Suranga  in the past have helped to overcome climate variability and relieve poverty.

To date little is known about the history, design, governance and function of suranga. This is knowledge that needs to be documented for future generations before local skills, techniques and adaptations are lost. This study seeks to measure the sustainability of suranga and evaluate the role of this technology in reducing vulnerability to periodic water shortage and promoting community and environmental resilience. Knowledge transfer from this study will empower local farmers and water officials to make more informed decisions about promoting sustainable water management practices in this region. A schematic diagram of a Suranga is shown below.


Schematic diagram of a suranga
(Click to enlarge)
What is a Suranga?