The area around the city of Vijayanagara saw a large-scale expansion in irrigation works between the mid-fourteenth and late sixteenth centuries. Of these, reservoirs or ‘tanks’ played an important role in extending farming into areas beyond the reach of perennial irrigation. Reservoirs were linked to Hindu temples, not only through networks of patronage, but also physically, in aspects of form and decoration. Indeed, reservoirs can be thought of as temples themselves, as well as statements of power and authority, functional objects, and tangible connections to larger social and conceptual worlds. This paper presents reservoirs in four ways: as agricultural features, as (political) monuments, as oceans, and as temples. This juxtaposition is made possible only because of the intersection of textual representation and material form, different modes of representation which may be critically evaluated and compared. Reservoirs formed one part of a complex rural landscape of devotion that included field shrines, hero stones, and even archaeological sites of earlier eras. Through the long-term use-lives of reservoirs, we can see the ways in which rural devotion and practice both responded to the specifics of local histories and, over time, reshaped regional landscapes.