Talacauvery- Where the river Cauvery originates

Talacauvery located in Coorg district of Karnataka, is the birth place of the holy river Cauvery. Cauvery is venerated and worshipped in India like the River Ganga.

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The entrance to the temple complex
There are a few stories in Hindu mythology about the origin of the river. All of them involve the Rishi (Saint) Agasthya. According to one of the stories, it is said that the southern part of India (Bharatavarsha) suffered from severe conditions of drought. This saddened the rishi who prayed to Lord Shiva and did severe penance seeking solution to this situation. Lord Shiva, pleased with his penance appeared before him and gave him a few drops of water (Holy Ganga) to be carried in his kamandal*. He advised Agasthya to travel to the south and upturn the kamandal at a place he thought suitable for the river. Agasthya was a little sceptical about the quantity of water, but Lord Shiva assuaged his fears and asked him to proceed on his mission.

Agasthya embarked on his journey and upon reaching the south of India, was uncertain about the right spot to upturn the kamandal. Lord Ganesha, the elephant headed God, decided to help him in disguise. He took the form of a crow and sat on the kamandal. Agasthya chased the crow unknowingly upturning the kamandal in the process. The water fell to the ground and started flowing like a mighty river. The place was Talacauvery in Kodagu or Coorg as it is known today.

There are other tales too, but I am rather fond of this particular tale that I heard from my grandfather during my childhood.

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The tank said to be the originating point
A tank or kundike has been erected on a hillside by kodavas(natives of Coorg), at the place that is said to be the origin. The river originates as a spring feeding this tank, which is considered to be a holy place to bathe on special days. It is located on Brahmagiri hill near Bhagamandala in Coorg district, 1,276 m. above sea level. There is no a permanent visible flow from this place to the main river except during the rainy season. There is a small temple marking this place. The waters are then said to flow underground to emerge as the river Cauvery some distance away.

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Prayers being offered by the temple priest
The temple here is dedicated to Goddess Kaveriamma. Other deities worshipped here are Lord Agasthiswara and Lord Ganesha.

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A view of the shrines of Lord Agasthiswara and Lord Ganesha
We visited this place early in the morning and were charmed by the serene hills and the scenic beauty around us. Being December, the weather in the morning was very pleasant and there was a cool breeze blowing. We witnessed the Pooja to the Goddess Kaveriamma.

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The view of the hills from the temple courtyard
Talacauvery is situated around 300 kms from Bengaluru and 45 kms from Madikeri. The drive from Madikeri is scenic, but the road is not very smooth and has a few potholes. In spite of that, a trip to Talacauvery is worth it for the religious minded as well as those looking for a getaway.

*Kamandal or kamandalam is a small water pot made of a dry gourd (pumpkin) or coconut shell, metal, wood or from clay, usually with a handle and sometimes with a spout. Hindu ascetics or yogis often use it for storing drinking water. The water-filled kamandalu, which is invariably carried by ascetics, is stated to represent a simple and self-contained life.

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Kamandalam
#Cauvery #Karnataka #Traveldiaries #photography

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