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Rivers of India: The Cauvery

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Cauvery River
| Talacauvery | Srirangapatnam | Bheemeshwari | Hogenakkal |
| Tiruchirapalli | Thanjavur |

The Legend: Mythology has it that the Cauvery River was held in a Kamandalu (a container of sacred water) by Sage Agasthya. Vinayaka (Lord Ganesha) took the form of a crow and perched on the kamandalu when Agasthya was meditating. When Agasthya realised this, he tried to shoo away the crow. But the crow tipped the kamandalu and toppled it. Out poured the Cauvery and it started flowing.

Cauvery River map

Rising from the Western Ghats range of Karnataka, Cauvery (also Kaveri) is one of the sacred rivers in India. It is of particular importance to South India, where the river flows before merging into the Bay of Bengal. The river covers a distance of about 765 km and flows through the state of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. On its journey to the Bay of Bengal, the river is joined by its tributaries, which include Shimsa, Hemavathi, Honnuhole, Arkavathi, Kapila, Lakshmana Theertha, Kabini, Lokapavani, Bhavani, Noyil and Amaravathy.

Talacauvery (also Talakaveri) located about 5000 ft above sea level is considered the source of the Cauvery. Talacauvery is located in Coorg district of Karnataka and is 47 km from MaidekriTalacauvery is considered a famous pilgrimage site in Karnataka.  At the source of the Cauvery there is a temple where every year on Tula sankramana thousands of pilgrims gather to pay their respects to the Cauvery.

The river then flows through Mysore district where two islands Srirangapatnam and Shivanasamudram are formed.  At Sivasamudram the river drops 98 meters forming famous falls known as Gagan Chukki and Bara Chukki. After meandering through Karnataka, the river then enters Tamil Nadu and forms the boundary between the Erode and Salem districts. The Cauvery is joined by the Bhavani River at Bhavani. Hogenakkal is a major landmark on the course of the Cauvery in Tamil Nadu. Trichy and Thanjavur are other important towns on the banks of the Cauvery.

The river after covering a distance of 765 km merges into the Bay of Bengal through two principal mouths. Here are some of the major places located on the banks of the Cauvery.


The source of the Cauvery is located in the Brahmagiri hill in Kodagu (Coorg) district of Karnataka. The source of the river is known by the name of Talacauvery or Talakaveri. The Cauvery that starts here as a trickle takes a form of large river as it flows through various towns of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Talacauvery is about 47 km from Madikeri and is an important religious place. The Ishwara and Ganapati Temple at Talacauvery receive a steady flow of tourists throughout the year. During special occasions people take a dip in the holy river. A lot of religious and historical significance is associated with this place. The shrine at Talacauvery is dedicated to Lord Agastheeswara. The temple establishes a link between the river and Agasthya Muni (hermit). Talacauvery can be visited as a day trip from Maidekri in Coorg district.

Reaching Talacauvery: Talacauvery can be reached by road from Bhagamandala, which is just 8 km from Talacauvery. Maidekri, 47 km away is the main city near Talacauvery.

Check hotels in Coorg


Located at about 140 kilometers from Bangalore and 15 kilometers from Mysore, Srirangapatnam is an important place of tourist interest and an important destination on the course of the Cauvery. Srirangapatnam is the biggest of the three islands in the river Cauvery. The island is 5 km long and 2 km wide. It derives its name from the deity of the temple located on its western side.

It is an exciting place for people who are turned on by history. Almost all the major dynasties of the South have left their mark here. Srirangapatnam is closely associated with the Tiger of Mysore – Tipu Sultan. Some of the important landmarks in Srirangapatnam include Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple. It is famous for the sleeping statue of Lord Ranganatha. Colonel Bailey's Dungeon (jail) is another important landmark here. Few more places to explore here are Death place of Tipu, where the body of Tippu was found. Lalmahal Palace (ruins of ancient palace), Thomas Inman's Dungeon and Jamia Masjid are other important places of tourist interest in Srirangapatnam.

Reaching Srirangapatnam: Public and private transport to Srirangapatnam is available from Mysore (15 km) and Bangalore (140 km).

Check hotels in Mysore


An excellent place for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts, Bheemeshwari is a quiet spot located between the Shivasamudra falls and Mekedatu falls, on the Cauvery River in the Mandya district of Karnataka. Bheemeshwari is an ideal spot for eco-tourism and is a natural habitat for the Mahseer (fish) found in the Cauvery.

Bheemeshwari is located in the periphery of the Nagarhole National Park and is great place to enjoy the variety of wildlife animals that one can see from here. Herds of elephants, deer and wild boars are seen roaming in the area of the National Park. One can also see jackals, wild monkeys, otters, crocodiles, and if you’re lucky, you might even spot a leopard on the prowl.

The presence of the Cauvery has made Bheemeshwari a major fishing hub.  A large number of enthusiastic anglers throng here every year. A number of fishing camps have sprouted on the banks to catch the most prized possession of the Cauvery the Mahaseer - the finest game fish in India. These camps provide comfortable tents equipped with all basic facilities like mosquito nets, cots, shower and toilet. Food is usually served in the open air common dining room.

Reaching Bheemeshwari: One can reach Bheemeshwari by road from Bangalore, which is approximately 100 km away.

Read more on Bheemeshwari

After meandering its way through major parts of Karnataka, the river enters Tamil Nadu. Hogenakkal is an important place on the course of the river. It is primarily famous for the Hogenakkal Falls. This cascading beauty is about 150 km from Bangalore. Hogenakkal, located on the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border makes for a quick getaway from Bangalore.

Though Hogenakkal Falls is a year round destination, it has a different appeal soon after the rains. The area looks lush green and there are a number of waterfalls that you may come across. Hogenakkal is a popular picnic sport and its water is believed to have curative powers. The river enters into the plains from here. The roar of the Cauvery as it makes way through the rocky banks is a constant presence in most places in Hogenakkal. The river, here meanders through a wooded valley, turning and twisting around rocks, and little islands with towering trees.

Reaching Hogenakkal: Trains are available to Nanded from Mumbai, Aurangabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune and Amritsar. It is at equi-distance from Aurangabad and Hyderabad.
Srirangam in Tiruchirapalli

Also known as Trichy, Tiruchirapalli is a popular destination on the banks of the Cauvery. The name Tiruchirapalli is derived from Jain monks that are popularly called 'Chira' in Tamil. 'Tiru' in Tamil means 'in respect of'. Therefore 'Tiruchirapalli' means 'the town of respected monks.

Tiruchirapalli is famous for its beautiful temple architecture. Shirangam is a famous Vaishnavite temple that is one of the most popular of temples in India. Thiruanaikka is a famous Shivaite temple that is considered one of the five main abodes of Lord Shiva. But the most important construction in Trichy is the oldest man made dam named Kallanai that was built by Karaikala Chola across the river Cauvery. Apart from that, the Rock Fort Temple and Pallavas temples are other attractions in Tiruchirapalli.

Reaching Tirchurapalli: Tiruchirapalli has an airport and is an important railhead of the Southern Railway.
Brihadeeswara Temple in Thanjavur

Thanjavur, famous for the Brihadeeswara Temple is another important town on the banks of the Cauvery. The Brihadeeswara Temple rose to glory during the later Chola reign between the 10th and 14th Centuries and became a centre of learning and culture. The Brihadeeswara Temple is also known as the Big Temple is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The Vijayanagara Fort, which contains a palace that was expanded by the Maratha raja Sarfoji with an armoury, a Bell Tower and the Saraswathi Mahal Library, which contains over 30,000 Indian and European manuscripts written on palm leaf and paper is another major attraction in Thanjavur. Hall of Music, Art Gallery Schwartz Church are other important landmarks in Thanjavur.

Reaching Thanjavur: Trichy, 60 km away is the nearest airport and railway station to Thanjavur. Thanjavur is well connected by road with the major towns in Tamil Nadu and the neighboring states.

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