Welcome to Talakaveri, the birthplace of River Kaveri! Located on the Brahmagiri Hill near Bhagamandala in Kodagu district, Karnataka, this place is not only a pilgrimage site but also a stunning natural beauty.
Legend has it that the river Kaveri originates as a spring feeding a tank or a Kundike and then flows underground to re-emerge as Kaveri some distance away. The Kodavas erected a tank that is now considered to be its origin. The temple dedicated to the Goddess Kaveriamma is located next to the tank, and bathing in it on special occasions is considered holy.
But let’s talk about the real reason to visit Talakaveri- Cauvery Changrandi Day! On this day, thousands of pilgrims and tourists flock to witness the rise of the spring’s fountainhead when the river water gushes up at a predetermined moment. It’s like watching a magic show, but instead of rabbits, you get to see the birth of a river!
Climbing the 407 steps to the top of the hill is worth the effort as you get a birds-eye-view of the evergreen forested land and the misty hills of Coorg. The most exciting thing about the hills is that even when one is standing on the uppermost step, one can still hear the temple bells ringing down below in the temple.
If you visit Talakaveri during the rainy season, you will be greeted by the mesmerizing sight of the origin of the Kaveri River. It’s like watching a child being born, but instead of a child, you get to see a river!
The temple here is dedicated to Goddess Kaveriamma, and another deity worshipped here is Lord Agasthiswara, who acts as the link between Kaveri River and Sage Agasthya and Lord Ganesh. According to legends, the Kaveri River was held in Sage Agastya’s Kamandalu (a container of sacred water); when Lord Ganesha took the form of a crow and perched on it. When Agastya realized this, he tried shooing it away but to no success. Instead, the Kamandalu toppled, and thereby Kaveri started flowing.
Agasthya saw that the crow had disappeared, and there stood a small boy. Agasthya thought the boy was responsible for spilling the contents of his Kamandalu and started chasing him with the aim to pound his head. Agasthya was aghast at the realization that he wanted to pound the boy’s head when finally the boy vanished, and Lord Ganesha showed himself to Agasthya. As punishment, he knocked his own head.
But the real fun happens during the festival of Tulasankaramma, usually celebrated in October. During this period, there is a sudden gush of water in the Brahma Kundike, the tank from where the spring of the River Kaveri emerges. Thousands of pilgrims swarm the place during this time to take a holy dip into the water and purify their souls. It’s like a big pool party, but instead of music, you get to hear chants and prayers!
Apart from being a pilgrimage place, Talacauvery is also a splendid place amidst breathtaking nature. The undulating layer of hills with stretches of green meadows is truly picturesque. So, if you’re a nature lover, the flight of steps leading up to the summit of the Brahmagiri Hill is a feast for your eyes.
Winter and post-monsoon are the best seasons to visit Talakaveri. But let’s be honest, any time.