While there are some really huge rivers in north India, such as Indus, Jhelum, Chenab and Beas, south India does not have perennial rivers or those with high volume of water all year long. Cauvery river is one such important river to both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Let's take a tour of the river starting from its source at Tala Kaveri upto the point where it joins the sea - at two different places!
Tala Kaveri, Coorg, Karnataka
Cauvery's journey starts in the coffee district of Coorg in Karnataka. The monsoon brings heavy rain to the Western Ghats of Coorg. Several waterfalls such as Abbey, Mallalli and Chelavara can be found in the hills around Coorg's headquarters Madikeri. All these waterfalls join forces to form the course of Cauvery river. Tala Kaveri is a Kshetra which is worshipped as the official source of river Cauvery as Kaveri Mata or Kaveri Devi.
Harangi dam, Coorg, Karnataka
Cauvery's length is not even 10 km long before it is obstructed by a dam. Harangi dam near Kushalanagara in Coorg district is the first dam of several on the course of Cauvery river's 800 km run to the Bay of Bengal. While Harangi is the first dam by distance from the source of the river, it is not chronologically the first dam to be built on Cauvery. That credit goes to a ancient dam built 2000 years ago in Tamil Nadu, possibly India's first ever dam. Nor is Harangi the most celebrated dam on Cauvery. We'll travel to the outskirts of Mysuru to see such as dam.
Nisargadhama, Coorg, Karnataka
On the southern bank of Cauvery, also near the town of Kushalanagara, is a nature park built by the government of Karnataka. This park is a green lung, nature trail, tourist centre, vacation stay (in cottages set up by Karnataka tourism), mini zoo and handicraft centre, all rolled into one. It is worth spending a day and a night in Nisargadhama.