Cauvery River
   The Cauvery or Kaveri River begins at Talakaveri in Kodagu in the Indian state of Karnataka and flows about 600 miles, mostly through Tamil Nadu to the Bay of Bengal. It is known as the GAN-GES of South India. Along its course are numerous holy sites, the most important of which is SRI-RANGAM, an island famous in VAISHNAVA tradition where there is a shrine to Vishnu under the name Ranganatha. The river is used as a symbol of Tamil literature and culture (see VAISHNAVISM).
   There are various legends about the river’s ori-gin. One story says that there was once a sage Kav-era who performed austerities in the mountains near the source of the current river to propitiate BRAHMA. Brahma gave him the daughter Lopamu-dra, who manifested herself as the river Cauvery. Later, the sage AGASTYA married Lopamudra and placed the great river in a water pot. As chance would have it, one day a crow tipped over the pot and the Cauvery flowed out.
   Further reading: G. Michell with Clare Arni, eds., Eter-nal Kaveri: Historical Sites along South India’s Greatest River (Mumbai: Marg, 1999).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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