Far from the madding crowd

Far from the madding crowd


Far from the madding crowd

Brahmagiri beckons: Talacauvery in Kodagu district is the birthplace of the river Cauvery. The river takes birth in the Brahmagiri hills. Photo by the author

The sacred Cauvery river has its origin on the slopes of the Brahmagiri hill. It is a small beginning for a river no doubt, but a mighty river downstream, giving its life-sustaining waters to millions of people in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. As the eager visitor climbs the steps through the ornamental gateway, he/she catches glimpse of the water in a small pool that is the Cauvery. It is placid water but the underground stream takes off from here.

The water in the pushkarani is clear. However, why anyone should be allowed to step into the water is not clear though bathing is not allowed. Pilgrims in thousands congregate during the annual Talacauvery jathra that begins on the auspicious Tula Sankramana day in October. That is the much-awaited Thirthodbhava (when the first spring gushes out), which is considered a holy sight. There is an annual jathra during the month of April that attracts many visitors.

Temples have been built for Vishnu and Ganapathi at a slightly elevated level. Steps lead to the Brahmagiri hill that is considered a sacred spot as sages of yore meditated and carried on their rituals like yagnas. A small entrance fee is charged for those going up the hill, that is so peaceful, serene and holy.

Visitors are requested to maintain silence while on the Brahmagiri Hill. The drive from Madikeri to Bhagamandala is through winding Ghat roads on either side of which are coffee and spice plantations whose aroma floats in the air. At a certain point near Talacauvery is the viewpoint where one gets a breathtaking panoramic view of the surrounding hills, valleys, and forests.

When to go: Any time during the year. Monsoon months from June to September have their own charm
How to go: By road from Madikeri via Bhagamandala, a distance of about 40 km.
Local transport: Buses ply from Madikeri. However, the service between Bhagamandala and Talacauvery is infrequent. It is advisable to hire an auto rickshaw that costs about Rs 130, eight km away. It would better off for a group to hire a vehicle to make the trip from Madikeri to Talacauvery and back.

*Footwear is not allowed inside the temple complex beyond the gateway
*Photography is prohibited beyond the gateway
*A few shops outside the gateway sell puja materials, soft drinks and snacks
*There is no accommodation here