Cauvery River Island Tourism

The Cauvery River leaves the Kodagu hills and flows onto the Deccan plateau, forming two islands, Srirangapatna and Shivanasamudra. The river rises at Talakaveri in the Brahmagiri hills in Kodagu. Although there is not a flow at this point all year round, it forms the principal drainage of this district, and is already a major river when it leaves the Western Ghats near Kushalanagara.

Srirangapatna Islands of the Cauvery RiverAfter forming two islands, namely Srirangapatna and Shivanasamudra, the river drops into the Hogenakal Falls just before it arrives in the towns of Hogenakal and Srirangam in Tamil Nadu. At Sivasamudra Island the river drops 320 ft (98 m), thus forming the famous Sivasamudram Falls known separately as Gagana Chukki and Bhara Chukki. Asia`s first hydroelectric plant (built in 1902) was on the left falls and supplied power to the city of Bangalore. In 1906, Bangalore became the first city in Asia to be fully electrified and to have electric streetlights, mainly due to the contributions of the islands of the Cauvery River.

In the course of River Cauvery through Karnataka, the channel is interrupted by twelve "anicuts" (dams) for the purpose of irrigation. From the anicut at Madadkatte, an artificial channel is diverted at a distance of 72 miles (116 km), thus irrigating an area of 10,000 acres (40 km²), and ultimately bringing its water supply to the town of Mandya. Near one of the islands of the Cauvery River, Srirangapatna, there is an aqueduct, the Bangara Doddi Nala, which was constructed in the 17th century by the Wodeyar maharaja of Mysore, Ranadhira Kantirava, in reminiscence of his favorite spouse. It is said to be the only channel where the water from a river, was collected upstream and is carried by the aqueduct over the very same river few miles downstream. This aqueduct also served as a motorable bridge between the islands of the Cauvery River until 1964.

The Cauveri River runs through Erode district where river Bhavani converges with it. While passing through Erode, two more tributaries merge. Noyyal and Amaravathi join it before it reaches Tiruchirapalli district. Here the river becomes wide, with a sandy bed, and flows in an easterly direction until it divides into two at upper channel about 14 kilometers west of Thiruchirappalli. The northern branch of river called the Coleroon or Kollidam while the southern branch retains the name Kaveri and then goes directly eastwards into Thanjavur District. These two rivers join again and form one of the Islands of the Cauvery River, namely the Srirangam Island near Tiruchirapalli. The Islands of the Cauvery River are not only scenic pieces of land but also major tourist spots in its own regard.

Talacauvery


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.


Srirangapatnam


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).


Bheemeshwari


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.


Hogenakkal

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.

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.

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.