Tulasankramana at Talacauvery - a travel tale from my past
Blog :Asha's musings & ramblings
Date: 8/24/2012 12:20:00 PM
It took this long for me to reach here.After the break down, the company whose car we hired in Mysore arranged for a jeep for us to travel uphill to Bhagamandala. Also, called Triveni sangam- This is famous for the union of three rivers Kaveri, Sujyothi and the Kannika. Having a dip here is considered sacred by people who have faith. The significance is that the dip in the holy river will heal you of your various miseries and sins. The water here is supposed to have healing and miraculous powers.
8kms uphill from Bhagamandala is Talacauvery (Talakaveri) – the origin of Dakshin ganga – river Kaveri. Here I must recall my first visit to this place in the oct of 89, when we planned a visit for the Tulasankramana or Kaveri sankramana. It was an all women's gang and a religious visit. My mom and her friends with their children totally numbering 15. From here, if you ascend 350 steps leads you to the brahmagiri peak , you reach a mythological spot where a crow is supposed to have upturned the kamandal of Sage Agastya. There are many legends and stories based on this and the water from the kamandal is supposed to be River Cauvery.(That shall be another post). Atop, Brahmagiri you are in for a breathtaking view of the beautiful valley and the windmills. The entire panorama looks like an airbrushed hallmark scenic greeting card. As you are in awe of the beauty spread below you, suddenly you will be clouded with a white veil for you can see nothing. It turns scary, you would’nt be able to see who’s beside you. It is the drifting mist playing with you hide and seek of the view. There were no viewers gallery then, it must have undergone lot of changes by now.
The tirth kundike which is where the water springs on a predetermined time on tula sankramana day( app. october 17th every year) The big pond and the small shrine adjoining the kundike
Descending down to the Talakaveri( head of kaveri), as the name implies it is the source of the river Cauvery. This is one of the most sacred rivers in India. This place is about 1276 metres above sea level. This place also has many beautiful temples with lovely legends . But my post will focus on the highlight of this place, Brahma kundike or Tirth kundike(Pond). Like I said, my first trip was during the Tulasankramana( mid October) of 89. There was a mad rush at this place as this event is as good as a mini kumbh mela. The kundike is a small square about 3X3 in front of a small shrine and adjacent to this is a big tank. The pundits were sitting on either side of the square kundike and performing puja to the water. The water was red due to the vermillion(kunkum) used in the puja and at around the predetermined time of 4.30, suddenly from nowhere there were many small water springs bubbling forth in the small kundike. The red water was replaced with clear fresh water in no time by the gush of the spring. From then on, there was total cacophony among the devotees. It was a magical sight which I still re-run in my memory, visualize and can’t get over. It never occurred to me then as a teenager, i was angry at the jostling crowd and was very bitter. But now, I realize this is just what the crowd was waiting for and millions of lives down South are reliant on. For this mini fountains roll down, broadens, cascades and floods over plains and hills and joins many tributaries and is the lifeline of Karnataka and flows into the neighbouring Tamilnadu where too she is the lifeline. She also carves many beautiful riverine Islands, promotes leisure giving raise to many picnic spots, water falls, dams,festivals etc., and she is the reason for the world's ancient engineering marvel and the world's first hydroelectric project. If not for her, the whole of Thanjavur region which is hailed as the granary of South India would have been a barren dry land. She is called the 'Jeevanadhi' , who throws open an entire civilization, many lifestyles and is the source for many lives ,culture, beliefs and tradition. There are many legends associated with this river and prominent among them is the Coorgi styling of draping saree. I’m not very sure about this story. However, it is said the gushing water moved the pleats of the Kodava women’s sari to the back and hence the pleats are not in the front as the regular Indian sari in Coorgi style. coorgi women draped in a saree , coorgi style It is amazing how a small spring flows 700 kms across two states and becomes the lifeline of many people and has been a muse for poets and artists and inspires a government run handicraft store to be named after her. No wonder, she is revered down south like the Ganga.
My next post on an ancient city swallowed by the sea. Would you care to name the city?
Images courtesy: Google