History of Religious Places in Coorg

Religious Places Sri Cauvery in Coorg

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Sri Cauvery is the foster daughter of Sri Kavera Maharshi who had his ashrama in the enchanting valley of 'Brahma Giri' hill.

Sri Kavera Maharshi had no children. Therefore he did severe penance to get a child through the blessings of Lord Brahma

the God of the Universe. Lord Brahma who was pleased with the tapasya of Maharshi Kavera gave his 'Manasaputri'- foster

daughter Lopamudra to him as a mark of special blessing. Lopamudra who was an incarnation of 'Aadi Parashakti', was given

as a foster daughter to Lord Brahma by Lord Mahavishnu. Lopamudra had prayed to Lord Brahma and got his blessings for her

to incarnate as a river and serve for the welfare of humanity.

Lopamudra was brought up by Maharshi Kavera with all affection, care and devotion. Accordingly she was named Cauvery.

She was deeply devoted to her father and the ashram duties. As she grew up she earned the high esteem of all in and outside

the ashram.

One day, sage Agastya Maharshi who was considered as an incarnation of Lord Shiva came from his abode in Himalayas to

Kavera Ashram in Brahmagiri hills. He was very much impressed by the beauty and chastity of Sri Cauvery. He thought of

marrying Sri Cauvery and formally saught her hand in marriage. Sri Cauvery agreed for the marriage on one condition that

Sri Agastya Maharshi will never leave her alone and be away from her at any time. Sage Adastya who was an incarnation

of Lord Shiva saw through his yogic eye the Divine Mission and greatness of Sri Cauvery. The marriage of sri Cauvery and

Maharshi Agastya was performed at Kavera Ashrama with all joy and the prevalent religious rites of the rishi ashrama.

One day Sri Agastya Maharshi went for a bath at the source of Kanika river, a place close to Talacauvery located on the other

side of Brahmagiri hills. Before he went there, by his yogic powers Sage Agastya converted Sri Cauvery as water and filling her

in his 'Kamandalu'(Yogi's handy water pot) kept it near the Brahmakundige at Kavera ashrama. He instructed his discilpes to

gaurd the Kamandalu wherein Sri Cauvery was in water form. The sage failed to turn up early to the ashrama.

Sri Cauvery waited for long and at the prolonged absence of Sri Agastya Maharshi got herself greatly annoyed. She decided to

go in for her divine mission of life of incarnating as a river. Accordingly Sri Cauvery by her divine power jumped from the

Kamandalu into the nearby Brahmakundige- a sacred pond- and emerged as a river. the inmates of the ashrama begged

her not to go away but to wait until Sri Agastya Maharshi return to the ashrama. She did not listen to them and took an underground

secret path stretching some metres and flowed away. On her way she was prevented by the 'Nagas'(inhabitants of Nagaloka)

at place called 'Nagathirta' and they prayed to Sri Cauvery not to proceed as a river. Blessing them Sri Cauvery finally came to

Bhagamandala where she was met and joined by the other two rivers called Kanika and Sujyothi. Thus 'Triveni Sangama' was

formed and Bhagamandala became a 'Sangama Kshetra'.

At Bhagamandala Sri Bhaganda Maharshi, Triguni a pious Brahmin prayed for the grace of Lord Shiva and tried to prevent the

further march of Sri Cauvery. But Sri Cauvery was determined to move on her chosen path. Sri Cauvery blessed Bhagamandala

to be a 'Punya Kshetra'- meritorious holy place, particularly to people to offer oblations to their departed ancestors and continued

her river course towards the eastern direction.

Maharshi Agastya who came to know about the episode from his disciples hurriedly came to meet Sri Cauvery and prevent her

from moving further as a river. He met Sri Cauvery at a place called Balamuri which is located at a distance of 37 K.M. away from

Talacauvery. Sage Agastya expressed his feelings and desire to Sri Cauvery and asked her not to continue her river course. At

Balamuri, the King of Kodagu, Sri Devakanta and his retinue, Kodava people in great number assembled to meet Sri Cauvery.

Sri Cauvery was conscious of the feelings of her husband sage Agastya as well as the King Devakanta and other people of Kodagu.

She told sage Agastya that she would divide herself into two bodies and in one part she would return to sage Agastya and live with

him as his legitimate wife and in her other body she would live as river Cauvery and serve the cause of the welfare of humanity.

Sri Cauvery then promised that she would accompany Mother Ganga and other holy river deities and give special Darshan-divine

manifestation to the devotees in the form of 'Theerthodbhava'-emerging of holy water-at Talacauvery Brahmakundika every year

on the Tulasankramana  muhurtam in the month of October. She then blessed the land and people of Kodagu and assured that

they would be rich with peace and prosperity provided they followed the path of truth and righteousness and have devotion to her.

That was a great promise and rare blessing from divine Mother Sri Cauvery particularly to the people of Kodagu and to all the

devotees in general. Therefore Kodavas accepted Sri Cauvery as their Kula Devata- family deity.

Sri Agastya Maharshi followed Sri Cauvery in her course of flowing as a river till she joined the sea. He blessed her divine mission

and as a mark of it founded several Shiva and Vishnu temples in different places throughout on the banks of Sri Cauvery river. He

also proclaimed to the world the divine greatness of Sri Cauvery and the sacredness of her river water. Sage Agastya was not only

a great yogi with divine powers but a deep scholar with practical knowledge of ancient Indian medicine, chemistry etc. He therefore

easily found out the spiritual power, purity as well as medicinal potentiality of Sri Cauvery water and proclaimed it as a "Theerta"- that

which frees one from the bonds of life.

Sri Cauvery continued her journey from Balamuri and flowed in the states of Karnataka and Tamilnadu and at last on completion of

her river course joined the eastern sea-Bay of Bengal.