Digital Dimdima
-By Jayanthi Mahalingam
The Kaveri in Mythology
The Kaveri in Kodagu
Meet the Kodavas
The first Tributary
The Kaveri Enters Mysore
An Ancient Dam
Visweswaraya's Dream
A Dream Fulfilled
Mysore's Guardian Angel
In Tipu's Domain
The Great Temples
The Shifting Sands
Sand Covered Temples
Shivasamudram
The Goat's Leap
The Kaveri in Tamil Nadu
The Last Island
An Outpouring of Music
The Temple Trail
Journey's End

 

An Ancient Dam


At Ramanathapura, on the left bank of the Kaveri, around 30 km out of Kodagu, a huge rock looms out of the river. A Shiva temple stands on it. Known locally as Gogarbham, it is said that Sri Rama worshipped a shivalingam atop the rock to atone for the sin of killing Ravana. People believe that Adi Shankara himself consecrated the temple.
In the village of Kattepura, which lies downstream, an ancient dam slows down the flow of the Kaveri. The dam, Jangamaghatte, was built 900 years ago by Jangamas or ascetics of the Lingayat sect. The stones, which are 1.2 m high, are precisely hewn and stacked. The river seeps slowly, almost wonderingly, through the stones as if Kaveri herself were amazed at this engineering feat achieved by a band of wandering holy men without the aid of technology.
The river cascades over a drop of 20 metres at Chunchanakatte (named after Chuncha, a tribal chieftain who is supposed to have built a dam here). The narrow gorge through which the Kaveri tumbles is called Dhanushkoti, after its better-known namesake at the southern tip of India. Sita, so speaketh the legend, bathed in the river at this spot (named Seeteya Bachchalu, or Seeta's Bathing Place) and there is a shrine built by the locals to commemorate the event. On the river bank is a large temple to Kodandarama.


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