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

 

Journey's End

Almost on the banks of the Coleroon, is Chidambaram, famed for its unique temple, which has an idol of Shiva the dancer, or Nataraja. The intriguing Chidambara rahasyam, a four-foot high curtain of golden bilva leaves, is believed to have neither beginning nor end. The shivalingam here is said to represent the fifth element, akasa. Further south is Kutralam, an enchanting spot, where the Kaveri takes one last tumble, forming a series of gentle waterfalls in the monsoon.
The mouth of the Kaveri delta is at Poompuhar, the fabled Kaberis Emporium ('the river of trade and travellers') mentioned by the Greek geographer Ptolemy. Poompuhar was the capital of the Chola rulers. Poompuhar is the setting for Tamil bard Ilango Adigal's epic Sillapadikaram, or The Anklet. The epic chronicles the story of Kovalan and his wife Kannagi. Her righteous rage is believed to have turned the city of Madurai to ashes. Overlooking the modern fishing village locally known as Kaveripoompattinam, is an attractive statue of Kannagi, whom many mistake for the statue of the river goddess.
The original port city, which once bustled with the sounds of traders haggling for goods brought in from faraway lands, was swalllowed by the sea many centuries ago. Archaeological excavations in Poompuhar have revealed masonry and stonework that might have been part of an extensive harbour. Fishing nets have brought up bronze statuettes and other artefacts.
The site of the confluence is on a stretch of sandy beach, as the sea has receded gradually over the years. Here, the Kaveri, which has slowed down and become a thin stream at journey's end, merges with the waters of the Indian Ocean.


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