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

 

The Kaveri in Tamil Nadu

Thirty kilometres from Mekedatu, the Kaveri enters Tamil Nadu, and takes another mighty tumble, at Hogenakkal in the Thoppur Hills. Hogenakkal means 'smoking stone'. The water falls down a height of 22 m into a yawning chasm. Thousands of people assemble to bathe here on the festival of Adit Padinattu or Adi Perakku, the 18th day of August. For the people of Tamil Nadu, the Kaveri river is Ponni, the golden one, especially beloved. The river has enriched not only the state's granaries, making it India's rice bowl, but permeated the Tamil culture in all its aspectsóbe it music, sculpture, temple architecture, literature or religion.
The Kaveri now flows more calmly, becoming wider. Right at the entrance point to the state, the waters are harnessed by the Mettur Dam, about 50 km downstream from Hogenakkal Falls. It was completed in a record six years. The dam in 1590 m long, 51 m wide and 64 m high. At the time of its construction, it was the largest masonry dam in the world and the reservoir created (Stanley Lake) was one of the largest man-made lakes covering about 60 sq km. A hydroelectric station at the toe of Mettur dam generates 36,000 kw of power.
Flowing southwards, the Kaveri meets the Bhavani river. The Bhavanisagar dam built here helps irrigate over 2 million acres. The deity at the Bhavani Sangameshwara temple is believed to have miraculous powers. In the early 1900s, a British collector named Garro who lived near the temple was warned by the deity in a dream to vacate the house, just before a flood ravaged the area. A grateful Garrow gifted an ivory cradle to the temple.
The Kaveri moves on to Erode where two other major tributaries, the Amaravathi and the Noyyil join the river.


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