Kaveri Pushkaralu

The Kaveri is the longest river in India also knwon as 'Cauvery' in English. Talakaveri is the birth place of Kaveri river which originated from Brahmagiri Hills in Kodagu. Its journey starts from the small pond called as Kundike pond, along with two tributaries known as Kanake and Sujyoti where later these three rivers joins in the course near Bhagamandala. It is one of the 7 sacred rivers of Sapta Sindhus of the Hindu scriptures, situated around 1,276 m above sea level of the Western Ghats in southwestern Karnataka state. Talakaveri is about 8 km away from Bhagamandala and 48 km from Madikeri which flows towards southeastern direction for 475 miles through the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, and descends the Eastern Ghats in a series of great falls and finally surrenders in the Bay of Bengal through two principal mouths in Poompuhar, Tamil Nadu
Kaveri Pushkaram
Kaveri Pushkaram
Water flow of Kaveri river from Bagamandala to Talakaveri
Water flow of Kaveri river from Bagamandala to Talakaveri
Kaveri Pushkaralu is a festival of River Kaveri when Jupiter arrives from Virgin Rasi to Libra (Tula Rasi) which normally occurs once in 12 years. This Pushkaram is observed for a period of 12 days from 12th September to 24th September, the 12th day of the festival will be attended by millions of devotees who will participate to take dip in the holy water and do ancestor worships.
In the present year 2017 this festival is also known as "Kaveri Maha Pushkaram" as it is being celebrated after 144 years, from 12th September to 24th September on the banks of Kaveri River in the state of Tamilnadu. After this, next Cauvery Pushkaralu ceremony will be held in 2161.
"Before attending the Pushkaram or Pushkaralu one must know What is Pushkaram?"
Pushkaram is an Indian festival dedicated to worshiping of rivers. It is also known as Pushkaralu (in Telugu), Pushkara or Pushkar.
Pushkaralu is celebrated at shrines along the banks of 12 major sacred rivers in India, in the form of ancestor worship, devotional music and cultural programmes, spiritual discourses. Pushkaralu celebration happens annually, once in 12 years along each river. Each river is associated with a zodiac sign, and the river for each year’s festival is based on which sign Jupiter is in at the time. Due to regional variations, some of the zodiac signs are associated with multiple rivers.
Transition of Jupiter in Rivers with Zodiac signs
Transition of Jupiter in Rivers with Zodiac signs
The banks that come across the Kaveri River are called as Pushkara Ghats. Special arrangements have been made for bathing the devotees in Kaveri during this festival. Everyone has a belief that whoever visits the Kaveri Pushkaram must take a holy dip in the river Kaveri which improves their Physical and mental abilities along with getting rid of their sins.
There are three types of Pushkaralu celebrated in India mainly known as:
*Kumbh Mela
*Godavari Maha Pushkaram
*Krishna Pushkaram
*Kaveri Pushkaram
Legend behind Pushkaralu:
According to a legend mentioned in astrology treatises such as "Jataka Parijata" (1426), a Brahmin was granted a boon from Shiva after severe penance. The boon was that he would be able to live in water and purify the holy rivers. The Brahmin came to be known as Pushkara ("the one who nourishes"). On a request from Brahaspati (Jupiter), he decided to enter one of the 12 sacred rivers when Brahaspati travelled from one zodiac sign to another.
This Ceremony is usually celebrated in the states of Karnataka & Tamilnadu across the basin of Kaveri river which also touches some of the ancient temples. Millions of pilgrims come to participate in the Pushkara ceremony and take dip in the holy water.
Tributaries of Kaveri River:
Kavery River Water Disputes and Tributaries
Kavery River Water Disputes and Tributaries
The Path of Kaveri River:
Kaveri river breaks into a large number of distributaries forming a wide delta called the "Garden of southern India". Known to devout Hindus as Dakshina Ganga ("Ganges of the South"), the Kaveri River is celebrated for its scenery and sanctity in Tamil literature, and its entire course is considered holy ground. The river is also important for its irrigation canal projects.
Kaveri river also joins the Hogenakal Falls before arriving in the town of Hogenakal and Srirangam in Tamil Nadu. It then meanders in the southern plains and in the Thanjavur district rich, silt-laden river delta is formed before it falls into the Bay of Bengal. 
Kaveri River joining the Hogenakal Falls
Kaveri River joining the Hogenakal Falls
The river water is the source of extensive irrigation project and for the generation of hydroelectric power. Dams constructed across the river are -
Krishna Raja Sagara Dam,
Mettur Dam and
Banasura Sagar Dam on the Kabini River, which is the tributary of the Cauvery.
The whereabouts of this river are well versed in Tamil literature and has a large number of temple towns situated in the lower course of the Cauvery River in Tamil Nadu. 
After sweeping past the historic rock of Tiruchchirappalli, the Kaveri breaks at Srirangam Island, a major pilgrimage centre. There, in eastern Tamil Nadu state, its braided and extensively irrigated deltaic region of about 4,000 square miles (10,360 square km) begins. A dam called the Grand Anicut was built in the 2nd century at the point where the river divides. A second dam (1836–38) across the Kollidam River, the Kaveri’s northern and larger channel, saved the old system from silting and extended irrigation.
The open roadsteads of Nagapatnam and Karikal are on the seaward side of the delta. The Kaveri's main tributaries are the Kabani, Amaravati, Noyil, and Bhavani rivers.
Origin of Kaveri River: 
The history of Kaveri River dates back to its origin. The Kaveri River is one of the sacred rivers of the country and also known as Dakshina Ganga or Ganges of the South. There is Lord Agastheeswarar Temple on the banks of Talakaveri river, which denotes the link between Kaveri and Sage Agasthya, often frequented by pilgrims. There are 2 temples, a Shiva temple with a rare ancient Shiva Linga, and another temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. According to legend, this temple has a holy Ashwantha tree where the Trimurtis - Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh gave darshan to sage Agasthya.
The Hindu Mythology, says several versions about the descent of River Kaveri. The most popular one is about the King Kavera who lived in the Brahmagiri hills and did penance to Lord Brahma for a child. Brahma dev blessed Him with a daughter whom he named Kaveri. Again when Kaveri wished her father should have every happiness and prosperity in life and a blessed land full of good and happy people. To fulfill her desire she too did penance to Lord Brahma and attained the boon of being river and flow through the country, pouring her blessings on the people and turning the land green and fertile. She also prayed that her water might be so holy that all those who took a dip in it might be absolved of all their sins. Thus, She was the water manifestation of the human form. When Sage Agastya saw her doing penance he fell in love with her and decided to marry her. But before their marriage she made him promise that if ever he left her alone too long, she would have the right to forsake him and go her way. After their marriage the great sage Agastya kept her in his kamandalu or the spouted jug. One fine day when he was busy with his disciples and didn't turn back early she jumped into Agastya's special holy tank and flowed from it like a river, went underground and appeared again at Bhagand Kshetram and flowed on toward Valambari and finally into the Bay of Bengal. Since then it has been worshipped as a sacred river – throughout its course.  
Another legend says that, When a terrible drought trounced the land, Ganesha in the guise of a crow, tipped the kamandalu and out flowed Kaveri.
Significance of Kaveri river:
There is one more interesting thing that the river Ganga also joins Kaveri underground once a year, during the Tulamaas, in order to wash herself free of the pollution caused by the crowds of sinners who bathe in her waters all the year round. Kaveri is thus also considered to be more sacred as the Ganga throughout its course, with the same power to wash off all one's sins. But Bhagamandal, where the three rivers meet, is considered to be the most sacred spot of all. There are several temples all along its banks which are visited by thousands of pilgrims every year. Kaveri is joined by several rivers, the most important ones being Kummahole, Hemavati, Lakshmantirth, Shimsha etc., it flows into the Bay of Bengal in Thanjavur district in Tamil Nadu.
At the Pushkar time devotees engage in activities such as snana (bath in the river), danam (charity), japam (recitation of mantras), archana and dhyanam (meditation).The first twelve days are known as "Adi Pushkaram", and the last twelve days are called "Anthya Pushkaram". It is believed that during the above period of twenty-four days, "Pushkar" the person, who is imbued with the power to make any river holy, will travel with Jupiter as Jupiter moves from one Zodiac house to another.
Worship of Kaveri River during Pushkaralu.jpg
Worship of Kaveri River during Pushkaralu.jpg
In Andhra Pradesh(Telugu speaking state): Pushkaram is celebrated across Godavari, Krishna, Pranhita and Penna rivers.
In Tamil Nadu(Tamil speaking state) : Pushkaram is celebrated in Tamraparni River when Jupiter is in Scorpio in four places where it flows from south to north, are Banathirtham, Papanasam, Thirupudaimaruthur and Sinthupoondurai, in accordance with tradition along with the Tamraparni temple at Suthamalli.
In Karnataka(Kanada speaking state) : Pushkaram is celebrated when Jupiter arrives from Virgin Rasi to Libra (Tula Rasi) on the banks of Kaveri river which flows generally south and east through Karnataka, origined at Talakaveri, Kodagu in Karnataka. 
Kaveri Pushkaralu Ghats in Karnataka:
Karnataka state government has reportedly focussed on the arrangements of the same. some of the cities that are at the banks of cauvery river are the places which are likely to witness the festive look. Below are the best places to visit during Kaveri Pushkar.
Here is the list of some important kshetras and various Pushkar Ghats for Kaveri Pushkaralu as per puranas:
Bhagamandala, Kodugu
Kushalnagar, Kodugu
Srirangapatna, Mandya District
Mandya, Mandya District
Shivanasamudra, Mandya District
Kanakapur, Karnataka
Muthathi, Karnataka
These festival days are celebrated by various spiritual sermons and art shows organized by the devotees. Furthermore, everyday sermons, the Divasara divinities, scriptures, Lalitha Sahasranamam, Vishnu Sakaskaranaam, and Cauvery have a great radius. All kinds of yoga are to be done for world benefit.
Kaveri Pushkar Ghats in Tamilnadu:
Here is the list of some important kshetras and various Pushkar Ghats for Kaveri Pushkaralu as per puranas. Of these, Mayiladuthurai (Mayavaram) has been specially choosen by pilgrims for this observance on a grand scale.
Mayiladuthurai (Nagapattinam district)
Thiruvenkadu (near Sirkazhi)
Thiruvaiyaru (Thanjavur District)
Thiruvidaimarudur (Thanjavur district)
Srirangam (Tiruchirappalli)
Thiruvarur (Tiruvarur district)
Kodumudi (erode district)
Karur (Karur District)
Swamimalai (near Kumbakonam in Thanjavur District)
Thiruvisanallur (Thanjavur district)
Kumbakonam (Thanjavur district)
Poompuhar (Puhar is a town in the Nagapattinam district)
Mettur (Salem district)
Velur (Namakkal District)
Pallipalayam (Namakkal district)
Bhavani (Erode district)
As Tamilnadu is the land of temples, the top famous temples in Tamilnadu are listed in this video which have a great spiritual value and architectural splendour, and pilgrims attending Kaveri pushkaralu must visit these famous temples which are located on the banks of Kaveri River. The most prominent of them are Bhagamandala in Karnataka and Mayavaram in Tamil Nadu. The cult of this Kaveri river began in Kodagu and was finally centered in Bhagand Kshetram (Bhagamandala).
There are three major river islands at Kaveri, a strong Vaishnav heritage, with sculptures of Lord Vishnu in a reclining posture on the legendary seven-headed serpent (Sesh Nag) as his celestial bed (Shesh Shayan). These three temples are known as Adi Ranga, Madhya Ranga, and Antya Ranga.
Also on the banks of Kaveri river lies an ancient temple town of Talakadu where "Panchalinga Darshana" -the holy festival is held every 12 years and devotees come to bathe in it. 
Famous temples near Kaveri river basin:
1)Chidambaram temple-akash lingam situated 106kms to Tanjavur
2)Ranganatha swamy temple-vaihsnavaite pilgrim, It has 7 prakaras-21 gopurams, 24 mandapas, 1000 pillars big mandapam situated near tiruchirapalli on the basins of kaveri river with one more famous temple in tanjavur created by chola kings known as Brihdeshwar temple which is very famous. There are many temples in kumbakonam like 4 vaishnav temples and 12 shiva temples near kaveri temple. 
Puranas extol Kaveri's greatness:
काकारो कलुषं हन्ति वेकारो वाञ्छितप्रदः ।
रीकारो मोक्षदं नॄणां कावेरीत्यवधारय॥
Meaning: "The letter 'Ka' in the word 'Kaveri' removes all sins; 'Ve' fulfills all desires; 'Ri' grants Moksha to people. This is known as to be the intent of the term 'Kaveri'." Kaveri is Devi Parvathi incarnation, who came down to earth as Lopamudra, consort of sage Agastya and turned into the river for the well-being of mankind. Puranas abound in stories of persons redeeming themselves of heinous sins by bathing in Kaveri. Even Raja Harischandra of Ayodhya bathed in Kaveri in Tula month for relief from the sin of a minor transgression.
How to perform Pushkara Bath:
The One who intends to performs pushkara snanam or take Pushkara bath, first need to get into Kaveri river have a dip and take some mud from the bank of river, which is to be thrown (or left) into river by chanting this holy mantra:
Dhyanam Slokam:
अच्छ स्वच्छ लसद् दुकूलवसनां पद्मासनाध्यायिनीं
हस्त न्यस्त वराभयाब्ज कलशां राकेन्दु कोटि प्रभाम्।
भास्वद् भूषण गन्ध माल्य रुचिरां चारु प्रसन्नाननां
श्री गङ्गादि समस्त तीर्थ निलयां ध्यायामि कावेरिकाम्॥
Argyam Slokam (In Sanskrit and Tamil):
अगस्त्य कुण्ड संभूते कवेरतनये शूभे । मरुद्वृधे गृहाणार्घ्यं मया सन्दापितं वरम्॥ कावेर्यै नमः इदमर्घ्यम्।
அகஸ்த்ய குண்ட ஸம்பூதே கவேர தநயே சுபே! மருத்வ்ருதே க்ருஹாணார்க்யம் மயா ஸந்தாபிதம் வரம்! காவேர்யை நமஃ இதமர்க்யம்!
  • Pilgrims are requested to use the bathing areas/ Ghats that are authorized by the Pushkaram administration for their safety and security.
  • Pilgrims are requested to use the bathing places/Ghats nearest to their place of stay in pushkaram area or the city.
  • If any unidentified or suspicious object is located, the pushkaram administration or the police control room should be informed about it.
  • Pilgrims are requested to follow the traffic rules and regulations in the city and the pushkaram area.
  • The directions and advice given through the Central Public Address System may be followed to avoid any inconvenience.
  • Garbage should be thrown only in the dustbins.
  • Pilgrims and travelers are requested to be appropriately attired considering the religious and cultural sensibilities of the event. The local service providers will be happy to give advice on this issue.
  • Use of plastic bags in pushkaram surroundings is prohibited by the Government.
  • Washing of clothes on the river banks should be strictly avoided.
  • Overcrowding of boats must be avoided.
  • Pilgrims and travelers are advised not to encourage beggary.
  • Use of soaps while bathing in rivers should be strictly avoided.
  • Throwing of the materials used for worship or rituals in the river should be avoided
How to Reach:
By Road: Mangalore highway (NH48) passes through Kodagu. The journey by road is the best means of transport as one can touch the nearest ghat for the pushkaralu in their own vehicles or by the government buses. The district headquarters Madikeri (Mercara), is located around 260km away from Bangalore, 120km away from Mysore. Mangalore is around 136km and Cannanore - Tellicherry, are around 115km. There are plenty of regular buses plying from these places to Madikeri. 
By Train: The nearest railway station is at Mysore around 146kms away. The other nearest is the Cauvery Railway Station to reach the kaveri ghat for the pushkaralu. Also one can check the list of Special Trains which Railway Government has alloted for Kaveri pushkaralu.
By Air: The nearest airport are situated at Bangalore around 260kms and in Mangalore around 135kms.
Image Courtesy:chaibisket.com, pushkaraminfo.blogspot.com, tamil.samayam.com, www.indiatemplesinfo.com, interstatedisputes.files.wordpress.com


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