One of the prominent rivers of South India, in the Coorg region, is the Kaveri. She is worshipped as a goddess and there is a shrine at a spot that is marked as the birth place of Kaveri and known locally as Talakaveri.

According to one legend, the river is the goddess Vishnumaya, she was asked by Vishnu to become the sage Agastya’s wife and accompany him during his lifetime on earth. She was also to carry the god’s blessing to earth. Vishnumaya was born as Lopamudra and married Agastya. There came a time when the south of the country was being ravaged by drought and Agastya decided to travel there to alleviate the pain of the people. His wife took the form of her liquid self and slipped into his brass water pot. The sage carried her with him and one day as he rested on a hill, the pot was overturned by a crow or the wind or by Ganesha and Vishnumaya as Lopamudra flowed down the land and brought it back to life as the river Kaveri.

There is another story about the river’s origins. Here too the sage Agastya is involved. The sage was in the midst of severe austerities in the Himalayas and Shiva appeared in front of him, offered him a boon. The sage asked for an inexhaustible supply of the pure waters of Kailasa in his brass pot that he could carry with him wherever he went. Shiva agreed and then asked him for a favour, said that the Vindhya Mountains were getting too arrogant. They had risen too high too fast and were challenging the Himalayas. They had to be tamed. So Agastya set out and when he arrived at the foothills of the Vindhya, the mountain bowed down to acknowledge the presence of the great sage. And before the sage could say anything, the mountain offered him his respect and asked if there was anything it could do. Stay here till I come back, was Agastya’s reply. And he never did, settling down in the South where even today, there are gurus who claim to have descended directly from Agastya.

STORY COLLECTED BY: Arundhuti Dasgupta

Location: Karnataka

Source: India, a sacred geography by Diana L Eck

Imge Source: Wikipdia