Thanjavur: Nadanthai Vaazhi Cauvery — so goes a Tamil poem. The flow of the river from Coorg is described as Anna nadai (flow for providing food). The river which originates as a tiny fountain at Coorg or Talacauvery at Brahmagiri hills near Bhagamandala in Kodagu district, enters Tamil Nadu in Dharmapuri district.
Interesting feature of the river is its tiny start, perhaps fitting into its legendary origin from the Kamandalam of Agasthiya which was toppled by Lord Ganesha in the form of crow, becomes “Aganda Cauvery” in Tiruchy district, branches into hundreds of rivers and canals, irrigates Cauvery delta and enters Bay of Bengal again as a narrow river. So the flow of Cauvery for providing food is mostly from Mettur to Grand Anicut and from there into the delta.
From Mettur it travels 193-km to reach Grand Anicut, 14-km from Tiruchy. As it meanders from Mettur, it forms the third Tiriveni Sangamam (Tamil Nadu Kooduthurai) at Bhavani where Cauvery, Bhavani and Akash Ganga (mythological river meets at Bhavani in Erode district. Even before this it forms two Tiriveni Sangamams in Karnataka. (Water hyacinth is a major problem in this place (Kooduthurai at Bhavani) and officials are waging a war against the hydrophyte in the season time). Amaravathy joins Cauvery in Karur district but it becomes the most polluted river thanks to dyeing units and other industries.
So far a narrow river, it becomes wide and looks like sea when it enters Tiruchy district at Mukkombu. (Upper Anicut). This was built during British period by Arthur Cotton, engineer, based on the design of Grand Anicut built by Karikal Cholan in second century A.D. The river branches into two-northern side river called Kollidam and southern side called Cauvery and the two form the island of Srirangam where the famous Sri Ranganathaswamy temple, one of the 108 holy shrines of Vaishnavites is located, and again joins at Grand Anicut. Both Cauvery and Kollidam look like an ocean here.
From Grand Anicut starts the intricate irrigation network of Cauvery branching off into Vennar, Grand Anicut canal, Cauvery and Kollidam.
Cauvery enters the Bay of Bengal at Poompuhar in Nagapattinam district. It irrigates nearly 17 lakh acres in the delta....