River Kaveri which is one of the 7 sacred rivers of Sapta Sindhus of the Hindu scriptures, originated at a place is called Talakaveri (head of Cauvery) in the Brahmagiri hills, at about 4,500 ft above sea level. This place is marked by a tirtha kundike or Brahma kundike (small spring/pond) from where the river emerges as a small perennial spring but flows underground again to emerge a short distance away. It is about 48 km from Madikeri. There is a shrine near the kundike and a big tank in front of it where devotees bathe before offering prayers. There are 2 temples, a Shiva temple with a rare and ancient Shiva Linga, and another temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. This temple has a holy Ashwantha tree where, according to legend, the Trimurtis – Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh gave darshan to sage Agastya. There is a shrine near the kundike and a big tank in front of it where devotees bathe before offering prayers. There are 2 temples, a Shiva temple with a rare and ancient Shiva Linga, and another temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. This temple has a holy Ashwantha tree where, according to legend, the Trimurtis – Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh gave darshan to sage Agastya. From Talakaveri, steps lead up to the nearby Brahmagri peak, where the 7 great sages called the Sapta Maharishis had performed a special yagna. From the peak, as well as on the drive to Talakaveri, tourists can enjoy a good view of the misty blue Brahmagiri hills.
The story of Talakaveri is steeped in ancient mythology. According to Hindu beliefs, the river's birth is attributed to the devotion and penance of the sage Agastya. It is said that Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, entrusted Agastya with the task of bringing the divine Ganga River to the southern lands of India to enrich its arid plains. On realizing that the powerful Ganga would flood the land, Agastya requested Lord Shiva to intervene. In response, Lord Shiva transformed the surging Ganga into the serene and benevolent River Kaveri, which emerged from the sacred Kundike (pond) at Talakaveri.
At Talakaveri, the holy Kundike is the primary attraction. Nestled amidst the picturesque Brahmagiri Hills, this small pond is considered the source of the River Kaveri. Every year, during the auspicious Tula Sankramana, a celestial event that marks the transition of the Sun into Libra, thousands of devotees gather at Talakaveri to witness the sacred moment when the water in the Kundike miraculously gushes up, signifying the birth of the river. Pilgrims also partake in rituals and prayers, seeking blessings and spiritual solace.
Beyond its religious significance, Talakaveri offers a tranquil escape into nature's embrace. The surroundings are adorned with verdant hills, dense forests, and glistening waterfalls. The Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary nearby shelters a variety of flora and fauna, offering ample opportunities for nature lovers and trekkers to explore the diverse ecosystem.
The Talakaveri temple, dedicated to Goddess Kaveri Amma, stands adjacent to the sacred Kundike. The temple's architecture showcases the traditional Dravidian style, adorned with intricate carvings and colorful paintings. The serene ambiance of the temple and the spiritual aura surrounding the Kundike contribute to a sense of divine reverence.
Talakaveri celebrates several festivals with great enthusiasm. Apart from Tula Sankramana, Makar Sankranti is another significant festival, during which the temple and its surroundings come alive with festivities and vibrant processions.