Known also by its English name Cauvery, this large river holds significance in Indian culture and history and provides extensive irrigation to southern India. The river covers a distance of about 475 miles (765 km) and flows through the Indian states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu before emerging in the Bay of Bengal.
Many legends exist about how the Kaveri came into being. It is believed to meet up with the Ganges River and is considered sacred by many who believe it also has the power to wash away sins. There are many tributaries and pilgrimage sites, with the Talakaveri, or start of the river, being one of the most significant.
Dams such as the Krishna Raja Sangara and Mettur store water collected during monsoons and release them during the dry months. The Kallanai Dam, constructed by King Karikala Chola over 1,600 years ago, was originally built of mud and stone, and is one of the oldest dams still in use today. The old city of Srirangapatna, home to the Dariya Daulat Palace (Summer Palace), is also located on an island on the river.
The Kaveri River flows throughout southern India and is accessible via both Bangalore and Mysore. The roads to many of the towns along the river’s course have been recently improved, and driving is the best way to reach most of them.