She Glitters the flow, She Does. Cauvery!

If you are flying in to Tiruchi during the non-dry season then quick - land yourself in that prize-winning seat next to the window. Just a few minutes before touch down, look out and prepare yourself to a spectacular view of the river that glides just below. That’s the Grand Cauvery.

Cauvery @ Kaveri 
Tiruchi is the 4th largest municipal in south India and sits right in the heart of Tamil Nadu state. You’ll find many higher education institutes and large industrial units here. Its recorded history started from way back in 3rd BC during the Cholas ruling. It had also been ruled by many other dynasties and superpowers of yester-years, and each having left a hint of their existence amongst the culture, people and architecture. I’d been here several times and even more in recent years thanks to Air Asia and Malindo Air, however each time the visits usually only for a short stop-over. Every time I fly in, I look forward to a glimpse of that glitter slithering below. The sight of Cauvery never stops to amaze me. And this time, I touched her.

Cauvery, along with her other sisters - Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna make up what is known as Peninsular river system in India. Some trivia facts about the 765 KM long Cauvery.
  • She is commonly known as Kaveri in India. Cauvery is the British name for the same river. The Kaveri is also easier to spell for non spell bees like myself
  • She originates from Kodagu in Karnataka (a neighbouring state West of Tamil Nadu) and flows south east into Tamil Nadu
  • The Cauvery river basin covers 4 states – Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry
  • Cauvery drains into my good ‘ol pal, the Bay of Bengal
  • Just like the other Peninsular rivers, Cauvery too originates from the Peninsular Plateau
  • Its known as a seasonal or perennial river and is mainly ‘rain fed’. During wet/rainy season, the river fills up. During the dry for months, the river show the signs of being unfed, so if you are flying in during the dry months,  you’d not get the same view from 10,000 feet above
  • It is said that these peninsular rivers are even older than the Himalayan rivers
  • Kaveri is a popular Hindu name for girls, and it means the life, river, naturally 😊
  • It is a holy river in South India. On new moon or Amavasya days (which is once a month), many local Hindus come here and offer special prayers for the worship of their forefathers.

Around the Cauvery, me, the goods keeper and the udupi coffee

My task today was to take care of everyone’s belongings (my parents and cousins) while they went in to take a dip in the river. Here’s where, later, I touched some of this precious water myself. Warm, complementing the hot weather. The only other two times I remember touching any river water was when the clumsy me accidentally lost balance and fell in. Not pleasant, but these happened years ago.

Just outside are plenty of vendors selling flowers and vegetables, I noticed they like their coffee as much as I do too. There are plenty of coffee and tea stands to fulfil the demanding caffeine needs and this sight made me tremendously happy. Since I had two already, I couldn't take anymore for the hour. The stall operators didn’t mind and were more than happy to let me watch them prepare the drink and to pose a picture or two. See if you can find the coffee in these shots. 

Specially for the readers.

In one of these pictures, you’d also see an aunt (mami) holding a flask of special home-made Udupi styled filtered coffee. A couple years ago, her husband (who I refer to as Mama or uncle) took me and my cousins to one of the best Udupi coffee restaurants in Tamil Nadu. She remembered and prepared this one for us 😘.

The next is a picture taken at our family home near Pudukkottai.  My mom made me this nice piping hot filtered coffee this morning. The beans were freshly ground in Tiruchi. It has the right consistency and taste. The atmosphere here is calm, away from busy Tiruchi and KL, the air is a lot cleaner, I feel so relaxed. The coffee, can’t say more, it’s a good one for sure.😍

When in Tiruchi or anywhere south of Tamil Nadu, remember to get yourself some Paneer Soda. This is a rose essence carbonated drink. I like Kalimarks though, I don't fancy the green bottles they are packaged in. This branding reminds me of Sprite but I feel they can confidently do with a different image because their drink tastes even better. Look, here’s a picture for you. I have already had 3 within the last 8 hours. Well it's hot and those empty bottles speak a lot for themselves right now.
Refreshing Paneer Soda

There are plenty of things to do in Tiruchi. A visit to the Rock Fort Temple is one of them. The temple was built in 580 AD on an ancient 83m high rock by the Pallavas. The temple had changed hands several times over the years under the different rulers of the period - Pallavas, Pandyas, Cholas and the Nayaks. Plenty of steps to climb here. Be fit, and more importantly choose a good timing because it does get hot in the day time. The climb up to the Ganesha temple is a rewarding one -   a spectacular view of Tiruchi.

Rock ye, Rock ye Fort

The Sri Ranganathaswamy temple (Sri Rangam) is the largest Hindu temple in India and the biggest functioning temple in the world. It is surrounded by the Cauvery on one side and the Kollidam on the other. The magnificently structured temple is situated in the little islet formed by these two rivers. The temple's early inscriptions date back to 1 AD. The temple was rebuilt in 14th century and then fortified and extended in the 15th and 16th centuries. It spans 0.63 KM. One would have to pass all 7 concentric walled sections to reach the Raja Gopuram which is 73 meters tall and this is where the main deity is. There are 21 Gopurams (tower gateways) in total. Between each walled sections are little shops, coffee stalls and restaurants.  The temple, first built during the Pallavas reign, is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. 

Also, near Rock Fort Temple is an ancient church constructed in 1840, Our Lady of Lourdes Church.  This is a roman catholic basilica. The church stands grandly on a busy street in the centre of the city, she is a very pretty and if you pass by without noticing or looking twice at her, I would be surprised. This is a large Gallo-Catholic designed church. The church conducts holy masses every day and anyone can join in.

Lady Of Lourdes

Shopping is always one of the welcoming delights for travellers and visitors. Tiruchi offers a good selection of clothes, fabric, saris, sweets & snacks, silverware and other Indian products. The rule is simple, arrive with empty suitcases, and fill them up here. 

If shopping doesn't get you excited, there is always a coffee and tea shop nearby, grab a glass (or tumbler), sit at the Cauvery bank and listen to her poems as she whispers and enjoy your coffee week. 

Have a good week. 💗💓💗

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