She Glitters the flow, She Does. Cauvery!

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

Cauvery @ Kaveri 

Around Tiruchi

Tiruchi is the 4th largest municipality in South India and it sits right in the heart of Tamil Nadu state. You’ll find many higher education institutes and large industrial units here. Its recorded history dates all the way back to the 3rd century BC during the rule of the Cholas. It had also been ruled by many other dynasties and superpowers over the years, and each has left a hint of their existence among the culture, people, and architecture. I’d been here several times and even more in recent years thanks to Air Asia and Malindo Air, but each time the visits are usually only for a short stopover. Every time I fly in, I look forward to a glimpse of that glitter slithering below. The sight of Cauvery never ceases to amaze me. And this time, I touched her.

About Cauvery

Cauvery, along with her sisters Mahanadi, Godavari and Krishna make up what is known as the 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-spelling 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
  • It is known as a seasonal or perennial river and is mainly rain fed. During the wet/rainy season, the river fills up. During the dry months, the river show the signs of being unfed, so if you are flying in during the dry months, you will 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 are 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 (those of 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 feeling any river water was when clumsy me accidentally lost my balance and fell in. Not pleasant, but this happened years ago.

Just outside are plenty of vendors selling flowers and vegetables. I also 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 have any more for the hour. The stall operators didn’t mind and were more than happy to let me watch them prepare the drinks and to pose for a picture or two. See if you can find the coffee in these shots. 

Specially for the readers.

In one of these pictures, you can also see an aunt (mami) holding a flask of special home-made Udupi-style filtered coffee. A couple of years ago, her husband took my cousins and me 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 great 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 the busy Tiruchi and KL. The air is a lot cleaner here, and I feel so relaxed. The coffee, can’t say more, it’s a good choice 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 go 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 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 the right timing because it does get hot in the daytime. 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 the 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 metres 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 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 along the Cauvery’s banks and listen to her poems as she whispers and do enjoy your drink.

Have a good week. 💗💓💗

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