Nestled amidst the Western Ghats, Coorg is quite popular among travellers. It was a dream come true for me; a trip that should have happened 4 years ago was finally coming together, and this time two other friends and I were looking forward to it. The one place we knew we had to visit was Talacauvery, a good 4,500 ft above sea level, from where Cauvery springs forth, only to disappear underground before surfacing again at Nagateertha near Bhagamandala. It is only 8 kms from Bhagamandala, where one witnesses the confluence of three rivers, Cauvery, Sujyothi and Kanike and about 48 kms from Madikeri, the capital of Coorg (Kodagu).
Cloudy skies and mist hung in the air as we made our way to Talacauvery. The occasional light drizzle sneaking in through the window left me lost in sweet thoughts. The roads wound around the mountain, and with every turn, visibility was getting poorer, mist hanging low; good thing our friend knew the route! There were places where all we wanted to do was stop the car, bask in the beauty of nature and capture those memories in our minds and cameras.
We knew we were getting close; there were no milestones left and oncoming traffic was on the rise. Heavy rains greeted us quite cheerfully at Talacauvery. My friend Aparna and her son luckily had brought along their raincoats while we had to make do with one umbrella. It was freezing, and we were soaked to the bone by the time we reached the entrance, where we took off our shoes, placing them carefully under a park bench, as if to shelter them from the chill.
I could feel the excitement, my heart beating fast, like a child going toward a fun ride. There was a bounce in our step as we made a few steps across to the shrine and the big tank near the Gundike, where many visitors took a dip before offering their prayers at the shrine. The floor was wet from the rain, and mist covered it all, completely engulfing us. From there, it was up another set of stairs to visit the temple of Lord Agasthyeshwara [Lord Shiva] and Ganesha.
Taking shelter from the rain, we walked along the mandap surrounding the temple, when towards the end I saw a flight of stairs leading to heaven. Well, that’s what I thought till my friend brought me to reality saying those steps would take us to Brahmagiri Hills, from where one can see the panoramic view of Talacauvery. A lady walking by told us the story of how it is believed that a special yagna was performed by the Saptha Maharishis here. Had it not been for the rain, we would have made our way up there. With a heavy heart, we made our way back toward the parking lot, not before stopping to say a quick prayer to the river, while the mist floated on, brushing past our faces…