History & Culture

Divine retreat by the Cauvery

The entrance to the Kothandaramar temple, Chunchunakatte, near Mysore. Photo: R. Ramadurai  


Legend Rama stopped over at this place during his exile.

Chunchanakatte, located near K.R. Nagar, Mysore district, in Krishnarajanagar taluk, about 57 Km from Mysore City, towards Hassan, houses an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Rama, located by the side of River Cauvery and a beautiful falls.

The uniqueness of the idol installed here is that Sita is seen standing to the right of Rama. The pristine beauty of the place with the falls gushing in full flow is a sight to watch.

Legend describes Chunchanakatte as the holy place where Lord Sri Rama, during his exile, stopped by and availed the hospitality of a tribal couple called Chuncha and Chunchi. It is in this forest that Lord Rama met Agnatha Rishi. Impressed by his devotion to Lord Narayana Rama beckoned the Rishi to ask for a wish and the Rishi expressed his desire to see Lord Rama with Sita on His right side. And thus, the Lord is seen with Sita on His right side.

Shrines for Hanuman

There are two shrines for Hanuman - one at the entrance to the temple and the other next to the temple near the Cauvery River. Brahma Rathotsava (car festival) is held on January 15 every year.

Another scene that one witnesses at this temple is the huge population of monkeys - (Hanuman – the Rama bhakta). Devotees could see Hanuman almost everywhere including the temple prakaram and Garbhagudi, where they royally walk in and steal prasadams from devotees. None including the temple priest seems to have a way of stopping them.

Cauvery flows into Chunchanakatte, forming a 60 ft height and approximately 300 to 400 ft wide waterfalls. When the river reaches to cascade it is divided into two separate waterfalls that joins again at a certain point to continue to flow as one into Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) dam. The roar is deafening and the spray from the falls is refreshing.

Legendary facts

It is believed that Sita took bath in this holy waters thus rendering a turmeric tinge to the water. It is also believed that when Sita was tired and weary and wanted to have a bath, Lord Rama directed Lakshmana to fire an arrow at a rock, and once Lakshmana fired the arrow, water started pouring out in three different shades - one with turmeric, next one with oil and the other with shikakai. These shades are visible even today when there is considerable amount of water flowing in the falls.

The most astonishing feature of this temple is that even though the falls beside the temple make a deafening noise, it is not heard inside the garbhagudi (sanctum sanctorum) instead it seems as if the falls does not exist.

Besides the picturesque falls this place boasts of greenery and migratory birds. The power plant nearby was started during 1994 and completed (two units) in 1998. The power station has a capacity of 18MW (9 MW each).

How to reach: Chunchanakatte can be reached by road from Mysore (57 km) and from Bangalore about 190 km and for most part it is a four-lane Highway route. It is a day-long trip from Bangalore and Mysore.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2016 6:47:29 PM | http://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/history-and-culture/divine-retreat-by-the-cauvery/article5119797.ece