Birth of river Cauvery celebrated amidst COVID threat

Talacauvery (Karnataka), Oct 17(UNI) The continuing threat of the COVID pandemic saw only a limited number of devotees being present to celebrate the auspicious event of the birth of the river Cauvery at the foothills of the Brahmagiri peak in Kodagu on Saturday.
Amid chanting of hymns by the priests, the holy spring emerged exactly at the scheduled time.
The district administration allowed only those people who had COVID test certificates with them. And like previous years devotees were not allowed to take the holy dip.
The Cauvery river emerges from the “Brahma Kundike” (a tiny pond) from a spring and then goes on to become the lifeline of Southern Karnataka.
Priest Gopalakrishna Achar and other 13 priests who led the puja and other rituals, splashed pots full of holy water on the devotees who approached the ‘Kundike’ to pay obeisance to the statue of Goddess Cauvery, which was bedecked with gold ornaments for the occasion.
The temple authorities had arranged for people to collect the holy water in pots.
Bhagamandala and Talacauvery wore a festive look. Earlier Devathakka Balladka Appaji accompanied the bhandara box (temple treasure chest), following which Chandika Homa and Maha Sankalpa puja were performed, in the presence of District In-charge Minister V Somanna.
The Triveni Sangama at Bhagamandala saw devotees performing the ritual, before moving uphill to Talacauvery, which is located at the foot of Brahmagiri hill.
The Tula Sankramana Jatra here for the next one month. District authorities and police have made elaborate security arrangements.
The public entry to Talacauvery has been restricted due to rampant increase in spread of COVID-19 pandemic. All those taking part, have been asked to bring COVID-19 test certificate issued after Oct.14. Only those having COVID-19 negative reports are allowed to take part.
Also, no devotee is allowed to have a holy bath in the Talacauvery pond and collecting holy water from the pond too has been banned. But the holy water was sprinkled on the devotees and the Temple Committee will itself distribute Theertha (holy water) to devotees.
Following directions from the District Administration, the Talacauvery Temple Management Committee has taken measures for strict enforcement of COVID norms which include compulsory wearing of face mask and maintenance of physical distancing.

Also, as a security measure, CCTV cameras have been installed all around the area and the temple has been illuminated, albeit on a low-scale.
As other safety measures, railings have been erected on the road leading from the foot of Brahmagiri Hill, a few vehicle parking sheds have been erected and exclusive sheds have been erected for conducting health check-up of devotees.
Talacauvery Temple Thakka Kodi Motaiah said that several rituals associated with the event started from September16 itself. The jewellery was brought to Talacauvery temple on Thursday.
The Temple Committee President Biddatanda Thammaiah said that the temple authorities strictly followed COVID-19 guidelines set out by the Government and the District Administration.
Pointing out that separate counters have been set up for sprinkling and distribution of theertha, Thammaiah said devotees will only be allowed to offer seva near Theertha Kundike. All the devotees should stand in a proper queue, while maintaining safety norms, he added.
As far as Bhagamandala temple is concerned, the famous Bhagandeshwara temple has been illuminated. And additional lighting arrangements have been made all around Bhagamandala and Triveni Sangama.
Minister Somanna inaugurated the Rs 75 lakh building block which houses tonsuring facility, ticket counter and performance of pujas and homas at Bhagamandala.


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