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The Cauvery River

6th July, 2024 Geography

The Cauvery River

Source: Indiawater

Disclaimer: Copyright infringement not intended.

Context: The Karnataka state government has established a nine-member committee to investigate the contamination of the Kaveri River and propose solutions to address the issue.



The Cauvery River (Kaveri) is designated as the ‘Dakshi Bharat ki Ganga’ or ‘the Ganga of the South’.

Origin and flow

  • The River Cauvery originates at Talakaveri in Coorg District of Karnataka in Brahmagiri Range of hills in the Western ghats at an elevation of 1341 m.
  • The total length of the river from the origin to its outfall into the sea is 800 Kms. of which 320 Kms.is in Karnataka,416 Kms.in Tamilnadu and 64 Kms before its outfall into the Bay of Bengal.
  • Forms the common border between the Karnataka and Tamilnadu states.

Physiography and Drainage Basin

  • Cauvery basin extends over an area of 81155 sq.km. which is nearly 2.7% of the total geographical area of the country.
  • The Cauvery basin is bounded by Tungabhadra sub-basin of Krishna basin on the Northern side and Palar basin on the Southern side.
  • The Nilgiris, an offshore of Western ghats, extend Eastwards to the Eastern ghats and divide the basin into two natural and political regions i.e.,Karnataka plateau in the North and the Tamilnadu plateau in the South.
  • The principal soil types found in the basin are black soils, red soils, laterites, alluvial soils, forest soils and mixed soils. Red soils occupy large areas in the basin. Alluvial soils are found in the delta areas.
  • The basin receives rainfall mainly from the S-W Monsoon and partially from N-E Monsoon in the Karnataka. The basin in Tamilnadu receives good flows from the North-East Monsoon.


Drainage area (sq. km.)

Tamil Nadu






Tributaries and Distributaries

  • Left Bank: the Harangi, the Hemavati, the Shimsha,and the Arkavati.
  • Right Bank: Lakshmantirtha, the Kabbani, the Suvarnavati, the Bhavani, the Noyil, and the Amaravatijoins from the right.
  • There are mainly 7 distributaries from the river Cauvery in delta region namely Nattar, Vanjiyar, Noolar, Arasalar, Thirumalairajanar, Puravadaiyanar

Other key Facts

  • National Parks situated in basin: Bandipur National Park, Nagarhole National Park and Bannerghatta National Park.
  • Kaveri River forms the second-largest waterfall in India. It is known as Shivasamudram and the hydroelectric power generated from the falls is supplied to Mysore, Bangalore and the Kolar Gold Fields.
  • Another fall it form called Hogennekkal Falls.
  • It flows through a wide gorge which is known as “Mekedatu”(Goats leap).
  • The river, as it wends its way from Karur and beyond, becomes very broad and is known as Akhanda Cauvery.
  • Cauvery riverin island called Srirangam Island.
  • On the Cauvery lies the “Grand Anicut” know as Kallanai Dam said to have been constructed by a Chola King in 1st Century A.D


Indiawater, VarthaBharati.


Q. Shivasamudram waterfall situated on which river?

A. Krishna

B. Godavari

C. Cauvery

D. Mahanadi

Answer C