Map of the Kaveri river basin
|Main source||Talakaveri, Kodagu, Western Ghats, Karnataka
Karnataka (ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ), India
1,276 m (4,186 ft)
|River mouth||Poompuhar, Tamil Nadu (தமிழ் நாடு)
Bay of Bengal, India
0 m (0 ft)
|Length||805 km (500 mi)|
|Basin size||81,155 km2 (31,334 sq mi)|
Kaveri, also referred as Ponni, is an Indian river flowing through the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It is the third largest after Godavari and Krishna in south India and the largest in Tamil Nadu which on its course, bisects the state into North and South.
Originating in the foothills of Western Ghats at Talakaveri, Kodagu in Karnataka it flows generally south and east through Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and across the southern Deccan plateau through the southeastern lowlands, emptying into the Bay of Bengal through two principal mouths in Poompuhar, Tamil Nadu. Amongst the river valleys, the Kaveri delta forms one of the most fertile regions in the country.
The Kaveri basin is estimated to be 81,155 square kilometres (31,334 sq mi) with many tributaries. The river's basin covers three states and a Union Territory as follows: Tamil Nadu, 43,856 square kilometres (16,933 sq mi); Karnataka, 34,273 square kilometres (13,233 sq mi); Kerala, 2,866 square kilometres (1,107 sq mi), and Puducherry, 160 square kilometres (62 sq mi). Rising in southwestern Karnataka, it flows southeast some 800 kilometres (500 mi) to enter the Bay of Bengal.
In Mandya district it forms the island of Shivanasamudra, on either side of which are the scenic Shivanasamudra Falls that descend about 100 metres (330 ft). The river is the source for an extensive irrigation system and for hydroelectric power. The river has supported irrigated agriculture for centuries and served as the lifeblood of the ancient kingdoms and modern cities of South India. Access to the river's waters has pitted Indian states against each other for decades.
The primary uses of Kaveri is providing water for irrigation, water for household consumption and the generation of electricity.
An estimate at the time of the first Five Year Plan puts the total flow of the Kaveri at 15 cubic kilometres (12,000,000 acre⋅ft), of which 60 percent was used for irrigation. The Torekadanahalli pumpstation sends 540 million litres (19,000,000 cu ft) per day of water from Kaveri 100 kilometres (62 mi) to Bangalore.
The hydroelectric plant built on the left of Sivanasamudra Falls on the Kaveri in 1902 was the first hydroelectric plant in Asia.
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