The Kaveri Sankramana festival normally takes place in mid-October. At a predetermined time, when the sun enters Tula Rasi (Tula sankramana), a fountain from a small tank fills the larger holy tank at Talakaveri.
Thousands of people gather to dip in this holy water. The water, called tirtha, is collected in bottles and distributed to every home throughout Kodagu to be preserved. A spoonful of this water is fed to the dying, in the belief that they will attain moksha (spiritual emancipation) and gain entry to heaven.
On this day, married women wearing new silk saris perform puja to a vegetable, symbolizing the goddess Kaveri. The vegetable is usually a cucumber or a coconut, wrapped in a piece of red silk cloth and decorated with flowers and jewels (mainly ‘Pathak’ (Kodava Mangalasuthra)). This is called the Kanni Puje.
Kanni refers to the goddess Parvati, who incarnated as Kaveri. Three sets of betel leaves and areca nut are kept in front of the goddess with bunches of glass bangles.
All the members of the family pray to the goddess by throwing rice and prostrating themselves before the image. The elder members of the family ceremonially bless the younger. Then an older married woman draws water from the well and starts cooking.
The menu of the day is dosa and vegetable curry (usually pumpkin curry (kumbala kari)) and payasa (sweet dish). Nothing but vegetarian food is cooked on this day, and this is the only festival among the Kodavas where only vegetarian food is had and served.