The river attracts both locals and visitors at the cool times of the day. But even in the leaden heat of noon you can find a villager washing himself or his compliant cow. The Cauvery is the sacred river of southern India. Like the northern Ganges it feeds, washes, refreshes and is an ever-present source of contemplation. It is vastly wide and majestic and at this time of the year largely dry.
Shantivanam, the Benedictine ashram that Fr Bede Griffiths made famous, where he welcomed pilgrims for forty years and where he died and is buried, rests on its banks. In the relaxed rhythms of the ashram that make the life of western monasteries seem driven, or in walking beside the river, time brakes, reality sharpens and, most surprisingly, what you desire begins to change.