Coorg ( Madikeri ) Karnataka
Records about Coorg are available only from 9th century CE onwards. All the information prior to this period is considered as legendary narrations with no concrete evidence to hold the speculations. As per records, Coorg was ruled for centuries by several South Indian dynasties like the Kadambas, Gangas, Chalukyas, Cholas, Rastrakutas, Hoyasalas, Vijayanagara Kingdom and the native Haleri dynasty. Authentic records of the district tell us that the Gangas under the assistance of Changalvas and the kings of Nanjarayapatna ruled the district. After the decline of the Ganga’s in 11th century, the Cholas started ruling Coorg with the help of the Changalvas. However, clashes within the Chola kingdom forced them to leave the region. With this, the powerful Hoyasalas of Belur in Hassan district tried to establish their power, but the Changalvas did not accept their rule easily. In the year 1174 AD, Bettarasa, the army general of Hoysala king Ballala II, fought against the Changalva king Pemma Veerappa and established Hoysala rule in Coorg. After the decline of Hoysala kingdom, the land was passed onto the hands of very powerful Vijayanagar Empire. With time, Muslim Deccan Sultanates broke down the power of Vijayanagar Empire, and the region came under the reign of Mysore Rajas.
Area: 4,102 km²
Population: 554,519 (2011)
Boroughs: Madikeri, Somwarpet, Virajpet
University: College of Forestry, Ponnampet, UAHS, Shimoga
Bailkuppe near Kushalnagar is one of the largest Tibetan settlements in south India. Most notable among them are the large educational monastic institution Sera, the smaller Tashilunpo monastery and Namdroling monastery .The Mahayana Buddhist University is at Sera. There are nearly 7,000+ monks and nuns. The gold-coated Buddhist statues in the monastery are imposing and unique, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the Tibetans. The statues are of Guru Padmasambhava, Buddha Shakyamuni and Amitayus. They make handicrafts, carpets and incense. Tourists can shop for sweaters, dress material and other accessories
This place is around 14 Kms from Kushalnagar, where one can see the largest settlements of Tibetian people in India and a visit to the place almost gives you an impression of, as if you were in Tibet, with the Tibetan style monasteries, food and ofcourse Tibetan Monks. Tibetans have been driven from their home land and since then are fighting back to retain their homeland and traditions. Also at this place one can see hoardings of sacrifices of people from Tibet in processions against the Chinese government.
The temple complex is a host to many monks who are regularly chanting prayers over here. One gets involved with the rhythmic chanting of holy text by the monks in line with the gongs and the temple bells. It is free to enter into any of the temples in the compound without any restrictions.
Kaveri Nisargadhama is a beautiful island formed by river Kaveri and it is located 2 km off the State Highway from Kushalanagar.
Kaveri Nisargadhama was established in 1989. Kaveri Nisargadhama is abundant with lush foliage, thick bamboo groves, teak, and rosewood.
The sprawling 64-acre nature resort which is surrounded by river Kaveri includes a deer park, orchidarium, and elephant and boat rides. The Nisargadhama can be accessed by walking across a hanging bridge.
Kaveri Nisargadhama also has a forest department run guest house and treetop bamboo cottages. The Kaveri Nisargadhama resort has 10-15 cottages and 5 bamboo cottages.
Kaveri Nisargadhama is an ideal place to spend vacations on the sandy beds of the river bank in Kodagu district.
Dubare Forest & Elephant Camp
Dubare is known for its elephant camp, a forest camp on the banks of the river Kaveri in the district of Kodagu, Karnataka. It is an important base for the Karnataka Forest Department’s elephants.
The elephants for the Mysore Dussehra were trained at Dubare elephant camp. At present, after logging operations have ceased, the elephants have been practically retired except for giving some rides to tourists.
In addition to the elephant training camp, Nisargadhama and Veerabhoomi are the other main attractions of the forest area.
There are opportunities for trekking, elephant rides, fishing, and river rafting. These activities are hosted by jungle lodges and resorts. The Forest Department also conducts some treks along well-defined routes.
Dubare is a picturesque forest area famous for its elephant training camp. It is located on the banks of the river Cauvery in between Siddapur and Kushalnagar.
During the reign of erstwhile Maharaja of Mysore, this place was used to train elephants for the Mysore Dussehra festival.
An elephant training camp of the Forest Department of Coorg is located here.
Local tribe, Kurba, dwell in Dubare. Here, you can observe and learn a great deal about the elephants.
Also, visitors can take part in a number of activities with the elephants.
Dubare offers a number of trekking opportunities and also you can indulge in adrenalin pumping activity like river rafting.
The place due to its sublime verdant beauty is also a preferred destination for nature lovers.
There are two rafting options available for the rafters – 8.5 km run and 12 km run.
The longer run depends on the water level. You pass through thick forests and scenic surroundings negotiating mostly the calm rapids.
River rafting here allows you to rejuvenate yourself and enjoy the flow of the river.
River rafting here is safe and its usually a smooth stretch.
Abby Falls or the Abbi Water Falls is situated just 7-8 kilometers from Madikeri town [Galibeedu road]. ‘Abbi’ in coorgie means a waterfall . The British called it the Jessie waterfalls in memory of Jessie the daughter of Madikeri’s first captain. It is located in a private property and decently maintained. Abby cascades 70 ft down to flow as a small river .The falls appear suddenly, the water cascading over rocks into calm pools. A path through coffee and cardamom plantation off the main road adds to the attraction of the falls. Enjoy the gushing, roaring beauty but a desire to take a dip in the cool waters may prove to be risky. Reaching the place is a nice ride in itself as the road that drives you is very narrow with lots of turns and twists, ups and downs a two wheeler ride would be JOLLY one. A nature welcomes you at every turn .The route to this Falls one Has to go through private Coffee estates. The Foggy Spray issuing forth from the stream flowing over a precipe makes a spectacular sight when viewed from a convenient spot. The water flow is very high during the monsoon season and during the dry seasons the flow is considerably less. The falls is more enjoyable within the fenced area wherefrom you get its friendly pose for your camera. A hanging bridge has now been built across the gorge here offering a good view of the falls. The best time to visit is early winter when the monsoons bring plenty of water. Do take Immense care at this falls as adventure [crazy] stuffs in the falls has always led to a sorrow ending..
Raja’s Seat or the Seat of the King is a famous sunset point in Madikeri in the Coorg district of Karnataka. It was once the platform from which the kings of Kodagu used to enjoy glorious sunsets. The spot got its name as it was the favourite recreational place for the kings. Today it is a famous destination of Madikeri that is visited by tourists throughout the year.
Quick facts Timings: 5:30 AM to 8 PM Musical Fountain Timings: 7:00 PM onwards on weekdays; 6:45 AM to 7:20 PM on weekends Entry Fee: Rs. 5/- Parking: Available against a nominal charge
Omkareshwara Temple in Coorg is a Shiva temple built by King Lingarajendra II in the year 1820. It is said that the temple was constructed by the king to appease the soul of a Brahmin, whom he killed for political reasons. The soul of the Brahmin was then possessed by evil spirits in order to take revenge for the king’s cruelty. To tame the evil spirit, Brahmarakshasa, the king brought a Shivalingam from the holy place of Kashi and installed it at the newly constructed temple. And, thus, this particular Shivalingam came to be known as Omkareshwara.
The architecture of the temple is an amalgamation of Islamic and Gothic style. In the centre of the structure, there is a dome and four turrets surround this dome. At the entrance of the temple, you will find a copper plate, which has the history of the temple inscribed on it. And before you enter the temple, you will find a beautiful pool with lots of fish in it, adding to the aura of natural beauty and serenity here
A visit to Madikeri Fort can also be combined with other tourist attractions across the city. With its delectable cuisines, and opportunities to explore the surrounding areas, Coorg is perfectly poised to offer an experience that is both, authentic as well as unique! There are many ideal locations to visit in and around this wonderful city, with prominent local landmarks and favourable restaurants being just a few examples. Make a trip to Coorg and its exciting places of interest to enjoy a memorable vacation. A visit to Madikeri Fort will give you a greater insight into the various cultures and traditions of Coorg .
Madikeri Fort was first founded by Mudduraja in the second half of the 17th century. He also built a palace inside the fort. It was eventually rebuilt in granite by Tipu Sultan who named the site as Jaffarabad. In 1790, Doddavira Rajendra took control of the fort. The British who added to the fort in 1834. The palace was renovated by Lingarajendra Wodeyar II in 1812-1814. In the north-east corner at the entrance are two life size masonry elephants and a church is present in the south-east corner.
Madikeri Deputy Commissioner’s Office is located inside the Madikeri Fort premises. The church building houses a museum, which contains several items related to history – mainly the British rule era, and also has a huge portrait of Kodagu’s eminent personality Field Marshal K. M. Cariappa.
St. Mark’s Church is located within the Fort and was raised in 1859, by the officers and men of the East India Company. The building was funded by the Government of Madras, and placed under the Church of England in India, Diocese of Madras. The Church was closed after Indian independence, and taken over by the Government of Karnataka in 1971. The building now houses the Madikeri Fort Museum, managed by the Karnataka State Archaeological Department.
Talakaveri is the place that is generally considered to be the source of the river Kaveri. It is located by Brahmagiri hill (not to be confused with the Brahmagiri range further south) near Bhagamandala in Kodagu district, Karnataka, 1,276 m. above sea level. However, there is not a permanent visible flow from this place to the main rivercourse except during the rainy season.
A tank or kundike has been erected on a hillside, at the place that is said to be the origin. It is also marked by a small temple, and the area is frequented by pilgrims. The river originates as a spring feeding this tank, which is considered to be a holy place to bathe on special days. The waters are then said to flow underground to emerge as the Kaveri river some distance away. The temple has been renovated extensively by the state government recently .
On Tulasankramana day (the first day of Tula Masa month, according to the Hindu calendar, which normally falls in mid October) thousands of pilgrims flock to the river’s birthplace to witness the rise of the fountainhead, when water gushes up from the spring at a predetermined moment. The tula snanam (Sacred bath in the Tula month) is observed across pilgrim towns in Kaveri’s banks.
It is believed that Mayura Varma, and Narasimman the Kadamba King who ruled vast areas of southern and central India in the 4th Century A.D. brought Brahmins from Ahi Kshetra and put them in-charge of various temples in Tulu Nadu. Ahi Kshetra is mentioned in the Mahabharata as lying north of the Ganges, and as being the capital of Northern Panchala. It is apparently the Adisadra of Ptolemy, and its remains are visible near Ramnagar in Tahsil Aonla in Bareilly district.
The Brahmins who first landed in Shivalli in Tulunadu and then spread across 31 villages came to be known as Shivalli Brahmins or Tulu Brahmins. It is from Shivalli and Tulu Brahmins, that the priests of Talakaveri temple have come from.
Bhagamandala is situated at the confluence of two rivers, the Kaveri and the Kanika. A third river, the Sujyothi is said to join from underground. It is considered sacred as a river confluence (kudala or sangama, in Kannada and Sanskrit). The temple here, built in Kerala style, has smaller shrines dedicated to various gods.
It is a common practice for pilgrims to take a dip in the sangama and perform rituals to their ancestors before proceeding to Talakaveri, the birthplace of Kaveri. During Tula Sankramana which falls on October 17 or 18.
A short distance from the sangama, there is a famous temple known as Sri Bhagandeshwara temple, where Bhagandeshwara (Ishwara), Subramanya, Mahavishnu and Ganapati are installed. Thus this is also known as Bhagundeshwara Kshetra, from which the name Bhagamandala is derived.
The area was occupied by Tipu Sultan during 1785-1790 and renamed Bhagamandala to Afesalabad. Then in 1790 King Dodda Vira Rajendra took Bhagamandala back into an independent Kodagu.
Bhagamandala is located about 33 km from Madikeri. Government and private buses are made available to this place frequently.
A dam with a length of 2775 ft and a height of 174 ft is built across the tributary of Cauvery. This reservoir, 8 kms from Nisarga dhama on one side and 6 kms from Kushalnagar on the other, is the only reservoir in coorg.
A true picinic spot where one can admire the gushing back waters and a cauvery temple nearby. A visit to the Kudige Dairy farm close by could be interesting.
The river Harangi is a tributary of Kaveri. It emerges from the Western Ghats – the Pushpagiri Hills – at Kodagu or Coorg, Karnataka. The Harangi joins Cauvery at Kudige in Somwarpet taluk. The length of the river from its place of origin till it converges with Cauvery is nearly 50 km.
The Haranagi river is mostly known for the Haranagi reservoir. This is a masonry dam built across the river on the Mysore-Kodagu border and depends on the South-West monsoon to fill up its gross storage capacity of 8.5 tmcft water. The water from the reservoir irrigates 1.50 acres of land across Mysore and Hassan.
Iruppu waterfall is one of Coorgs major tourist attractions. Iruppu is a sacred place and is located in south Coorg on the Brahmagiri range of hills. River Lakshmana-tirtha flows nearby. According to legends Rama and Lakshmana, passed this way in search of Sita. Lakshmana shot an arrow into the Brahmagiri hills and brought into being the river Lakshmana tirtha when Rama asked him to fetch some water.
iruppu falls coorgThe river descends into a water fall known as the Irupu Falls and takes a 60 meter plunge down the river amidst the lushy green mountain. This place is said to possess the power to cleanse one’s sins and is visited by thousands of devotees on Shivaratri day.
Irpu Falls is around 30kms from Gonikoppa and 80 kms from Madikeri. Nagarahole is just 25 kms away from Irpu Falls.
Iruppu water falls is located at a distance of 50 km from Madikeri, head quarters of Kodagu district and 20 km from Nagarahole National Park bordering the Wayanad district of Kerala. The Iruppu waterfall is surrounded by lush green Western Ghats. The roaring waters of the Iruppu falls and the picturesque surroundings make it a favorite picnic spot.
Iruppu Falls presents a magnificent view during the monsoon. Originating in the lofty Brahmagiri peaks, the falls plunge 170 ft in two different stages. Iruppu falls later become a part of the Lakshmana Teertha River. Hence, this waterfall is also known as Lakshmana teertha falls.
As per the legend, Lakshmana shot an arrow into the Brahmagiri hills and brought into being the river Lakshmana Tirtha.
The Rameshwara Temple located nearby the Iruppu water falls attracts a huge number of pilgrims during the festival of Shivaratri. It is believed that Iruppu waterfall possesses magical powers and they remove one’s sins. On the day of Shivaratri, devotees take bath in Iruppu falls to get rid of their sins.
Nagarhole National Park
The Nagarahole National Park, also known as the Rajiv Gandhi National Park, was set up as a wildlife sanctuary in 1955 and later christened as a national park in the year 1988. The park stretches for over 643 sq km between the Kodagu (Coorg) district and Mysore district in the southern state of Karnataka.
Together with the Bandipur National Park (870 sq km), the Mudumalai National Park (320 sq km), and the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (344 sq km), it forms one of the largest protected areas for wildlife in Southern India. The park is also a part of the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve, and is being considered by the UNESCO for selection as a World Heritage Site along with the Western Ghats.
The Nagarahole National Park derives its name from two Kannada words ‘Naga’ meaning ‘snake’ and ‘Hole’ meaning ‘stream’. The Kabini River separates the Nagarahole National Park from the Bandipur National Park. Besides the Kabini, there are other rivers flowing in the vicinity of the park and these are the Lakshmana and Teentha rivers. The park is dotted with enchanting greenery and forest cover, coupled with waterfalls and a wide array of wildlife.
Due to high levels of rainfall in this region, the park consists of numerous open grassy swamps lined with teak and eucalyptus. Wildlife varieties are numerous in number. Some of the common predators that can be seen include tigers, leopards, sloth bears and wild dogs. Spotted deer, sambar, barking deer, four-horned antelopes, wild boars and elephants constitute the herbivores.
Elephants in particular are seen the most, and they can be spotted enjoying their natural habitat at its best.
Other mammals present include the common langur, Bonnet macaques, jungle cats, slender Loris, leopards, civet cats, mongoose, common otters, giant flying squirrels, giant squirrels, porcupines, jackals, mouse-deer, hares and pangolins. The park also has a wide variety of birds and amphibians.