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Nestled on the slopes of the Western Ghats, Coorg (also called Kodagu) woos you with its undulating hills, lush green forests and a spectacular landscape dotted with coffee plantations and orange groves. Coorg is the land of coffee, cardamom, colonels, and the Cauvery. Aptly dubbed as ‘the Scotland of India’, Coorg offers a spellbinding visual treat with its cloud-capped peaks, chirpy birds and sparkling streams, not to mention the unique, mouth-watering flavours of Kodagu cuisine.
Coorg is the land of coffee and spices. The steep hillsides, with natural forest cover, are ideal for growing coffee. In fact, the district produces nearly 30% of India’s coffee. The British left behind a legacy of coffee plantations, which remain the main source of the area’s revenue today. One of the largest producers of honey in Asia, Kodagu is also renowned for its pepper and cardamom, producing large quantities of both for domestic use as well as export. Yet another produce grown in abundant quantities is the Coorg orange, making it a land that suffuses sweetness with spiciness, even as the heady aroma of coffee wafts through the air. It also has highest density of sacred groves in the world
Madikeri is the picturesque capital of Kodagu district and is located in a beautiful hilly setting surrounded by the forested slopes of the Western Ghats. Here, time seems to have stopped. Dotted with a cluster of red-roofed dwellings and a bustling bazaar, the town, situated at an elevation of 1525m, has a charming old-world look.
Experience Coorg and discover nature at its best!
The unique culture of the Kodavas
The Kodavas, a warrior race that calls Coorg their home, have given the region a distinct culture. A community that worships weapons and reveres ancestors, the Kodava traditions are unique; be it their dialect (the Kodava Thak), the festivals they celebrate, unique style of dressing, cuisine or weddings.
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- Madikeri Fort: The Madikeri Fort with its stone ramparts now houses a temple, a chapel, a small museum, a prison and assorted government offices. It was originally built as a mud fort by the Haleri Kings. Later, it was demolished and rebuilt in stone by Tipu Sultan. In 1834, the British seized the fort and also had itrenovated
- Nalkunadu Palace: Nalknad Palace, the summer home of the Kodagu kings, is situated in Tadiandamol, Coorg’s highest point. With its interiors replete with ornately carved pillars and friezes, the 200-year-old palace is an architectural gem. Yet another attraction is the sculpted pavilion, which has four bull sculptures facing the cardinal directions. The Nalknad Palace, also called Naalnaad Aremane, was used by King Veerarajendra as a base to carry out operations against Tipu Sultan after Madikeri, the Kodagu capital, was captured.
- Doddamalte: 6 kms from Somavarapet, Doddamalte is an ancient village inhabited since pre-historic times. Doddamalte has ruins of a temple, old tank bunds and stone chambers on a hilltop.
- Rafting in Dubare: Water Rafting is a popular adventure sports to try in Dubare
- Tadiandamol Peak Trek: The highest peak in the Coorg region and the second highest in Karnataka, Tadiandamol is a trekker’s paradise. Located at an elevation of 1,748 m, the gentle slopes and grassy terrain lures you with their scenic charm and serene ambience. A major attraction here is the Padi Igguthappa Temple. Igguthappa is the main deity of the native Kodavas and here the deity is worshipped as the ‘Giver of Grain’.
- Cauvery Nisarga Dhama: A breathtakingly picturesque riverine island carved by the Cauvery river, Nisargadhama is located 2 km from Kushal Nagar and can be accessed by travelling over a hanging bridge. The sprawling 64 acre island – developed into an eco-park – attracts visitors with its rich scenic beauty. You have plenty of things to see and do here; visit the deer park and orchidarium, go for a boat ride etc.
- Microlight flying: Private operators facilitate short joy rides on microlight planes.
- Dubare Elephant Bathing: Dubare Elephant camp allows visitors to give a bath to elephants and feed them. Unique opportunity to understand animals in close proximity.
- Nagarahole Forest Safari: Forest Safari is conducted by the Forest Department twice daily, at 6 AM to 8 AM in the morning and 3 PM to 5 PM in the evening. Slots are often limited and advance booking is recommended. Visit this page for tariff and contact information. You may check the details based on the current COVID-19 rules and regulations before you take the safari.
- Jeep Safaris: Private operators organize 4x4 jeep rides in hilly areas such as Mandalapatti
- Nishani Betta Trek: Nishani Betta is a beautiful peak near Talakaveri. Trek to this peak gives an amazing 360 degree view of the Brahmagiri hill range.
- Hike up the hill behind Talakaveri: Climb 400+ steps up the Brahmagiri hill from Talakaveri temple for a panoramic view of evergreen forests. During monsoon months/early morning hours, white mist and clouds will engulf the hill and offer a pleasant atmosphere and view.
- Kunda Betta trek/sunset view: Popular trekking destination 50 kms from Madikeri, Kunda Betta offers amazing sunset views.
Nature & Wildlife
- Abbey Falls: Abbey falls (also referred to as Abbi falls) is a popular waterfall in Kodagu district. River Kaveri drops for about 70 ft over wide rocks creating a spectacular view. Tucked away between private coffee and spice estates, Abbey Falls offers a splendid backdrop for picnics. As you make your way past stocky coffee bushes and tall trees entwined with pepper vines, the falls make a sudden and dramatic appearance as they cascade their way down in steps to join the River Cauvery. These falls are most impressive during the monsoon.
- Chelavara Falls: Chelavara is a wide and milky waterfall in Kodagu district. Chelavara falls is a serene waterfall created by a tributary of river Kaveri, with a 150 ft drop over a rock said to resemble the shape of a tortoise. Chelavara falls is located in Cheyyandane village, off Talakaveri-Virajapete road, State Highway 90.
- Iruppu Falls: Surrounded by lush greenery, the Iruppu Falls is at its splendid best during the monsoons. Originating in the lofty Brahmagiri peaks, the magnificent falls plunge 170 ft in two different phases. Another major attraction is the Iruppu Rameshwara Temple, that draws a throng of devotees every year during the Shivaratri festival.
- Harangi Dam: Situated in North Kodagu, this dam is a beautiful reservoir, ideal for a weekend holiday. Harangi Dam was the first dam to be built across river Cauvery. Harangi dam is a popular picnic area, particularly during the post monsoon season.
- Chiklihole Dam: Small but beautifully designed dam with semi circular water outlet, accessible via a small diversion on the way to Dubare Elephant camp.
- Nagarahole National Park: Located between the Mysuru plateau in Karnataka and the Nilgiri mountains of Tamil Nadu, Nagarahole is 643 sq km. sanctuary that hosts an abundant variety of wildlife. A prominent hub of conservation under Project Tiger and Project Elephant, the sanctuary is home to the largest herd of Asiatic elephants and numerous species of birds, flora and fauna, including large predators like tigers, leopards and black panthers, reptiles, gaur, deer, bears and other smaller animals. Take a jeep or boat safari, and gear up for an encounter with the wild. The state-run Jungle Lodges & Resorts operates the Kabini River Lodge, located at the edge of the park, which is rated as one of the finest wildlife resorts in the country.
- Dubare Elephant Camp: If you are an elephant lover, Dubare Elephant Camp is simply the right place for you. Nestled between the Cauvery and the reserve forests, the Dubare Elephant Camp - once the training camp of the Mysore Dasara elephants - is a treat for wildlife enthusiasts as well as travelers. A unique eco-tourism destination founded by Jungle Lodges & Resorts, the Camp aims to protect and conserve these gentle pachyderms. Observe the elephants in action, learn about their habits and take part in various activities of the Camp such as feeding and bathing the elephants. A trained naturalist is at hand to explain the different aspects of elephant history, ecology and biology.
- Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary: Wildlife Sanctuary around Brahmagiri hills, spread across about 181 sq kms. About 87 kms south of Madikeri.
- Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary: Spread around 103 sq kms, Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is about 60 kms north of Madikeri town.
- Talacauvery Wildlife Sanctuary: Protected area around Talakaveri, spread around 106 sq kms, about 50 kms west of Madikeri town.
- Omkareshwara Temple: Just a stone’s throw away from the Madikeri Fort is the Omkareshwara Temple, built in 1820 and featuring a blend of red tile-roofed Kerala architecture and Islamic-style domes. The Linga of this Shiva Temple is believed to have been brought from Kashi. A large temple tank with a mantap in it enhances the visual appeal of Omkareshwara Temple.
- Talacauvery: Set amidst the picturesque Brahmagiri hills is the source of the Cauvery River, with the Talacauvery Temple built around it. Talacauvery literally means the ‘Head of the Cauvery’ and is believed to be the birthplace of River Cauvery. Here, the river originates as a small spring. Here, on the slope of the Brahmagiri Hill, the river emerges as a small spring. A ‘Kundike’ or rectangular pond and a small shrine mark this holy spot. In mid-October, on Tula Sankramana day; the spring miraculously wells up and the water gushes over. According to legends, this is the time when Goddess Ganga visits her sister Goddess Cauvery. Thousands of devotees from across the country throng the place to take a dip in the waters on this auspicious day.
- Bhagamandala: Situated on the foothills of Talacauvery, Bhagamandala is the meeting point of the three sacred rivers; the Cauvery, Kannike and the subterranean Sujyoti. An important pilgrimage centre that draws thousands of devotees every year, Bhagamandala has three temples dedicated to Bhagandeshwara, Brahma with Subramanya and Mahavishnu. It is customary for devotees to take a dip and worship here before journeying to Talacauvery. The spot also offers a splendid panoramic view of the Brahmagiri Peak.
- Triveni Sangama: The spot where three rivers merge is popularly known as Triveni Sangama. River Sujyothi is given a mythical status and is believed to be flowing underground, before emerging near Bhagamandala and joining Kaveri and Kannike rivers. Pilgrims take holy dip in Triveni Sangama.
- Golden Temple: The Namdroling Monastery, popularly referred to as ‘The Golden Temple’ is one of the largest Tibetan settlements in India. Located in Bylakuppe, about 5 kms from Kushalanagara in Kodagu district, the golden temple complex is home to about 16000 refugees and 600 monks. Namdroling Monastery’s main entrance is an attractive four story tower with a wheel portraying symbols of Buddhism. The main attractions inside the Golden temple are statues of Lord Buddha in the centre with statues of Lord Amitayus and Lord Padmasambhava on either side. Visitors can pray, meditate, give their offerings and rotate the mani prayer drums. Rotating these prayer drums is believed to give the same benefit as chanting “Om Mani Padme Hum”, the Buddhist prayer.
- Bylakuppe: One of the largest Tibetan settlements in South India, it is known for its monasteries, handicrafts, carpet factories, and incense factories. The landscape is dotted with several monasteries; the main ones amongst these are the Great Gompa of Sera Jey and Sera Mey. The Mahayana Buddhist University is located here. It also has an enormous prayer hall. The other important monastery in the neighbouring settlement of Bylakuppe is Tashi Lhumpo, renowned as the seat of the Panchen Lama.
- Balamuri: Popular pilgrim centre among Kodavas at the temple of Agasthyeshwara
- Hudikeri: Popular for temple of Mahadeva
- Airatte: A Muslim pilgrimage cenetre 5 kms from Hudikeri. Dargah of Syed Sheik Mir Hazarat is located here
- Mulluru: Popular Jain centre in Kodagu with three Jaina basadis.
- Nanjarajapattana: Historic place and home to Nanjundeshwara and Veerabhadra. Located at 17 kms from Kushalangara on the banks of River Kaveri.
- Igutappa Temple: A holy place for Kodavas, located in Padi. Iggutappa or Subramanya temple is located in the middle of dense forest.
- Raja's Seat: The Raja’s Seat is perched atop a hill. This is where the kings of yore spent many pleasant evenings watching the golden sunset. This vantage point offers a spectacular view of the distant mountain ranges. Another attraction here is the Baba Saheb Express, which is a toy train.
- Raja's Tomb: Also visit the tombs of Veerarajendra, his wife and their son Lingaraja, which are oddly Islamic in architecture with its domes and minarets embellished in trellis work. However, the entrance to each tomb has carvings of Hindu deities.
- Kaveri Sankaramana: Kaveri Sankaramana is a special occasion in Talakaveri celebrated on the first day of Tula Masa (month), which typically falls during mid-October. On this day river water gushes out from Talakaveri temple pond’s fountainhead and devotees take a bath in Kaveri river seeking divine blessings.
- Abbi Matha: Home to Murugarajendra Matha and Mallikarjuna temple
- Shanthahalli: Popular for its bee-keeping activities. Also home to a 17th century Kumaralingeshwara temple.
- Emme Suggi: Unique festival held once in 12 years
- Surlabbi: Home to a mini waterfall and an old temple on Kote Betta, 10 kms away.
- Madikeri: A quaint hill town with sprawling coffee plantations, lush forests and mist-laden hills, Madikeri epitomizes Coorg’s bounteous natural charm as well as the rich history of the region. The capital from which Kodagu kings ruled, Madikeri is known for its majestic Fort, renovated and strengthened by various kings, including Tipu Sultan, before becoming a British bastion. Other major attractions include a museum highlighting Kodava history, Rajas’ Seat which offers a breathtaking view of the sun setting on the distant hills, the Omkareshwar Temple and the Gaddige, the royal tombs with ornate domes, minarets. By the way, do not miss the 18-hole golf course, yet another highlight of this beautiful town.
- Virajpet: Virajpet, the second biggest town in Coorg, is acclaimed as the largest producer of honey in Asia. The Sri Rameshwara Temple, located here, is believed to have been dedicated to Lord Shiva by Lord Rama himself. A prominent pilgrim destination, Virajpet is a favourite haunt of picnickers and pilgrims, especially during the Shivaratri festival. Virajpet taluk has the highest concentration of sacred groves/ temple forests (Devarakadu).
Art & Festivals
- Huthri Festival: The harvest festival of the native Kodavas, it literally means "new rice crop" and is celebrated during the harvest season (November-December). The ceremonious cutting of the new paddy crop is accompanied by the chants of "poli, poli deva" which means "O God, give us bountiful harvest".
- Kodava Hockey Festival: The Kodava's craze for hockey is legendary with many people from the community representing the country. And this love for hockey is celebrated by the natives with an annual hockey festival. The Coorg hockey tournament is one of the largest field hockey tournaments in the world. It’s a platform where the different Kodava families get together and play against each other. It also encourages the participation of women and senior members in its teams. This hockey tournament has also found a mention in the ‘Limca Book of Records’ for highest number of team participation.
- Kannur (Kerala) – 120 km
- Mysuru – 120 km
- Mangaluru – 136 km
- Mysuru – 120 km
- Mangaluru – 136 km
- Bengaluru – 260 km
- Sakleshpur – 90 km
- Mysuru – 120 km
- Mangaluru – 136 km
Jungle Lodges & ResortsOperated Dubare Elephant Camp and Kings Sanctuary Nagarahole
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