Coorg the hilly district of Karnataka is one such place which can only be compared to the heaven. The land is full of hills, waterfalls, lush green forest, tea, coffee, cardamom, orange gardens, rolling avenues, awesome sights with rich traditions and cultural life style.
Coorg situated about 242 kms from Bangalore via Mysore which is 100 kms away. Even the coastal city Mangalore is just 132 kms away. Coorg is called Ooty of Karnataka as the temperature is pleasant through out the year.
Coorg is situated on the Western Ghats of Karnataka in South India. If you are looking for adventure then it's a right place for you to go. Also it is place for refreshing your mind and body with the help of special Ayurvedic massage, old religious Hindu and Buddhist temples.
Abbey Falls also called as Abbi Falls is located 1 km from the town of Madikeri. The waterfall is located between coffee plantations with coffee bushes and spice estates with dense bushes and green trees where the Kaveri river cascades down a rockface.
The falls appear suddenly, the water cascading over rocks into calm pools. The roar of the falls can be heard from the road. The water flow is very high during the monsoon season and during the dry seasons the flow is considerably less.
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. The falls can be reached by a narrow road from Madikeri. Cars can reach the entrance of these falls from where a downhill walk of 500 metres on slightly paved steps takes one to the waterfalls.
We saw the Tibetan monastery in Kushalnagar and decided that we should check out Nisargadhama which was just a couple of kilometres from Kushalnagar. We arrived at Nisargadhama and collected the tickets for the entrance. You need to pay for the entry ticket over there. Nisargadhama is actually a bamboo forest surrounded by the Kaveri river. You can find innumerable bamboo trees over there.
The very first eye catching thing was the boat ride in the the river. But, when we saw the queue, we were disappointed, it was a weekend and we need to wait for a couple of hours to get the turn. As we were running short of time we decided to move on. The next thing we saw were some caged animals like deer etc. You can purchase some cucumber and feed the deers if you wish. Just next to that people were enjoying elephant ride. Some guys from our group thought of going for the elephant ride but I was again discouraged by the long queue. I moved along and some of my friends waited there for the ride. The next thing I spotted a small stream where alot of people were chilling out. There was very less water in the stream as you can expect that it was a dry season but still people were enjoying in that shallow stream, some kids were playing. I found it a good place and relaxed there for a bit. After some time my friends who went for a elephant ride joined me and it was 5 in the evening so we thought of saying good bye to Nisargadhama and move on to Coorg.
Coorg is around 30 km. from Nisargadhama, normally it will take less than 30 minutes to cover that distance but in hilly areas it can take one-one and half hours. We reached Coorg around 6 and started looking for any hotels available. As its the season time in May we were not getting any rooms available. We got a couple of rooms in an average hotel and thought to settle down. It was a long day and I desperately wanted to sleep as we thought to check out the next spot Abbey falls in the morning. I quickly took a shower and we went for the dinner. We took an average dinner and straightaway went to the hotel for the sleep. I put the alram for 6 in the morning as the next day we need to check two more places Abbey falls and Talacauvery.
Once an exclusive hunting ground for the rulers of Mysore, Nagarhole acquired the status of a national park in 1975. Spread over 643 sq. km of wilderness against the backdrop of the Brahmagiri Mountains, it is one of the best wildlife experiences inIndia. Recently, the park has been renamed Rajiv Gandhi National Park. Flanked byBandipur National Park to the southeast and Kerala's Wynad Sanctuary to the southwest, Nagarhole is part of the larger Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
Nagarhole derives its name from the Kannada word, naga that means snake, and hole meaning streams. True to its name, the park is criss-crossed by serpentine rivers and streams. A perennial water reservoir is at the centre of the park, while a series of slopes and shallow valleys spread outwards, covered with bamboo, teak, and cassia forests, as well as marshy swamps. This varied habitat makes Nagarhole home to a diverse wildlife population.
Omkareshwara temple was built by Lingarajendra in 1820. It is deidcated to Lord Shiva, it is located in Madikeri town. The temple has both Islamic and Gothic style of architecture. There is a tank in front of the temple with tons of fishes in it and a footpath leading to a small Mantap. The temple has four minarets around it and a dome in the center (similar to a Muslim Masjid).
History says Lingarajendra killed an honest and pious Brahmin to fulfill his political ambitions and there is another story which tells he desired a brahmin girl (apparently as a daughter-in-law though some accounts suggest he wanted to marry her). However her father, a poor brahmin man, refused to give his daughter away in marriage, and Linga Raja was furious because he refused and got the brahmin killed.
On killing the brahmin he acquired the brahma hatya dosha and began to get nightmares,like falling off the throne. Then he was advised to build a temple to get rid of his dosha.That Brahmin became a "Brahmarakshasa"and started troubling the king. The king got rid of him only when he brought a Shivalinga from Kashi and installed it after building a temple. The Shivalinga was named as "Omkareshwara" and regular rituals were performed.
The Shivalinga now worshipped in the temple has its origins in Kashi. Among the many Shivalingas in Kashi five are considered the most sacred, and Omkareshwara is one of them.
The bars of the windows of the temple were made of Panchaloha and an alphabet lim has been placed in between the bars. Praying to Omkareshwara is thus believed to get rid the sinner of the tormenting ‘Brahmarakshasa’.
Talakaveri or "Talacauvery" is the place which is considered to be the source of the Cauvery River. It is located in the Brahmagiri hill near Bhagamandala in Kodagu District, Karnataka. Talacauvery is at an altitude of around 1276 metres above sea level, the spot can be reached by a 2 km journey from Bhagamandala up the Ghats.
A trip to Coorg is never quite complete without a trip till Talakaveri. While the beautiful landscape of Coorg and the sprawling coffee plantations evoke much awe in the tourists, a trip to Talakaveri is quite the cherry on the icing, for those particularly spiritually inclined. Talakaveri is supposed to hold great religious importance and there is a holy Kundike from where the river emerges as a small perennial spring and then flows underground again to emerge a short distance away. It is believed that taking bath in Talakaveri is very sacred and it can relieve the man form all his sufferings. Bhagamandala, Shiva Temples, Goddess Cauveri Amma Temple and Talakaveri wildlife sanctuary are some of the places to see in Talakaveri.Bangalore is 278 kms from Talakaveri. Talakaveri is about 44 kms from Madikeri.
The river descends perpendicularly into a great cataract known as the Iruppu Falls. This place is believed to possess the power to cleanse one's sins and is visited by thousands of devotees from far and near on Shivaratri day. There is temple dedicated to Sri Ram, surrounded by paddy fields, from where it is a climb up to the falls through natural forest. This place can be visited from Gonikopal on the way to Nagerhole National Park by taking a detour after Srimangala, situated in the Kutta Road.
This is mainly an elephant capturing and training camp of the Forest Department, at the edge of Dubare forest, on the bank of river Kaveri, on the Kushalnagar - Siddapur road. The largest land animal is captured here with the help of tamed elephants and local tribals - the Kurbas - and is held captive for upto 6 months in large teak wood cages.
The tamed elephants attend to various jobs during the day and in the evenings they come down to the river to bathe and to be scrubbed clean by their mahouts. Afterwards the mahout obliges eager tourists for free elephant rides within the camp. In the evenings, all the elephants are offered a special treat of ladoos made of ragi and jaggery, each no smaller than a cannon ball!
The Harangi Dam is a large and impressive dam on the Cauvery River in tranquil and unruffled surroundings. The dam is an ideal picnic spot and there are some short walks along selected paths. It is a beautiful reservoir nestled in north Kodagu, in Kodagu District of Karnataka. Harangi Dam lies about 36 km from Madikeri.
Bhagamandala (Kannada: ಭಾಗಮಂಡಲ) is a pilgrimage place in Kodagu, Karnataka, in India. It is situated on the river Kaveri in its upstream stretches. At this place, the Kaveri is joined by two tributaries, the Kannike and the mythical Sujyoti river. It is considered sacred as a river confluence (kudala or triveni sangama, in Kannadaand Sanskrit respectively).
It is a common practice for pilgrims to take a dip in the triveni sangama and perform rituals to their ancestors before proceeding to Talakaveri, the birthplace of Kaveri. During Tula Sankramana which falls on October 17th or 18th, pilgrims assemble here in large numbers.
Overlooking a deep valley is the delightful garden, the main spot of attraction. The Raja's seat is so called because the Raja's of Kodagu spent their evenings at this vintage point watching spectacular sunsets. The lovely flowers in full bloom and the fascinating view of the winding roads makes the visit a memorable one.
An added attraction is the toy train "Baba Saheb Express" near by with a park for the kids. Very next to Raja's seat stands the ancient Temple "Chouti Mariyamma". A furlong away stands the "Gandhi Mantap" with the statue of Mahatma Gandhi built in memory of the Father of Nation.
In Architecture, Madikeri is unusual. Built on high grounds, the Madikeri Fort looms large over the town. This was rebuilt between 1812-1817. At the entrance stands the majestic sculpture of horses erected on the entrance wall. Within the fort is the palace which now houses government offices. The palace is built in European style with secret underground routes. Now a stone structure of tortoise stands as a witness to it.
There are initials of Virarajendra marked 'V' here and there. As a mark of regret for the brutal killing of the royal elephant by King Vira raja stone replicas of two mighty elephants stand nearby.
The Golden Temple in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, is a home for thousands of Tibetans living in exile and a centre for Tibetan Buddhism in South India. Tibetan prayer flags hang from South Indian trees. Faces change from South Indian to Tibetan. And then two Buddhist monks pass by on a scooter, their red robes flying in the wind. Welcome to the Tibetan settlements of Bylakuppe.
When the spiritual Guru of Tibetans His Holiness The Dalai Lama fled Tibet with his followers, India was the only country that gave place to settle the refugees in Dharmsala in North and Bylakuppe, Kodagu district near Mysore in South. Recently they celebrated their Fifty years of exile in India and thanked the Indian Government for resettling them in an alien place and embraced them as their own. It is never easy that a civilization can be transplanted in a totally alien climate. There are several factors like the culture, ethos, language and living style comes in the way of a successful implant. There is always a foreign body rejection possibility not to speak of Insiders’ vs. Outsiders’ scenario. Such being the case most of times distrust gives way to disharmony and finally the outsiders have to leave. It is to the everlasting credit to India, it gave place and helped them to take roots in India by giving their children education, land for agriculture and finance them for small business.