Switzerland of Karnataka:
Kodagu or Coorg (in English), is the one of the smallest but most picturesque district of Karnataka State in Southern India. Kodagu lies on the eastern slope of the Western Ghats. It occupies about 4100 sq. km. in the Western Ghats of southwestern Karnataka and 30% of the district is forest area. It is situated in the south – western part of the state, bordering Kerala. Kodagu district is bordered by Dakshina Kannada district to the northwest, Hassan district to the north, Mysore district to the east, Kannur district of Kerala state to the southwest and Wayanad district of Kerala to the south.
One of the most enchanting places in Madikeri is the Raja’s Seat, where one can have exquisite views of the sunrise and sunset. This is called raja’s seat because the Coorg Raja’s were known to visit spot together with their consorts to watch the beauty of nature. it’s an Amazing park now. To left of raja seat is the Gandhi Mantap , where the mortal remains of Mahatma Gandhi is kept. Raja seat also has a train [goes around raja seat] and a dancing Fountain. Checkout the HQ Gallery for this HOTSPOT.
Raja seat which literally means “Seat of the Kings”. It’s a Feast for your eyes on an endless expense of sun –kissed greenery.
Omkareshwara temple :-
Omkareshwara temple was built by Lingarajendra in 1820. It is located very near to the heart of the Madikeri. The temple has both Islamic and Gothic style of architecture. There is a tank in front of the temple and a footpath leading to a small “Mantap”.
It is said Lingarajendra killed an honest and pious Brahmin to fulfill his political ambitions. 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 bars of the windows of the temple were made of Panchaloha and an alphabet lim has been placed in between the bars.
Dominating the skyline are the Gadduge or three tombs with their Islamic style building domes and minarets with gold coating built in Indo Sarsenic style, The entrance to each tomb has Carvings of Hindu Deities. The Central largest tomb more ornate than the other two, contains the graves of Virarajenda and his wife Mahadevi Amma. The medium sized tomb is of Lingarajendra and the simplest tomb contains the grave of Rudrappa Virarajendra’s Guru. A bird’s eye view of Madikeri can be had from here.
Kuruva island 995 acres of thick green forest along the banks of the tributaries of east flowing Kabini River forms Kuruwa Dweep or island. This island is totally uninhabited. This isolated area is an ideal picnic spot. Kuruwa dweep is a paradise for exotic birds. Enjoy the sights of different birds and learn about their nesting habits and mating calls. Angling, trekking, swimming and exotic birds watching could all be done here. An ideal place for camping out at night.
Cauvery nisargadhama :-
Nisargadhama or cauvery nisargadhama is a forest resort in Coorg which is just 3kms from Kushalnagar and 30 Kms from Madikeri. In Kavery Nisargadhama River Kavery splits forming a beautiful island measuring 65 acres. The forest department develops this tourist center by providing a hanging bridge into the island, boating, tree top shelters and elephant riding and other tourist’s attractions. The forest department has constructed nine beautiful cottages for tourists to dwell in. Kavery Nisargadhama
Animals like deer, elephants, and peacocks can be found around here. To add to the beauty of the resort river Kavery flows just in and around Nisargadhama which is really a marvelous scenic beauty. Elephant safari is also provided which is a very nice way to take a look around the resort of Nisargadhama
Thalakavery situated in the Brahmagiri hills, is the place where the River Kaveri originates. This Brahmagiri is situated amidst green hills. The river begins here as a small perennial spring, but flows underground again to emerge a short distance away.
Apart from a major pilgrimage center it is also an important tourist spot in Karnataka. There are temples at Talakaveri of Agasthyeshwara and Lord Ganapathi.On 17th October every year (also known as Tula Sankramana), the river Kaveri springs out and gives “Darshan” to her devotees. Thousands of her devotees flock to the Kaveri’s birthplace to witness the miraculous rise of the fountainhead, when water gushes up from the spring at a predetermined moment.
Bhagamandala is a pilgrimage center situated about 40 Kms to the west of Madikeri. There are enough good roads from both Madikeri and Virajpet.
Bhagamandala is on the banks of the confluence of three rivers, Kaveri, Kannike and the sub terranian Sujyoti, popularly known as “Triveni Sangama”.
The famous Sri Bhagandeswara temple is located here. Near to the Triveni sangama, there are four temples, where Lord Shiva, Subramanya, Vishnu and Ganapathi are worshipped.
A large number of devotees visit Bhagamandala particularly during the Tula Sankramana and the entire Tula month (October – November).
Bhagamandala is a famous Honey marketing centre, the bee rearing centre here is called Madhuvana.
Dubare forest :-
Dubare elephant camp is a project undertaken by forest department and jungle lodges and resorts. Dubare elephant camp has plenty of elephants which are trained under naturalists.
A trained Naturalist is at hand to explain the various aspects of Elephant history, ecology and biology. The visitor can not only observe and learn but also participate in various activities involving Elephants.
Dubare elephant camp can be visited by both overnight guests as well as day visitors. Tourists who stay in and around Madikeri (30 Kms from Dubare elephant Camp) can visit the camp on payment basis and enjoy the wildlife safari, joyride on the elephant, coracle ride etc
Tibetaian monastery :-
After the Chinese took over Tibet, the refugees were settled at Bylakuppe near Kushalnagar and the Buddhist Monastery was re-established here in 1972. It houses over 7000 +monks today. His 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. The monastery not only attracts large number of young Tibetans seeking enlightenment and education, but also draws huge tourists from all over India and abroad.
National Park is considered as the one of the best maintained wild life habitats in India. It is a part of the Niligires bio-sphere with the Bandipur National Park and the Mudumalai Wild Life Sanctuary to its South and the Waynad Wild Life Sanctuary in Kerala to its west.
Nagarahole was declared as a National Park in 1983 and named as the Rajiv Gandhi National Park. The undulating terrain of the Park is crisscrossed by many rivers a prime source of fresh water in the region. The Kabini River, a tributary of the Cauvery, which has been dammed, to create a large irrigation reservoir is the best known.
This National Park is home to a wide range of mammals, birds and reptiles. Amongst herbivores the Asiatic elephant, Gaur, Sambar deer and spotted deer are commonly sighted. Predators like the Tiger, Leopard and Wild Dog are less easily sighted