Coorg or Kodagu (originally called Kodaimalenadu) means 'dense forest on steep hill'. Dubbed as the Scotland of India, this region has a lot to offer to the tourist. Misty hills, lush forest, acres and acres of tea and coffee plantation, orange groves, undulating streets and breathtaking views are what make Coorg an unforgettable holiday destination.
Madikeri (also called as Marcara) is the picturesque capital of Coorg, the land of coffee, cardamom, colonels and the Cauvery. The capital of Kodagu district is located in a beautiful hilly setting surrounded by the forested slopes of the Western Ghats. Dotted with a cluster of red-roofed dwellings and a bustling bazaar, the town, situated at an elevation of 1,170 meter (around 3500 ft), has a charming old-world look.
Not much is known about the early history of Kodagu. From 1600 A.D.onwards, the Lingayat rajas ruled over Kodagu and established their capital at Madikeri where they built a mud fort. The Kodavas, as the people of Kodagu are called, troubled the Mysore rulers Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan through sporadic rebellions. Finally, in 1785 A.D., Tipu marched into Kodagu with a large army and devastated the little kingdom. Four years later, with the help of the British, Kodagu regained its independence and Raja Veerarajendra set about the task of reconstruction. In 1834 A.D., the British took over power in Kodagu. They impeached the then-ruler Chikkaveera Rajendra and sent him into exile. With its misty mountains, wooded hill slopes and picture-postcard scenery, Kodagu seemed like a little corner of England. The British left behind a legacy of coffee plantations, which remain the main source of the area's revenue today
Fact File :
- Capital : Madikeri
- Area : 1595 square miles/ 4102.3 sq. km
- Population : 4,85,299 as per 1991 census
- Altitude : Uneven surface - average height around 1170 meters.
- Temperature : 16°C - 29°C (Summers), 9°C - 15°C (Winters)
- Rainfall : 1125 - mm annually
- Languages spoken : Kodava Thak, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi and English
- STD Code : 08274 (Sidapur) 08272 (Madikeri), 08274 (Virajpet), 08276 (Somwarpet)
Getting There :
- Approximate Distance from Mangalore - 147 Kms
- Nearest Railway Station - Mangalore (147 Kms)
- Nearest Airport - Mangalore (147 Kms)
From Mangalore - Drive straight on to NH 48 or Bangalore Highway from Kankanadi Circle till a Village called Mani (after BC Road). Turn right on to State Road - 86 towards Mysore. Road may not be very good after BC Road depending upon the season & winding (Ghat Section) not major though. Approximate time required for travel - 4 Hrs
Tip: Start early in the morning. Have your breakfast in Mangalore or at BC Road. There are no good hotels between BC Road till you reach Madikeri (Around 3 hrs)
Distance from Nearby Major Cities or Tourist places from MADIKERI
- Omkareshwara Temple : 1 km
- Raja's Seat (View point) : 1 km
- Gaddige (Raja's Tomb) : 1.5 kms
- Abbey Falls : 9 kms
- Horticulture farm & Coffee Research Center, Chettalli : 24 kms
- Cauvery Nisarga Dhama : 36 kms
- Harangi Dam : 40 kms
- Bhagamandala : 40 kms
- Thalacauvery : 48 kms
- Nagarahole : 96 kms
Best Time To Visit :
Summer : March - May
Post Monsoon : September - October
Winter : November - February
The Best Time to visit Coorg is from October to April.
The temperature variations experienced at Coorg are not major. The climate remains pleasant throughout the year. The temperature hovers between 30 and 16 degrees in summers and winters. Coorg being a hill station attracts a lot of tourists. You must carry a warm clothes while planning a trip to Coorg
There are plenty of hotels and home-stays in Coorg. Advance booking is reccomonded though.
Karadigodu Post, Siddapur, Kodagu - 571 253
Tel: 08274-258481 - 84, Fax: 08274-258485
Convent Road, Madikeri, Kodagu - 571 201
Tel: 08272-229390, 228071, 72; Fax: 08272-280730
No. 8/13, Near Raja Seat, M G Road, Madikeri, Kodagu - 571 201
Tel: 08272- 229142, 228823; Fax: 08272-228367
· Capitol Village Resorts
5th Cross, Chettahalli Siddapur Road, Madikeri, Kodagu - 571 201
Tel: 08272-225929, 75
Raja's Seat, Madikeri, Kodagu - 571 201
Kudige Road, Kushalanagar - 571234, Kodagu (Coorg), Karnataka, India
Ph- 91-08276-278113, 278213; Tele fax: 91-08276-278080
Daswal Road, Behind J D Hospital, Madikeri, Kodagu - 571 201
Tel: 08272-223801 - 05
For more options, please visit ->
Home-stays (Coffee Estates)
P. B. No. 7, Ammathi, Kodagu - 571 211
Tel: 08274 -252190, Fax: 08274-252589
For more options, please visit ->
Madikeri Fort (1 Km)
Originally made in mud, the 110 feet long Madikeri Fort was re-built in stone (with secret underground passages) by Tipu Sultan. Much later Lingarajendra Wodeyar II reconstructed this two-storied fort with brick and mortar between 1812 - 1817. Now the District Collector’s Office, this palace has a stone formation of a tortoise with the initials of King Vijayarajendra and two life size stone replicas of the royal elephants killed by King Veera Raja. In 1855, the British built a Gothic styled Anglican St. Mark's Church which has now been converted into a museum. After a couple of face-lifts a Clock Tower and a portico were added by the British in 1933.
Inside the fort wall stands the palace of the Lingayat rulers. It is a simple double-story structure, quite unlike the grand palaces one sees elsewhere in India. Two elephants, built of cement and mortar, stand in the compound. The elephants have an interesting story behind them. The king use to be woken up every morning by two of his favorite elephants trumpeting under his window. One day he sent word to the mahout that he wanted to sleep late. The order never reached the man and he brought the elephants at the usual time and woke up the king. The king was furious. He had the elephants and the mahout killed. Later he regretted his action and got images of the elephants constructed.
The fort offers panoramic views of the city from its walls.
Madikeri Fort also has a Govertmnent museum from archiologocal department. it exhibits objects like sculptures of 11th century AD, old photographs, old dresses of kodagu (coorg) rajas & british, old implements, arms, inscriptions, coins, bronze & wooden carvings etc.
Museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm except for Monday and public holidays
Raja's Seat (1 Kms)
Raja’s Seat, literally meaning Seat of the King, is located at the western end of Madikeri and is a well maintained garden with a great views of the hills and the valley below and having a small pavilion inside.
According to legend, the kings of Kodagu spent the evenings here and also used this pavilion for relaxing from the tiring royal duties. But what's unforgettable about Raja's seat is the spectacular sunset that one can enjoy from this place. The beautiful sunset and the far stretching Blue Mountains will take ones breath away. This beautiful hilltop offers spectacular view of the Coorg Valley studded with paddy fields and forests.
Area around Raja's Seat has been developed into a public garden with Children's Play area, musical fountains & a Mini Train. No Entry Fee. Mini Train Fare (2 round trips) : Rs 5/-. There is Light and Sound Show which starts at 7:30 PM and lasts for about 45 min.
This place is open till late night.
Raja's Tombs, Gaddige (1.5 Kms)
The last two Raja's of Coorg are buried here. The tombs consist of domes in the centre and minarets at four corners mounted by carved bulls. Stuart's Hill or Stone Hill situated adjoining Raja's seat, from where one can have a magnificent view of the surrounding valley.
Omkareshwara Temple (1 Kms)
Omkareshwara temple was built by Lingarajendra in 1820. It is located very near to the heart of the Madikeri. The Omkareshwara Temple, dedicated to both Shiva and Vishnu is a surprising blend of Islamic and Gothic styles.
Abbey Falls (8 Kms)
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 steps into limpid pools to join the river Cauvery. These falls are most impressive during the monsoons. Fall can be best viewed from the hanging bridge.
No regular transport is available to this place and private arrangements need to be made for a trip to the falls.
Parking Fee - Rs. 15 per vehicle. Entry will close at 5:00 PM. There are few stone steps and you need to walk a bit on a paved pathway before you can reach the falls. However, this passes through the dense forest and it is quite scenic.
Nearby Tourist Attractions
Orange & Coffee Research Centre : Chettali (24 Kms) the Horticulture Research Centre, 24 km from Madikeri, is on the Madikeri-Siddapur-Virajpet road and is run by the government. The best months for a visit to this centre are March and April as it is coffee blossom time in Coorg. One can see the coffee bushes sheltered from the sun's direct rays by tall sentinel-like trees over which dark green pepper vines trail. Stretches of these white flowers exude a heady fragrance and their collective magnificence is an unforgettable sight. When the blossoms give way to berries, the bushes are cropped. The cherry red fruit is then pulped, the separated coffee seeds dried and sent to the curing works.
Bhagamandala (36 Km ) : This is the confluence of three rivers: Cauvery, Kanika and Sujyothi. Among many small shrines dedicated to various gods, the Bhagandeshwara Temple, standing in a large courtyard surrounded by Kerala-style temples is the most impressive. Bhagamandala is known for its apiaries and Kodagu honey
TalaCauveri(48 Km) : It is the source of the River Cauvery situated on the slopes of the Brahmagiri Hill, 4187 ft. above sea level. On the auspicious Tula Sankaramana (usually on 17th October every year) as the sun enters Libra, water gushes out from a Chondike. According to legend, Goddess Cauvery makes her appearance in this form of a gushing spring. This region is also associated with the Pandavas from the epic Mahabharata. There are over 300 steps to climb the hill and it offers magnificent view from the top
Cauvery Nisargadhama (36 Kms) : Nisargadhama is a forest Department run rest house cum picnic place for day trip. It is a breathtakingly beautiful riverine island carved by the Cauvery River in the plains, 2 kms. From Kushalnagar (30 Km from Madikeri). It can be accessed by traveling over a hanging bridge. Nisargadhama teems with lush foliage, thick bamboo groves, teak and rosewood. The sprawling 64-acre nature resort has a deer park, orchidarium and elephant and boat rides. You can also picnic on the sandy beds of the river bank.
Park is open between 10 am to 5:45 PM for the day trippers. Those who wish to stay inside in the rest houses can check-in anytime.
Bylakuppe (45 Kms) : One of the largest Tibetan settlements in South India, it is known for its monasteries, handicrafts, carpet factories and an incense factory. The landscape is dotted with several monasteries; the main ones amongst these are the Great Gompa of Sera Je and Sera Mey. The Mahayana Buddhist University is located at Sera. It also has an enormous prayer hall. The other important monastery in the neighboring settlement of Bylekuppe is Tashi Lhumpo monastery, renowned as the seat of Panchen Lama. It has 60 feet tall Buddha statue covered with Gold.
You may also shop here for the artifacts prepared by Tibet refugees.
Dubare Forest & Elephant Training Camp (45 Kms) : 15 kms. From Kushalnagar. The reserve forest is famed for its amazing variety of avian fauna, an elephant training camp and angling possibilities on the Cauvery River.
Nagarhole (90 Km) : The Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of 284 sq.km. With tropical and deciduous forests and belts of swampy ground at the head of small streams. It derives its name from its snake like winding streams. The place gives an excellent opportunity to the visitors to see wild animals like tiger, elephants etc.
Park is open between 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. Jeep Safaris are arranged early in the morning Or at 3:00 PM.
Irupu (91 Km) : A well known pilgrim centre, associated with Rama, hero of the great epic Ramayana. There is a Shiva Temple here on the banks of the river Ramathirtha, said to have been built by Rama. On Mahashivarathri, thousands of pilgrims gather here to take a holy bath. It is famous for the water fall.
Tadiyendamol (35 Kms) : For those who have a head for heights, Tadiyendamol, the tallest peak in Kodagu, is a paradise. On a clear day you can view the distant Arabian Sea and the enchanting beauty of the whole of Kodagu from here. Situated in the heart of the Tadiyendamol range, in the village of Yavakapadi, Naalkunaadu Palace was constructed by Dodda Raja Veerendra, the king of Kodagu, in 1792. The palace, with its 12 magnificent pillars and walls adorned with beautiful carvings, tells many a tale of yore. It is now being used as a camping site for trekkers. Kakkabe, a small town 35 kms. From Madikere, provides access to the highest peak in Kodagu. Nearby Padi Iggutappa is the most important temple in Kodagu
Golf Courses : Two of the best golf courses in Kodagu can be found at Pollibetta and Madikeri. Madikeri has a smooth 9-hole golf course spread amidst quiet and pastoral surroundings. Polibetta in South Kodagu also has a 9-hole golf course
Valnur Fishing Camp : Located near Kushalnagar (30 KM from Madikeri) on the banks of the river Cauvery is the Valnur Fishing Camp, where avid fishing enthusiasts can indulge in the luxury of angling for mahseer. Fishing permits can be obtained from the Coorg Wildlife Society. Valnur is also a haven for birdwatchers, with innumerable avian species to be spotted and identified.
Tourist Bureau, Department of Tourism, Govt. of Karnataka, PWD Travelers Bungalow, Madikere.Tel: 226580.
Coorg Cuisine - Coorg cuisine is highly influenced by the mouth-watering South Indian delicacies. A lot of coconut curry leaves, ginger, chili and spices like pepper and cardamom, grown here in abundance are used. Most South Indian states boast of a vegetarian diet but Coorg has a very rich cuisine of dishes prepared with meat, pork being an all time favourite. Pork, mushrooms, chicken, bamboo-shoots, rice and banana are but a few favourite ingredients that result in the delicious food prepared.
Very Few restaurants in and around Madikeri serves local food. Some of them are Hotel Raj Darshan, Alath-Cad Estate, Hotel Capitol, Hotel East End. However, if you are staying at Home-stays, you will get a homely local flavor.
What to Shop?
Coffee and Coorg honey (especially wild honey sold on the way to Talacauvery), Bamboo shoot pickle, spices (like pepper, cinamon, clove, Cardamom), homemade fruit wines
Shopping to be done at Mangalore – Cashews, spices gift pack, Cashew supari, Banana chips (from Falguni, Balmatta), Mangalore Halwa (Komal’s Sweet Shop, Balmatta)
Suggested Itinery for 3 days (ex Mangalore) -
Day 1 :
· Start early in the morning from Mangalore towards Madikeri (Mangalore - Madikeri 147 KMs)
· You may visit Someshwara Beach enroute (optional)
· Have a breakfast in Udupi restaurant at Mangalore or at B.C. Road.
· Reach Madikeri by noon and check into the hotel / home
· Lunch. Proceed for local signtseeing after 3 PM - Madikeri Fort & Museum, Omkareshwara Temple, Raja Seat. Watch sunset and light and sound show. Visit to Madikeri Market.
· Dinner & bon fire.
Day 2 :
· Visit to the coffee estate or explore the place where you are staying
· Visit Abbey Falls
· Proceed towards Madikeri - Bagmandala - Talcauvery (47 Kms)
· Visit Triveni sangam at Bagmandala, Origin of river Cauvery at Talcauvery & Bramhagiri Hills (300 steps to climb, magnificent view)
Day 3 :
· Proceed towards Madikeri - Kushalnagar (30 Kms)
· Visit Cauvery Nisargadhama, Dubare Forest & elephant training camp, Harangi Dam, Golden Budhdha Temple (60 ft tall Buddha statue plated with gold), Tibetian Settlement at Bylakuppe
Day 4 :
· Checkout and proceed towards Mangalore.
Must to see in Mangalore -
Following are must places to visit in Mangalore if you have late night train to catch for return journey.
Kudroli Gokarnath Temple:
It is situated 3 Km. away from Hampankatta. Recently this temple has been renovated and now it is one of the tourist attraction places in Mangalore.
Someshwara Temple & Beach
12 Kms from the Mangalore, and a little to the south of Ullal, this beach is well known for the large rocks called "Rudra Shile". The historical Somanath Temple constructed during the regime of the famous queen Abbakka Devi is situated in the north side here.
The Panambur beach is the very popular beach and it lies next to the harbour. The ships anchored out in the sea waiting for berth in the harbor can be seen from the beach at present an attractive picture. Thousands of people visits every day to spend their evening.
This is one of the best beaches of Dakshina Kannada. One can enjoy the sunset view here. It is about 12 Km. away from Bus Stand.
Ideal Ice- cream (Market Road) Or Pabba’s at Lalbagh opposite to Saibeen Complex
Try Banana Split, Pabba’s Special (3 scoops of ice-cream with 3 toppings if your choice), Parfait.
Recommended places for Lunch / dinner in Mangalore –
· Palkhi Restaurant for authentic Punjabi food, Jyothi Circle
· The Village, Madhuban Restaurant (try neer dosa with gassi)
· Atithi (Kerala special restaurant), Balmatta