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Madikeri (Mercara) Tourism And Travel Guide
14.5° C / 58° F
November to May
4 to 5 Days
Mangaluru Airport (136 kms)
Subrahmanya (74.4 kms)
The mountainous, misty regions of Kodagu in Karnataka were eulogised as the Scotland of India by the British planters who settled in Kodagu ages ago. Visit Madikeri, the capital of Kodagu, rich in its historical and cultural heritage and in its unsullied, pristine beauty where even the mountain slopes are draped with the gorgeous, lush Shola forests and fluffy, misty clouds that sit like crowns on top. If you could see the green plantation valleys and the river Cauvery that gurgles along happily, you would realize how true the portrayal is. If you would love to spend your holidays in Madikeri, which is also called the Kashmir of South India, we’ll give you a travel and tour guide for a most idyllic trip.
How to Reach
Driving through forested areas and hilly ghats to the hill station of Madikeri hardly makes you feel the strain of transport hopping. The best way to reach Madikeri would be to travel to Mysuru by train and hit the road to Madikeri through beautiful hilly, lush landscapes.
You can take a flight from any of the major cities of India and from cities of the Middle East to the Mangalore Airport, which serves both domestic and International flights. From the airport you can take a cab to Madikeri or to the Mangaluru KSRTC bus stand and then travel by bus to Madikeri.
You don’t find a train chugging into Madikeri railway station, for the town doesn’t have one. Travel by train from Mangaluru to Subrahmanya or Hassan on the west, or on the eastern side to Mysuru and then take a cab or bus to Madikeri.
You can drive to Madikeri from either Mangaluru or Mysuru. Or alternately, hire a taxi or a KSRTC from either of these cities. Madikeri is southeast of Mangaluru and you’ll find it enjoyable driving past Puttur, Sullia and the hilly regions of the Sampige Ghat section.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
The seasons are all sporty in Madikeri and you can travel to the hill station throughout the year. But the peak seasons are summer and winter, for monsoon brings with it much rain.
Summer provides a pleasing lull from the heat of the sun, as the vast plantations, the verdant Shola forests on the mountain slopes and the waterfalls make Madikeri’s summer not a scorching but a pleasant one. You’d love visiting Madikeri in summer.
Madikeri’s monsoon showers are quite heavy and persistent, with roads getting blocked often due to mudslides. But if you are determined to enjoy Madikeri’s monsoon, you’ll have a great time trekking up the mountains of Madikeri. But beware of the leeches! Get armed with salt, repellent lotions or eucalyptus oil.
Winter’s also a good time for travelling to Madikeri. The days are pleasantly cool while nights can be colder. You’d love to visit the Abbey and Chelavara waterfalls near Madikeri to watch the cascade after a shower.
Things to Do
Crossing a river by boat or a ferry is one thing. But when you streak across the gushing river, probably like Tarzan, with a suspended harness and tight-rope, that’s quite another. Ziplining is one among the adrenaline pumping adventure sports of Madikeri.
For Rappelling or Abseiling, you need a waterfall and plenty of grit. If you visit Chelavara waterfalls, about 44 km from Madikeri, try rappelling 140-150 ft down through the roaring waters, holding onto a rope that’s suspended from above.
There are guided tours into the rainforests, which culminate in a variety of games like pole walk or monkey crawl that you can play on the treetops, suspended 15-20 ft above the ground.
Talacauvery is about 43 km away from Madikeri. At a height of 1,276 m above sea level, Talacauvery by the Brahmagiri hills is said to be the place where River Cauvery originates. Visit the Cauvery temple here and bathe in the sacred pond. Join the Kodava people in October to celebrate Sankaramana, when the water level of Cauvery rises. Enroute to Talacauvery is Bhagamandala, where the Cauvery joins her tributaries Kannike and the mythical Sujyothi rivers. You can visit the Bhagandeshwara Shiva Temple too.
About 300 species of birds and more migratory ones flying in each year have made Madikeri a bird watcher’s paradise. Arm yourself with a camera and binoculars and you can spend hours strolling across the forest paths, looking for birds with only the stillness of the forest as your companion.
The Kodavas have a wonderful cuisine that you must try out while in Madikeri. You have a variety of delicacies, both in vegetarian and non vegetarian food that is so special to the land of Coorg. Try the delicious Pandhi Bharthad, a pork dish with fried onions, the many varieties of curry including the lip smacking curried bamboo shoot, Kadambattu rice cakes and vegetable stew.