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Top Tourist Places To Visit In Coorg
Far from the bricks and mortars and bustling city life, Coorg (Kodagu) offers the perfect hideout for the worn out souls. Popularly referred to as the Scotland of India, Coorg is one of most fascinating and beautiful hill stations of the country. It is famous for its sprawling coffee estates, mist covered hills, teak wood forests, trekking routes and white water rafting facilities. An absolutely enchanting ambience combined with gastronomic delights makes Coorg a peaceful refuge of absolute bliss, giving us these top tourist places to visit in Coorg.
Considered to be one of the most scenic spots in South India, Raja’s Seat in the town of Madikeri is the place from where the kings would sit and watch sunsets. One of the finest viewpoints, Raja’s Seat offers a panoramic view of the towering hills and the valleys. Sunsets at Raja’s seat are an enchanting experience.
Raja’s Seat is open from 6am to 7pm with an entry fee of Rs. 5.00. A toy train ride costs Rs. 10.00.
Abbi Falls is located 8 kilometres from Madikeri in the mountains of the Western Ghats. Nestled between coffee plantations and spice estates, the waterfall descends into the Cauvery River from a height of 70 feet. The best time to visit the waterfalls is in winter when the fall is flooded with water brought by the monsoon.
Built on an elevated land atop Madikeri, Mercara Fort, originally made of mud was rebuilt by Tipu Sultan in stones. In 1812-1814 the fort was once again reconstructed in brick and mortar by Linga Rajendra Wodeyar II. Today the fort functions as the office of the district collector.
Open from 10am to 5.30pm, Madikeri fort remains closed on Mondays. Entry is free.
Omkareshwara Temple built by Linga Rajendra II in 1820 is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple however reflects Muhammadan style of architecture with dome and turrets and like a Muslim dargah, the Shiva Linga is placed near the door. According to the legend the king murdered a pious Brahmin and later built the temple to appease the Brahmin’s spirit.
Omkareshwara Temple remains open between 7am and 6pm.
This is the largest Tibetan settlement outside Tibet. It has several monasteries and prominent among these are Sera Mey, Great Gompa of Sera Je, Namdroling monastery and Tashi Lhumpo monastery, the seat of Panchen Lama. The imposing gold-coated statues reflect the rich cultural heritage of the Tibetans.
This is an interesting place. Every year at a particular time of the year water flows out from a pond at Talacauvery which is the birthplace of river Cauvery. Located 44 kilometres from Madikeri the place is popular for its natural beauty. Entry to Talacauvery is free.
Gaddige is the tomb of the Rajas Virarajendra, Linga Rajendra and one of their court priests. The tombs are constructed in the Muhammadan style with dome and turrets.
Dubare Elephant Camp
Located near Madikeri, Dubare is a popular elephant training camp. Apart from this it is the home to several species of animals and birds. Spotted deer, sambhar and Asiatic Elephants are commonly seen here. The camp has jungle lodges where guests can put up for the night.
Elephant ride at Dubare Elephant Camp is between 8.30am to 12.00pm. Entry fee to the camp is Rs.20.00 and elephant bathing is Rs.100.00.
Nisargadhama is a beautiful island surrounded by Kaveri River 28 kilometres from Madikeri. With thick foliage of bamboo groves, sandalwood and teak trees Nisargadhama is a charming picnic spot with river-side cottages. It is complete with elephant rides, deer park, children’s park and orchidarium.
Nisaragadhama is open from 9am to 5.30pm with an entry fee of Rs.10.00.
Valnur Fishing Camp
Situated on the banks of river Cauvery is the Valnur Fishing Camp. It has a wide variety of fish including golden mahaseer and maral. For those enthusiastic about angling, this is a great recreation spot.
Sri Bhagandeshwara Temple
Sri Bhagandeshwara Temple is located at the confluence of three pious rivers. This temple is built in the typical Kerala style, at the place where Cauvery, Kannike and Sujyothi rivers meet. This is another Triveni Sangam in the country, and quite beautiful. Dedicated to Narayan, Subramaniyam and Bhagandeshwara, this temple has been around for a thousand years now. It was ruined and renovated numerous times by dynasties, and today attracts tourists and locals in large numbers. So if you want to take a break from all the gorgeous sightseeing in Coorg then do take a moment to come and do darshan here.
A monastery in Coorg is another great surprise spot to visit, isn’t it? Namdroling Monastery, 34 km from Coorg’s centre, is foremost among Tibetan Buddhism and teachings in this area. It is also called the Golden Temple. With murals on walls and bamboo structure gilded in unique architectural material, Namdroling is also beautiful on the eyes and peaceful to the soul. There is a mini hospital, an education institute and social centre in the complex. You can visit for sightseeing or even for meditation.
How can you skip Iruppu Falls when in Coorg? It is one of the most coveted places in South India after all! It is a trekking route as well as a picnic spot, catering to all kinds of people. With the cascade of waterfall and Brahmagiri Hills around, the natural beauty here is unparalleled. Iruppu originates in a tributary of Cauvery. Trekkers prefer to dip in the cold waters of the waterfall to cool their bodies after a long, tiring hike. It is, undoubtedly, one of the best experiences in Coorg.
Nishani Motte, a peak in the mountains and forests of Brahmagiri, is an adventure zone of Coorg. Environmentalists and eco-tourists have the time of their life here. With a trekking route of about 15 km and thick, wild woods of Tala Cauvery, Nishani Motte offers you jeep safaris, waterside camping and picnics as well as river rafting. People also come here to burn camp fires, do jungle hiking and wildlife photography. There are coffee and cardamom plantations that make the air fragrant, along with temples that are maybe as old as time.
Class 2 and 4 rapids fill this river, inviting all adventure junkies to raft in its turbulent waters. Barapole River is the best around to go river rafting from Coorg. From Brahmagiri hills right to Arabian Sea, this river connects the landmass to ocean. Monsoon season is the most challenging and the most thrilling of all. Especially if it is raining heavily!
Tadiandamol Peak is synonymous with trekking. Being the highest mountain peak in the area, Tadiandamol attracts every kind of adventure and nature enthusiast, from bird watchers to nature lovers, hikers to photographers. You can visit the 200-year old Nalknad Palace nearby, or enjoy the diverse flora and forests of the Western Ghats, see butterflies populate your way and enjoy the calls of birds. Kakkabe is the base village for most treks and preferred as a resting place before and after. You get good food, lodging and hospitality here.
Chettalli is all about coffee estates and horticulture gardens. The heady scent of coffee envelopes the area, while the endless stretch of natural bounty extends to include streams, meadows and the mighty Shola forests. There are waterfalls and the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research for you to visit, as well as ripe coffee plantations to pick up fresh coffee beans. The Todikana Temple is the beginning of trekking trail and most people come here to trek. Chettalli is only 17 km from Coorg’s city centre.
A bounty of nature, a gift bestowed upon Coorg — the Brahmagiri Hill is all about green verdant slopes and lush mountains in the lap of Western Ghats. It makes for a great getaway from Coorg for those who are interested in quiet, peaceful natural surroundings and solitude. Wayanad is nearby, a wildlife haven for those who love photography. Aside from the usual activities like trekking, waterfall visits, photography and view-points, you also get to visit the ancient Thirunelli temple of Lord Vishnu here.
Harangi Dam, as the name suggests, is one of many dams in the South Indian region. It is no surprise because there are so many gushing rivers and streams in this area that making dams and harvesting energy is the best bet. Built in the Hudgur village over Cauvery river, the dam is only 36 km from Coorg. Locals draw water from here for their irrigation and cattle rearing needs. The dam itself though is a sight worth seeing, 47 m high and 846 m wide. There is of course natural beauty in abandon around it, with picnic spots, forests and grasses for you to enjoy your time, especially during the rainy season.