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Kodagu: A Picture Perfect Hill Station
Kodagu, which is spread over 4,102 square kilometers, is a district in Karnataka, India. This thickly wooded grandeur on the Western Ghats is called the "Scotland of India". More than 3.5 million tourists visit Kodagu annually.
Here are some places to visit in Kodagu.
I visited this monastery, which is the largest teaching center of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in the world, with my colleagues few years ago. Opened in 1963 by Kyabje Penor Rinpoche, this monastery houses more than 3,000 monks and nuns. It is in Bylakuppe near Kushalnagar.
The bright blue and gleaming golden building is a fine showcase of Tibetan craftsmanship. Inside the monastery, which is also known as Golden Temple, you will find statues of Buddha (60 feet), Guru Padmasambhava (58 feet) and Amitayur (58 feet). Paintings on the walls depict scenes from the life of Buddha. I sat here and meditated.
Namdroling Monastery gives you an opportunity to experience Tibetan culture. It is open between 7.00 am and 8.00 pm. The Tibetan New year (Losar) which is usually celebrated in February or March is the best time to visit. You can reach the monastery by bus or cab.
Located near Bhagamandala, on the slopes of Brahmagiri Hill, Talakaveri is the birthplace of River Kaveri. This place is 1,276 m. above sea level. A tank has been built at the source of the river. It is a place of worship for Kodavas.
Mangaluru Airport (194 kilometers) is the nearest airport. You can reach the place by bus or cab. Visit between September and May. Taj Madikeri Resort & Spa, Heritage Resort Coorg, Leisure Vacations Down's Retreat, The Tamara Coorg and Leisure Vacations Brook Stone Villas are five best places to stay near Talakaveri.
Have you visited Kodagu?
Also known as Lakshmana Tirtha Falls, Iruppu Falls (52 meters) is in the Brahmagiri Range. Legend has it that Rama and his brother Lakshmana passed along the Brahmagiri range in search of Sita. When Rama asked Lakshmana to get some water, Lakshmana shot an arrow at the Brahmagiri hills, which led to the birth of River Lakshmana Tirtha.
Iruppu Falls is around 20 kilometers from Nagarhole National Park. This wonder of nature is surrounded by lush green forests of Western Ghats. You need to hire a cab to reach this place.
Visit this splendid waterfalls between August and January. It is open between 6.00 am and 6.00 pm. During our family trip to this place we had plenty of fun playing in the waters of the cascading waterfalls.
5 Best Places to Stay Near Iruppu Falls
Ayurveda Yoga Villa
Magnolia Resort Coorg
Sannidhi Tourist Home
Dubare Elephant Camp
This camp is on the banks of River Kaveri. In fact Dubare is a natural island formed by the river. It houses around 150 elephants, which are trained by naturalists.
Here, you can not only observe and learn, but also participate in various activities involving these wonderful mammals. It's a delight to see elephants playing in the water and then showering with water using their trunks, playing with dust etc. Trekking, elephant rides, coracle ride, bird watching, fishing and river rafting are other popular activities here.
The camp, which is open throughout the year, enjoys idyllic weather conditions. Mangaluru Airport (173 kilometers) is the nearest airport. You can reach the camp by bus or cab. Visit between September and March.
This small pavilion in a seasonal garden of flowers and artificial fountains offers a spectacular view of towering hills, green valleys and paddy fields. This is where kings of yore watched sunsets with their consorts. It is a famous sunset point.
I was awe-inspired by the natural beauty surrounding me when I visited here for the first time. From Raja's Seat, road to Mangalore appears like a curved ribbon lying on a bright green carpet. Toy train is another attraction here.
Raja's Seat is open on all days between 6.00 am and 7.00 pm. Visit between October and March. This place is well-connected by road. You should definitely add this to your bucket list.
Many streams combine on the steep slopes of Western Ghats to form Abbey Falls. It is around 8 kilometers from Madikeri. Here, you will be mesmerised by chirping of birds, aroma of nature and the roar of the waterfalls.
Abbey Falls is open between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm. To reach the waterfall, you need to drive up to its entrance and then cover a short distance on foot. I suggest that you hire a jeep at Madikeri. Visit between July and October.
Lingarajendra II, the king of Kodagu in the early seventeen century, killed an innocent Brahmin. No one knows why exactly he did it. A copper plate fixed on the frame of the entrance door displays that the Brahmin opposed the king’s misdeeds. Some locals say that the king coveted Brahmin’s daughter.
Whatever the reason, the king was guilty of spilling an innocent man's blood. After death, the tenacious Brahmin became a Brahmarakshas and started troubling the king.
The king consulted tantriks, who were of the opinion that the only way to ward off the spirit was to get a special Shivalingam from Varanasi and install it at the place where he had killed the Brahmin.
The king implemented their suggestions meticulously. The temple was built and consecrated in 1820. To his great relief, the Brahmarakshasa stopped bothering him. Some say that the king did not recover fully and died within a year.
This temple has four minarets, a dome and a pond full of fish. In the middle of the pond there is a “mantapam” connected by a causeway. This pond adds to the beauty of the temple. The bars of the windows of the temple are made of "Panchaloha" and the alphabet "lim" is placed in between the bars.
The temple is in Madikeri. Its architecture is a blend of Gothic and Islamic styles. Shivarathri, the special night of Lord Shiva, is celebrated with fervor in this temple, which is open between 6.30 am and 12.00 pm; and 5.00 pm and 8.00 pm. Visit between October and March.
The temple provides a sense of calmness and divinity.— Ajith
If you are looking for something off the beaten track, Kodagu will not disappoint you. There are exotic destinations hidden deep inside the woods, like Mallalli falls.
Located amidst tropical landscapes, this multi-tiered waterfalls (1,026 meters) is formed by River Kumaradhara. It is in Kumaralli, in north part of Kodagu, in the foothills of Pushpagiri, Western Ghats.
Mallalli falls is around 28 kilometers from Somvarpet. Visit on any day between July and December, between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm. I suggest that you hire a jeep with good driver at Somvarpet. Because the roads are slushy, slippery and filled with gravel.
If you are not physically strong, please do not make this trip. Because to reach this mystifying waterfalls, on the way to Pushpagiri hills, you take a turn at Bidahalli village, from where it is about 7 kilometers. The trail to the falls is motorable for about 4 kilometers, after which the remaining 3 kilometers is a trek through a thick forest.
Tadiandamol (1,748 meters) is the highest mountain of Kodagu district. Famous for its shola forests and streams, this mountain is a trekkers' delight. Camping is banned here.
You may start the trek directly from Kakkabe or you may take a vehicle directly to the start-up point A, as the road is smooth. The starting point of the trek is "Nalakand Palace" which is around 3 kilometers from Kakkabe.
Trekking Packing List
First aid kit
Nisargadhama is an island formed by River Kaveri; it is an ecological park. Located at around 3 kilometers from Kushalnagar, this breathtakingingly beautiful island is spread over 64 acres.
Established in 1989, Nisargadhama is famous for its hanging bridge, lush foliage of thick bamboo groves, sandalwood trees, teak trees, lovely river-side cottages, elephant rides, deer park, rabbit park, peacock park and boating. Nisargadhama is open between 10.00 am and 5.00 pm. Visit between June and December.
River Kaveri in Nisargadhama
© 2018 Srikanth R