Coorg / Madikeri

If you want to sit back, relax and enjoy a good vacation away from the hustle and bustle of the city, then Madikeri, a small hill station in Karnataka is the place for you.

A Hill Station with a Difference

Madikeri (at Coorg) is a well known hill station for tourists in Karnataka. It is situated 252 km from Bangalore, and it is the headquarters of the district Kodagu. It has mesmerizing mountain ranges all over with luscious greenery and the tranquil waters of the Cauvery River flowing through the hilly area.

Madikeri gives a rejuvenating feel to those who visit this place, hence attracting a lot of tourists. It is known for its beautiful coffee, tea, and cardamom plantations. It is referred to as the Scotland of India and is said that its scenic beauty dragged the British to this tourist spot nearly 100 years ago. The hill resort also has a lot of ancient history attached to it with the Great Madikeri Fort.

Sunrise at Thadiyandamol hills in Coorg

Sunrise at Thadiyandamol hills in Coorg. Photo credit: snapper san

Coorg is on the Western Ghats. Set amidst verdant valleys, imposing mountains and teak wood forests, this is one of the most beautiful hill stations you can visit. It lies on Karnataka’s southwestern end, covering an area of 4,102 sq km.

Talakaveri, from where the Kaveri River originates, Nisargadhama, a man-made island and a favored holiday resort, Iruppa and Abbey Falls, Nagarhole National Park, Dubare Elephant Camp – each of these can be an adventure destination by themselves. Coorg is also famous for its huge coffee and spice estates, which offer a special experience to tourists.

The Kodagu district comprises different communities – Kodava, Tulu, Gowda, Moplah out of which the largest is the Kodava community, both economically and politically. The economy depends on agriculture, coffee plantations, foretry and tourism.

Origin of the name Kodagu

Coorg or Kodagu (originally called Kodaimalenadu) means ‘dense forest on steep hill’. Dubbed as the Scotland of India, this town has a lot to offer to the tourist.

There are many versions behind the origin of the name Kodagu. According to the Puranas, Kodava is the redifned name of Krodhadesa, meaning ‘Land of Anger’, said to have been inhabited by the Kodava tribe. While for some, it is believed to hve been named after the River Cauveri, where ‘kod’ means ‘give’ and ‘ava’ means ‘mother’ – which means Cauvery is the ‘mother to the people’.

Few believe the name originated from the Kannada kudu which means ‘dense forest’ on a steep hill. It is said that the history of Coorg dates back to as early as 888 AD.

The kingdom was ruled by many dynasties, starting with Gangas of Talakad, Kadambas, Cholas, Kongalvas, Changalvas, Hoysalas and Nayakas. Information on its early history has come primarily from the various inscriptions on stone and copper plates of 9th – 10th century.

The Haleri dynasty was the last noteworthy dynasty to rule the whole of Kodagu. It came into power around mid-16th century and was founded by a young price from Ikkeri. It was the first dynasty in the history of Kodagu, which spanned 234 years and ruled the entire region.

Sight Seeing And Trekking At Madikeri

Madikeri has an array of sightseeing spots for you to enjoy and a variety of activities too. There is the Madikeri fort which was built in the 19th century and consists of a palace, chapel and prison. The fort overlooks the town, and the view is almost breathtaking in the night.

It is believed that all the Kings in the Kodagu vicinity would come and spend their free time at Raja’s Seat. There are a herd of tourists that come to watch the sunset in the evening.

Abbey falls is about 8 km from Madikeri. It is the perfect place to spend an entire day, have a picnic, and laze around. Bhagamandala is a temple that is built at the junction of the Cauvery, Kanika, and Sujyothi rivers. It has a number of shrines all built under one roof.

Talacauvery is a very auspicious spot as it is the site of the origin of the river Cauvery. Nisargadhama is a very serine picnic spot, where you can enjoy the view with some delicious delicacies. Trekking is one of the major activities at Madikeri, and some of the trekking spots are Thadiyandamole, Pushpagiri, Brahmagiri, and Nishanimotte and many more.

How To Reach Madikeri

You can get to Madikeri either by air as the closest airport is at Mangalore, which is only an hour’s drive away, or you can take a train till Thalassery, Kasaragod, or Mysore and then drive down to Madikeri. Bus and taxi services from Bangalore, Mysore, or Calicut to Madikeri are available in plenty.

Local Food and Accommodation

Madikeri has some sumptuous traditional dishes on offer for you. You must look out for the Pandhi, Koli and Bembla curry, Kadumbuttu, and the Votti. There is also the traditional south Indian food like dosa, idly, vada, and sambar. For lunch, their main delicacy is rasam served with some hot rice and an array of cooked vegetables.

There are a number of hotels and resorts ranging from the luxury five stars to the mediocre ones. You can find a nice comfortable place to stay to make your trip even more memorable.

Madikeri is a very popular hill station with the tourists, and it is just the place if you want to get away from your everyday routine.

Also See

Resources

  • Coorg Recipes
  • Kodava
  • Coorg – by itsLife.in
  • Coorg by NativePlanet
  • Coorg Tourism Info
  • Nisargadhama photos on Flickr
  • Coorg Weather 
  • Where did the Coorgs come from?
    The origin of Kodavas (Coorgs), a martial race inhabiting Karnataka’s picturesque hill district Kodagu, has always been shrouded in mystery. But a book which has scientifically analysed their origin has come to one conclusion: They are not original inhabitants of India.
  • World Kodava Meet- 2007 from Dec 23
    To showcase the distinctive culture and heritage of the Kodava Community, the habitants of Kodagu, the small hilly district, the Karnataka Kodava Sahithya Academy will host a three-day ‘World Kodava Meet-2007′ in Madikeri from December 23.Addressing newspersons here last night the Academy Chairperson Smt Ulliyada Daatu Poovaiah informed that over two-lakh Kodavas spread all over the world would converge during the world-meet.
  • New Sainik Memorial to come up in Madikeri
    A meeting presided over by the Deputy Commissioner Subodh Yadav has decided to build a new Sainik memorial at Madikeri.The meeting decided to build a memorial building as the present memorial situated on the side of the road was built in the memory of soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War. The meeting observed that many of soldiers from the district, which had given top generals other than brave officers and jawans to the Indian armed forces, had died during Second World War, Indo-China and Indo- Pak wars and Kargil war. They should be remembered in a proper manner, the meeting opined.