This 19th century fort, in the centre of Madikeri, houses a temple, a chapel, prison and a small museum. The fort offers a beautiful view of Madikeri.
According to legend, the kings of Kodagu spent their evenings here. But what’s unforgettable about Raja’s seat is the spectacular sunset that one can enjoy from here.
The most visited tourist spot in Coorg is the Nagarahole National Park which is known for it’s wild-life population. One can find elephants, tigers, leopards, sambars, spotted deers, and bisons in plenty. There are facilities for over-night stay inside the Nagarhole park next to water-holes. Madikeri or Mercara is the main town of Coorg and is also a well known hill station.
Some of the important places to visit around Madikeri are Raja seat-a well maintained garden with a great views of the hills, Abbi-Falls a beautiful waterfall, Bhaga-mandala and finally Tala-Kaveri-the birth place of river Kaveri, is an astoundingly beautiful place which is surrounded by mountains.
Omkareshwara temple was built by Lingarajendra in 1820. It is deidcated to Lord Shiva, it is located in Madikeri town. The temple has both Islamic and Gothic style of architecture. There is a tank in front of the temple with tons of fishes in it and a footpath leading to a small Mantap. The temple has four minarets around it and a dome in the center (similar to a Muslim Masjid).
History says Lingarajendra killed an honest and pious Brahmin to fulfill his political ambitions and there is another story which tells he desired a brahmin girl (apparently as a daughter-in-law though some accounts suggest he wanted to marry her). However her father, a poor Brahmin man, refused to give his daughter away in marriage, and Linga Raja was furious because he refused and got the brahmin killed.
On killing the brahmin he acquired the brahma hatya dosha and began to get nightmares,like falling off the throne. Then he was advised to build a temple to get rid of his dosha.That Brahmin became a “Brahmarakshasa”and started troubling the king. The king got rid of him only when he brought a Shivalinga from Kashi and installed it after building a temple. The Shivalinga was named as “Omkareshwara” and regular rituals were performed.
The Shivalinga now worshipped in the temple has its origins in Kashi. Among the many Shivalingas in Kashi five are considered the most sacred, and Omkareshwara is one of them.
The bars of the windows of the temple were made of Panchaloha and an alphabet lim has been placed in between the bars. Praying to Omkareshwara is thus believed to get rid the sinner of the tormenting ‘Brahmarakshasa’.
Talakaveri / Talacauvery
River Kaveri which is one of the 7 sacred rivers of Sapta Sindhus of the Hindu scriptures, originated at a place is called Talakaveri (head of Cauvery) in the Brahmagiri hills, at about 4,500 ft above sea level. This place is marked by a tirtha kundike or Brahma kundike (small spring/pond) from where the river emerges as a small perennial spring, but flows underground again to emerge a short distance away. It is about 48 kms from Madikeri.
There is a shrine near the kundike and a big tank in front of it where devotees baths before offering prayers. There are 2 temples, a Shiva temple and with a rare and ancient Shiva Linga, and another temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. This temple has a holy Ashwantha tree where, according to legend, the Trimurtis – Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh gave darshan to sage Agastya.
Legends also has it that every year on Tulasankramana day (approximately on 17 October) Goddess Parvati appears in the Kundike as the sacred teerthodbhava. This occasion is marked by the sudden unsurge of water in the kundike and is considered very auspicious
From Talakaveri, steps lead up to the nearby Brahmagri peak, where the 7 great sages called the Sapta Maharishis had performed a special yagna. From the peak, as well as on the drive to Talakaveri, tourists can enjoy a good view of the misty blue Brahmagiri hills.
The river descends perpendicularly into a great cataract known as the Iruppu Falls. This place is believed to possess the power to cleanse one’s sins and is visited by thousands of devotees from far and near on Shivaratri day...more…
Karnataka boasts of some scenic and exotic hill stations that are frequented by those seeking the green and serene. Among them one such location would be the Abbey falls...more…
This is mainly an elephant capturing and training camp of the Forest Department, at the edge of Dubare forest, on the bank of river Kaveri, on the Kushalnagar – Siddapur road. The largest land animal is captured here with the help of tamed elephants and local tribals – the Kurbas – and is held captive for upto 6 months in large teak wood cages.
The tamed elephants attend to various jobs during the day and in the evenings they come down to the river to bathe and to be scrubbed clean by their mahouts. Afterwards the mahout obliges eager tourists for free elephant rides within the camp. In the evenings, all the elephants are offered a special treat of ladoos made of ragi and jaggery, each no smaller than a cannon ball!..More
Nagarhole National Park
Nagarhole National Park also known as ‘Rajiv Gandhi National Park,’ is located 94 km from Mysore. It is spread between Kodagu and Mysore districts. Located to the northwest of Bandipur National Park, Kabini reservoir separates the two. There were exclusive hunting reserve of the former rulers of Mysore, the park has rich forest cover, small streams, valleys, and waterfalls. Its area stretched to 575 km²..More…
Valanoor, 30 kms.from Mercara,the back waters of river Cauvery is one of the most beautiful Angling sites in Karnataka. Types of fish include Golden-Masheer, Maral and Mapp. Licence / permit can be arranged by local tourist agents.
Cauvery Nisargadhama is situated about 36 kms from Madikeri. This is an ideal picnic spot. It is an island in the middle of the river connected by a rope bridge. You can do boating or go for elephant rides as well as visit the elephant training camp run by the Forest Department at Dubare (8 kms further).
When the river Cauvery flows downhill, it is joined by two more tributaries – Kanake and Sujyoti. The spot where all three converge (the Cauvery, the Kanika and the Sujyothi) is called Bhagamandala. The temple here, built in Kerala style, has smaller shrines dedicated to various gods. It is about 40 kms from Madikeri.
Harangi Dam is a great picnic spot 36 kms from Madikeri.