Near by Places
Iruppu waterfall is one of Coorgs major tourist attractions. Iruppu is a sacred place and is located in south Coorg on the Brahmagiri range of hills. River Lakshmana-tirtha flows nearby. According to legends Rama and Lakshmana, passed this way in search of Sita. Lakshmana shot an arrow into the Brahmagiri hills and brought into being the river Lakshmana tirtha when Rama asked him to fetch some water.
The river descends into a water fall known as the Irupu Falls and takes a 60 meter plunge down the river amidst the lushy green mountain. This place is said to possess the power to cleanse one’s sins and is visited by thousands of devotees on Shivaratri day.
Irpu Falls is around 30kms from Gonikoppa and 80 kms from Madikeri. Nagarahole is just 25 kms away from Irpu Falls.
Padi Igguthappa Temple:
The Padi Igguthappa Temple is located in Kakkabe near Virajpet. Iguthappa is another name for Lord Subramanya and the Igguthappa Temple is a very sacred temple of the Coorgs. The temple. This temple was built in 1810 by King Lingarajendra.
An annual festival is held at the Padi Iguthappa temple in the month of March and people from all over Coorg and near by places gather here to offer special prayers. Special offering like “Tulabhara”, where the devotee weighs oneself against coconuts, sugar, rice, fruits etc, on a weighing scale and offers it to the god is performed here.
Nagarahole National Park
The Nagarhole Game Sanctuary extending over 284 sq. km affords an awesome sight with wild animals like bison. tiger, panther, elephants, wild boars, peacocks, etc.in their natural habitat.
Nagarahole National Park now renamed as Rajiv Gandhi National park was first set up in 1955. In 1975 its area was increased to include a greater expanse of forest reserve. Once an exclusive hunting preserve of the erstwhile rulers of Mysore.
The serpentine river after which the park is named, winds through lush green wilderness, hence the name “Nagara Hole” in Kannada means Serpent River.
Kabini is the largest river draining the forest and a dam built on it has created a splendid lake to the south of the park, which also forms a boundary with the Bandipur Tiger Reserve. Huge herds of elephants walk down to Nagarahole in the summer months, which is an excellent time to watch them.
Over 300 bird species have been reported here, including rarities like Blue Face Malkhoa, White-cheeked Barbet and Nilgiri Flycatcher. The Short Eared and Oriental Scops Owl can been seen at night as they come out to prey
Chelavara Water Falls
Chelvara Falls is near Cheyyandane which is around 16 kms from Virajpet and is one of the most beautiful water falls in Coorg. Chelavara Falls is also called as Embepare by the locals meaning Tortoise Rock.
The water fall is really a wonder full view as the water gushes from the top amidst the green coffee plantation.
The best part of visiting Chelavara falls is that ‘Chomakund’ a renowned hill is just 2 kms away from here. Chomakund is an awesome place surrounding with lush green shrubs and trees and is almost covered in fog most of the time. One can also get a glance of the Arabian Sea from here.
Harangi Reservoir is located in Hudgur village near Kushalnagar. Harangi Dam is around 6 kms from Kushalnagar town. Harangi is dam built across Harangi River, a tributary of Kaveri River and one can access its beauty when the reservoir is fully filled with water during monsoon in Coorg. Harangi is an ideal place for picnic in Coorg.
Guest house facilities are available for tourists willing to spend a night on reservation from the public works department.
Dubare Elephant Camp
Dubare is an elephant capturing and training camp of the Forest Department of Coorg. Dubare is located in between Kushalnagar and Siddapur on the banks of river Kaveri.
The wild elephants are tamed and trained with the help of other tamed elephants and local tribals. Elephants for the famous Mysore Dussehra were trained here sometime back.
Dubare is a home to many wild animals and birds. Even though Elephants being the major attraction one can also spot the Deers, Bisons, Peacocks, woodpeckers, kingfishers etc in Dubare forest range.
Dubare Elephant camp has around 10 cottages with attached bathrooms and a bar too. Visitors can not only watch and enjoy but also take part in various activities involving Elephants and the way they are trained by the mahouts. Dubare also offers adventure activities like trekking, river rafting, fun fishing.
It is a scenic beau to watch the tamed elephants bath in the river and to be scrubbed clean by their mahouts.
Tibetan Golden Temple
The Tibetan Monastery or the Tibet Camp as locally called is located around 6 kms from Kushalnagar town towards Mysore. This Tibetan settlement at Bailkoppa or Baylkuppe is the the second largest Tibetan settlement outside Tibet. There are over 7,000 monks and students at the Tibetan monastery.
After the Chinese took over Tibet, the refugees were settled at Bylkuppe near Kushalnagar and the Buddhist Monastery was re-established here in 1972. It houses over 7,000 monks and students today. The monastery not only attracts large number of young Tibetans seeking enlightenment and education, but also draws huge tourists from all over India and abroad.
Bylakuppe Tibetan settlement consists of a number of small camps close to each other, and has a lot of monasteries, nunneries. Most famous among them are the large educational institution Sera, the smaller Tashilunpo monastery and Namdroling monastery.
The 40 ft tall golden Buddha statues are the major attractions of Bailkoppa. The statues of Buddha, Padmasambhava, and Amitayus are the notable ones. The walls of the temples and the institutions are decorated with colorful paintings depicting gods and demons from Tibetan Buddhist mythology. The altar is decorated with flowers, candles and incense sticks.
Apart from the calm and peaceful surroundings there are shopping centers near the temples where one can shop for traditional Tibetan items like costumes, statues, carpets, jewelery etc.
Nisargadhama is a forest resort in Coorg just 3kms from Kushalnagar towards Madikeri off the state highway. Nisargadhama is a 25 acre island formed by river Kaveri with bamboos, teak, sandalwood trees streams and wild life covering it.
At Nisargadhama one can find deer, elephants, peacocks and some other usual wild animals if lucky. One can take a ride on the elephant around the resort for an unforgettable ride of the life time.
Nisargadhama is also famous for its hanging bridge which connects the island and helps travelers to cross the Cauvery river. A new bridge has been constructed now just beside the old and shaky hanging bridge.
Visitors can enjoy boating, Elephant rides and swimming apart from just watching Nisargadhama’s natural beauty.
This is the origin of river Kaveri on the eastern slopes of Brahmagiri peak at 1350 metres altitude, about 8 km by road from Bhagamandala.
An enclosure around the spring called Gundige is connected to a small pond beside. The water from the pond goes underground and comes out after about one kilometer down the hill. There are three shrines above the spring and birds eye view of west-coast from the hill range.
On a predetermined date and time of Tulasankranthi every year the spring from Gundige overflows called Thirthodbhava. This holy water is carried home by all pilgrims when they go back after paying the last rituals to their parent or spouse departed during the preceding year.
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 here, a Shiva temple with a rare and ancient Shiva Linga, and another Lord Ganesha’s temple. According to legend, the Trimurtis – Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh gave darshan to sage Agastya at the holy Ashwantha tree near the temple.
Legends also has it that every year on Tulasankramana day which falls approximately on 17 October Goddess Parvati appears in the Kundike as the sacred teerthodbhava. This occasion is marked by the sudden spring of water in the kundike and is considered very auspicious.
From Talakaveri, steps lead up to the nearby Brahmagri peak. It is believed that the 7 great sages called the Sapta Maharishis had performed a special yagna here. From the peak, as well as on the drive to Talakaveri, you can enjoy a good view of the misty blue Brahmagiri hills
Bhagamandala is situated at the confluence of two rivers, the Kaveri and the Kanika. A third river, the Sujyothi is said to join from underground. It is considered sacred as a river confluence (kudala or sangama, in Kannada and Sanskrit). The temple here, built in Kerala style, has smaller shrines dedicated to various gods.
It is a common practice for pilgrims to take a dip in the sangama and perform rituals to their ancestors before proceeding to Talakaveri, the birthplace of Kaveri. During Tula Sankramana which falls on October 17 or 18.
A short distance from the sangama, there is a famous temple known as Sri Bhagandeshwara temple, where Bhagandeshwara (Ishwara), Subramanya, Mahavishnu and Ganapati are installed. Thus this is also known as Bhagundeshwara Kshetra, from which the name Bhagamandala is derived.
The area was occupied by Tipu Sultan during 1785-1790 and renamed Bhagamandala to Afesalabad. Then in 1790 King Dodda Vira Rajendra took Bhagamandala back into an independent Kodagu.
Bhagamandala is located about 33 km from Madikeri. Government and private buses are made available to this place frequently.
Mandalpatti is one of the best tourist spots in Coorg. Mandalpatti hills are located around 25- 30 km from Madikeri town en route to Abbi falls. A right deviating road just 4 kms before Abbi Falls will lead to Mandalpatti. As bus facility is not available yet taking a cab or own vehicle is advised.
Once has to take entrance tickets from the authorities at the base of Mandalpatti before trekking the hills. Make sure to take water and food along as there are no shops around there. Once on the top of the hills the beauty of Mandalpatti is unwrapped. Far stretching green mountains and the cool breeze will definitely make one feel like heaven