Madikeri -The Orange Hill Station Of Karnataka
Madikeri is a hill station town in Karnataka state, India. Also known as Mercara, it is the headquarters of the district of Kodagu (also called Coorg). It is a popular tourist destination.
Known as the ‘Scotland of India’ for its natural splendour, the hill station of Madikeri is located in Coorg region of Karnataka.
Madikeri is also called by the name of Mercara; earlier it was known as Muddurajakeri. The word ‘Muddurajakeri’ means Mudduraja’s hill station. The hill station was named after the Haleri King, Mudduraja who ruled Kodagu (Coorg region) from 1633-1687.
The region is known for its natural beauty. Dense forest, waterfalls and mist-laden hills makes Madikeri a pleasure for the eyes. The hills offer breathtaking panoramic views of the region.
If you are game for some angling, then Madikeri is the place to be. Trout and mahaseer are found in abundance in the rivers and streams around Madikeri.
The Cauvery river is scared to Kodavas, people of the Coorg region who are often called Coorgis. During the Cauvery Sankramana festival, people in large numbers gather at Talakaveri to take a holy dip in the river.
Madikeri is also famous for its cuisine especially non-vegetarian delicacies. Pork of Madikeri is the special food item of the hill station.
One can buy local handicrafts, agricultural produces like coffee, tea and cardamom.
Summer: 33 – 27 C
Winter: 24.1 – 19.1 C
Best time to visit:
October to June
Department of Tourism,
Government of Karnataka,
PWD Guest House,
Tel: 08272 228580
Places of Visit in Madikeri
Abey Falls or Abbi Falls
Abbey Falls also called as Abbi Falls is located around 8 kms from the town of Madikeri. The waterfall is located between coffee plantations, spice estates and green trees where several streams join from the mountains and gush down to join the Kaveri river.
The falls appear suddenly, the water cascading over rocks into calm pools. The roar of the falls can be heard from the road. The water flow is very high during the monsoon season and during the dry seasons the flow is considerably less. A hanging bridge has now been built across the gorge here offering a good view of the falls.
The best time to visit is early winter when the monsoons bring plenty of water. The falls can be reached by a narrow road from Madikeri. Cars can reach the entrance of these falls from where a downhill walk of 500 metres on slightly paved steps takes one to the waterfalls.
Raja’s Seat is a small pavilion with a garden surrounding it; offering a view of the green valley below. According to legend, the kings of Coorg spent their evenings here. The spectacular sunset and the far stretching blue mountains will take ones breath away.
Madikeri fort was first built by Mudduraja in the last quarter of the 17th century. He also built a palace inside the fort. It was eventually rebuilt in granite by Tipu Sultan who named the site as Jaffarabad. In 1790, Doddavira Rajendra took control of the fort.
The palace was renovated by Lingarajendra Wodeyar II in 1812-1814. One can find two life size masonry elephants in the north-east corner at the entrance and a church in the south-east corner.
Omkareshwara temple was built by Lingarajendra in 1820. It is located just 1 km away from the heart of the Madikeri. The temple has both Islamic and Gothic style of architecture. There is a tank in front of the temple. There is a footpath leading to a small Mantap.
It is said Lingarajendra killed an honest and pious Brahmin to fulfill his political ambitions. That Brahmin became a Brahmarakshasa and started troubling the king. The king got rid of the so called Brahmarakshasa 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 bars of the windows of the temple were made of Panchaloha and an alphabet ‘lim’ has been placed in between the bars.
Gaddige – Raja’s Tomb:
gaddige tombsGaddige or the tombs of Virarajendra and Lingarajendra at Madikeri is one of the important monuments of Coorg. It is located in the north of Mahadevpet in Madikeri city. The royal tombs on a hillock to the north of Madikeri provide a spectacular view of the town. Lingarajendra’s tomb was built in 1820.
There are also the tombs of a Raja’s priest and that of two army commanders. A commemorative plaque, eulogizing the bravery of General Biddanda Bopu who fought Tipu Sultan has been recorded by Dodda Veerarajendra in an inscription. The tombs are in the style of Muhammadan edifices with domes in the center and turrets at the angles
Iruppu Falls (85km)
Nestling beside the Rajiv Gandhi National Park (Nagarhole) and 48km from Virajpet, Iruppu Falls presents a stunning sight during the monsoon. From its humble origins in the Brahmagiri Range , the falls plunge down 170ft. in two distinct stages. The never-ending music of the falls and the hush of the surrounding densely-wooded forest make this a great picnic spot. The Rameshwara Temple , located close to the Lakshmana Theertha river, attracts a large number of pilgrims during the Shivaratri festival. A forest trail leads from these falls to the Brahmagiri Peak in Southern Kodagu .
Cauvery Nisargadhama (25km)
It is a breathtakingly beautiful riverine island carved by the Cauvery river in the plains, 2km from Kushalnagar. It can be accessed by travelling over a hanging bridge. Nisargadhama teems with lush foliage, thick bamboo groves, teak, and rosewood. The sprawling 64-acre nature resort has a deer park , orchidarium, and elephant and boat rides. You can also picnic on the sandy beds of the river bank.
Set amidst the picturesque Brahmagiri hills is the source of Cauvery river, with the Talacauvery Temple built around it. On Tulasankramana day (October 17th) thousands of pilgrims flock to the river's birthplace to witness the miraculous rise of the fountainhead, when water gushes up from the spring at a predetermined moment. Steps lead from the spring to the summit of the hill, commanding superb views en route.
This is the confluence of three rivers: Cauvery, Kanika, and Sujyothi. Among many small shrines dedicated to various gods, the Bhagandeshwara temple, standing in a large courtyard surrounded by Kerala-style temples is the most impressive. Bhagamandala is known for its apiaries and Kodagu honey.
A small town, reputed to be the largest producer of honey in Asia . Iruppu Falls is 48km from here on the Nagarhole road. Close to the Lakshmana Theertha river, the Sri Rameshwara Temple , believed to have been dedicated to Lord Shiva by Lord Rama himself, is a place of pilgrimage. It is a favourite haunt of picnickers and pilgrims, especially during the Shivaratri festival.
One of the largest Tibetan settlements in South India , it is known for its monasteries, handicrafts, carpet factories, and an incense factory. The landscape is dotted with several monasteries; the main ones amongst these are the Great Gompa of Sera Je and Sera Mey. The Mahayana Buddhist University is located at Sera. It also has an enormous prayer hall. The other important monastery in the neighbouring settlement of Bylekuppe is Tashi Lhumpo monastery, renowned as the seat of Panchen Lama.
15km from Kushalnagar. The reserve forest is famed for its amazing variety of avian fauna, an elephant training camp, and angling possibilities on the Cauvery.
Harangi Dam (38km)
Situated in North Kodagu , this dam is a beautiful reservoir, ideal for a weekend holiday.
For those who have a head for heights, Tadiyendamol, the tallest peak in Kodagu, is a paradise. On a clear day you can view the distant Arabian Sea and the enchanting beauty of the whole of Kodagu from here. Situated in the heart of the Tadiyendamol range, in the village of Yavakapadi , Naalkunaadu Palace was constructed by Dodda Raja Veerendra, the king of Kodagu, in 1792. The palace, with its 12 magnificent pillars and walls adorned with beautiful carvings, tell many a tale of yore. It is now being used as a camping site for trekkers. Kakkabe, a small town 35km from Madikere, gives access to the highest peak in Kodagu. Nearby Padi Iggutappa is the most important temple in Kodagu.
Two of the best golf courses in Kodagu can be found at Pollibetta and Madikeri. Madikeri has a smooth 9-hole golf course spread amidst quiet and pastoral surroundings. Polibetta in South Kodagu also has a 9-hole golf course.
Valnur Fishing Camp
Located near Kushalnagar on the banks of the river Cauvery is the Valnur Fishing Camp, where avid fishing enthusiasts can indulge in the luxury of angling for mahseer. Fishing permits can be obtained from the Coorg Wildlife Society. Valnur is also a haven for birdwatchers, with innumerable avian species to be spotted and identified.
The Kodagu region is full of trekking trails. The best season to trek is from October to the beginning of February. Simply follow the mountain trails dotted with little shrines - some beside waterfalls, and others on the banks of rivers. The other well-trodden trekking trails in Kodagu are in the Brahmagiri ranges of South Kodagu , where a forest trail leads from Iruppu Falls to the Brahmagiri peak. Another interesting trail leads to Pushpagiri (1712m,) Kodagu's second highest peak, which can be climbed via the village of Heggademane to the north of Madikeri.
Places Near Madikeri:
Talakaveri – Bhagamandala – Mandalpatti – Nandapole