Abbey Falls, Coorg Overview
Abbey Falls, also known as Abbi Falls, is located around 10 kilometres away from the town of Madikeri and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in and around Coorg. The water cascade coming down from the cliff from a height of 70 feet provides a spectacular scene to behold. Nestled within the lush greenery which is typical to the sceneries of Western Ghats, the waterfalls attract hundreds and thousands of people throughout the year – especially nature lovers and photographers. The waterfall is located between private coffee plantations with stocky coffee bushes and spice estates with trees entwined with pepper vines. There is an over-bridge that hangs opposite of the falls, from where the most picturesque scene of white foams gushing down the ridge can be seen, captured and remembered. The flow of the falls leaves a significant amount of water spray on those who stand on the bridge for some time.
Some small mountains streams and brooks join together to form one of the most beautiful waterfalls of South India and falling off its cliff as the water flows to join the River Kaveri or Cauvery as one of its tributaries. The walk to the falls from the main entrance has around 200 steps downwards throughout and takes you through exotic coffee, cardamom, pepper and other spice plantations. It is a fantastic opportunity for shutterbugs to capture the real beauty and grace of the natural world. Even though bathing is prohibited in the falls now, the essence of the place itself is quite enough to draw tourists every day.
History of Abbey Falls
The first British chaplain of Coorg named this place Jessy Falls after his daughter. After the departure of the British, the land came under the Government of India but the place surrounding the Abbey falls were covered in wilderness. Neravanda B. Nanaiah purchased the land from the Government and set up plantations all around the place, and the area has been private property since then. As the forests began to clear up, the natural beauty of the place came forth, exposing the alluring streams and waterfalls to the people.
Things To Do at Abbey Falls
People mainly visit the place for its astounding natural beauty and to behold the view of the waterfalls. Coming down from a height of 70 feet, it is a vision and beauty personified. It is one of the most attractive waterfalls, among the many of South India.
The walk through the aromatic green gardens of coffee, cardamom and other plantations is yet another unique experience you will have. South India is famous for all such sorts of spices. The typical green carpet of Sahyadri is all over the undulating terrain of the place. The trek is not long for those with experience, only 15-20 minutes, but it is an enriching one.
Undoubtedly, all this beautiful greenery and the gushing white falls provide for great clicking opportunities for those with a camera around their neck.
Abbey Falls Timings & Entry Fee
The Abbey Falls are open on all 7 days of the week from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
The entry fees for the falls is INR 15 per person.
Talacauvery, Coorg Overview
Talacauvery is the source of the river Kaveri, located on the Brahmagiri hill (not to be confused with the Brahmagiri range further south) near Bhagamandala in Kodagu district, Karnataka. It is located at 1,276 m. above sea level. Kodavas have erected a tank which is now considered as its origin. It is believed that the River originates as a spring feeding a tank or a Kundike and then flows underground to re-emerge as Kaveri some distance away. The tank is marked by a temple and bathing in it on special occasions is considered holy.
On the Cauvery changrandi day, thousands of pilgrims and tourists flock by the stream to witness the rise of the spring’s fountainhead, when the river water gushes up at a predetermined moment. Apart from the birthplace of River Kaveri, the town of Talacauvery is also famous for a temple dedicated to Goddess Kaveriamma (Mother Kaveri). The beautiful temple is surrounded by even more breathtaking hills. The undulating hills and lush green meadows are very picturesque. One can climb the 407 steps to the top of the hill, towards the clouds and breath in the pure and serene air of the natural surrounding. The most interesting thing about the hills is that even when one is standing on the uppermost step, they can still hear the temple bells ringing down below in the temple.
The temple here is dedicated to Goddess Kaveriamma. Another deity worshipped here is Lord Agasthiswara, who acts as the link between Kaveri River and Sage Agasthya and Lord Ganesh. Legends say that the Kaveri River was held in Sage Agastya’s Kamandalu (a container of sacred water); when Lord Ganesha took the form of a crow and perched on it. When Agastya realised this, he tried shooing it away but to no success. Instead, the Kamandalu toppled it, and thereby Kaveri started flowing. Agasthya saw that the crow had disappeared. Instead there stood a small boy, who Agasthya thought was responsible for spilling the contents of his Kamandalu and hence, started chasing him with the aim to pound his head. Agasthya was aghast at the realisation that he wanted to pound the boy’s head when finally the boy vanished and Lord Ganesha showed himself to Agasthya. As punishment, he knocked his own head.
Head in the clouds
A steep climb with 407 steps takes one to a hill which gives you a view of the surrounding mountain ranges. While climbing the hill, one feels closer and closer to the clouds. The proverb, “head in the clouds” becomes literally true. Even after being at altitude, one can still hear the music of the temple bells.
Festival of Tula Sankaramana
The festival of Tulasankaramma is celebrated in the town with grand pomp and show, usually in October. During this period, there is a sudden gush of water in the Brahma Kundike, the tank from where spring of River Kaveri emerges. Thousands of pilgrims swarm the place during this time to take a holy dip into the water and purify their souls.
Packages: Wonderful Family Tour to Verdant Coorg
Nagarhole National Park, Nagarhole Overview
Located in the Mysore district of Karnataka, Nagarhole National Park boasts of rich wildlife including both flora and fauna. Located near Bandipur National Park, this beautiful national park is packed with the bounty of raw nature in its best form. A myriad variety of animals such as Elephant, Jackal, Tiger, Panther, Gaur, Sambar, Spotted deer, Mongoose, Civet cat, Hyena, and Sloth Bear, and almost 250 varieties of birds call this place their home. Bestowed with best of wildlife and varied topography, this place offers gushing streams, lush green forests, gentle slopes and shallow valleys.The place is a paradise for nature lovers and those seeking solitude.
Nagarhole National Park is bounded by Kabini River on the north while Bandipur National park forms its southern boundaries. A dam of the Kabini River along with its reservoir demarcates the two national parks and is a sight to behold. Other than that, the park also houses stunning vegetation and plantation along with verdant tropical and deciduous forest land. Nagarhole National Park is home to a number of majestic reptiles such as King Cobra, Krait, Indian Rock Python, Russel’s Viper, vine snake, Tortoise, Monitor Lizard and Toads. In addition to these, trees such as sandalwood, silver oak, rosewood and teak are found in abundance here.
History of Nagarhole National Park
Nagarhole National Park derives its name from a Kannada words “Naga” and “Hole” meaning snake and streams respectively. Once served as an exclusive hunting reserve for the rulers of Mysore, this park was set up in the year 1955 as a sanctuary and is claimed to be one of the best-managed parks in India. After stretching the area from 258 sq km to 643 sq km in the year 1974 with the inclusion of reserve forests of Arkeri, Hatgat and Nalkeri in Kodagu, it received the status of a National park in the year 1983.
Nagarhole National Park Safari
One of the best ways to explore the landscape and wildlife of Nagarhole National Park is through its jeep safari. Racing through the heart of the Park, you can easily spot some elephants, deer, bison and lots of birds and langoors. Details for the same are as follows:-
Morning 6:30 AM to 8:30 AM
Evening 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Indian Nationals: INR 300 per person for one hour ride
Foreign Nationals INR 1100 per person for one hour ride
Flora and Fauna of Nagarhole National Park
There is no denying the fact that Nagarhole National Park has a wide assortment of animals, birds, insects and trees house within its bounds. Some of them include:-
Mammals: Indian Elephant, Golden Jackal, Bengal Tiger, Panther, Gaur, Sambar, Spotted deer, Grey Mongoose, Civet cat, Striped Hyena, Indian bison, Indian leopard, Asiatic wild dogs, sambar, barking deer, four-horned antelopes, wild boar, palm civet, brown mongoose, striped-necked mongoose, black-naped hare, mouse deer, Indian pangolin, red giant flying squirrel, Indian porcupine, Gray Langur and Indian giant flying squirrel and Sloth Bear.
Reptiles: King Cobra, Krait, Indian Rock Python, Russel’s Viper, vine snake, Tortoise, mugger, common wolf snake, rat snake (Ptyas mucosus), bamboo pit viper, Russell’s viper, common krait, Indian rock python, Indian monitor lizard and common toad.
Insects: Insects here include over 96 species of dung beetles and 60 species of ants. Jumping ants such as Harpegnathos saltator, Tetraponera rufonigra ants, common dung beetle, Heliocopris dominus beetle and Onthophagus pactolus beetle are also found here.
Flora: Vegetation such as sandalwood, silver oak, rosewood, crocodile bark, Lagerstroemia lanceolata, Indian kino tree, Grewia tilaefolia, rosewood andaxlewood, Lagerstroemia microcarpa, kadam, cotton tree, Schleichera trijuga, ficus, Kydia calycina, Indian gooseberry and beechwood,horse nettles, tick clover, Helicteres species, lantana, golden shower tree, flame of the forest, teak and clumping bamboo are found in abundance here.
Resorts and accommodation at Nagarhole National Park
The pristine natural beauty and rich wildlife of Nagarhole National Park is a major attraction for a number of tourists and is a favourite holiday destination for many. If you wish to rent a resort or accommodation near the park, a number of options are available at your disposal. Nagarhole Forest Guest House is situated in the heart of the forest and is maintained by Karnataka forest department. Rooms here have all the basic amenities at a nominal cost of INR 1000 and need to be booked in advance. Walk-ins are not allowed. Other good lodging options include The Serai Kabini, Waterwoods Lodges & Resorts, Red Earth Kabini, Orange County, Dream Land Residency, Crescent Residency and Le Villagio Holiday Apartment.
Packages: Magnificent Coorg Tour Package
Golden Temple (Namdroling Monastery), Coorg Overview
Namdroling Monastery, situated at a distance of 60 km from the Kaveri Nisargadhama, is the largest teaching centre of the school of Tibetan Buddhism known as Nyingmapa. Thegchog Namdrol Shedrub Daryeling is the full name of the Namdroling Monastery. It is spread over an area of 80 square feet and was built from Bamboo which was donated by the Indian Government to the Tibetans in exile. Today, it houses many auxiliary structures like educational institutions and a hospital, in addition to being home to about 5,000 members of the Sangha community.
The monastery was set up in 1963 by Kyabje Penor Rinpoche, the 11th throne-holder of the Palyul school of Nyingma Tibetan Buddhism. Popularly known as the ‘Golden Temple’, the Namdroling Monastery holds some excellent examples of Tibetan architecture and artwork, as seen with the elaborately decorated temple tower and ornate outer walls, intricately adorned with beautiful murals. The red doors have giant golden knockers. Inside, one has the privilege of witnessing the enormous 40 feet high golden statues of Guru Padmasambhava, Buddha Sakyamuni and Amityaus, surrounded by lovely paintings of various aspects of Tibetan Buddhist mythology. The prayer rituals conducted by the monks are a unique sight that must not be missed. The serene vibe of the place is amplified by the well-manicured gardens that surround the area.
Many ceremonies are held in the Namdroling Monastery every year amongst which the Tibetan New Year, which usually falls in February/March as per the lunar calendar, is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm. Also, traditional Lama Dances along with solemn processions are organised in the monastery which takes place for two weeks. The rich cultural heritage is magnified by the nearby Sera Monastery, Sakya Monastery and Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, marvellous tributes to the ancient and disciplined culture of the Tibetan Buddhists.
History of Namdroling Monastery
The foundation for this majestic monastery was laid down in 1963 by His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche, the 11th throne-holder of the Palyul lineage of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, following his exit from Tibet. The full name of the monastery is Thegchog Namdrol Shedrub Dargyeling. The initial structure was made of bamboo and covered an area of 80 sq feet. The current 80 sqm area that the temple holds is thanks to the generosity of the Indian government, who donated the land to the Tibetan refugees who settled in the area. As this area was carved out of the jungle region, the Tibetans initially faced troubles of wild elephants and other tropical dangers present in the vicinity.
Architecture of the Golden Temple
Although the monastery seems not so vast from outside, it is huge inside. There are three 40 feet high statues of Lord Buddha called Padmasambhava, Buddha & Amitayus. The floor is made of marble but is always covered with a carpet. People can burn incense sticks and sit on the carpet which contributes to the spiritual environment in the temple. The walls have paintings depicting phases of Buddha’s life. Some even display Tibetan gods and demons. The Namdroling Monastery also has sacred texts, horns, trumpets, incense sticks, bells, prayer beads, prayer wheels, prayer flags, drums, etc.
Those who visit the monastery need to maintain silence in order to help out the ones who meditate. Due to the presence of the gold statues, it is also known as the golden temple. Lord Buddha’s statue is 60 feet in height and those of Guru Padmasambhava and Amitayur are 58 feet high. Placards are present near the entrance which contain that there are sacred scriptures in the form of statues along with small clay tupas which are symbols of the body, mind, and speech of the Buddhas. Their followers believe that if one worships these symbols and makes offerings then his/her faith will get restored and will help achieve peace, compassion, and wisdom.
Festivals Celebrated at Namdroling Monastery
Buddha festival is the major festival of the Buddhas. As per the Tibetan calendar, June is a special month for practice for the monks as the enlightenment of Buddha took place on the 15th day of June and is known as Saga Dawa Dhuechen. The 10th and 15th days of the month are known as Dhuechen and the fourth Tibetan lunar month is known as Saga Dawa.
The lama dance, known as Losar Cham, is performed at this time. During the festival, monks are seated in rows while some of them are standing and moving around the place. These monks, instead of chanting, sell food which is packaged in plastic bags kept in plastic crates to the public. Some of the food items include potato chips, watermelon slices, packaged drinking water and cold drinks. Few monks also walk on the sides, and the seated monks bring a snack or a drink to sustain sitting there. Two essential qualities which one gets to learn during this festival include the ‘act of consumption’ and the ‘act of restraint’.
Packages: Scintillating Coorg Family Tour 3D-2N
Water River rafting in Barapole River, Coorg, Coorg Overview
Barapole river is a famous white river rafting destination in Coorg. The white frothy river with speedy waters and rapids, flowing through beautiful landscapes, makes for an ideal river rafting experience. Set against the backdrop of the Western Ghats and bordering the Deccan Plateau, Coorg is a popular destination among travelers. White water rafting is organized in Upper Barapole are called Kithu-Kakkatu River which is a strong catchment area for the monsoons, thus providing a some of the most challenging stretch of rapids.
Experience the thrill of adventure as the choppy waters of the river toss you about and the wind rushes through your hair. The Barapole River surges through dense forests and offers rafting participants a breathtaking view of the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. The rapids have some fascinating names like Morning Coffee, Grass Hopper, Ramba Samba, Wicked Witch and Big Bang.
Things to carry
Pair of dry clothes, cap and sunscreen
Availability of camping/shelter
The particpants are dropped back to the camp site after the activity concludes.
Availability of Clean Water
Yes, but it is advisable to ensure availability of clean drinking water in your custom package.
Carry a compact first-aid kit just for safety. Stretch before you go in for the activity, and always plan the raft distance in your package carefully. If you are travelling with older people or children, find a suitable rafting stretch for them.
General Tips and Tricks
The age bracket to participate in this activity is 13 to 60 years. Participants are expected to be in moderately good health and should weigh less than 110 kg. Knowledge of swimming is not mandatory. The total duration of the rapids is 3 hours and covers a distance of 3-4 km. The best time to visits are the monsoon and post-monsoon months from June to December.
Packages: Magnificent Coorg Tour Package
Burude Falls, Coorg Overview
Burude Falls is located in the Western Ghats of India, about 20 kilometres away from the quaint town of Siddapur in the northern part of Karnataka. The waterfall is famous for its breathtaking beauty and mesmerising surroundings which consist of lush green forests. These forests are a favourite among medium to advanced level trekkers. The waterfall gets frequent local visitors due to its proximity to Siddapur and is famous as a picnic spot. This remote waterfall offers a stunning panoramic view from the top of the Western Ghats. The sound of gallons of water gushing down the mountains is sure to inculcate a sense of tranquillity in you as you watch the rivulet falling down various levels and forming the beautiful waterfall.
The Burude Waterfall is also known as Illimane falls because it is formed of a rivulet called Illimane that flows down the Western Ghats, descending in 5 different levels. Each level creates a separate waterfall ultimately forming a natural pool at the base. The atmosphere is pleasant during the tourist season, and the view is just mind-stirring when the earth is wrapped in a lush green blanket under the clear blue skies. The trek is quite adventurous but is sure to be memorable. Breathe in the fresh air as you explore the waterfall and let nature carry you away to a place we often want to escape to. You are sure to be mesmerised and will want to keep coming back to Burude Falls again and again.
Trekking To Burude Falls
To reach the point where trekking begins, visitors need to drive through Kyadgi Village on Kumta- Siddapur road which is about 20 kilometres from Siddapur. From the village, they need to follow the signboards to reach Burude falls. As one proceeds ahead, they will reach a track (jeep track) wide enough for small vehicles to drive through. This track is lined by some farms and houses. The point where the trail ends is where the trek begins.
At this point, one will find a pagoda type shelter built by the tourism department and about a 100 concrete steps that lead you down to Burude Falls. Tourists may rest here for a while and cherish the sounds of birds chirping and the river water trickling downstream. From here, tourists have to descend the steep concrete steps to reach different levels of the waterfall. The point where the first level of the waterfall begins, the trail becomes steeper and rocky making it a perfect adventure trek for adventure buffs.
Bird Watching at Burude Falls
Burude falls are surrounded by lush green forests, home to a variety of birds and animals. Bird Watching is thus a famous recreational activity in the region. As one proceeds towards the waterfall through the rocky descend, they can see a variety of birds like the Bulbul, the Mynah, the Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Racket Tail Drongo, the Bee Eater etc. Other than these, if one goes bird watching a little more into the forest, one may even find the Grey Hornbill, the Grey Jungle Fowl, Peacock, Pigeons, Parakeets, the Greater Golden Black Woodpecker, Owls and Owlets, Kingfisher, Minivet, Stocks etc.
Tadiandamol Peak, Coorg Overview
Tadiandamol is the highest mountain peak in Coorg, at an elevation of 1748m. Most tourists interested in trekking are drawn to this place as the journey is difficult, but the view from the top, unparalleled.
While being the second highest peak in all of Karnataka, Tadiandamol trek is also a very good option for nature lovers who desire scenic surroundings and are beginners in the trekking scene.
Food is available in Kakkabe and also near the big rock. Since the trek is short, you can take light snacks along with you and then have a celebratory meal after you finish your amazing trek successfully.
During the monsoon season, which is arguably the best time to go there, water is not a concern at all. Many water sources are available, especially the river which is located near the big rock at the base camp.
Tips and Tricks
- If camping at the Big Rock, keep an eye out for elephants. 2. Although water is easily available at the base camp, not so much at the peak. So bring water along if camping at the peak. 3. The weather gets pretty windy and violently rainy at the peak during the monsoon, so make sure to check the weather forecast. 4. The trail is pretty straightforward and self-explanatory, so there really isn’t a need for a guide if you have previous experience trekking.
There are two best places to camp, the base camp near the big rock and the peak. The base camp is where I would recommend you set-up camp. There is water available nearby and it’s a large area so it can easily accommodate a huge number of tents. The peak is an area which beginners shouldn’t aim for. But if you do, carry large amounts of water with you as there isn’t any available at the peak and reach early to save your spot because it can only take upto a maximum of 5 tents.
There are many trekkers who start their trek directly from the village of Kakkabe, but another feasible option is taking a vehicle directly to the start-up point A as the road is pretty straightforward and smooth. The start of the trek of is a place called “Nalakand Palace” which is only about 3 kms away from Kakkabe. The road to the palace is lined with greenery as far as the eye can see and its beauty will fill you with happiness and wonder. But this is just the beginning, the views yet to be seen are even more awe-inspiring. The trail from the Palace to the Big Rock is narrow but still well defined and easy to find. The path has beautiful water-falls surrounding it and will leave you appreciating nature with a whole new fervor. The Big Rock is the first landmark that you will come across. It is a huge rock, evident from the name, at the base of the hill that has camping accommodations and a river nearby. It’s the ideal place for camping and having an amazing time at the lap of nature. The view from the top of the hill is heavenly and will urge you to click away on your cameras. After this point, the trail gets steeper and narrower, but all the more fulfilling. Deep, dark and dense forests start surrounding the trail and it can get pitch black if you are not lucky enough to be graced with clear skies. The last stretch is, without a doubt, the most beautiful and breathtaking with flowers and fauna all around you. This scenery will forever be etched on your mind. At reaching the peak, the sense of accomplishment that you feel will leave you with such happiness that it beats all other feelings. The high that comes from completing a trek to such a place is definitely the best and without compare.
Packages: Wonderful Family Tour to Verdant Coorg
Iruppu Falls, Coorg Overview
A picturesque waterfalls cascading along the Brahmagiri Mountain Range, Iruppu falls is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in the Coorg district of South Karnataka. These are also known as the Lakshmana Tirtha Falls, a name derived from the tributary of Cauvery River of the same name of which these falls are a part of. Nestled amidst the evergreen woods of the Western Ghats, Coorg boasts of many misty waterfalls. Among them Iruppu is the most popular, not just for its mesmerizing beauty and greenery, but also because of its religious importance. People come here to enjoy the blissful vicinity of nature, the grandeur of the falls and for seeking spiritual peace in the tranquillity of the place.
En route to the magnificent falls stands the famous Shiva temple Rameshwara along the banks of the river. Both the river stream and the temple have folklore behind their existences which have roots in the story of the epic Ramayana. The pristine cold water of the Iruppu falls is considered to be holy and possessing powers to clean the past sins of the visiting devotees. A major tourist attraction, the falls attracts a large number of tourists every year, especially during the festival of Navaratri. Located on a lush, green mountain slope, a forest trail leads from these falls to the Brahmagiri Peak. The best time to visit the falls is during the monsoons when they are at their full capacity and hence become a breathtaking sight to behold.
Legend Associated with Iruppu Falls
Iruppu Falls is considered a sacred place by local people because of a legend associated with Lord Rama and his brother Lakshmana. As per the story, as the two were passing along the Bhramagiri range while looking for Rama’s beloved wife, Sita, who had been kidnapped, Rama asked his younger brother to fetch him some water to drink. On his brother’s request, Lakshmana looked around for a source of water, but could not find any. To do his duty at any cost, Lakshmana then shot an arrow penetrating into the Brahmagiri hills, which spilt out the clean and pure stream of the river which later came to be known as Lakshmana Tirtha – a name taken from its creator.
Due to this legend, the Iruppu falls are believed to possess the power to cleanse sins and purify one’s soul and are hence visited by thousands of devotees around the year seeking for salvation, especially on the Shivaratri day.
Things To Do at Iruppu Falls
- Corresponding to the legend, the Rameshwara temple and its shivalinga is said to be built by Lord Rama himself at this very spot to worship the Lord of destruction. The temple has a circular sanctum-sanctorum and its peak is a low one in resemblance to Kerala style of architecture. There are shrines of other gods and goddesses like his consort Parvati, son Ganesh, Gandharva and Bhairava. There is an Ashoka tree in front of the temple which recalls Sita’s captivity under Ravana in Ashokavan of Lanka. It is necessary to pay a visit and respect to the temple before going up to the falls.
- There is 500 metres uphill walk along the stream to reach the first fall of Iruppu. The path is slippery and covered with thick woods on both sides. It is a captivating experience for nature lovers as well as photographers, for the scenery offers many picture-perfect frames.
- Devotees usually take a dip in the cold flowing water of the waterfalls after visiting the temple; it is said that the stream water rinses away all the impurities in one’s mind and soul.
- Many people climb up the steep slope to reach the second tier of the falls, but one has to be extra careful about their safety.
- The place is ideal to spend an hour or two in the lap of nature enjoying the serenity and silence. The green forest around and the Iruppu waterfalls shining in between creates a great view to behold and also capture.
Iruppua Falls Timings and Entry Fees
The visitors are charged INR 50 per head for entry.
The Iruppu Falls is open from 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM every day of the week.
Packages: Scintillating Coorg Family Tour 3D-2N
Raja's Seat, Coorg Overview
Raja’s Seat, a garden with beautiful flowering plants and skilfully designed artificial fountains, is located in Madikeri in the district of Coorg. The garden was a favorite venue to rejuvenate for the Kings of Kodagu, and they loved watching the sunsets sitting here as they spent some memorable time with their Queens. Even today, the breathtaking view of the Sun setting into the undulated mountains is mesmerizing. The delightful garden here is adorned with a multitude of flowers and is a treat to nature lovers, and the proximity of the location also makes it a preferred picnic spot for the locals. Visiting Raja’s Seat is an excellent way to get a glimpse into the lifestyle of royal indulgence in Coorg.
The Raja’s Seat has been built on an elevated ground overseeing the valleys that lie to the west. Early mornings are usually misty and cold, but as the sun rises, the mist clears slowly offering a mind-stirring view of the lush green gardens adorned with colourful seasonal flowers beds. The sunsets are equally splendid as the day slowly ends with the Sun setting in the mountains. There is also a Toy Train available for your little ones to take a ride on and the fountains have been modified into musical fountains. Today, this place is managed by the Archaeological Survey of India and is considered of historical importance in the country. The Raja’s Seat Garden is known for its beautiful seasonal bloom, panoramic view and picturesque location making it an apt attraction for Nature Lovers.
Raja’s Seat Viewpoint
The Raja’s Seat View Point is a huge semicircle pavilion built in the garden and located in such a way that the visitors get the best view of the lush green valley below. It is mostly crowded in the evening to watch the sunsets because as it is the best location to experience the mesmerising sunsets and the sunrises. It’s incredible when the rays of the sun gently cut through the morning mist and illuminate the rolling mountains and the valleys of Coorg enhancing the natural beauty of the surroundings even more. Once you experience this, you’ll know why the Royalty chose to be here to spend some leisurely time with their Queens.
Toy Train Ride at Raja’s Seat
A toy train runs all around the garden here. The fact that Coorg doesn’t have a single operating railway track makes this toy train a fun ride not just for children but adults as well. The ride starts right at the entrance and costs only INR 20 per person per ride, and the train takes you all around the beautiful garden. It’s fun to watch the seasonal blooms, the lush green park and get glimpses of the valley from some locations of the garden. There’s no better way to get amused and feel like you have become a kid again. A Toy Train ride here is a must for everyone.
Raja’s Seat is located in the middle of a garden called as Gandhi Mantap. This memorial is built in the honour of Mahatma Gandhi at the location where, in 1934, Bapu visited Coorg and address the locals. It is a brick and mortar structure with four pillars and arched bridges. The Sarvodaya Diwas is celebrated on 30th January every year in Coorg. This is the day Gandhiji was assassinated in 1948.
During this day, a procession is arranged, and an urn containing Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes are carried to the Raja’s Seat. This procession is followed by reciting verses from the Bhagwad Gita, Koran and the Bible. Bhajans are sung, floral tributes are paid and a few minutes of silence is observed to pay respect to the Father of our Nation at the Gandhi Mantap. It is said that this is the only place, other than Delhi, where Bapu’s ashes are preserved.
History of Raja’s Seat
Raja’s Seat, meaning the Seat of the King is a structure made of brick and mortar and consists of four pillars that are bridged by arches. This place was used by the Kings and the Queens of Kodagu who were the rulers of Karnataka for over 200 years from 1600 to 1834 CE. The seat served as a perfect location for a breathtaking view of the valley and the rolling mountain ranges far ahead. Since it faced the west, it served as the ideal place to capture beautiful sunset view, and hence the Kings and their Queens mostly watched the sunsets from here amidst the lush green gardens and fresh misty air of Coorg.
Packages: Wonderful Family Tour to Verdant Coorg
Honey Valley - Nilakandi Falls, Coorg Overview
The Nilakandi Falls are located the midst of the dense tropical forests of Coorg and trace their source somewhere in the Thadiyendamol range. It is a picturesque and serene waterfall that lends trekkers a wonderful waterfall shower experience
Since it is a short trek you can carry some quick refershments along with you.
There are natural sources of water however it is advisable to carry your own water.
Camping is not advised therefore you can seek accommodation at the Honey Valley Resort itself.
Tips and Tricks
You can combine this trek with a trek to the Tadiandamol peak thus experiencing a thrill waterfall trek as well the challenge of ascending a peak at the same time.
Honey Valley is a 56 acre privately owned resort, situated 4 kilometers from the Kabinnakad bus stop that is close to Kakkabe. A forty five minute easy walk through more or less level leads you to Nilakandi Falls from Honey Valley. A three kilometer trek from the Honey Valley Resort takes you to the stream that flows down from the Nilakandi Falls. This is a great place for a shower since the waterfall is merely 15 feet high. The source of the waterfall, a small lake is located another four kilometers away. You can choose to climb further to reach the top of the waterfall, else return to Honey Valley via the same route.
Packages: Magnificent Coorg Tour Package
Bhagamandala, Coorg Overview
Bhagamandala is situated in the scenic foothills of Talacauvery, at a distance of only 39 kms from Madikeri. Talacauvery is the source and origin of the River Kaveri, which is often referred to as ‘Dakshin Ganga’ which means ‘Ganga of the South’ and is one of the seven sacred rivers of the country. A bath in the holy waters of the Bhagamandala is not only extremely sacred but also a very spiritually uplifting and cleansing experience. Immersing in the pure and thoroughly enchanting waters of the holy Triveni Sangam has an infinitely positive effect on the mind, body and soul.
Bhagamandala is also popularly called the ‘Triveni Sangam’. Tri means three and Veni mean stream – and thus named Triveni Sangam is a sacred confluence of the three rivers- the Kaveri, the Kannike and the mythical river Sujyoti. It?s called a mythical river because legend says that the river Sujuyoti flows underground until it meets the sangam, and then it expands into its merry flow.
A lot of people choose this sacred location to perform the last rites of their deceased, or perform rituals in the memory of their ancestors. They believe the sacred waters of the Triveni Sangam will bring peace and purity to the souls of their late loved ones. The Skanda Purana says that Bhagamandala was previously known as Bhaganda Kshetra in the ancient times. It was then renamed after a great sage named Sri Bhaganda Maharshi, who lived there in an ashram with his many disciples.
History of Bhagamandala
Sri Bhagananda Maharshi was a great devotee of Lord Subramanyam and Lord Shiva and decided to engage in severe penance till he gets to seek their blessings. After years of devoting every waking moment of his life in the prayers of the lord, the time finally came when his prayers were answered. Lord Subramanyam blessed him and manifested the place with a stone in his form, and Lord Shiva invoked a Shiva Linga at the location and promised his infinite presence in it.
During the period between 1785 and 1790, the area of Bhagamandala was under the reign of the king, Tipu Sultan. After burning and severely destroying the temple, he named it Afesalabad. However, in 1790, when King Dodda Vira Rajendra took over the entire area into an independent Kodagu kingdom, he restored its rightful name back upon it.
Places To Visit In Bhagamandala
Bhagandeshwara Temple: Resting at an elevation of about 898 meters, the Bhagamandala accommodates the Sri Bhagandeshwara Temple, a divinely famous tourist attraction. Although primarily a Lord Shiva temple, it also contains idols of Lord Subramanyam and Lord Ganesha. Other than being a beautifully built temple in an astounding backdrop, it is host to hundreds to pilgrims and devotees that not only come here to seek the blessings of the lord but also to connect with him spiritually. Praying at this temple brims you with the divinity of God and the much-needed peace and calm lost in our day to day lives.
Mount Thavoor: Overlooking Bhagamandala and Mt.Koppatti, Mt.Thavoor is a towering peak overlooking both of them. Bhagamandala and Mt.Koppatti are fantastic trekking routes for anyone wishing for a little bit of adventure and some breathtaking sightings.
Talakaveri Wildlife Sanctuary: Lying amidst the magnificence of the Western Ghats, the Talakaveri Wildlife Sanctuary is a lush tropical evergreen forest that is home to many diverse species of birds and animals. The Kaveri River flows through the eastern edge of the sanctuary and sustains the wildlife of the forest. A safari through the raw forest, to witness its majestic inhabitants in the nurture and caress of Mother Nature is truly an experience of a lifetime.
Nisargadharma Island: This is an ecological park which is a popular holiday destination for all nature lovers and is sure to give you a much-needed break from the honking cars, blaring alarms and incessant chatter of the cities. It is equipped with a deer park, a lake for boating, provisions for elephant rides and a small snack shack. You need to pass a small bridge over the joyfully flowing River Kaveri to enter this island, and it can be best enjoyed just post monsoon; when the entire island is brimming with lush greens.
Other Tourism Place: Kerala
Mallalli Falls, Coorg Overview
Mallalli Falls, the stunning milky white waterfalls, lies in the northern region of Kodagu district in the south-western Indian State of Karnataka. These falls lie 26 kilometres away from the town of Somwarpet, at the foot of the Pushpagiri Hills. The falls originate where River Kumaradhara takes a deep plunge of over 1000 metres and then follow a natural route that ends into the Arabian Sea. These gorgeous waterfalls are sure to take your breath away. The heavenly scenery with lush green forests and the clear white waters of River Kumaradhara falling deep from the point of origin of the waterfall is a marvellous sight never to be missed.
Mallalli Falls is one of the most mystifying waterfalls in Coorg, Karnataka. This mesmerising waterfall is often spoken about along with the Abbey Falls in Kodagu, and their beauty cannot be compared with any other natural water body. Mallalli Falls are seasonal falls and are best witnessed during the monsoons. They fall from a height of 1000 metres sequentially in two tiers.
You’ll know how beautiful the falls are right from the moment you spot them from the base. As you walk ahead, hear the heavenly sounds of the falls increase in volume and when you trek up to the location, feel the freshness in the air, and the cool water drizzle on your face as you watch the striking falls up close and personal. Whether a nature lover or not, this site should be included in the list of attractions to be visited this year.
The best way to reach the location of the Mallalli Falls is by trekking. It’s a pleasant route and has wide concrete steps that lead to the waterfall. The Government has taken efforts to make the waterfalls easily accessible and convenient for visitors. As you trek, you will experience little, mesmerizing streams of water tumbling over the sturdy, black boulders on the mountain.
Trekkers can drive from Somwarpet to Kalahali Road which is a 10-kilometre drive. Beyond Kalahali Road, the route narrows down, just enough for a small car to pass. It is advisable that the visitors park their vehicles here and begin trekking up the route which is only a 2-3 kilometre walk up the mountain.
This trek is perfect for those who are in for an adventure in the sunny but misty climate and those who want to discover and explore the thick forests, fruit orchards or private coffee plantation estates around the waterfall region. If you wish to visit the bottom of the waterfall, you can track the stream and walk carefully down the falls. It will barely take another 40?45 minutes of trekking, but the view is stunning. As you walk down, do notice the cool and refreshing drizzle from the waterfalls. If you wish to capture some gorgeous pictures, head towards the viewpoint marked near and gather memories like never before.
Geography of Mallalli Falls
The Mallalli Falls are located in the Western Ghats of India and fall in Coorg, Karnataka. It is situated about 26 kilometres from Somwarpet in Coorg District and lie at the base of the Kumara Parvatha or the Pushpagiri Hills. The Mallalli Falls are formed by the waters of River Kumaradhara that originate on the Western Ghats itself. After plunging down the location of the Mallalli falls, the river water flows down towards Mangalore passing through Kukke Subrahmany. Further on, the river merges with River Netravati before flowing into the Arabian Sea.
Packages: Scintillating Coorg Family Tour 3D-2N
Other Tourism Place: Kodaikanal
Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Nagarhole Overview
Too bored of all the places around? Plan a refreshing trip to the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary with Nagarhole National Park to its North-West. The sanctuary covers an area of 181 square km. The sanctuary has got its name from the Brahmagiri Park which is the highest peak with a height of 1608 m. The primary vegetation of the sanctuary includes evergreen and semi-evergreen forests, shoal forest patches in grasslands and bamboos. It is a beautiful site to enjoy the natural beauty and take a relaxing walk away from all the hustle.
Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is also home to many animals including macaques, gaurs, elephants, tigers, leopard, cats, wild pigs, Nilgiri langurs and sloth bears. It is a famous attraction visited by tourists almost throughout the year. It is also famous among the trekkers. It is said by the locals residing there that seven sages meditated on the top of the hill.
The sanctuary was established in the year 1974 and is surrounded by plantations of coffee and cardamom. Some interesting birds one can spot in the place include black bulbul, Malabar trogon, and emerald dove. Cobra, python and king cobra are some reptiles which can be easily spotted.
Things to do and places to visit
While on the trek, the visitors will come across some beautiful places surrounding the Brahmagiri range which include-
- Thirunnelai Temple which is said to be built by Lord Brahma himself and dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple comprises of 30 granite pillars which are given a traditional style of architecture.
- Pakshipathalam is a cave which was said to be used by Gurus and saints in the historical times. It has an altitude of 1740 m and lies on the Kerala side of the Brahmagiri range.
- Iruppu Falls which originate from the Lakshmana Tirtha River in Karnataka. Legends say that when Lord Rama and Lakshmana were searching for Sita and got thirsty, Lord Lakshmana shot an arrow at a spot on the Brahmagiri Hill from where the Lakshmana Tirtha River began to flow.
Other Tourism Place: Chennai
Dubare Elephant Camp, Coorg Overview
Once a training site for elephants of the famous Dasara procession in Mysore, the Dubare Elephant camp offers a unique adventure to visitors by allowing them the experience of living in coexistence with the trained elephants on-site. Once an important camp of the Karnataka Forest Department, the Dubare Elephant Camp, now run by private players, is an ideal destination to learn about the various aspects of the history, ecology, and biology of elephants, as well as see a large number of Asiatic elephants stroll through peacefully as they enjoy their natural habitat. Naturalists and mahouts trained in the art of handling these majestic creatures are ever-present throughout the camp, offering various insights to passers-by regarding these gentle giants.
Apart from the wonders of observing and interacting with the massive elephants, visitors to the site are also privy to the incredible biodiversity of Coorg and have the opportunity of viewing birds such as peacocks, partridges, kingfishers, and woodpeckers. The surrounding greenery is also home to the spotted deer, tigers, wild dogs, and bears, making this location an ideal destination for ecotourists.
Ticket prices at Dubare Elephant Camp
Entry Fee (Boat to Main Camp): INR 20,
Day Visit (inclusive of camp activities, lunch, tea/coffee):
Indians: INR 1310,
Foreigners: INR 2250,
Elephant Camp Activities:
Indians: INR 670,
Foreigners: INR 1447
Packages: Scintillating Coorg Family Tour 3D-2N
Other Tourism Places: Ooty