Friday, December 16, 2011

DUBARE ELEPHANT CAMP







Dubare Elephant camp is a project undertaken by forest department and Jungle Lodges and Resorts Ltd. This camp has plenty of elephants which are trained under naturalists. A trained Naturalist is at hand to explain the various aspects of Elephant history, ecology and biology. The visitor can not only observe and learn but also participate in various activities involving Elephants. The Karnataka Forest Department has about 150 Elephants in various camps and Dubare has been historically an important camp. The Elephants for the famous Mysore Dasara were trained at Dubare elephant camp. But presently after logging operations have ceased, the Forest Department does not really know what to do with all its elephants! They (elephants) have been practically retired except for giving some rides to odd tourists. At the same time, the Forest Department spends quite some money to maintain them and their mahouts. With this as a background, Jungle Lodges & Resorts (JLR) has struck upon a unique idea to utilize the Elephants at Dubare Camp to provide the tourists with ‘an intimate experience with Elephants’. JLR seeks to build upon the un ending fascination that man has for Elephants! At the Dubare Elephant Camp, a visitor can spend hours simply watching Elephants and of course, learning more about them. A trained Naturalist is at hand to explain the various aspects of Elephant history, ecology and biology. The visitor can not only observe and learn but also participate in various activities involving Elephants. Guests would leave our camp feeling enriched and enlightened about Elephants and hopefully they would become sensitive to their plight in the wild and join the lobby to save them from extinction. JLR is acutely aware of its role of spreading awareness about conservation and takes its responsibility seriously about converting its visitors into ‘ambassadors of conservation’. Dubare Elephant camp would be a unique project not only for JLR but in the whole of India. JLR seeks to be a trend–setter in this niche area and create an eco-tourism product which would be an invaluable contribution to the cause of understanding and conserving these amazing creatures, the Elephants.

Accommodation"

This Camp has 10 luxurious cottages with attached bath. As this is a comparatively new camp there is no electricity here. However, electricity is provided through electric generator in the mornings and evenings. Located on the other side of the river the Dubare camp offers complete peace and tranquility.

Facilities:

Apart from the luxurious cottages we also have a licensed bar to help our guests to relax and share their experiences with each other at the end of the day.

Cuisine:

Food at Dubare is homely and delicious. A buffet includes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine. We will be only too pleased to serve the indigenous food on special demand.


Wildlife & Activities:

The most deciduous forests are richly endowed with a variety of wildlife, so it is not uncommon to spot herds of Sambhar and spotted dear grazing on the banks of coming for a drink to the riverside. Another splendid sight that you will come across is that of Asiatic elephants taking a dip in the river or spraying themselves with dust. If river, you are lucky you may even spot the elusive crocodile basking in the sun.

Dubare also offers a treat to bird lovers as it is home to a verity of birds like partridges, woodpeckers, kingfishers and many more. The pleasant chirping of birds and the humming of various insects can always be heard in the background. You may also find peacocks strutting around and proudly displaying their plumage as the sun sets, flocks of birds can be seen flying across the twilight sky, which adds a special touch to the beauty of the place.


Programme

DAY - 1

12.00 Noon Walk in to Dubare and hear the gurgling sound of Cauvery River as you check-in.

1.30-2.30 p.m.
A tasty lunch awaits you – just what you are looking for after a long drive.

4.00 p.m.Tune in to the long awaited adventure with a refreshing cup of tea/ coffee.

4.30-6.30 p.m. Jeep Safari into Dubare Forest with a trained naturalist can be a refreshing experience

7.00-8.00 p.m A wildlife film show at the Gol Ghar is another opportunity to learn
about wildlife

8.00-9.30 p.m Dine around the cozy campfire or at the Gol Ghar

DAY 2

6.00 a.m..Wake up to the songs of birds and greet the morning with a cup of
tea/coffee.

6.30-8.00 am
Cruise through the Cauvery River on a coracle (circular and
indigenously made) viewing and enjoying the nature around you.

8.00-8.30 a.m Treat yourself with a hearty breakfast at the Gol Ghar

11.00 a.m At the Dubare Elephant Camp, a visitor not only spends time by simply watching Elephants but of course, learning more about them. A trained naturalist is at hand to explain the various aspects of the Elephant history, ecology and biology. The visitor can also participate in various activities like washing and scrubbing. A ride on the elephant would be the cream of all the experience in Elephant camp.

If you must leave, we look forward to your next visit to discover the yet unexplored secrets of these forests.

Package:
1 Night/2 Days Package per person.

Inclusions:

Stay, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Jeep Safari, Interactive experience with camp elephants, Elephant Ride & Taxes.




MALLALLI FALLS







Mallalli falls is situated in the foots of pushpagiri hills. It in about 18 kms from somwarpet, the falls is 2 kms inside the main road. Mallalli Falls is situated in Coorg and is around 25 kms from Somwarpet and 260 kms from Bangalore. The exact location of Mallali falls is in Bettadahalli Gram Panchayat in Somwarpet of Coorg. It's is an eye feasting sight of river Kumaradhara gushing through the valley and falling into a gorge, with lush green mountains around.

Mallalli falls, Kumaradhara river, around 30 KMs from Somawarapet and approximately 275 KMs from Bangalore.

To reach Mallalli falls, one has to take a deviation at Hanchinalli. Hanchinalli comes 2 KMs before Beedalli when travelling from Somavarpet towards Beedalli. From Hanchinalli it's a bumpy jeep track for 2 to 3 KMs. And then a walk for almost a kilometer. It was completely misty even at 11 in the morning. End of wonderful walk brought us to the view point which gives us a majestic view of the falls. Though we had lots of time, we decided not to go down to the foot of the falls as it was very slippery on the rocks.

RIVER : KUMARADHARA
HEIGHT : 62m (205ft)
LOCATION : 28kms from Somvarpet, Kodagu District.





















IRUPPU FALLS







Iruppu water falls is located at a distance of 50 km from Madikeri, head quarters of Kodagu district and 20 km from Nagarahole National Park bordering the Wayanad district of Kerala. The Iruppu waterfall is surrounded by lush green Western Ghats. The roaring waters of the Iruppu falls and the picturesque surroundings make it a favorite picnic spot.

Iruppu Falls presents a magnificent view during the monsoon. Originating in the lofty Brahmagiri peaks, the falls plunge 170 ft in two different stages. Iruppu falls later become a part of the Lakshmana Teertha River. Hence, this waterfall is also known as Lakshmana teertha falls.

As per the legend, Lakshmana shot an arrow into the Brahmagiri hills and brought into being the river Lakshmana Tirtha.

The Rameshwara Temple located nearby the Iruppu water falls attracts a huge number of pilgrims during the festival of Shivaratri. It is believed that Iruppu waterfall possesses magical powers and they remove one's sins. On the day of Shivaratri, devotees take bath in Iruppu falls to get rid of their sins.

Best Time to Visit Iruppu Falls is during the monsoon.


Distance from Iruppu waterfalls
1. Virajpet: 48 km
2. Mysore: 120 km
3. Bangalore: 260 km
4. Mangalore: 136 km

How to get there:

Nearest Airport: Bangalore

Nearest Railhead: Mysore

Road: The Falls can be reached by the highway from Gonikoppal to Nagarahole National Park off the Kutta Road after Srimangala.




CHELAVARA 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.
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TADIYANDAMOL







Tadiyandamol is the highest peak of the district at 5,724 ft about 1748m above sea level. The highest peak in Coorg and poses an exciting challenge to seasoned trekkers. This is the second highest in Karnataka. Located in The Western Ghats. .The peak is located in the south-eastern part of Coorg and is 8 km from the town of Kakkabe which is 35 km from Madikeri. Two-thirds of it can be covered on a jeep. The topmost position is rather difficult to ascent. But if one preserves and climbs to the top, their exertions are amply rewarded and there from the giddy top of the peak they can look all around towards west and east and feast their eyes on the majestic grandeurs of the slopes. The place of interest for Trekkers. The NALAKNAD PALACE, built by Dodda Veerarajendra in 1792, serves as the base camp for trekkers who can make an overnight stay before climbing the Tadiyandamol peak in the morning. Nalaknad Palace is a two-storied structure is situated on a precipitous ridge and not easily accessible. It provided a safe shelter for the rajas from invading armies. Presently maintained by the state archaeology department, the building houses a bee-keeping center. A steep snake path from the Nalaknad Palace, leads to the Tadiandamol peak. A few kilometers away from Tadiandamol peak is Padi Igguthappa temple, one of the holiest temples for the Kodavas .The Clouds and mist in the early morning in Tadiyandamol is a pleasant for the eyes. One will definitely be in cloud 9 while watching this.

The best season to visit is during December to May.

Best Time to Trek : Early winter.

Nearest Town 30 kms (Virajpet): :: Nearest Petrol Bunk 20kms (Napoklu)













Thursday, December 15, 2011

BHAGAMANDALA










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.


TALACAUVERY








Talacauveri is the birthplace of the sacred river Cauvery. It is situated on the slopes of the Brahmagiri Hills, and can be reached by a motorable road from Bhagamandala, which is at a distance of 8 kms. There are temples dedicated to Ishwara & Ganapathi at the source of Cauvery.

The "Tula Sankramana" day (usually falling in the month of October) is regarded as the most auspicious day for visiting Talacauvery. There is a small square tank (Cauvery Kundike) by the side of a fairly big tank in Talacauvery, which is the source of the river. It is believed that on the day of the "Tula Sankramana", at an auspicious moment, the holy Cauvery appears, and that her arrival is indicated by a sudden upsurge of the water in the pond.

Near the source of Cauvery one can climb up about 300 feet to the summit of the Brahmagiri peak where, it is said, the seven great sages meditated. From the top of the hill one can feast his eyes with splendid display of nature.



Saturday, December 10, 2011

MANDALPATTI (Mugilupete)

MANDALPATTI [Mugilpete]


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.





mandalpatti coorgOnce 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.


COORG - SCOTLAND OF INDIA




Kodagu District

The small but compact district of Kodagu is unique in many respects; its breath taking nature undulations originates at Talacauvery impassable hills and valleys, overflowing rivers including the holy Cauvery which its inhabitants famed alike for their warlike and peaceful pursuits. Inhabited by several tribes like Bettakurubas, Jenukurubas, Kembattis, Kudiyar, Kaniyark. The district is proud of a rare Kodava Community which has produced warrior like Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa, Gen. Thimmaiah and sportsmen and equally industrious Vakkaligas and Kodagu Gowdas. There are people who speak languages like Kannada, Kodava, Malayalam, Tulu, Konkani and many other tribal dialects. Kodagu is an anthropological gallery subjected to the rule of Gangas, Cholas, Hoysalas, Vijayanagar rulers and their feudatories like the Kongalvas and the Chengalvas, each ruling dynasty has enlarged agricultural activities and religious and cultural life by building forts, temples and bastis.

The Kodagu Rajas who ruled since the seventeenth century, Hyder- Tipu interregnum and the rule of British have contributed in their own way to enrich the economic and cultural life of the district. The Kodagu Rajas built many Lingayat Mathas and the famous Omkareshwara temple. Hyder and Tipu raised mosques at Madikeri and Nanjarayapatna. Christians constructed churches at Virajpet and Madikeri. The temples at the holy places like Talacauvery, Bhagamandala and Padi have been built and expanded during various regimes. The Madikeri fort and the two tombs of the Rajas were erected in Indo-Sarscenic style. The British created a road network and bridges across rivers and rivulets and introduced coffee plantations. The Cauvery creates an enchanting island at Nanjarayapatana. Orange Cardamom, pepper and other subsidiary producers have added to the prosperity of Kodagu; many valleys have lush green paddy fields.

Life in Kodagu whether in a town like Madikeri, Virajpet or Somwarpet, or any village or amidst coffee plantation or forest resort is something new, making tourists not only enjoy what they see but also enliven their heart and mind as they see a strange new World with its many peculiarities. Pollibetta has a self range for the lovers of sport. The district is advanced with high literacy rate and with schools and colleges spread all over. Total area of the district is 4,102 sq km and its population is 5,45,322 (2001 census).

Temperature
Madikeri rarely touches the temperature of 30oC, during summer. At Madikeri, maximum temperature during April May 28-30oC and minimum 18-23oC During December/January it is 14oC maximum, 9oC minimum.

South west monsoon begins during the first week of June and reaches peak during the second week of July and wane after the third week of August. Sun rarely pierces through the thick clouds, to glimpse the rich flora and fauna.

Madikeri
Madikeri is the headquarters of the Kodagu district. This is situated at a distance of about 260 km from Bangalore via Mysore. It is also approachable by road from Mangalore and Hassan. The distance from Mysore is 120 km, from Mangalore. 134 km and Hassan 138 km. The prominent structure is the palace. This palace is a very beautiful structure, which is greatly influenced by European architecture. British records mention that this was renovated in 1933, covering it with a tile roof and adding a clock and a portico. There is a huge seal of the royal family at the entrance and the walls have many old paintings with European influence.
The palace now serves as a building for housing many offices under the Deputy Commissioner. It is two storeyed. There are two beautiful life like figures of elephants here. There is a temple of Kote Ganapathi at the eastern gateway of the fortress.

Fort, Palace
Built on high grounds with a unique blend of traditional and modern styles of architecture. The Madikeri Fort looms large over the town. Built during the reign of the Haleri Kinds, it was rebuilt in the early 19th Century. In the centre of the Fort is the Palace.


Archaeology Museum
An Anglican Church situated in side the fort was built in 1855 by Ror A Fennel. The church which is in Gothic style of architecture is a beautiful structure, decorated by stained glass Windows. This is presently under the control of State Archaeology Department. It houses various antiques of Kodagu region like hero stones, images, weapons and materials of Kodava life like their traditional dresses etc.

Raja Seat
One of the most enchanting places in Madikeri is the Raja's seat, where one can have exquisite views of the sun rise and sunset. This is called Raja's seat because the Coorg Rajas were known to visit the spot together with their consorts to watch the beauty of nature. It is a fine park now. To the left on the way to Raja's seat is a pavilion where the mortal remains (ashes) of Mahatma Gandhi is kept.
Hill ranges, clad in green rising up to play with silken clouds of myriad hues- that's the view from the Rajas seat which literally means "Seat of the Kings". Feast your eyes on an endless expense of sun- kissed greenery.

Omkareshwara Temple
This was built by Lingarajendra II in 1820. The legend behind the construction of this temple tells that this was built by the kind to get rid of the sins he believed that he had committed by killing an innocent Brahmin. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Shivalinga is said to have been brought from Kashi and installed here.
This temple is a quaint mix of Islamic and Gothic style. The gold leaf inscription atop accessed through a narrow flight of interesting steps used by the kind are all worth noticing. The annual Teppothsava or "Boat festivals" is a memorable event.

The Abbi falls
A spectacular cascade near Madikeri is the Abbi falls which is about five km on the Madikeri - Galibeedu Road. 'Abbi' itself means a waterfall in the Kodava language. This was formerly called Jessy Falls by the British in memory of Jessy, the daughter of Madikeri's first Chaplain. This falls hurls down in two stages to a depth of about 70 ft into a rocky valley. This turns into a torrent during monsoon rains. There is the facility of walking upto the falls by cement steps built through the efforts of Dharmaveera, a former Governor of Karnataka. Enroute to this falls one has to go through private coffee estates. The foggy spray issuing forth from the stream flowing over a precipe makes a spectacular sight when viewed from a convenient spot. This is one of the most interesting tourist destinations in the district.

Balamuri
Balamuri, in Madikeri taluk is about 18 km from the headquarters. It is a noted pilgrim centre of the Kodavas. It is called Balamuri because the Cauvery river takes a crescent - like curve to the right here. This place is a famous Shaiva centre from ancient times and is referred to as Valampuri in many old records. This place is also called as 'Anugraha Kshetra' as a legendary Kodava king Devakantharaja was blessed by Cauvery at this place. There is a temple of Agasthyeswara, which is visited by thousands of devotees. There is a huge Banalinga in this temple that is believed to have been installed by sage Agasthya. The annual fair takes place in the solar month of Kumbha for a span of three days. There is a belief among the people that those who are unable to go to Talacauvery for a dip on Tulasankramana day can have a dip in this place which yields the same merit. On the other bank of the river is a small Eswara temple ascribed to sage Kanva. This place is very near to Murnad and is approachable by bus from Madikeri.

Kotabetta
Situated about 25 kms from Madikeri, Kotebetta is the third highest peak in Coorg district. The trek starts from a small village with a beautiful stream passing and plantations of coffee and spices .Trek through plantations, jungle and open grasslands. Camping will be in tents on hilltop or stream side or in village plantation house. A moderate level short trek where one has the option of camping in the forest along a beautiful stream.

Brahmagiri
Brahmagiri wildlife sanctuary is situated in South Coorg and it borders Makutta willdlife range and Aralam willife sanctuary in Kerala. The trial starts near Irpu falls near Srimangala and passes through Nerimalabetta, Brahmagiri peak, Pakshipathalam and finally ends in Tirunelly. Camping will be in tents and forest rest house.

Makutta Jungle Trek
Makutta wildlife range is situated in south Coorg and is one of the thickest rainforests in Coorg. This is a pure jungle trek with less of hill climbing and more of walking through thick jungles with a good possibility of wildlife sightings. Camping will be in tents and forest rest house

Barapole (Coorg)
Coorg is a mountainous region of rice paddy, valleys, evergreen forests, hills and acres of coffee plantations. Tucked away in the Southern corner of this district on the Birunani Road some 35 km from Gonikoppa and nestled in an organic coffee plantation on the banks of the Upper Barapole River is the starting point of our Rafting Trips. Thorough instructions are given by the certified and experienced instructors and guides bafore the start of the event. The rafting starts with a 4 km calm section of the river before dropping through several kilometres of class 3, 4 and even class 5 rapids before it enters Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. We run 3 stretches of this highly technical river in high water levels. The catchment area of high rainfalls provides run offs into the upper stretches of the Barapole River. This is considered as the most challenging rafting stretch available for the general public in South India.

FACT FILE
Distance from - Bangalore - 250 kms, Mysore - 150 kms
Other Activities - Trekking, Adventure Camps, Wildlife Safari, Sight seeing
Accommodation - Jungle Camp / Resort Stay / Home stay / Estate Stay.
Rafting Season - July to October.

PACKAGES

Weekend Packages ( 2-3 Days ) :
· Coorg Light Trek, Wildlife & Barapole Rafting ( Stay – Home / Estate Stay )
· Tadiyendamol Trek & Barapole Rafting ( Stay – Home / Estate Stay or Tent Camping )
· Coorg Sights & Barapole Rafting (Accommodation – Home stay / Estate Stay )

For ADVENTURE PACKAGES & HOMESTAYS, Plase contact
FOR PACKAGE DETAILS & RESERVATIONS, CONTACT : TRAVEL KARNATAKA (A unit of BudgetTripping)
+91-9845151344,
+91-9590026664,
+91-80-23161369,
Email: info@travelkarnataka.in
Web: www.travelkarnataka.in



Gadduge (Raja's Tomb)
This Gadduge is in the Indo-Sarcenic style that was popular then. It is an impressive structure with a dome and is open in the forenoon and in the evening. There are two royal tombs in this place. In one of them Veerarajendra and his wife Maha Devammaji were buried. The other tomb is that of Lingarajendra, the former's younger brother. It was built by his son Chikkaveerarajendra. There are smaller tombs of priest Rudrappa and officers like Biddanda Bopu and Somayya. They are impressive domed structures with windows made out of bronze.

The best season to visit Madikeri is between the months of October and January. The day of Vijayadashami is celebrated with great pomp and show. There are many travellers Bungalow, Government guest house and hotels. The surrounding villages have cool coffee plantations. Mahatma Gandhi had stayed at Krishnaraja Villa in Madikeri during his one day visit in the year 1934. Sharat Chandra Bose had a visit here in 1942 and he was lodged in the Macpherson Bungalow.

Talacauvery
One of the prominent pilgrimage centre in Kodagu. Talacauvery is the place of origin of the river Cauvery amidst enchanting hilly settings. It is eight kms from Bhagamandala and 46 km from Madikeri. Nestling at the foot of the Brahmagiri and surrounded by jungle clad hills on all sides. Talacauvery has a mythological back - ground. It is connected to all parts of Kodagu with good motorable roads. The Cauvery is variously called as Lokapavanee, Lopamudra, Dakshina Ganga. Talacauvery, is also called Modal 'Cauvery' at this place.
River Cauvery is treated as the mother Goddess by the Kodavas. The place is on the Brahmagiri range known as Agnigiri, Vayugiri and Gangagiri in the puranas. It originates from a one metre pit, "Brahma Kundike". According to local legends Kavera Muni pleased Lord Brahma by his unflinching penance at Brahmagiri. He was blessed with a daughter Cauvery. She was married to Sage Agastya. Once Agastya left Cauvery in his water pitcher (Kamandala) and went on a mission. Cauvery overflowed from the vessel from here forming a river. At the place of origin of the river is a small mantapa known as Jyothi Mantapa which has an eternal lamp burning. In its front is the Kundike. Further up is a renovated temple Agastyesware which as a Linga believed to have been installed by sage Agastya. There is an Aswath (Pipal) tree, where it is believed Agastya Worshipped Lord Aswatha Narayana. There is also a shrine of Ganesha. The height of Brahmagiri hill is about 300 ft with 500 steps. On the top of the hill there are three Yagnakundas said to have been used by the seven sages (Saptarishis). One can have a magnificent view of the sunset from here

Bhagamandala
A very famous pilgrim centre, not only for the Kodavas but also for all Hindus, Bhagamandala is in Madikeri taluk and can be reached from both Madikeri (29 km) and Virajpet (50 km). This place is at the point confluence of river Cauvery and Kannika and a subterranean flow Sujyoti and hence known as 'Thriveni Sangama'. The famous Bhagamandala temple complex which is one of the most beautiful structures in Kodagu district which is located in the lush green hilly surroundings. Though attributed to the Cholas, this structure resembles Kerala architecture. It was highly patronised by king Dodda Virarajendra of Kodagu. The Linga of this temple is believed to be an installation by sage Bhaganda.This place was occupied by Tipu who renamed it as 'Afzalbad' and he used the temple as a fortified place. But in 1790 Dodda Virarajendra regained this territory from Tipu. The place has a temple of Bhagandeswara (Shiva) and subsidiary shrines of Subramanya, Mahavishnu and Ganapathi, all built within a large prakara or enclosure. The wall ceilings and other decorative parts of the temple are filled with several hundred big and small wooden figures, artistically wrought and tastefully painted. They include Purana episodes and figures of gods and goddesses. The ceiling has a fine figures of eight Dikpalaks. All lovers of wooden art (Kashatashilpa) Must visit this wonderful place. It is open in the forenoon and also in the evenings.

The most celebrated festival here is the Hutari Festival. During this festival newly cut ears of grain are brought and worshipped in the Vasantha Mantapa of the temple. A month long fair is held after Tulasankramana. During this period lakhs of devotees rush to Bhagamandala for a dip in the holy river Cauvery. Shivaratri is also a festival celebrated here. Kashinatha of the Konkani Brahmins and Rama Mandira are also found here.

This place which is famous for honey production has a bee rearing museum called "Madhuvana" There is a traveller's bungalow, to accommodate tourists. There are many buses from the taluk headquarters.

Padi Igguthappa temple
A holy place to the Kodavas is the Igguthappa temple, just two km from Kakkabbe, standing on a hillock the base of which can be reached by a motorable road. The Igguthappa or Subramanya temple is surrounded by dense green forest and is to be reached by a steep flight of steps. The square temple has an entrance with a balpeetha on the ground and on its inner ceiling, at cardinal points, the eight Dikpalakas are engraved on wood and colourfully painted together with various geometrical patterns, The temple is square in shape with a square garbhagriha, built of latenite covered with a circular Shikhara.

The main deity, Lord Igguthappa is installed on an ancient panipeetha. To its rights is a silver elephant, on back of which an inscription is engraved. It states that the silver elephant was donated in 1810 by Kodagu Raja Lingarajendra after his hunting down 34 elephants and killing eight tigers and lion cubs near the Nalknadu palace. One Apparanda Bopu renovated the temple in 1834- 35. The inclined roof of the temple is covered with copper plates. One can see enchanting scene of lush green forest and valleys from his hillock, and the Tadiandamol peak. After Holy festival, in March, special jatra of Igguthappa takes place. Igguthappa is worshipped by the Kodavas not only at this place, but also at Perur Padi and Nelji Padi in Madikeri taluk. The temple is open in the forenoon and the evening and the visitors are provided food in the noon after pooja.

Nalknad Palace
On the tip of a hillock is the Nalknad Palace to be approached from Kakkabe, (in Madikeri taluk), five km from this worship, which is to be reached via Murnad or Bhagamandala. Dodda Veerarajendra built this palace in 1792 A.D at a place which falls in the jurisdiction of the old division of Nalknad. Veeraraja escaped from Tipu Sultan's prison at Piriyapatna and took refuge at Kurchi village, he shifted his family to Yavakapadi village in Padinalknad. Later on his hillock surrounded by dense jungle he built this place in the area at the foot of the high hill of Tadiyandamol providing safety. This palace is an elegant two storeyed structure with elaborate wooden carvings and painting decorating it. In front of the palace there is a small but elegant square mantapa, which was erected in 1796 in which the marriage of Mahadevammaji was celebrated. Behind the palace are dark rooms which were used apparently to lodge prisoners. This historic building has been repaired by the Kodagu princesses who were married to Tipu. The wall paintings of the royal possession had been restored and it depicts the kind riding an elephant and is surrounded by bodyguards, orchestra and other retinue.

Chelavara Falls
The Chelavara falls, height of this falls is 50 m (160 ft) 3 kms from Cheyyandane and 14 kms from Madikeri.

Thadiyandamol
Thadiyandamol is the high peak in Kodagu district in Virajpet Taluk and it is a good trekking spot. It is 45 kms from Madikeri and 3 kms from Nalknadu Palace.

Somwarpet

Harangi
Harangi is an ideal picnic spot in Somwarpet taluk, situated at a distance of eight kms from Kushalnagar. This can be reached by bus from Edavanad via Kaju. This place has a dam built across the river Cauvery and a vast reservoir. The whole surrounding is enchanting. There is a temple and Basava on the riverbank enshrining a Linga and also a shrine of Kannambadiyamma. Near the reservoir is an elegant statue of Goddess Cauvery which is regularly worshipped. There is a travellers' bungalow at this place, which provides accommodation for tourists. There is the Chikkamatha of the Veerashaiva on the brink of the forest nearby. Ignu is another interesting spot very near Harangi. This was probably an ancient agrahara. There is an ancient Eswara temple here with fine images of Dwarapalaks (Doorkeepers).

Doddamalte (Honnammanakere)
Dodda malte in Somwarpet taluk is a place of great antiquity, inhabited since pre-historic times. This is situated about six- kms from Somwarpet. This town is made famous by the Honnammanakere, the biggest tank in the whole of Kodagu. This covers an area of 16.2 acres and is a 15th century construction. An epigraphical record attributes the tank to a Changalva King Annadani. There is a dilapidated temple of Siddeswara at its outskirts built in the Chola Ganga style and also a modern temple of Basava on the tank bun. On the left bank of the Honnamma tank in the morebetta, which is full of dolmens of megalithic settlers at the place. The Changalva king appears to have effected its restoration.

Kushalnagar
A busy trade centre in Somwarpet taluk, Kushalnagar is the gate way to Kodagu district. This place on the left bank of the Cauvery is the first town an one enters Kodagu from Mysore. The original name of the place was Mullusoge. Hyder called it as Kushalnagar because of its dry climate, and later the British named it as Fraserpet. In the post-Independent period, it regained the name Kushalnagar. The salubrious climate had attracted the British officers to the place. There is an
Anjaneya Temple,
St. Sebastian Church and Jamia masjid in the town.

Nisargadhama
Which is one of the famous tourist spot of the state. When Cauvery enters Mysore, just two kms away from Kushalnagar it created an island called Suntigulti. This place had to be reached by undergoing the thrilling experience of crossing a hanging bridge. On this island the State Forest Department has created a Deer park called Nisargadhama. There are many cottages put up here for tourists with eating facilities. This is a beautiful spot for whose who wish to enjoy a quiet holiday amidst natural surroundings. Boating in the river is a special pleasure. The sound of chirping birds and the swinging Cauvery around is soothing to the soul. There are a number of buses to reach the spot from Mysore and Bangalore and also Somwarpet and Madikeri. Rainy season must be avoided by the visitors.

Mulluru
One of the most ancient Jaina centres of Kodagu, Mulluru is in Somwarpet taluk. This place seems to have been the capital of the Kongalvas, who were the subordinates of the Cholas. Situated at a distance of about 25 km from Somwarpet on the Shanivarasanthe-Banavara road on a right deviation, Mullur can only be reached from a narrow road. There are three basadis of Parswanatha, Shanthinatha and Chandranatha. The Parswanatha basadi was built by Poccahha, the queen of King Kongalva II in the mid 11th century. This is recorded in an inscription engraved on the Navaranga wall. It is in the Ganga- Chola style. The original structure must have been of the 10th century which was renovated during the 12th century. The main deity is a Chola sculpture seated in meditation. The Hoysalas and the Vijayanagar rulers also seem to have contributed for its extension.
The Chandranatha which is built around 1058 AD is also in Ganga-Chola style. Here also the main deity is seated in meditative posture. Now these basadis are under the control of Archaeological Survey of India and are very well maintained. It appears to have been a very great centre of Jaina learning with many ascetics having lived here. There are many inscriptions here.

Nanjarajapatna
Known formerly as Holesalli, Nanjarajapattana is a historic place, 17 kms from Kushalnagar on the left bank of the Cauvery. Chengalva ruler Nanjaraja built a palace here during the 16th Century and called it Nanjarajapattana.
There are the temples of Nanjundesware and Veerabhadra here. The Veerabhadra temple actually is in Hoysala style. The Kodagu Rajas might have renovated it. There is a separate mantapa with engravings of Nandi, Garuda, Musicians playing instruments. The Shivalinga here is believed to be brought from Varanasi. The Nanjundeswara temple is being renovated and Jatra here takes place 15 days after Ugadi.
The Cauvery here splits and creates two circular islets. Across the river is the dargah of Hazarat - Mastan Sab where Urus takes place annually.The local mosque at Nanjarajapattanna is ascribed to Tipu Sultan.

The area has captivating natural beauty. The river bank is an enchanting picnic spot. Across the river is a big island amidst the silver flow and is 11 acres in area, and there is a branch of the Murughrajendraswamy Matha. It cannot be reached in the rainy season.

Dubare
Just about 18 kms from Kushalnagar is a natural island with approximately 11 acres of land. The island has a wonderful wreath of water and trees around. The cool and gurgling waters of the river offer a pleasant and refreshing view. The Dubare Forest area is maintained by the forest department that runs an elephant training camp here. People visiting the place enjoy the unusual experience of watching routine of 12 tamed elephants their herd-behaviour, their intake of enormous 'ragi balls' made specially for them by mahouts.

Mallahalli falls
One can reach Mallahalli falls from Madikeri via Somwarpet by bus (40 kms). Somwarpet to Kumarahalli by bus 24 kms

Trekking at Pushpagiri hill
Which is 1750 mtrs above sea level is best suited for trekking expedition. Madikeri to Somwarpet by bus 40 kms. Somwarpet to Kumarahalli by bus 24 kms. Kumarahalli to Heggada mane 4 kms. Trek (Shantha Mallikarjuna Temple) to Pushpagiri and back 16 kms Kotebetta hill (1620 mtrs). Madikeri to Madapura by bus 20 kms. Madapura to Shirangalli by bus 6 kms. Trek to Kotebetta and back 14 kms.

Virajpet

Virajpet is one of the important trade centres which is a taluk headquarter situated at a distance of about 32 kms from Madikeri. The original name of this place was Veerarajpet named after Doddaveerarajendra who built this town in 1792. It is at the centre of the district, connected to many places with motorable roads. Many Roman Catholics (Konkani) who were imprisoned by Tipu Sultan escaped and took shelter here. The unique feature of the town is the cosmopolitan character.
Craftsmen and traders from various other places were invited by this prince and separate residential areas were provided for them like in Telugu street for the Devanga weavers, Bengali street for Bengali Muslims and so on. Lingayats from Piriyapatna came here for trade. This town is situated at the foot of the Eswara temple. Among the churches, St. Anne Church is impressive and is the oldest built in Gothic style during the 18th century. Every year on the 11th of February, a holy feast is celebrated known as the candle feast. This church runs a number of educational institutions and orphanages in and around King George V in 1911. The Bismillah Shah Vali Makan is believed to be 200 years old and the oldest Mosque in town. This is in Indo- Saracenic style. There is a Dargah connected to it where the annual urus is celebrated during the month of Rajjab. The Azam-e-Masjid in the Bengali Mohalla is claimed to be the biggest in the entire Kodagu. This place is a busy trade centre. There are roads connecting to major cities of Karnataka as well as Kerala. It is in this taluk that the Kodava are concentrated. It has a high hill in the middle of the town and there is a Ayyappa temple half way. The place also has a spiritual centre called Cauvery Ashram.

St. Anne's Church
A Roman Catholic Church, built in Gothic style in 1792, under the direction of Father Gullian. A copper roof, decorated interiors and statues from Bible along with 180 ft. Church make this conspicuous monument.

Clock tower
Situated on the elevated and central part of the town, another noted spot of Virajpet. Built in 1911, by Mukkatira Aiyappa.

Irpu falls
Irpu is a sacred pilgrim centre of Virajpet taluk, which is surrounded by beautiful green-clothed hills. This is about 45 kms from Virajpet under the jurisdiction of Kurchi village. This place can be reached either through Kurchi Village by deviating to left or from the Kutta-Srimangala road and proceeding further five kms on a mud track. Here is the Rameswara temple of legend and antiquary. It is believed that Lord Rama installed the Rameswara Linga. There is a river Lakshmana Thirtha, which forms a waterfall. This river takes birth in the Brahmagiri hills. This temple is in Kerala style with a circular frontage.

To the Northwest of the temple is the famous Irpu Falls created by the Lakshmana Thirtha, which jumps down the ravine in two stages from a height of 170 feet. This falls be reached through steep climbing path of about one km from the temple but is approachable only during summer.
This river flows northwest and joins another river called Ramathirtha and changes its course towards the north east to join the Cauvery in the Mysore district. The best season to visit this place is between October and November. The annual fair of Ramathirtha is held on Shivaratri day. Dining arrangements can be had here and the temple is open in the forenoon and the evening.

Nagarahole
Nagarahole is one of the most popular and important National Parks and Wild Life sanctuaries of India.This is situated at a distance of 69 kms from Virajpet. It is equi- distant from Madikeri and Mysore around 96 km from each place. A stream, which take its birth in the jungle of Nalkeri and passes through this jungle in a serpentine course hence it was named Nagarahole. This was one of the favourite hunting grounds for the royal families of Kodagu and Mysore. They were later joined by British officers. This was exclusively reserved for them, but in 1955, this was converted into a wild life reserve and was expanded gradually. By 1988 it was extended to include a few places of Mysore with a total area of 1,215 sq km. Nagarahole with its rich flora and fauna has not become a favourite spot for Indian and Foreign tourists. Good transport facilities connect Nagarahole, with Bangalore, Mysore and Madikeri. Two well-furnished rest houses, Cauvery and Gangothri, have been built by the forest department and dormitories and twenty beds are provided for students. At Murkal, close to Nagarahole, the forest department has another rest house. Tourists are taken into the forest in special vans between 6.00 and 10.00 a.m. and between 5.00 and 6.00 p.m. which is the ideal time to witness the freely roaming wild animals by the forest dept. Summer is the ideal season to visit the sanctuary. For a stay at the guest- house and assured accommodation prior permission from the forest department at Bangalore or Mysore is necessary. The cottage home of the Palecanda family, which is close by, has a good private collection of antiquities. Tourists are not permitted to visit after dusk.

Animals that are seen are deers, jackals, bisons, elephants, gaurs, sambar, leopards, porcupines snakes and a variety of birds. The Brahmagiri, Pushpagiri and Talacauvery are the other wildlife sanctuaries in the district.



ABBI FALLS - Madikeri








Abby Falls or the Abbi Water Falls is situated just 7-8 kilometers from Madikeri town [Galibeedu road]. 'Abbi' in coorgie means a waterfall .A waterfall you don’t want to miss. The British called it the Jessie waterfalls in memory of Jessie the daughter of Madikeri's first captain. It is located in a private property and decently maintained. Abby cascades 70 ft down to flow as a small river .The falls appear suddenly, the water cascading over rocks into calm pools. A path through coffee and cardamom plantation off the main road adds to the attraction of the falls. Enjoy the gushing, roaring beauty but a desire to take a dip in the cool waters may prove to be risky. Reaching the place is a nice ride in itself as the road that drives you is very narrow with lots of turns and twists, ups and downs a two wheeler ride would be JOLLY one. A nature welcomes you at every turn .The route to this Falls one Has to go through private Coffee estates. The Foggy Spray issuing forth from the stream flowing over a precipe makes a spectacular sight when viewed from a convenient spot. The water flow is very high during the monsoon season and during the dry seasons the flow is considerably less. The falls is more enjoyable within the fenced area wherefrom you get its friendly pose for your camera. 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. Do take Immense care at this falls as adventure [crazy] stuffs in the falls has always led to a sorrow ending..

Ideal Season: June to December.

The Mysore - Mangalore high way passes through Madikeri. Bangalore(260 km) and Mangalore (136 km) ,Mysore 120 Kms ,Kannur 120Kms.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

NISARGADHAMA






Kaveri Nisargadhama is a beautiful island formed by river Kaveri and it is located 2 km off the State Highway from Kushalanagar.

Kaveri Nisargadhama was established in 1989. Kaveri Nisargadhama is abundant with lush foliage, thick bamboo groves, teak, and rosewood.

The sprawling 64-acre nature resort which is surrounded by river Kaveri includes a deer park, orchidarium, and elephant and boat rides. The Nisargadhama can be accessed by walking across a hanging bridge.

Kaveri Nisargadhama also has a forest department run guest house and treetop bamboo cottages. The Kaveri Nisargadhama resort has 10-15 cottages and 5 bamboo cottages.

Kaveri Nisargadhama is an ideal place to spend vacations on the sandy beds of the river bank in Kodagu district.

Nearby attractions include Bylakuppe Tibetan Settlement and Abbey Falls.

Best time to visit Kaveri Nisargadhama is between October and May.

How to get there:

Nearest Airport: Mangalore

Nearest Railhead: Mysore

Road: Kaveri Nisargadhama is just 3 km away from Kushalnagar and all buses going towards Madikeri stop on the highway where the Kaveri Nisargadhama is located.


BYLAKUPPE - Tibetian Colony






Bylakuppe in Kodagu ( Coorg ) of Karnataka is one of the many Tibetan settlements in India. To be precise, this was the first such refugee settlement established way back in 1961.

During the 1950s, thanks to the strained relation between Dalai Lama and the Chinese authorities over Tibet, he fled to India seeking asylum. Also followed him was an exodus of refugees. Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Indian Prime Minister of India agreed to provide assistance to the refugees, in the form of settlements in some cooler regions of India.

Lugsung Samdupling, oldest of all Tibetan settlements in India came into existence in 1961 in Bylakuppe. The plan was to settle those fled to India, till a time arrives before their eventual return to Tibet. That did not materialize in any serious sense over the four to five decades.

State Highway 88 ( SH88 ) that connects Mysore – Madikeri – Mangalore passes via Kushalnagar, the nearest town for Bylakuppe.

But refugees kept coming steadily from Tibet. The camps slowly developed into larger settlements. Eight years later another settlement – Dickyi Larsoe – was setup next to the first settlemet. Now with a number of schools, nunneries, temples and monasteries, Bylakuppe looks more like an important center for the Tibetan Buddhism rather than a refugee settlement. Bylakuppe even houses one of the largest Buddhist universities called Sera Monastic University. There are many monasteries practicing various traditions of Buddhism.

For example the Sera and Tashilunpo monasteries in the Gelukpa tradition and Namdroling monastery in Nyingma tradition.

However from a visitor’s perspective it’s a pleasantly surprising cultural landscape in this part of the country. The most popular among the tourists is the so-called Golden Temple, located inside the large Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery.

Hundreds of Buddhist monks live here. While the exterior of the new Zangdokpalri temple temple looks majestic with a majestic rainbow arch, the interior of the Golden temple next to it is awe-inspiring. The path to the Zangdokpalri temple passes through a sprawling garden. Around the garden are the residential quarters of the monks.

The temples are painted richly with saturated bright colours. The walls are intricately decorated with repetitive patterns and murals of Tibetan Buddhist themes. The altar of the Golden Temple contains the imposing golden images of Guru Padmasambhava (on your left), Buddha Sakyamuni and Amitayus ( on your right).

Outside the Golden temple are a small shrine and a garden in front of it. The path that goes towards the back of the Golden temple leads to a huge open field. At one end of this ground is a long row of the prayer wheels.

Baring the geography every bit of the ambient emulates a piece of Tibet in India.

Tourists are welcomed to visit the monasteries and temples. Photography is allowed even inside the temple. However follow the etiquettes and courtesies deemed for a place of worship.

The nearest town for Bylakuppe is Kushal Nagar. Auto-rickshaw is the best mode for a trip to the Golden Temple from Kushalnagar town. There are frequent bus service between Mysore and Madikeri. Get down at Kushalnagar.

If you are driving ( say from Mysore towards Madikeri by SH 88 ) , Bylakuppe appears a few kilometers ahead of Kushalnagar town. A sign board gives indication towards the left on the road to Madikeri. Kushalnagar is about 30 km ( 18 miles) from Madikeri town.

There’s a large parking area near the Golden Temple. A shopping arcade next to it houses many curios shops and restaurants. There are not many hotels in Bylakuppe, though there are some guesthouse accommodation part of the Monastery. Better options for stay are available at Kushalnagar and Madikeri in that order.


HARANGI DAM







Harangi is an ideal picnic spot in Somwarpet taluk, situated at a distance of eight kms from Kushalnagar. This can be reached by bus from Edavanad via Kaju. This place has a dam built across the river Cauvery and a vast reservoir. The whole surrounding is enchanting. There is a temple and Basava on the riverbank enshrining a Linga and also a shrine of Kannambadiyamma. Near the reservoir is an elegant statue of Goddess Cauvery which is regularly worshipped. There is a travellers' bungalow at this place, which provides accommodation for tourists. There is the Chikkamatha of the Veerashaiva on the brink of the forest nearby. Ignu is another interesting spot very near Harangi. This was probably an ancient agrahara. There is an ancient Eswara temple here with fine images of Dwarapalaks (Doorkeepers).































NAGARAHOLE - Gateway to wilderness







Nagarahole is named after Nagarahole (Cobra river in the local language, Kannada), a winding river which runs eastwards through its centre. Situated in the two districts of Mysore and Kodagu in the state of Karnataka. It was originally constituted into a sanctuary in the year 1955 covering an area of 258 sq. Kms and subsequently enlarged to include the adjoining areas of Mysore district and now extends over an area of 643.39 sq. kms which was given the status of a National Park in 1983.

The birth of Nagarahole National Park can be traced to the notification of 285 Sq. km. Game Reserve way back in 1955, which included the reserve forests of Arkeri, Hatgat and Nalkeri in Kodagu. Subsequently, in 1974, reserved forests from the adjoining Mysore district were added to the Nagarahole Game Reserve, which was upgraded to the status of a National Park covering 643 sq. km.

The Nagarahole National Park lies in Mysore and Kodagu districts of Karnataka. It was once the hunting grounds of Mysore kings. The park is separated from Bandipur National Park by the Kabini reservoir. The forests of Nagarahole are home to Tiger, Bison, Elephants etc. Nagarahole National Park is also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park. It comes under the Project Tiger scheme. Inside the park coracle boat riding facility is available in the Kabini river.

Besttime for Nagarahole NP
Best time to visit the park is during the winter months of November to February.

Food and Accomodation
Various accomodations facilities are available at Nagarahole NP itself. Kabini River Lodge, Jungle Inn, Forest Department Cottages, and Various home stays are also available near to Kutta, Srimangala and Gonikoppal.

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Reaching Nagarahole NP

Nagarahole is 240km from Bangalore.
Route 1: Bangalore - Mysore - Hunsur- Ummattur - Murkal - Kalla halla - Nagarahole.
KSRTC runs one Rajahamsa from Bangalore to Kutta, which is only 7km from Nagarahole NP. Ample number of KSRTC buses are available to Hunsur (45km) and Gonikoppal (32km) from Bangalore. From there both private and KSRTC buses are available till Nagarahole.

Upli Buruj

Upli Buruj Upli Buruj or Uplri Buruj is a spherical structure with stone steps winding round the outside. The top of the tower of...