The list mentioned below is a list of places to visit in Coorg. These are sightseeing places in Coorg, which are easily accessible by roads and frequently visited by tourists visiting Coorg.
Raja’s Seat literally meaning the “King’s Seat” is one of the most popular tourist attractions at Coorg. Raja’s Seat was originally commissioned for the King of Coorg and his dear ones to enjoy the mountain range views of his Kingdom and the sunset. Raja’s seat is surrounded by a park managed by the horticulture department. Raja’s seat is a park and a view point which offers a panoramic view of the mountain ranges that surround the Coorg countryside.
SUNNYSIDE(GENERAL THIMAYYA MUSEUM)
General Thimayya’s is one of many soldiers from Coorg. General Thimayya’s daring and ingenious plans during the The Battle of Zojila and Leh is a stuff of legends. General Thimayya was know to led his troops from the front. During the – The Battle of Zojila and Leh, he travelled in the leading tank in 1947 during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947-1948. Once the General and his troops launched their assault , the enemy who had captured Zojila, Dras and Kargil, ran for their lives and the areas were retaken by India.
Abbi or Abbey Falls, located in Madikeri Town, is a waterfall and is one of the most visited and popular tourist destinations in Coorg. Abbi or Abbey in local Coorg(Kodava) language means ‘falls’. 1.
Abbi Falls is located inside a private estate and is surrounded by coffee plantation. The stepped path leading to the the falls has been barricaded to keep tourists out of the estate.
During British times the falls was known as Jesse Falls, in honor of one of the daughter of the first chaplin of Madikeri. The waterfalls is in its full glory in the months of June to September. In drier months the water flow reduces considerably.
The Omkareshwara Temple was established in 1820 by Lingarajendra II with Mumammadan style architecture, which featured a center dome and four corners with turrets. According to legend, the king put a pious Brahmin to death unjustly and the spirit of the priest began tormenting the Raja. On the advice of his Dewan Cheppudira Ponnappa, the Raja built the temple to appease the Brahmin’s spirit. The Omkareshwara Temple has a Linga near the door of the entrance. The history of the temple was inscribed by the king on a plate made of copper that is hanging at the frame of the door to the temple entrance. There is a strict dressing code to be followed while visiting the temple. No shorts, vests and mini-skirts are allowed.
Omkareshwara Temple Timings: Morning 7.00 AM to 11.00.AM | Evening: 5 PM to 8 PM.
Ticket/Entrance Fees: No entry fees.
MERCARA FORT & MUESUEM
Mercara(Madikeri) Fort was constructed in 16th Century by the Coorg King, Muddu Raja. Once Hyder Ali took over Coorg, he constructed the fort in stone. The Kodavas(Coorgs) destroyed the fort, once to be once again, rebuilt in stone by Tipu Sultan. The Fort became the official residence of the the King Dodda Vira Rajendra, after Tipu Sultan was defeated. The british took over the fort, after banishing the Coorg King. After independence, it become a government office. The fort was handed over to the Archeological Department in 2018 for restoration. But, history buff’s will be disappointed as the fort is still under restoration in 2022. The fort can be skipped, as there is nothing to watch and access, till ASI restores it back to its glory.
There is a museum in the fort premises. The Mercara(Madikeri) Fort Museum is a very small museum, which houses artifacts likes, coins, weapons, paintings from 18th Century Onwards. Artifacts which Field Marshal K M Cariappa had received from many dignitaries have been donated to this museum and are also on display there.
Nisargadhama is a island The 64-acre island, surrounded by the Kaveri river It is accessed by walking across a hanging bridge. The surroundings are dry deciduous forest. It is managed by the Karnataka Forest Department. The whole place is mostly thick bamboo jungle. The forest department has opened a bird aviary, which has few exotic species of birds to view, mostly, parrot’s fowl’s and ducks. There is also a deer park, which has few chital and barashinga deer.
Dubare Elephant Camp
Dubare Elephant Camp is an elephant rehabilitation and training camp managed by the Karnataka Forest Department. The camp is located inside Dubare Reserve Forest.
There are many elephants under the care their mahouts at the camp. The main attraction here is the bathing of elephants. Everyday the mahouts bring the elephant and give them a bath in the river. Tourist’s have to travel on foot through the river to access the camp area where the elephants are bathed. The rocky river has to be carefully maneuvered. Senior citizens who have difficulty walking should avoid crossing the river, for safety reasons. During monsoon months, when the river is full spate, does the forest department arrange boats to ferry tourists to the camp.
GOLDEN TEMPLE (NAMDROLING NYINGMAPA MONASTERY)
Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery or Namdroling Monastery, popularly known as Golden Temple or Tibetan Monastery is one of the major tourist attraction for tourists visiting Coorg. The Golden Temple is actually located in the border town of Bylakuppe, which is located within Mysore district. But, due to its proximity and easy accessibility from Coorg and Bylakuppe falling en route to Coorg, it has become one of the major attractions for tourists visiting Coorg. The Monastery follows the Nyingamapa doctrine of Tibetan Buddhism and is a learning center for Buddhist monks for Kama & Terma teachings. The monastery is a testament to Tibetan architecture and culture and is painted with Tibetan murals, has large prayer halls and exquisite statues of Lord Buddha.
Bhagamandala is a small town in Coorg, where a temple devoted to Lord Shiva, known as Sri Bhangadeshwara Temple or Bhagamandala Temple. During the 18th Century, the temple complex was converted in to fort by Tipu Sultan and his army was stationed there. In 1789, The King of Coorg and Coorgs(Kodavas), attacked the place and retook the temple and Bhagamandala. It is important religious place in Coorg.
Located on a perch, at Brahmagiri hills, Tala Kaveri is from where the river Kaveri originates. It is a major pilgrim center, especially for Coorgs(Kodavas), for whom the river is the patron goddess and considered as a mother goddess. Tala Kaveri is located in one of the most picturesque of locations in Coorg. It is surrounded by mountains and the Tala Kaveri Wildlife Sanctuary. The view from the Temple complex is breathtaking.
Irpu or Irrupu falls is located in South Coorg at Kurchi village. The falls is located inside Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. From the ticket counter, a 1.5 km walk leads towards the falls.
NAGARHOLE NATIONAL PARK
Nagarhole National Park, officially known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park is one of most well known national parks of India and one of the most visited national parks in Coorg. The national park has both Project Tiger and Project Elephant coming under it. Nagarhole is one of the most densely populated tiger reserves of Karnataka. Apart from Tigers and Elephants, the park also shelters other carnivorous and herbivorous animal and bird species. Many of the species found in Nagarhole are critically endangered. Mini Bus Safari’s are arranged for tourists at 6.00 AM, 7.30 AM, 2.30 PM & 4 P.M. Safari tickets can be booked online through the forest department’s website. From Coorg, the park is accessible through the Nanachi gate.
- B.N. Sri Sathyan, Mysore State Gazetteer: Coorg District 1965 (Government Press, 1965) pp. 507 ↩