Monday, April 15, 2024

Tourism      Hill Stations      Karnataka     Kodagu    


Place : Kodagu (Coorg) District in Karnataka
Altitude : 1700 m above sea level
Temperature : Summer: Max 28°C, Min 22°C; Winte : Max 24°C, Min 15°C
Significance : Famous for its Madikeri fort and Abbey Falls
Best Season : October - April
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Madikeri is the district capital of Kodagu (Coorg) district of Karnataka in Southern India. Seated atop a beautiful hill, it is a pretty small town surrounded by the forested slopes of the Western Ghats. Delightful panoramas of verdant valleys, ravines, streams, extensive coffee plantations, lofty peaks rising to about 1700m above sea level and misty evenings etc makes Madikerit a picturesque holiday destination.

Dominated by a Fort, which crowns a small hill, Madikeri was formerly called as Mercara. Madikeri was founded by Muddu Raja, the prince of the Haleri Dynsasty and hence named as Muddurajakeri, which later became Madikeri.

The hillstation has many walks and pretty trekking spots. The Coorg Wildlife Society organises treks to Pushpagiri (the second highest mountain in Kodagu), Kote Betta (the third highest peak in Kodagu), Igguthappa Kundu, Brahmagiri (as the mountain comes under Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary area, permission from the Department of forests is needed), Nishanimotte, Thunga Pare(it comes under Talacauvery Wildlife Sanctuary and prior permission from Department of Froest is necessary), Chomakandu, Gaddige Siddeshwara and other areas. For more details contact no: 08272-223505, Ponnampet Ph: 08274-462120/ 22.

Madikeri Fort 

It was first built as a mud fort by Mudduraja in 17th century. Once the seat of the rulers of Kodagu, the fort is protected by an irregular hexagon of walls with bastions at each angle, surrounded by a channel. The fort entrance is on the east which is guarded by three successive gates. One can find two masonry elephants at the entrance. Made of brick and mortar, it houses a palace, a temple, a chapel, the prison and a small museum. The palace begun in 1812, was the residence of the Kodagu rulers; now it houses Government offices. It was built by the Lingarajendra Wodeyar II and the British renovated this palace twice. Its whitewashed facade has double arcades capped with a sloping tiled roof . There is a small court in the centre. The clock tower at one corner was added in 1933. A temple of Virabhadra nearby was removed in 1855 to make way for an Anglican St.Mark's Church. The church was built in a plain Neo - Gothic style with a prominent spire but it now converted to Museum. Open (Tuesday to Sunday ; 9am to 5 pm). Closed Second Saturdays. Entry is free. The fort also offers a beautiful view of Madikeri from its walls. Now this monument is a heritage site under the control of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Raja's Seat
It is situated at the western edge of Madikeri. According to legend, Raja's seat is the spot where the Kings watched the sunsets with their consorts. It is a small pavilion with dancing musical fountain. It offers a commanding view of the valley, through which the road descends to Mangalore. The most fascinating view, is the road to Mangalore lying in the valley. Entrance Fees is Rs 2.

Omkareshwara Temple
Dedicated to both Lord Shiva and Vishnu this temple was built in 1820. It is situated in a hollow east of the fort. It's architecture is an unusual combination of red tiled roofs, Kerala Hindu Architecture and Islamic domes. The main shrine is capped with a three quarters dome framed by four turrets. A gateway with a tiled roof in front leads down to a tank with a small pavilion in the middle, reached by a causeway. 

Tombs of Virarajendra and Lingarajendra

This huge tombs are the two important monuments in Kodagu. It stand in a compound enclosed by embankments on a hillock of Mahadevpet in Madikeri. Modelled on the mausoleum of Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan at Srirangapattana, they are exactly alike with bulbous domes raised on octagonal drums. Under the main chambers, has plain walls, with Neo - Classical arched openings. The corner finials with square and octagonal sections are crowned by miniature domes. Near to this, there are tombs of a Raja's priest and two army commanders. The tombs are in the style of Muhammadan edifices with domes in the center and turrets at the angles.

Abbey Falls
Also known as Abbi Falls , it is located 5 kms from the town. Located amongst coffee plantations and spice estates with dense bushes and green trees, these falls down in steps to flow as a small river. The vehicles can go only till the entrance. From the entrance, a trek about half a km through a flight of steps take to this waterfalls. On the way to the waterfalls, one can spot beautiful coffee plantations both sides. The cascading water descends to the river Cauvery. The waterfalls is best during monsoon, because the water flow is very high at that time. The British called this waterfall as the 'Jessy waterfalls' in memory of Jessy the daughter of Madikeri's first chaplain. Swimming in the falls is prohibited too, as it can be very dangerous and one can watch the beauty of waterfalls by standing in the hanging bridge in front of the falls.