Coorg in Karnataka in South India is a beautiful hill resort situated at an altitude of 1525 m above sea level. Coorg or Kodagu (originally called Kodaimalenadu) means 'dense forest on steep hill'. It is a beautiful hill country most of which is between 3000 and 4000 feet high. The tallest mountain peak is around 6000 feet high. Coorg is famous for coffee plantations. The coffee estates here produce some of the world's best coffee.
Madikeri, the district headquarters of Kodagu or Coorg is situated at a distance of about 255 km from Karnataka State Capital Bangalore. The softness of nature has termed this place as India's Scotland. It is definitely an unforgettable holiday destination for all those who want to lie in the lap of nature away from the bustling crowd. Located on the Western Ghats, this hill station is spread over an area of 4,102 sq km, with wooded slopes, attractive villages, vibrant panorama and the natural scenery, Coorg has an excellent combination for the travellers. The endless mountain ranges, slopes rising to the sky and the grassy affair of this place give it an irreplaceable character.
Coorg is a beautiful place for tourist seeking natural picturesque spots and exciting treks. One can pay a visit to Raja's seat, Omkareshwara Temple, Abbi Falls, Madikeri Fort and other famous tourist attractions in and around Coorg. Wild life lovers can travel to the Nagarhole National Park. Coorg is different in every season, one has to come here and discover it. Tourist can travel to Coorg anytime round the year. Walk in the rains, enjoy the cold winters or simply relax in the pleasant summers.
What To See
Nagarhole National Park : The place derives its name from the winding river - Nagarhole meaning "snake river" - which flows through the park. With over 250 varieties of birds, panthers, tigers, and flying squirrels, this park is made up of teak, rosewood, sandalwood, silver oak etc. Jeeps and elephants are available to tourists for transport. You can reach the park from Mysore via Hunsur and Murkal.
Talacauvery : This forms the source of the river Kaveri. A perennial spring situated at a height of 4,500 ft is the beginning of this mighty river. It is 45 km from Madikeri and also offers a spectacular view.
Abbi Falls : This water fall was also known as Jessey Falls.'Abbi' in the local language Kodagu means falls. Situated 8 Km from Madikeri, the beautiful Abbey Falls are a popular tourist attraction in the hill resort of Coorg. Even during the summer there is plenty of water in these falls. The roar of the falls can be heard from the main road, from where a path goes through lovely coffee and cardamom plantations right up to them.
Iruppu Falls : These scenic waterfalls are situated at a distance of 48 kms from Virajpet on the way to Nagarhole. River Lakshmana-tirtha flows nearby. The people of Coorg believe that bathing in the Iruppu Falls will wash ones sins away. On the Holy day of Shivarati, devotees come in large numbers to bathe in these falls.
The Omkareshwar temple : This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, it has a mix of Islamic and Gothic style architecture. On the top of the dome of the temple is a guilded ball, with a weather clock. It is unique for its architectural beauty which is a combination of Islamic and Gothic style of architecture.
The Raja's Seat : This is a beautiful viewpoint in Coorg. This hilltop offers stunning views of the surrounding forests and the view of the sunset. It is said that the kings of Kodagu came to this viewpoint to see the panoramic view of their kingdom and spent their evenings.
Bhagamandala : It is situated at the confluence of 3 rivers (the Cauvery, the Kanika and the Sujyothi). It is famous for temples and is known as the temple town of this region. The temple here, built in Kerala style, has smaller shrines dedicated to various gods.
Madikeri Fort : Situated in the middle of Madikeri, this historic fort which was built in the 19th century, contains a museum, a prison, a chapel and a temple.
Tibten Monestries and Settlement
Bylakuppe is the Tibetitan Refugee resettlement near Kushalnagar in Coorg District in the State of Karnataka.
Golden Temple or Nemdorling Monestry is the main tourist attraction in Bylakuppe. Stepping inside the temple feels like walking into another world, and the noisy streets of South India suddenly seem to be very far away. Three beautiful golden statues each of 40 Feet of Buddha, Padmasambhava, and Amitayus look down at visitors above the altar. The walls are adorned with colourful paintings depicting gods and demons from Tibetan Buddhist mythology. The altar is decorated with flowers, candles and incense, and small birds nesting amongst the golden statues fly happily around the temple.This place is very calm and majestic sight, surrounded by its landscaped gardens. During festivals, the main courtyard becomes an open stage where masked dancers twirl in colorful costumes to the sound of gongs and massive ceremonial trumpets.Tourists are welcomed to visit the monasteries and temples. Photography is allowed even inside the temple.
Sakya Monastery is a double story maroon colored structure just off the road as you enter Bylakuppe.
Tashi Lhunpo Monastery This is one of the four great monastries of central Tibet and the origianl seat of the Panchen Lama. This was re-established in Bylakuppe in 1972. There are 250 resident monks who study sutra and tantra.
Sera Je Monastery keeps Tibetan Buddhist culture alive in Bylakuppe. It is modeled after the original Sera University in Tibet. Sera belongs to the Yellow-Hat Gelugpa sect of Buddhism and is the local seat of education. More than 5,000 Buddhists studying here to become monks. There are also several stores around the temple area that sell Tibetan jewellery,handicrafts, incense and souvenirs.
How To Reach
By Air The nearest airports are Mangalore 136 km and Bangalore 260 km.
By Rail The nearest Railway Station to Coorg is Mysore is at 114 km.
By Road Coorg is well connected by surface network with major cities like Mysore 114 Km, Mangalore 136 km, and Bangalore 260 km.
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