Here comes the end of the year, 2015. This year was particularly fortunate, when I look back at my traveling affairs. 😀
Last month, I never got a chance to station myself in one place. It had been an extremely, adventurous expedition. I visited to multiple places like Madikeri, Shirdi, Nashik, Aurangabad, Pune, Shrirangapatnam & Mysore.
Madikeri, a picturesque hill station town in Karnataka, also known as ‘Scotland of India’. If you are traveling to Karnataka or planning to hit a few most beautiful & popular hill stations in India; Madikere should certainly be on your list. Madikeri is the headquarters of the district of Kodagu (also referred as Coorg).
A View on Map:
From Bangalore to Madikeri
In my words, Madikeri is a town of dream & love where you can sit back & witness the eternal beauty of mother nature. This place has got multiple tourist attraction destinations; few are meant to be captured on camera & few are meant to be felt & sensed.
I stayed to Madikeri for 5 days, where I opted to know the place & localites from the core. This place would be a perfect choice for you girls, if you want to take a solo trip.
So, here my list goes!
- Visit Talakaveri
Image Source: Ghummakar.com
Talakaveri is located on Brahamagiri Hill, 1276 m above sea level. This is the origin point of river Cauvery, 8 km by road from Bhagamandala & 48 km from Madikeri. (Bhagamandala, also referred as Triveni Sangam, is the point where the cauveri river joins two tributaries, kannike & mythical Sujyoti river.)
A beautiful scenic hill spot, rich in vegetation & covered with mist. This is one of the major tourist attraction spots, as religious significance is attached to it.
Legend says, Sage Agasthya held the river cauveri in his Kamandala (container of sacred water). The sage was meditating while lord Ganesha took the form of a crow & perched on the Kamandala of the sage. When sage Agasthya realized, he shooed away the crow. Meanwhile, the divine crow toppled the kamandala & the Cauvery started flowing out. Sage Agasthya got furious & started chasing the crow, which eventually turned to Lord Ganesha & showed himself to Sage Agashtya.
There two temples in Talakaveri, one of them is a Shiva Linga which was settled by Sage Agasthya & one of Lord Ganesha. Legend says, Trimurti- Lord Shiva, Vishnu & Brahma had given auspicious sight (Darsana) to sage Agasthya.
Here, there is an enclosed area where the river Cauvery springs up, called Gundige, is connected to the small pond. The pilgrims take a dip in this holy water tank, before offering prayer. Every year, on the occasion of Tula Sankranti, when the spring gushes up from Gundige, pilgrims overflow here to take holy dip in the Bank of the river Cauvery & offer prayers.
This place offers a different experience. The scenic beauty of nature combined with the historical & religious significance, brings up a curiosity & peace in the heart.
From Talakaveri, steps lead up to the nearby Brahmagri peak. From the peak, as well as while on the drive to Talakaveri, you can enjoy a great view of the lush, blue Brahmagiri hills. (Those who have respiratory problem, may find it difficult to breathe in, while climbing the peak through ladder steps. Hence, It would be advisable to avoid the climb).
This is a difficult climb, but worth experience! 🙂
2. Watch an enchanting Sunset at Raja seat view point
This is a famous spot in Madikeri, popular among tourists & localites for offering the exquisite view of the sunset. This garden spot was one of the most favorite spots of the king of Coorg (Kodagu) which he used to regularly visit with his queens to enjoy sunset.
It’s a beautiful landscape, with a great ambiance. The nature has bestowed beauty to this place & the authorities are taking good care of it. Well maintained, clean & scenic spot has multiple things to offer to you as a tourist. One can witness an exquisite sunset, enjoy time with family & closed ones in the garden area, go on a ride on a toy train (Adult & children) which offers you a beautiful view of the mountain & Raja seat from a distance & click some really spectacular photographs of nature & sunset (if you’re a photographer, it’s an ideal spot for you! ).
- Timing: 5:30 am – 8:00 pm
- Fountain Dance Timing: 7 pm onward on weekdays; 6:45 am to 7:20 pm on weekends.
- Entry Fee: Rs 5
- Don’t forget to carry a camera.
3. Morning walk/Yoga at the Hill Top
Keep aside a day for your fitness regime. You can indulge in Yoga, Brisk Walk or light exercise in the hill top, while treating your eyes some exotic greenery treatment & a perfect sunrise. 🙂
There are many hill tops which are accessible by roads. You can easily walk down on them for a change & do some exercise or yoga.
4. Participate in adventurous sports/activities
Want to feel thrilled? Scout for Trekking, hiking, plantation walk,white river rafting, quad biking, fishing & bird watching.
This is the ideal for involving in some adventurous activities. There are many groups which goes on an overnight hiking & trekking to try a hand on some real adventurous activities.
Coorg has many trekking spots; few of the major one are Brahmagiri, Kotebetta, Thadiyandamol & Pushpagiri. There are many groups & camps which offers a great package for those who want to experience & indulge in adventurous activities. You may look at Indiahikes, Exoticexpeditions, & CoorgTrekking for availing a valuable package! 🙂
Ideal season: October- March (This may be the right time for you to get out & experience Coorg in a different, adventurous way!)
5. Spend a day in Jungle camp
Make sure, you visit to Dubare Elephant camp while on a trip to Madikeri. This is one of the kind of Elephant Camp in India, where elephants are well trained under naturalists. This project is undertaken by forest department & Jungle Lodges & Resorts Ltd.
Here, visitors can participate & perform various activities with Elephants like Scrubbing, Bathing, Cleaning, & etc. This place offers a lifetime experience of knowing & understanding animals (Elephant, & birds) in a better way. Seeing a close bond between a Mahaut & an Elephant will surely bring hope & love in your eyes.
- Opening & Closing time: 9: 00 am to 6:00 p.m. (If you reach Dubare by 9 am, you can indulge with the Elephant grooming session, i.e. Bathing, Scrubbing & etc.)
- Entry Free is Rs 100/ person.
- Fee Rs 100 for bathing Elephants, & Rs 20 for feeding Elephant with a piece of Vegetable or fruit.
- Boat charges Rs 20/ person to cross Cauveri river.
- Rs 100/person for Elephant ride.
Timings: 10 am -12 am (Morning), 4 pm- 6pm (Evening)
- Many fun activities are undertaken by tourists:
Bathe in the river, Elephant Ride, Elephant Grooming session, River Rafting, Jeep Safari, Bird watching, Trekking &, Boat Ride.
- It is advisable to wear dresses/attires of subtle color. Colors which blend well with the nature would be the best choice to wear.
6. Night Bonfire at Hill Top of a Private Estate/ Camp
Exactly, that would add to your experience for sure. Pack some sandwiches, local cuisine, snacks & chilled bottles of beer. You can carry JBL portable music system (JBL pulse 2 black) for setting the mood for a bonfire night. 🙂
Tip: You should ask the owner of your homestay, if he could let your group have Bonfire in their Private Estate. From the top of the hill estate, you can see entire Coorg. The sight at night is so mesmerizing, the city unfolds itself as millions stars are welcoming you.
This is an ideal set up for friends or couples 🙂 Thankfully, I got a chance to have bonfire night with a bunch of my friends in Coorg & enjoyed to the core of it.
7. Live in Tibetan Monasteries
I have been to Bylakuppe several times, yet find it alluring each time I visit. This place is also referred as ‘Mini Tibet’. This place is the home of thousands of Tibetans living in exile. There are many monasteries, contributing to the health, education & the spiritual development of its people.
Bylakuppe is around 36 km from Madikeri. One can hire a cab or can take a private/ KSRTC bus. This is a place to stay & experience; live & interact with the monks, practice simplicity with them & follow discipline are worth an experience.
Once, you enter the premises of Bylakuppe, it’s an all-together a different experience. Roads were pervaded with prayer flags, stupas, incense and statues. To read more about Bylakuppe & its unique experience, click here.
8. Relish Coorg Cuisine
Yes. This is something for what you would love to travel to Coorg, if you are a real foodie! Coorg (kodagu) is a mini paradise for non-vegetarians. Indulge yourself in an elaborate cuisine of Coorg & relish them thereafter. Coorgies are essentially rice eaters; rice grows in abundance in the fertile land of Coorg (Kadagu).
The list of must try cuisines would be:
- Pandi Curry (Pork Curry)
- Akki Roti with Puttus (Chappati made up of rice flour along with steamed curry)
- Baiamble Curry (Tender bamboo shoot curry)
- Kumm Curry (Curry made up of wild mushroom)
- Maange Curry ( made up of ripe mango with curd & coconut )
- Coorg Lamb Chops (Mutton preparation)
- Fish Curry
9. Indulge in Sight-Seeing
Madikeri is the place for Bangaloreans as a weekend getaway! It has many beautiful attraction spots for tourists; comparatively less crowded than Ooty, Munnar & Chikamagalur. This is an ideal place for a solo trip or a family trip, all you need to do is just book your tickets & walk the roads of Madikeri to experience the varied pack of activities & places.
Here’s the list for you to explore-
- Abbey Falls
- Chelevara Falls
- Kaveri Nisargdham
- Madikeri Fort
- Madikeri Museum
- Mallalli Falls
- Omkareshwar Temple
- Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary
- Nagarhole National Park
- Irrupu Falls
Just put on a comfortable attire, with a shoe or flats; carry your sunglass & sunscrean, umbrella & swag your way to the destinations.
How to Reach Madikeri?
Madikeri is 257 km from Bangalore, which can be covered in approximately 4-5 hours. (Depending upon the mode of transportation)
- By Bus: There is direct connectivity, multiple Volvo A/c & Non A/c buses run till Madikeri. Most of the buses are available at night time & it takes 4 hours to reach to Madikeri from Bangalore. Also, KRSTC runs frequent buses to Madikeri from Bangalore, Virajpet, Mysore & etc.
- By Car: One can take State highway – SH17 and SH88 , which connects Bangalore with Madikeri via Mysore.
- By Train: There is no direct railway station at Madikeri. The best option would be , you can reach till Mysore by train & then, take a bus for Madikeri. Other nearest railway stations are Hasssan, Kasaragod, & Kannur. Many buses run from Mysore to Madikeri, it takes around 2 -3 hours.
- By Flight: Mysore has an airport, so you may like to opt for flight & save some time. Mysore is connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hubli, & Dubai via Bangalore. From Mysore, you need to take a bus for Madikeri.
- Look for a Homestay instead of a hotel.
People in Madikeri are extremely friendly. I bet, you would love to stay with a family & taste homemade Coorg cuisines. Apart from that, exploring city/town with localites is fun & informative. 🙂
- Carry some woolens.
It’s a cold place. It would be really comfortable, if you carry some woolens.
- Carry flats & shoes.
Since, it’s a hilly area, it is advisable to carry flats or shoes (Shoes would be a better choice!) On top of it, you may face the problem of leeches, cause the area has got dense vegetation.
- Buy Honey, Spices, Homemade wine, or Coffee powder.
This is the land to buy all these items. The fertile land of Madikeri produces species, orange, and coffee abundantly. I bet, you would fall in love with the homemade wine of Madikeri, there will be different varieties of wine formed here, go for your favorite fruit & savor it.
- If you are an adventurous kind of person, look for a group hiking & trekking. That is always more preferable for the organizers. You may get an exceptional valuable deal, if you have a group.
- If you’re commuting by bus, you will reach to Madikeri at early morning 3:30 am or 4 am. Therefore, you may need to book a homestay or hotel before arrival. The town is really safe, but you wouldn’t like to take any chances. 🙂
- Carry an umbrella or raincoat.
Wish you all a Merry Christmas & a very happy new year in advance 🙂
Make a plan to get out of your city & tick each item against your bucket list!
See you all soon.
Cheers & love!