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Madikeri

Madikeri is a hill town in southern India. Framed by the Western Ghats mountain range, it’s known for the Raja’s Seat, a simple monument overlooking forests and rice paddies. In the center, the 17th-century Madikeri Fort features 2 stone elephants at the entrance. Nearby, the domed Omkareshwar Temple is dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva. To the northwest, cascading Abbey Falls is surrounded by spice plantations.

Places to visit

  • 1 Abbey Falls. Beautiful falls 7-9 km from Madikeri (depends where you are). Abbey means “falls” in Kannda. The falls are inside a coffee plantation. Abbey Falls is a breathtaking waterfall where the Kaveri river cascades down a rockface. A hanging bridge has now been built across the gorge here offering a good view of the falls. A rickshaw to the falls and back with half an hour stop is ₹150, but if you would like to take a swim at the pool, then a longer stay is advised. Negotiate the price beforehand, aim for around ₹200 for a 2-hr stay.  
  • Bhagamandala Temple (36 km from Madikeri). This temple is built at the confluence of three rivers; Cauvery, Kannika, and Sujyothi. The temple is built in the Kerala style.
  • 2 Dubbare Elephant camp (accessed from the road connecting Madikeri and Kushalnaga, turn off 3 km from Kushal Nagar and then travel 10 km on that deviation). The road passes through scenic rice fields and coffee estates. Activities include boat rides, rafting, and the Cauvery. Crossing the river to take you to the camp is quite adventurous. 
  • Kushal Nagar. The largest Tibetan settlement in Southern India and monastery locally called “Golden Temple”, in Bylakuppe, near Kushal Nagar. There are 2 monasteries now nearby, one old and the other is new. Don’t miss the new, on the way, while going towards the old one. You can shop for Tibetan and Chinese handicrafts, decorative and religious items. edit
  • 3 Madikeri Fort. This fort was built by Mudduraja in the last quarter of the 17th century. He also built a palace inside the fort. It was eventually rebuilt in granite by Tipu Sultan who named the site Jaffarabad. In 1790, Doddavira Rajendra took control of the fort. The British who added to the fort in 1834. The palace was renovated by Lingarajendra Wodeyar II in 1812-1814. In the north-east corner at the entrance are two life-size masonry elephants and there is a church in the south-east corner.   edit
  • 4 Nisargadhama (3 km from Kushalnagar). A beautiful picnic spot called Nisargadhama. Park is not too great, has some bamboo “machans” on trees, but the best part of it is the river is on the back-side. If you want to go for an elephant ride at Nisarga Dhama, please remember to buy ride-tickets along with your entry-ticket before you get in. They do not sell ride-tickets inside; it is a 0.5-km walk back to the ticket counter if you forget. edit
  • 5 Omkareshwara Temple. In the middle of Madikeri, built in a Mohammedan style. edit
  • Raja’s Seat. Legend says that the local rajas used to watch the sunset from here. There are a nice garden and a beautiful panoramic view to the valley. In the middle of Madikeri, ask for directions from the point you are in and walk (or take a rickshaw). It’s a fantastic scene during sunrise or sunset. edit
  • 6 Talakaveri (Tala Kaveri) (42 km from Madikeri). The source of the Cauvery river. The river is famous for annually overflowing the banks here on 17 or 18 October. It is an important pilgrimage site for Hindu people. The Cauvery river starts here. You can see a very beautiful view of western ghats by climbing the Brahmagiri Hill. It can be reached by bus.

Trekking

  • Brahmagiri. Wildlife sanctuary near Nagarahole National Park. Trekking distance 24 km to and from (80 km from Madikeri).
  • Igguthappa Kundu. Trekking distance 12 km to and from (40 km from Madikeri).
  • KoteBetta (5400 ft). Trekking distance 14 km to and from (22 km from Madikeri).
  • Nishanimotte. Trekking distance 12 km to and from (6 km from Madikeri).
  • Pushpagiri (5626 ft). Trekkers can cross to Subramanya, in Dakshina Kannada district from Pushpagiri Range.
  • Thadiyandamole (5729 ft). Micro hotspot of biodiversity in South India, the Trekkers paradise. Breathtaking views of the Arabian sea and Kerala coast.

By road

Madikeri lies on the Karnataka State Highway 88 that runs from Mysore to Mangalore. It is 120 km from Mysore and 136 km from Mangalore. From Bangalore, the state capital of Karnataka, take the State Highway 17 (Bangalore-Mysore highway) and take a deviation just after the town of Srirangapatna to join State Highway 88 towards Madikeri. From Bangalore, Madikeri is at a distance of 252 km. Nearby towns are Hassan (115 km) in Karnataka state and Cannanore and Tellicherry in the Kerala state (each around 115 km away).

By rail

Madikeri does not have a railway station. Nearest railheads are Hassan, Kasaragod, Cannanore and Tellicherry (each of which are almost equidistant 115 km away). Mysore and Mangalore have railway stations with very good rail connectivity and are good alternatives to reach Madikeri.

By air

Madikeri does not have an airport. The nearest airports are Mangalore (136 km away) and Calicut (180 km). Bangalore Airport is an alternative. However, with the upgrade of the existing Mysore Airport, that would be the nearest airport to Madikeri. Kannur International Airport, which started services n 2018, is now the closest airport to Madikeri.

Knowledge Source : wikivoyage

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