Karnataka is one of the beautiful south Indian states in India. There are many places worth visiting in Karnataka. In fact, each district of the state has some or the other beautiful places each with historical or geographical significance. One such place in the state is Madikeri, the headquarters of Coorg, another popular tourist spot. A hill station, Madikeri is located close to Mangalore and Mysore. Earlier, Madikeri was called as Muddu raja keri, after Mudduraja, who ruled the region from 1633-1647. There are many places worth visiting in Madikeri but below are the top 5 beautiful places that are a must visit in Madikeri.
1. Madikeri Fort
If you come to Madikeri, one of the first places you should visit is the Madikeri Fort, to pay respect to the region’s historical heritage. The majestic fort was built by the former ruler of the region, Muddu Raja in the 17th century. The entire fort was built using mud. Later, Tipu Sultan reconstructed the fort using granite. In the 19th century, the fort again underwent reconstruction, this time it was built using brick and mortar. Located on the top of a high ground, the fort looks majestic and imposing, and stands as the pride of Madikeri. As one enters the fort, two life-sized statues of elephants built in mortar welcome you.
You can see the entire town from the fort. There was an inner fort as well but the British built a church in its place. The Church with its Gothic style architecture and colour stained glass, looked grand and beautiful. It has now been converted to a museum. There is also a public library, a prison and the famous Kote Maha Ganapathi temple inside the fort.
2. Namdroling Monastery
It is a Tibetan Buddhism learning centre, one of the largest such centres in the world. Located on Bylakuppe which is a hill settlement in Kushal Nagar, Namdroling Monastery is also known as ‘The Golden Temple’. One of the highlights of the monastery is the 18 m tall Buddha statue which has been gold plated and looks serene as well as majestic. A serene environment, peaceful atmosphere and cheerful monks welcome you to the monastery. There are also beautiful painting and many Buddha idols.
The rooftop of the monastery structure spots a bell and golden deer which is an absolutely delightful view. The beautiful pagoda is another sight to behold. There are many festivities here held annually, one of which is the celebration of Losar or the Tibetan New Year. There is no entry fee to enter the monastery and it is open from 7 am to 8 pm every day. It is also well-connected by road.
3. Abbey Falls
A beautiful picnic spot, Abbey Falls which gushes down around 70 feet is a mesmerising sight. The coffee and cardamom plantations around the Falls just add to its beauty. Though Abbey Falls look appealing, bathing in it is not advised as it can be quite risky. The British had named it as Jessie waterfalls, after the daughter of the first British captain of Madikeri.
The cascading water then flow into a calm pool below. You need to take a zig-zag road to reach the waterfalls and riding a two-wheeler is an enchanting experience as you get to experience the aroma of coffee and cardamom and feel the fragrant air in your face. The waterfall is at its ferocious best during monsoon but during summer months, the water flow is less. The best time to visit Abbey Falls is from June to December. Daytime is the preferred time to visit the Falls.
4. Raja’s Seat
As the name says, it was a place for the kings of the region to rest. In fact, the kings of Kodagu used this point, a raised platform-like structure surrounded by four pillars, to relax and enjoy the nature. Why not? After all, from this point, you get a breathtaking view of the surroundings. It is beautiful spot and the perfect place to see the beautiful hills, valleys and the paddy fields.
When you look at the road from Raja’s Seat, it looks like a beautiful ribbon in the valley, as if the place has been gift wrapped in greenery and the ribbon has been tied to it. Now, there is a garden here, adding to its beauty.
5. Omkareshwara Temple
It is not just a temple but a symbol of Karnataka’s historical heritage. The Omkareshwara Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is also one of the oldest temples in Madikeri. It was built in 1820 and its architecture is inspired from both Islamic and Gothic style. There is a beautiful pool inside the premises and has many fresh water fishes.
The temple looks absolutely ravishing with a majestic dome in the centre and there are four minarets to add to the beauty. The history of the temple is inscribed on a copper plate which is attached to the door at the entrance. The temple is open on all days but not the entire day. You can visit the temple either in the morning from 6 am to 12 noon or in the evenings from 5 pm to 8 pm. October-March are the best months to visit.
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