I Booked the KSRTC "Airavatha" buses to and fro from Coorg. We took the last bus to Corrg at 11:30 pm on 15th May 2008. We reached coorg on 16th May, 4 am. I had booked return for 18th May 2008 at 3:30 pm. We could have driven all the way to Coorg, but we decided against it.
We had contacted a kown person at Coorg and had a taxi booked for the 16th and 17th May.
16th May - Morning
We were scheduled to start at 7:30 am on 16th May, but we woke up only at 7:30 am. We asked the taxi to come in at 8:30 am, but the time we boarded the taxi it was 9 am. The taxi driver Sharat was very friendly.
We started off to Talakaveri via bahagmandala. Bhagamandala is 33 km from Coorg. At bhagamadala is the confluence of the rivers Kaveri, kanika and an underground spring Sujyothi. There wasn't much water in the rivers. At a very short distnace for mthe Sangama is the Bhagandeshwara temple. Here we have Bhagandeshwara (Ishwara), Maha Vishnu and Lord Subramanya. Hence, this place is called Bhagamandala. The temple wasn't crowded. We took a ticket for Arithi. The temple complex was in the typical Kodagu style. There was no major pujas or commotion in the temple.
Talakaveri is the place where the river Kaveri originates on the Brahmagiri peaks. It is located 8km from Bhagamandala. There is a small enclosure around the spring, it is called the Gundige. The spring water from here surfaces one kilometer below in the peak. Close to the Gundige is a tank, where devotees can have a bath. The priests there will fill a pot of water from the Gundige and pour it on the devotees head. EVery Tulashakranthi day which is around 17th October the spring overflows from the Gundige. IT is believed that Goddess PAravathi herself apears in the Gundige on that day. During that period devotees throng Talakaveri.
We got kumkuma archane done for the Goddess Kaveri and proceeded to the temples above. There are two temples, one with Shivalinga and other with Ganesha. It is belived that sage Agasthya performed his peanace here in the Brahmagiri peaks. Close to the temple is a Banyan tree, which is belived to be from the root of the Banayan tree underneath which Sage Agasthya perfomed his penance.
From Takakaveri we can climb the peaks of Brahmagiri. We didn't have the energy to climb 400 steps, so we returned to our taxi. We headed for our hotel.
We had lunch at our hotel and started off to see Abbey falls at 3 pm.
Abbey falls is around 2 kilometers from Madkeri and is in a private estate. Taxi took us till the entrance and we walked around 200 meters through a coffee estate, from entrance to view the fall. A hanging bridge is built from where we can view the falls. There wasn't much water when we went, but got to know that during Aug - Dec lot of water in the falls.
Around Coorg - Raja's Tomb
Raja's tomb has royal tombs of Virarajendra and Lingarajendra. Along with the royal tombs are the tombs of Raja's priest and two Commander-in-chiefs. The tombs are in Islamic style.
Around Coorg - OmKareshwara Temple
Omkareshwara temple was built by Lingarajendra in 1820. It is said he got the Shivalinga from Kasi and got it installed here to wash away the sins of killing a Brahmin. There is big tank in front of the temple which is calm and serene. But, we cannot touch the waters of the tank.
Around Coorg - Madkeri Fort
Madkeri fort was renovated by Lingarajendra in 1812. It was disappointing to see that it is converted into a government office. So it is less of a fort and more of a bustling office. There is a small museum outside the fort which closes right at 5:30 pm. There are two life size elephants in the fort. We climbed the fort wall and we could get the view of the Madkeri jail and its inmates.
Around Coorg - Raja's Seat
This place was just 100 meters from our hotel. It is a park, where kings of Coorg would come and spend their evenings watching the spectacular sunset. Park has a breathtaking view point of the valley and mountains. Sight of the Birds returning to the nest in the evening combined the sunset and cool breeze will take us to a magical land.
The park was crowded with people and hawkers. There is toy train in the park. There was a musical fountain show at 7 pm; we weren't much impressed with it though.
From Raja's seat we retired to our hotel as we had a long day waiting the next day.