MadikeriMadikeri is the district headquarters of Coorg and has several interesting tourist spots. Some of the prominent tourist spots include the Fort, the former Palace, Omkareshwara Temple, the Gaddige (Rajas' tombs) and the Raja Seat. The town, situated at an elevation of 1525 meters, is located on a plateau on the Western Ghats. Madikeri was founded in 1681by Muddu Raja, a prince of the Haleri dynasty and was named Muddu Rajakeri which later became Madikeri. The British who ruled over Madikeri, called it Mercara. Now, the original name of Madikeri has been restored.
Nagarhole National Park is also known as 'Rajiv Gandhi National Park. The word 'Nagarahole(y)' means 'Cobra-river' (Nagara=Cobra snake; Holey=River) in Kannada. It is spread between Kodagu and Mysore districts. Nagarahole river flows through the park and gradually joins the Kabini river which also is a boundary between Nagarahole and Bandipur.
The exclusive hunting reserve of the former rulers of Mysore, the park has rich forest cover, small streams, valleys, and waterfalls. Variety of Birds, animals and reptiles can be found here. It streches over 640 km², protecting the wildlife of Karnataka. Together with the adjoining Bandipur National Park (870 km²) and Mudumalai National Park (320 km²), it forms the largest protected area in southern India. Several streams in the Park, are tributaries of the two major rivers in the State, namely, Lakshmanathirtha and Kabini which in turn join the river Cauvery.
Forest department vehicles are available for wildlife viewing. The ideal time to visit the park is between September and May. The Forest Department, have their rest houses at Nagarahole.
Wild animals found here include the Tiger, Leopard, Indian elephant, Indian bison or gaur, Wild dog, Sloth bear, Indian giant squirrel, Palm civet, Common otter, Four horned antelope, Mouse deer, Indian python, Indian cobra and many more. Variety of The bird life includes the Peacock, Grey jungle fowl, Alexandrine parakeet being some of them.
The Nagarahole Game Sanctuary is one of the most well-maintained game parks in India. The Nagarahole (meaning snake stream in Kannada) sanctuary derives its name from a serpentine river which flows through the park.
Spread over an area of 571 square km in the districts of Coorg and Mysore, the Nagarahole sanctuary is 68 km from Virajpet and 94 km from Mysore via Hunsur and Murkal and 236 km from Bangalore.The Rajiv Gandhi National Park is flanked by Karnataka' s Bandipur National Park and Kerala' s Wynad Wildlife Sanctuary. These three parks, together with Tamil Nadu' s Mudumalai forest and Kerala' s Silent Valley National Park, constitute the Nilgiri Biosphere reserve.
Visitors to the park can spot majestic Asiatic elephants and graceful spotted deer moving in their natural surroundings. The lucky ones can even spot tigers and panthers. Most of the south Indian species of animals could be found in the park. They include besides elephants and tigers, leopard, wild dog, sambar, barking deer, sloth bear, wild boar, bison, mouse deer, slender loris, jackal, langur, porcupine, Malabar squirrel, striped hyena and the four-horned antelope.
Covered mainly by moist and dry deciduous forests, the park is a store house of 250 species of birds like herons, storks, egrets, ducks, kites, eagles, falcons, patridges, peafowl, lapwings, wagtails, sandpipers, woodpeckers, sunbirds, warblers, babblers, owls, etc. The reptiles in the park include, marsh crocodile, star tortoise, rat snake, Russell' s Viper and Indian python. For a better view of the animals, it is convenient to go on an elephant ride. Visitors are taken around the park in early mornings and in the evenings. The park also has its own safari vehicles for visitors. Private vehicles are allowed, but they should be accompanied by forest guides. Within the park, there are good motorable roads.
Nisargadhama is a breathtakingingly beautiful island off the state highway, two km from Kushalanagar town and 28 km from Madikeri.
The 64-acre island, surrounded by the Cauvery river, can be accessed by walking across a hanging bridge. Established in 1989, the picturesque picnic spot with lush foliage of thick bamboo groves, sandalwood and teak trees has lovely river-side cottages. A deluxe cottage on stilts with the Cauvery flowing around it, can accommodate five persons. Elephant rides and boating are some of the other attractions. There is a deer park, children's park and orchidarium in the resort. Medicinal plants are also grown. Tourists are allowed to get into water at a few shallow and safe points along the river. The tariff for the cottages range from Rs 600 to Rs 1,000. For reservations, contact the office of the conservator of forests, Kodagu circle, Madikeri. The telephone numbers are 08272-225708 and telefax: 08272-228439. Or contact for reservation, the office of the deputy conservator of forests, Madikeri division, telephone number 08272-228305 and telefax: 08272-228439.
Nisargadhama is a beautiful island off the state highway, two km from Kushalanagar town and 28 km from Madikeri. The 64-acre island, surrounded by the Cauvery river, can be accessed by walking across a hanging bridge. Its breathtaking beautiful surrounding are lush with thick foliage of bamboo groves, sandalwood and teak trees. It has lovely river-side cottages which can accommodate five persons. Elephant rides and boating are some of the other attractions. There is a deer park, children’s park and orchidarium in the resort.