Tholeyar ondh is one of the auspicious days for the Kodavas. A day in which the goddess Cauvery emerges as a holy spring from the small tank at Talacauvery, the birth place of River Cauvery.
Festivals of Coorg
River Cauvery is just not a river but it’s a lifeline of the people of Coorg.
Visit to Talacauvery always starts with holy dip at the “Threveni Sangamma Confluence of three rivers at Bhagamandala.( Kaveri,Sujyothi & Kannike ) and paying tribute to the demise in the family .
On the day of Tula Sankramana , the goddess is worshiped with great faith at every Kodava House with decorating the goddess with indigenous flowers & offerings of the special dishes done for the occasion. A Bamboo Stick surrounded with Creeper (Kaibale balli) is erected around the house from cattle shed to the flourishing paddy fields as a symbol of protection of property and well being. Those who visits the temple on the day brings along the holy water to be used on most occasions of Kodava ceremonies & Rituals.
Pathalodi ,the 10th day after the Sankramana is the day of new beginning for the Kodavas .From laying the stone for new house to offerings to our ancestors this is a day of prosperity.
Kaveri Sankramana festival normally takes place in mid-October and is one of the prominent and sacred festivals of the Coorgs. Kaveri Sankramana is celebrated at Talakaveri the birth place of river Kaveri. On Kaveri Sankramana day a fountain from a small tank fills the holy tank at Talakaveri. People from all over the state gather at this place to dip in this holy water or Theertha. The Theertha is collected in bottles and reaches every home throughout Coorg. This Theertha is preserved in all Kodava homes. A spoonful of this water is fed to the dying, in the belief that they will attain moksha and gain entry to heaven.
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Kodavas have a long history of association with the game of field hockey. The district of Kodagu is considered as the cradle of Indian hockey.More than 50 Kodavas have represented India in international hockey tournaments, M. P. Ganesh, M.M Somaiah, B. K. Subramani, A. B. Subbaiah, K. K. Poonacha, C. S. Poonacha, Jagadish Ponnappa, M.A.Bopanna, Len Ayyappa, Amar Aiyamma to name a few, out of whom 7 have also participated in the Olympics. The passion for hockey in Kodagu is so much that teams representing more than each of 200 families participate in an annual Kodava Hockey Festival. This festival is recognised as one of the largest field hockey tournaments in the world and has been referred to the Guinness Book of Records.However it has already found a mention in the Limca Book of Records, which is an Indian variant of the Guinness Book.
Tadiandamol is the highest mountain of Kodagu district, Karnataka, India. It is the third highest peak in Karnataka. It is located Western Ghats range, and reaches an elevation of 1,748 m. The mountain has patches of shola forests in the valleys.
The name Tadiandamol literally means largest base (thadi = broad, large, huge; anda = belonging to (possessive) in Kodava; mol = hill, base, peak). It loosely means Tallest Mount, and the name also could translate as Broad Hill.
Kunde Habba is a traditional festival of the tribal people in Coorg which falls on during the month of May.
Kunde habba is celebrated by the tribes largely at Thithimathi and Devarapura of Virajpet . The use of swear words against the gods is the specialty of this festival.
According to the legend, God Aiyappa took the local tribes for hunting in deep forest where he meets Goddess Badrakali and falls in love with her and they both elope abandoning the tribes in the forest. So in revenge against betrayal and to win back the attention of the Gods the tribes abuse the Gods by singing the Kunde Song and playing drums and beating empty cans. Along with abusing the Gods the tribals who work as laborers in estates abuse their employer as they usually get abused by the employers the whole year and take this opportunity to give back. It’s quite fun actually.
The tribal youth dress as women dance and demanded money from people. Tribals from neighboring places like Hunsur and Periyapatna also join these Coorg tribes and dance round the Aiyappa temple at Devapura singing the Kunde song and give the collected money to the temple keeping a little for themselves.
Madikeri Dasara is the Dasara festival is celebrated in the city of Madikeri in the Indian State of Karnataka. It has a history of over a hundred years. Madikeri Dasara is a ten-day celebration, which is beautified by 4 Karagas and 10 Mantapas depicting killing of Asuras (demons) by Suras (God/Goddess). Preparation for Madikeri dasara starts before 3 months. Most of the money for this celebration is collected from the people of Kodagu. Each of these 10 Mantapa committee has 50 to 100 members. A Mantapa comprises idols of height 8 to 15 feet, which is set up at the front of a lighting board. The cost of building a Mantapa will be 3 to 5 Lakhs.
There are 4 Mariamma Temples in the town: Dandina Mariamma, Kanchi Kamakshamma, Kundurumotte Sri Chowti Mariamma and Kote Mariamma. Each of these Mariamma Temples has Karaga, which starts on the first day of Navaratri. These four Karagas represent the "Shakthi Devathas" of the town. All the Temples will be decorated by Lights and the whole Madikeri looks more beautiful on these 10 days. Karaga means carrying of vessel on the shaved head which is filled with rice, 9 types of grains (navadhanya) holi water and the vessel is decorated attractively. These karagas will be roaming in and around the city of Madikeri for 5 days of DASARA and these karagas will be devoted by the households of madikeri.
On the first day of Navarathri, the priests of these four Temples carry the tools required to build karaga on their head and make their way to a Place called Pampina Kere. The members of the Temple Committee also join this puja at Pampina Kere. A team of Volaga (a type of Band in Kodagu ) will also accompany these Karagas. Volaga gives the people an indication that the Karaga is coming and also it gives a rhythm for the Karaga Dance. The priest who takes up the Karaga is dressed with Yellow coloured Kacche. Also the Priest's head is shaved. He holds a Knife in one hand and a Wooden stick (called as Bettha in Kannada) on the other. These Priests start build Karaga by using Flowers like Jasmin, Kanakambara, Sevantige etc. After building the Karaga, there will be a pooja for these four Karagas. The Temple Priests take the Karaga on their head after this pooja and will go to many temples in Rathabeedi (street for chariots). At late night they will head towards their Temples. Karaga dance is very attractive to watch. The people of Madikeri offer puja for all the Karagas. Till Ayudha pooja (puja to the weapons, and household materilas) these Karagas visit almost every home of Madikeri and take pujas.
The origin and development of Madikeri Dasara celebration is closely linked with Bheem Singh, a Rajasthani, who came to Madikeri and settled down there.
Bheem Singh was the prime mover of the first Dasara mantapa procession. He made the first mantapa on tractor by making wooden pallets as mantapa. Bheem Singh’s forefathers h
COORG WHITE WATER RAFTING
Coorg, located in a mountainous region is one of the sought out places for Whitewater Rafting, as the gradient offers the best conditions for speedy waters flowing over rocks causing drops in the river known as rapids in rafting, running through these rapids is what makes rafting an adventure to remember. Coorg lies in Western Ghats edging along the Deccan plateau, it catches best of the South West monsoon during the months of June till September, turning the landscape with many streams joining in to mighty rivers. Barapole is the river to Raft, considered to be the deadliest in Coorg due to its turbulent flow and the ambience that surrounds it.
The Chelavara Falls is known to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in this region. Also known as Embepare, the sight of the cascading water amidst the verdant coffee plantations is a sight to behold. The Chomakund hill is located a couple of kilometres from these falls. Atop this hill, you get an eagle’s eye view of the plains beneath. The hill is foggy at most times. You can even see the Arabian Sea from this hill.
The regions adjoining the falls are good for trekking and hiking. You can camp at a good open space for about a day. There are people who camp here for days. The water formed by the falls is shallow at certain points. The bed of this water body is rocky. Some areas could be slippery. It is important to exercise discretion when entering into the water.
The falls seem to be a figment of divine architectural imagination – rightfully placing it amongst the top Coorg sightseeing places. The very sight of the falls essays this fact. You may wonder what makes this cascade of water so beautiful. It is a combination of everything. The lush green foliage the envelopes this cascade.
The black rocks on which the water slopes down. The sight is a combination of majestic ambience and inviting character. Together they give you the impression that the falls are receptive to your audience.
Dubare is known for its elephant camp, a forest camp on the banks of the river Kaveri in the district of Kodagu, Karnataka. It is an important base for the Karnataka Forest Department's elephants.
The elephants for the Mysore Dussehra were trained at Dubare elephant camp. At present, after logging operations have ceased, the elephants have been practically retired except for giving some rides to tourists. In addition to the elephant training camp, Nisargadhama [clarification needed] and Veerabhoomi [clarification needed] are the other main attractions of the forest area.
There are opportunities for trekking, elephant rides, fishing, and river rafting. These activities are hosted by jungle lodges and resorts. The Forest Department also conducts some treks along well-defined routes.
The moist deciduous forests of Dubare are home to many wild animals and birds. Sightings of wild Asiatic elephants are regular and so is spotting the sambhar, the spotted deer, tigers, leopards, wild dogs, and gaur. Bears are also seen in these forests. Crocodiles can be seen in the river. The forests are also home to many reptiles and non-venomous snakes.
Birdlife in Dubare has peacocks, partridges, kingfishers and woodpeckers topping the list.
Bailkuppe near Kushalnagar is one of the largest Tibetan settlements in south India. Most notable among them are the large educational monastic institution Sera, the smaller Tashilunpo monastery and Namdroling monastery .The Mahayana Buddhist University is at Sera. There are nearly 7,000+ monks and nuns. The gold-coated Buddhist statues in the monastery are imposing and unique, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the Tibetans. The statues are of Guru Padmasambhava, Buddha Shakyamuni and Amitayus. They make handicrafts, carpets and incense.
This place is around 14 Kms from Kushalnagar, where one can see the largest settlements of Tibetian people in India and a visit to the place almost gives you an impression of, as if you were in Tibet, with the Tibetan style monasteries, food and ofcourse Tibetan Monks. Tibetans have been driven from their home land and since then are fighting back to retain their homeland and traditions. Also at this place one can see hoardings of sacrifices of people from Tibet in processions against the Chinese government.
The temple complex is a host to many monks who are regularly chanting prayers over here. One gets involved with the rhythmic chanting of holy text by the monks in line with the gongs and the temple bells. It is free to enter into any of the temples in the compound without any restrictions.
Nisargadhama is a forest resort in Coorg just 3kms from Kushalnagar towards Madikeri off the state highway. Nisargadhama is a 25 acre island formed by river Kaveri with bamboos, teak, sandalwood trees streams and wild life covering it. At Nisargadhama one can find deer, elephants, peacocks and some other usual wild animals if lucky. One can take a ride on the elephant around the resort for an unforgettable ride of the life time.
Nisargadhama is also famous for its hanging bridge which connects the island and helps travelers to cross the Cauvery river. A new bridge has been constructed now just beside the old and shaky hanging bridge.
Visitors can enjoy boating, Elephant rides and swimming apart from just watching Nisargadhama’s natural beauty.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary also known as Pakshi Kashi of Karnataka is a bird sanctuary in the Mandya District of the state of Karnataka in India. It is the largest bird sanctuary in the state, only 0.67 km2. in area, which is about 40 acres and comprises six islets on the banks of the Kaveri river. Ranganathittu is located three kilometers away from the historic town of Srirangapatna and 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) north of Mysore.
Roughly 170 birds have been recorded here. Of these, the painted stork, Asian openbill stork, common spoonbill, woolly-necked stork, black-headed ibis, lesser whistling duck, Indian shag, stork-billed kingfisher, egret, cormorant, Oriental darter, and heron breed here regularly. The great stone plover, and river tern also nest here. The park is home to a large flock of streak-throated swallows. During the months of January and February, more than 30 species of birds are found and the season of the sanctuary is from November to June. About 50 pelicans have made Ranganathittu as their permanent home.
The islands are host to numerous small mammals, including bonnet macaque, colonies of flying fox and common small mammals like common palm civet and Indian gray mongoose and the monitor lizard. The mugger crocodile or marsh crocodile is a common inhabitant of the riverine reed beds and Ranganathittu has largest fresh water crocodile population in Karnataka state
Mandalpatti is one of the best tourist spots in Coorg. Mandalpatti hills are located around 25- 30 km from Madikeri town en route to Abbi falls.
Mandalpatti viewpoint provides breath taking view of the nearby hills. The route from Madikeri is a great ride through coffee plantains. The view point is about 1600 meters above sea-level . If you are looking for some adventure, you can go downhill from the view point on the opposite directions which leads to a small yet beautiful water fall. Please use all safety measures as this water fall is secluded and is almost inaccessible due to its distance from the view point.Avoid trekking down alone or in small groups.
Gaddige Raja’s Tomb, Madikeri, Coorg
Gaddige also known as Raja’s tomb is located in one of the beautiful hill station of Karnataka, Madikeri, Coorg. The monument depicts the pervading building style of those days which was Indo- Sarcenic. The monument contains the mortal remains of the royal Kodavas.
Gaddige or the tombs are built in Muhammadan style with tombs at the center and turrets at the corners. Nandi figures are carved on top of the corners.
The entrance of the tombs has carvings too. Lord Shiva is placed and worshipped inside the tomb since the king was Hindu. This is a very fascinating fact because most of the tombs belong to Muslim kings and dynasties.
There are three tombs built for the royal dynasty. The central tomb which is the largest among the three is of Kodava king Doddaveerarajendra and his wife Mahadeviamma. The right tomb built by Chikkaveerarajendra for his father Lingarajendra in 1820 A.D. The left tomb belongs to Veerarajendra’s guru Rudrappa built in 1834 A.D.
Closer to the tombs is the burial place of the two brave royal officials Biddanda Bopu and his son Biddanda Somaiah who sacrificed their life fighting with Tippu Sultan.
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