Bylakuppe is situated on the state highway 88 and is well connected to most of the major cities in south-India. Bus facilities are available from major towns like Mysore, Bengaluru, Mangalore, Chennai, Panaji, etc. Following are the distances between Bylakuppe and other cities in kilometers: Mysore (82), Bengaluru (220), Mangalore (172), Mandya (122), Chennai (585), Hassan (80), Madikeri (36), Kasaragod (145).
Kaveri Nisargadhama – Distance from Ponnampet ~ 57 KMs
Kaveri Nisargadhama is an island formed by river Kaveri and is used as a picnic spot near Kushalnagar in the district of Kodagu in Karnataka. It is approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) from Kushalanagara, off the State Highway 88 and 30 km (19 mi) from Madikeri and 95 km (59 mi) from Mysore. It is a holiday destination in Karnataka.
It is a 64-acre (260,000 m2) island, with lush foliage of thick bamboo groves, sandalwood and teak trees and surrounded by the Kaveri river. The island is accessible through a hanging rope bridge. There are deer, rabbits, peacocks, and a children's playground and orchidarium.
Visitors are allowed to get into water at a few shallow and safe points along the river. Elephant rides and boating are some of the other attractions. It also has a forest department run guest house and treetop bamboo cottages.
Dubare Elephant Camp – Distance from Ponnampet ~ 40 KMs
Dubare is known for its elephant camp, and is 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 previously trained at Dubare elephant camp. 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. Sighting of wild Asiatic elephants are regular and so is spotting the sambhar and the spotted deer. Tigers, leopards, wild dogs, gaur and bears are also seen in these forests. Crocodiles can be seen in river. The forests are also home to many reptiles including non-venomous snakes.
Madikeri – Distance from Ponnampet ~ 54 KMs
Madikeri is a hill station town in Karnataka state, India. Also known as Mercara, it is the headquarters of Kodagu (Also called Coorg) district. It is a popular tourist destination.
Madikeri was formerly known as Muddu raja keri. Muddurajakeri which means Mudduraja's town, was named after the prominent Haleri king, Mudduraja who ruled Kodagu from 1633-1687.
The history of Madikeri is related to the history of Kodagu. From the 2nd to 6th century AD, the northern part of Kodagu was ruled by Kadambas. The southern part of Kodagu was ruled by Gangas from 4th to 11th century. After defeating the Gangas in the 11th century, Cholas became the rulers of Kodagu. In the 12th century, Cholas lost Kodagu to the Hoysalas. Kodagu fell to the Vijayanagar kings in the 14th century. After their fall, the local chieftains (Palegars) started ruling their areas directly. These were defeated by the Haleri kings who ruled Kodagu from 1600-1834 A.D. Haleri kings made the place Haleri, near Madikeri as their capital. Mudduraja, the third king among the Haleri kings started leveling the land around Madikeri and built a fort in the year 1681. Madikeri fort was original built by mud and was replaced by "The Sword of Mysore", Tipu Sultan. Kodagu became the part of British India after 1834 A.D.
The mean daily minimum temperature is lowest in January at about 11 °C. The minimum temperature ever recorded was 8.9 °C on 20 February 1936. Maximum temperature in summer is around 24 °C to 27 °C. With the onset of the south-west monsoon, the temperature decreases in June and the weather becomes chilly.
In Madikeri the main festivals celebrated are Kailpodhu, Kaveri Sankramana, Puttari and Dasara. Karaga festival also starts during the time of Navaratri.
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, one can 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 Kannur and Thalassery in Kerala state (each around 114 km away).
Places to see around Madikeri
- Raja Seat: This is a small square mantapa in brick and mortar of four pillars bridged by arches, enhanced by beautiful surroundings. This spot was a favourite place of recreation for the Rajas and hence was permanently associated with them. It is built on a high level ground with a commanding view of the cliffs and valleys to the west.
- Madikeri Fort: This fort was first 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 as 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 a church is present in the south-east corner. There is a famous Lord Ganesha temple known as "Kote ganapathi" just at the main entrance of the fort.
- Omkareshwara Temple: Located at the heart of the Town,Omkareshwara temple was built by king Lingarajendra in 1820. The temple has both Islamic and Gothic styles of architecture, built around a central pool. It is said Lingarajendra killed an honest and pious Brahmin to fulfill his political ambitions. That Brahmin became a "Brahmarakshasa" and started troubling the king. In order to purify himself for the killing of a Brahmin, he was advised to construct a temple to Lord Shiva. He brought a Shivalinga from Kashi, and the temple was built and named "Omkareshwara".
Abbey Falls – Distance from Ponnampet ~ 60 KMs
It is located 8 km from the town of Madikeri and 268 km from Bangalore.
In the mountains of the Western Ghats, several streams combine, swelling with the monsoon rains and plunging down the mountain slopes at enormous speed, hitting the huge boulders hard and forcing its way through crevices and ravines. A misty cloud hangs over the falls, when in full flow. From here the water flows into the Kaveri River. During the monsoon season the water flow is very high. During the dry seasons the flow is considerably diminished. One can find a lot of leeches inside the water.
The waterfall is located between private coffee plantations with stocky coffee bushes and spice estates interspersed by trees entwined with pepper vines. The falls appear rather suddenly, with water cascading over rocks into the calm pool reserves down below. A hanging bridge constructed just opposite the falls comes in handy for the Tourists. There is a Kali Mata temple on the other side of the bridge and Coffee and Black Pepper trees on the other side.
Bhagamandala – Distance from Ponnampet ~ 71 KMs
Bhagamandala is a pilgrimage place in Kodagu district of Karnataka. It is situated on the river Kaveri in its upstream stretches. At this place, the Kaveri is joined by two tributaries, the Kannike and the mythical Sujyoti river. It is considered sacred as a river confluence (kudala or triveni sangama, in Kannada and Sanskrit respectively).
It is a common practice for pilgrims to take a dip in the triveni sangama and perform rituals to their ancestors before proceeding to Talakaveri, the birthplace of Kaveri. During Tula Sankramana which falls on October 17th or 18th, pilgrims assemble here in large numbers.
A short distance from the triveni sangama, is the famous temple known as Sri Bhagandeshwara temple, where Bhagandeshwara (Ishwara), Subramanya, Mahavishnu and Ganapati idols are installed. This place is also known as Bhagandeshwara Kshetra, from which the name Bhagamandala is derived. The temples in this area are built in Karavali(West Coast) style.
Bhagamandala is located about 33 km from the district headquarters Madikeri and is connected by paved roads from Madikeri, Virajpet and nearby places in Karnataka. Government and private buses are available on all of these routes.
A short distance from Bhagamandala is the temple at Padi, which houses the deity Lord Igguthapp and is considered by many Kodavas to be the most sacred shrine in their homeland.
Mt.Thavoor is a towering peak overlooking Bhagamandala,and Mt.Koppatti, which may be considered its twin peak is nearby and both these serve as fantastic trekking routes for anyone wishing to savour the mesmerising beauty of the Shola forest range.
Talakaveri – Distance from Ponnampet ~ 79 KMs
Talakaveri is the place that is generally considered to be the source of the river Kaveri. It is located by Brahmagiri hill (not to be confused with the Brahmagiri range further south) near Bhagamandala in Kodagu district, Karnataka, 1,276 m. above sea level. However, there is no permanent visible flow from this place to the main rivercourse except during the rainy season.
A tank or kundike has been erected on the hillside, at the place that is said to be the origin. It is also marked by a small temple, and the area is frequented by pilgrims. The river originates as a spring feeding this tank, which is considered to be a holy place to bathe on special days. The waters are then said to flow underground to emerge as the river some distance away.
On Tulasankramana day (the first day of Tula Masa month, according to the Hindu calendar, which normally falls in mid October) thousands of pilgrims flock to the river's birthplace to witness the rise of the fountainhead, when water gushes up from the spring at a predetermined moment. The tula snanam (Sacred bath in the Tula month) is observed across pilgrim towns in Kaveri's banks.
Talakaveri is about 8 km away from Bhagamandala and 48 km from Madikeri.
The temple here is dedicated to Goddess Kaveriamma. Other deities worshipped here are Lord Agasthiswara, which denotes the link between Kaveri, Sage Agasthya and Maha Ganapathi.
The legend goes that the Kaveri river was held in a Kamandalu (a container of sacred water) by Sage Agasthya. Vinaayaka (Lord Ganesha) took the form of a crow and perched on the kamandalu of Agasthya when Agasthya was meditating. When Agasthya realised this, he shooed away the crow. But the divine crow tipped the kamandalu and toppled it. Out poured Kaveri, which started flowing. The crow disappeared and in its place stood a small boy. Agasthya thought that the boy was playing some prank and clenching both his fists, went to pound the head of the small boy. But the boy escaped and Agasthya gave chase. Finally the boy vanished and Lord Ganesha showed himself to Agasthya. Agasthya was aghast at the realisation that he had just tried to knock the head of Lord Ganesha himself. As atonement, he knocked his own head with both of his clenched fists.
Irupu Falls – Distance from Ponnampet ~ 27 KMs
The Irupu Falls (also Iruppu Falls) ಇರ್ಪು ಜಲಪಾತ are located in the Brahmagiri Range in the Kodagu district of Karnataka, India, bordering the Wayanad district of Kerala. It is a fresh water cascade and is situated at a distance of 48 km from Virajpet on the highway to Nagarhole. The Falls are also known as the Lakshmana Tirtha Falls, derived from the name of the tributary of Cauvery which starts from these falls, the Lakshmana Tirtha River. A forest trail leads from these falls to the Brahmagiri Peak in Southern Kodagu. Irupu falls is a major tourist attraction as well as a pilgrimage spot. A famous Siva temple, the Rameshwara Temple is situated on the banks of the Lakshmana Tirtha River en route to the Falls. This temple attracts a large number of pilgrims during the festival of Shivaratri.
According to popular legend, Rama and Lakshmana, passed along the Bhramagiri range whilst searching for Rama's beloved, Sita. When Rama asked Lakshmana to fetch him drinking water, Lakshmana shot an arrow into the Brahmagiri hills and brought into being the river Lakshmana Tirtha. Due to this legend, the Falls is believed to possess the power to cleanse sins and is visited by thousands of devotees on Shivaratri day.
Nagarhole National Park – Distance from Ponnampet ~ 37 KMs
Nagarhole National Park, also known as "Rajiv Gandhi National Park", is a national park located in Kodagu district and Mysore district in Karnataka state in South India.
This park was declared the thirty seventh Project Tiger tiger reserve in 1999. It is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The Western Ghats Nilgiri Sub-Cluster of 6,000 km2 (2,300 sq mi), including all of Nagarhole National Park, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.
The park has rich forest cover, small streams, hills, valleys and waterfalls. The park has a healthy tiger-predator ratio, with many tigers, Indian bison and elephants.
The park ranges the foothills of the Western Ghats spreading down the Brahmagiri hills and south towards Kerala state. The park covers 643 km2 (248 sq mi) located to the north-west of Bandipur National Park. The Kabini reservoir separates the two parks. Elevations of the park range from 687–960 m (2,254–3,150 ft). It is 50 km (31 mi) from the major city of Mysore.
Together with the adjoining Bandipur National Park (870 km2 (340 sq mi)), Mudumalai National Park (320 km2 (120 sq mi)) and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (344 km2 (133 sq mi)), it forms the largest protected area in Southern India, totalling 2,183 km2 (843 sq mi).