If you planning to stay for a couple of days, there are a few places you can go to visit while at Honey Valley. Listed below are some:
1. Igguthappa Temple
Approximately 6 kms from Kabinnakad lies the temple of the ‘Rain God’ in Coorg. Worshipped as the ‘one who gives grain’ (iggu is Kodava for ‘grain’, thappa means ‘to give) Igguthappa temple offers a three-course meal of payasam, rice and two types of sambar with wild mango pickle to boot (1pm to 2pm), not to mention a the sacred prasad on a platter. Such are believed to be his powers that people come seeking anything from an engineering degree, to the girl of one’s dreams here! Thousands of people gather for the Kaliyarchi Festival in March when the god is taken on a procession to the top of Mallama Betta and reinstalled in the temple followed by various ceremonial dances. The official date of the harvest festival Huthri is also determined here. The temple is 21/2 kms from the jeep stand at Kakkabe. Get onto the road to Madikeri. Take a left under the arch. After a kilometre, take a right that passes through the arch to the temple.
Timings: 6 am – 2 pm, 5:30 – 7 pm. Puja timings: 7 am – 12-15 pm.
2. Nalnad Palace
Built in 1792 by Doddaveeraraja, Nalnad Palace served as the royal hunting lodge and summer home for the Kodava kings. Since there were four villages in the vicinity, the place was called Nal-nadu, a Kodava word, which over time got shortened to Nalnad. It is a double-storey structure with a conical roof, with intricate wooden friezes and wall murals. The local Kapala tribals – they are originally believed to be from Ethiopia – were brought here by the king of Kerala to look after the palace. Entry is free. Located approximately 3 kms from Kabbinakad.
3. Nilakandi Waterfall
Nilakandi Waterfall is one of the eighteen treks from Honey Valley. It is approximately a 5 km trek with a good prospect of sighting barking deer, pangolin, the flying squirrel, and the honey-loving South India marten.
Karada is a small town about 8kms on the way to Virajpet from Kabbinakad. The turn through a temple arch on your left will take you 1 km inside to what is considered as the best ain mane (ancestral home) in Coorg. If you are polite to its owners you just might get a closer glimpse of the property. Further up, there’s a fork in the road. The right turn winds past an Ishwara temple (5kms from the ain mane). A range of peaks lie stacked up on one side and on the other, an uniterrupted view right up till Madikeri and Kotte Betta.
1,593 square miles of undulating topography carpeted in every shade of green, wreathed over by a gauzy stole of thin white mist make up Madikeri, one of the larger towns in Coorg. In abundance grows Bamboo, sandalwood, and rosewood forests. Murmuring streams and rivulets, children of the mighty Cauvery, herself born within this realm, wends her way languorously through her land.Waterfalls, deep ravines, paddy fields, sloping glades, grassy downs, Coffee bushes studded with red berries, pepper, cardamom, oranges, mutmeg, turmeric, lemon grass… the land is fecund beyond belief. Flowers like the Coorg Rose and the Coorg Lilac grow in a riot of colour. Denizens include elephants, the Malabar squirell, and tigers. The highlanders, a martial race of men and women compel a second glad with their chiselled profiles, stately bearing and striking dress. And, of course, weather is crisp air-conditioned.
(a) Madikeri Fort
Originally a mud fort, Tipu Sultan rebuilt this fort with stone. Tipe rules briefly over this region in the 18th century. Inside the fort is the palace of the Lingayat rulers, a simple structure that’s a pale reflection of the palaces seen elsewhere in Karnataka.
(b) Raja’s Seat
Located one kilometre from the bus station at Madikeri, this was where the Kodagu kins would tradionally view sunrises and sunsets. The view encompases emerald valleys, parrot-green paddy fields and in the distance, the grey-blue crags of the ghats.
(c) Abbi Falls
Abbi in Kodava means falls. This beautiful waterfall is a mere 5 km from Madikeri, inside a privately owned coffee estate and a big hit with locals and tourists alike.
(d) Omkareshwara Temple
Built by the Kodagu kind Lingaraja in 1820, the temple is remarkable for its mosque-like style, with an impressive central dome and four minarets, which are surrounded by Basavas, or sacred bulls. On the top of the dome sit a gilded ball, with a weathercock. Legend has it that the King put to death a Brahmin to fulfill his political ambitions and in order to appease the spirit of the Brahmin, the temple was built. That Brahmin became a “Brahmarakshasa” and started teasing the king with troubles. It left the king only when the king brought a “Shivalinga” from Kashi and installed it after building a temple. The shivalinga was named as “Omkareshwara” and regular rituals were performed. A large tank in front of the temple enhances the scenery. There are plenty of fish in the tank which is an attraction for children.
(a) Chetalli (24 km)
The orange and coffee research institute is a must-visit for those interested in the land they traverse. The Indian Institute of Horticultural Reach is the largest institute of its kind in Asia, engaged in research on tropical crops and has its regional station at Chettali. The Cental Horticulture Experiment Station is worth a visit. Chetalli also has a Coffee Research Sub-Station (closed on second Saturdays). Such green revolutionary madness perhaps stems from the fact ‘Chett Halli’ means the ‘Village of Greens.’
(b) Kushalnagar (35 km)
The chief attraction here is the Veerabhoomi Tourist Village. It has a pool, tennis court and restaurant.
(c) Bylekuppe (35 km)
This town is the largest settlement of Tibetans in South India. The main attraction here is the awe-inspiring Namdroling Monastery.
(d) Bhagamandala (37km)
This is a temple town at the confluence of the Cauvery with the Kannike and the invisible (mythological) Sujyothi rivers. Three important temples above the confluence of the rivers are dedicated to Bhagamadaleswara, Subramanya and Vishu. All these temples are illuminated by thousands of oil lamps during a festival in October/November. A dip in the Triveni Sangama(confluencing point) is considered very auspicious. After taking a dip in the Triveni Sangama, devotees worship at the Bhagandeswara temple and then proceed to the holy place Talacauvery.
(e) Talacauvery (44 km)
Talacauvery, being the birthplace of the Cauvery, has immense religious significance. It’s situated on the slopes of the Brahmagiri Hills 4,187 ft above sea level. On the auspicious Tula Sanakaramana in October, as the sun enters Libra, the goddess Cauvery makes an appearance in the form of gushing spring. Nearby, steps lead up to Bramagiri Hills, from where Kudermuck and Nilgiris are visible.