At the foothills of the Pushpagiri Mountains in northern Coorg, the Kumaradhara River falls off a cliff nestled amidst splendid greenery to make the Mallalli Fall a picturesque location. The river then continues its course through Kukke Subrahmanya and later joins the Netravati.
Distance from Eka: 23.6 km
Getting there: The roads leading to the fall are only accessed by a four-wheel-driven vehicle, so it’s best to hire a jeep at Sakleshpur. The resort will be happy to do this for you at additional cost.
What to do there: Climb up the vantage rock at the peak opposite the fall and immerse yourself in the beauty of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Take the steps down to the base to enjoy a rejuvenating shower, or just to experience a different perspective of the wondrous falls.
The ruins of a fort built by Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore, Kaginahare stands atop a hill that overlooks rolling mountains carpeted with lemongrass and interspersed with palm trees and scattered rocks. The view is to live for.
Distance from Eka: 20.2 km
Getting there: The route up the hills to reach Kaginahare is tricky and can only be accessed by four-wheel-driven vehicles, so be sure to ask the resort for a jeep on hire.
What to do there: Climb atop the fort and enjoy a stunning view of the gorgeous locale. Spend some time revelling in nature and don’t forget to take your cameras.
PUSHPAGIRI SHANTHA MALLIKARJUNA TEMPLE
In the wake of a magnificent view of the surrounding mountains stands an ancient temple enshrining Lord Shantha (Kannada for ‘silent’) Mallikarjuna. The legend is that the gentle god appeared in response to the meticulous penance of a sage here, turning it to sacred land.
Distance from Eka: 84.1 km
What to do there: Step into the temple and enjoy a darshan of Lord Shantha Mallikarjuna. Revel in the silence of the tranquil surroundings and find harmony within yourself.
MOOKANA MANE ABBI WATERFALL
Lying in a quiet corner amidst the Bisle Reserve Forest, the Mookana Mane Fall is a spot of absolute serenity. Short but broad and pretty, you experience a sense of tranquillity as you gaze at its beauty.
Distance from Eka: 10.5 km
Getting there: As the roads are not accessible by normal vehicles it is best to hire a four-wheel-driven vehicle at Sakleshpur. The resort will be happy to do this for you for an additional fee. Reaching the fall requires a short and moderately easy trek.
What to do there: Walk up to the base of the fall and just relax, take in the quiet and find yourself filled with peace as you gaze at the soothing water.
Built in 1782 by Tipu Sultan as security against infiltrators from Madikeri, this imposing fort stands atop a hill called Anaigudda on the road to Mangalore.
Distance from Eka: 25.5 km
What to do there: Explore the intrigue of the old fort and admire stonewalls guarded by a deep trench all around and the inner part, built with burnt bricks and lime mortar. Don’t forget to check out the plus-shaped well at the centre, guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
SUBRAHMANYA AND DHARMASTHALA
If you’re feeling devotional, the twin holy sites of Kukke Subramanya Temple and Dharmasthala are must-visits, being just a one to two hours’ drive.
Distance from Eka:
Subrahmanya – 42.1 km;
Dharmasthala – 91.1 km
What to do there: Get close to God at the Kukke Subramanya, Dharmasthala and Manjunatha temples and the Bahubali statue. Indulge in a bit of history at ‘Manjusha’ – a private heritage museum housing metal sculptures, paintings, cameras and handicrafts. For an added treat, check out the vintage cars at the nearby car museum.
Nearly synonymous with the Chennakeshava Temple, Belur is where place to be for any archaeology buff. Take in the wonders of the Hoysala Empire and indulge in their fantastic architecture.
Distance from Eka: 64.8 km
What to do there: On the banks of River Yagachi, enjoy the breathtaking intricacy of the sculptures and friezes of the temple, where animals, dancers and the epic stories from mythology come alive. The Veeranarayana Temple and the smaller shrines also merit a visit.
Succeeding Belur as the capital of the Hoysala Empire, Halebid is another ancient temple-town known for exquisite products of human craft, with the Hoysaleswara Temple as its crowning glory.
Distance from Eka: 86.7 km
What to do there: Visit the 12 Century Hoysaleswara Temple and admire its astounding wealth of sculptural detail. Discover how no two facets of the temple are the same, and how, despite having been left incomplete, it manages to completely charm you. While you’re there, also spare time for the Jain basadis nearby.
An important Jain centre, Shravanabelagola hosts several hills and basadis that enshrine the spirit of Jainism. To the north of town is Jinanathapura, which has the Aregal Basadi and the Shantinatha Basadi of Hoysala times.
Distance from Eka: 115 km
What to do there: Explore Chandragiri, which has the Chandragupta Basadi of the Gangas, Indragiri and its 58-foot Gommata monolith, and the numerous basadis. Admire the paintings on the walls of the Jain temple, the fine floral engravings on the Tyagada Brahma Pillar and the over 500 inscriptions by Jaina ascetics, some of which record death by starvation.
A charming hill-town at 5000 ft. above sea level, Madikeri’s scenic beauty and pleasant climate have earned it the moniker ‘Scotland of the East’. Headquarters of the Coorg district, it’s an ideal tourist hideaway with several enduring attractions.
Distance from Eka: 66.7 km
What to do there: Wake up and smell the coffee, taste the oranges, try the cardamom and savour the honey, which grow here in profusion. Admire the view from the top of Raja’s Seat and the bottom of Abbe Fall and spend your time just taking in the sights.
THE GREEN ROUTE
If you’re inclined to adventure, are physically fit, have the gift of youth – or all of these – the green route trek must be on your bucket list. An unused railway track leads your jaunt over a hundred bridges, past two-dozen waterfalls and into tranquillity that only comes through nature.
Distance: 20 km
What to do there: Walk between the parallel railway tracks that run from Sakleshpur to Subrahmanya. Tiptoe through the tunnels and rest by the waterfalls and along the way soak in the beauty of nature.