Experience temperate Kushalnagar, the gateway to the diverse outdoor and cultural attractions of the Coorg region. Hike through forests, watch elephants bathing and see the golden statues of a Buddhist monastery.
Kushalnagar’s name translates as "town of gladness." It is so called because of a local legend about a Mysore sultan, Hyder Ali, who received news of his son's birth here. Use the town as a kick-off point for thrilling adventures farther afield.
Visit Harangi Dam, a huge reservoir and popular picnic spot that’s only a few minutes from the town. Stroll along the paths and camp overnight in the picturesque surrounds. The Chiklihole Dam is also worth a visit, although it does not have camping amenities. Keep watch for partridges, kingfishers and woodpeckers that frequent the forests around the banks.
Enjoy the natural charms of Kaveri Nisargadhama, a 64-acre (26-hectare) forest resort that is a 45-minute walk from town. The resort is located on an island in the center of the Kaveri River and can only be accessed via a suspension bridge. Go boating around the island, swim in cool waters and try elephant riding with local operators.
Visit the Dubare Elephant Camp to learn more about these gentle giants. Watch the magnificent creatures being bathed and fed by their keepers, who are called mahouts, and stay overnight in homely cottages. The camp also has great opportunities for trekking and fishing by the river. Find the best angling spots nearby at the Valnur Fishing Camp. Those up for some thrilling fun can take a river rafting tour.
In addition to nature, experience some of Kushalnagar’s cultural charms. Discover a Tibetan settlement at the Golden Temple, a Buddhist monastery. Meet stoic monks and stop by the temple altar to see lavish displays of flowers, candles and incense sticks, left as tributes. Admire the temple's jaw-dropping 40-foot (12-meter) golden statues of Buddha.
Reach Kushalnagar by driving 62 miles (100 kilometers) from Mysore International Airport, and fill your days with outdoor excitement and adventure.