Kushalnagar (or Kushalanagara or Kushal Nagar, ಕುಶಾಲನಗರ) is a beautiful town that is in the border of Coorg, connecting the Mysore district is in between Mangalore and Mysore. It is part of under Somwarpet Taluk. It is the nearest transport hub for the Tibetan settlement of Bylakupee.
According to popular myth, the name was given by Hyder Ali who was camped there when he received news of the birth of his son Tipu and called it as Kushyal nagar ("town of gladness").
Kushalnagar has a lot of tourist attraction points, the town doesn't have ups and downs of the projected hill, which makes its land more stable and made town to be accommodate all kinds of business. This is the reason why people migrate more towards this town.
The nearest airports are:
- Mysore Airport. About 100 km away which takes around 2 hours of travelling via road. , which is
- Kannur Airport. About 103 km away and takes around 3 hours to reach Kushalnagar by road.
- Manglore Airport. 173 km away, it takes around 4 hours to reach Kushalnagar by road.
The nearest railway stations aee:
1) Mysore state railway, which is about 88 km less than 2 hours journey by road
2) Kakkabe Puttur Railway station, which is around 120 km and takes near to 3 hours of journey by road.
Kushalnagar lies on the Karnataka that runs from Manglore to Mysore. The Rroad condition is good. Kushalnagar is 166 km far from Mangaluru and 88 km from Mysore.
From Bengaluru, take the (Bangalore-Mysore highway) and take a deviation just after the town of Srirangapatna to join State Highway 88 towards Hunsur. It's a distance of 222 km. Nearby towns are Hassan (115 km) and Madkeri(30 km).
Government and private buses are available to Kushalnagar. Self drive cars and jeeps are also available in this town. It is also easy to hire a local taxi or cab.
Self-Drive Cars are also available in this town, which is most preferred by many tourists, to come by bus till Kushalnagar and hire a self-drive car or Jeep from this town.
Taxis and auto rickshaw are available at reasonable rates. Local buses are not available in plenty. Walking may look tedious inside the town.
While other Coorg towns are undulating, Kushal Nagar is very flat and pleasant to walk. The traffic is hopeless in the main roads and you can forget walking in the Mysore road (B.M. Road) and the Madikeri road. All other roads are very pleasant to walk.
- Nisargadhama (3 km from Kushalnagar). Park is not too great, has some bamboo "machans" on trees, but the best part of it is the river is on the back-side. There is a beautiful picnic spot called Nisargadhama. If you want to go for elephant ride at Nisarga Dhama, please remember to buy ride-tickets along with your entry-ticket before you get in. They do not sell ride-tickets inside; it is a 0.5-km walk back to ticket counter if you forget.
- Sabarimala Sri Ayyappa Temple. Dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, this is the most famous and prominent among all the Sastha temples in Kerala. The temple is on a hilltop about 4000 feet above sea level named Sabarimala, which is unique in many respects. The uniqueness gathers its voice, as the temple is open to all, irrespective of caste, creed or religion. There is a place near the temple; east to Sannidhanam, dedicated to the Vavar (a sufi and friend of Lord Ayyappa) which is called 'Vavarunada', an epitome of religious harmony. The temple remains open only for 127 days a year. The journey to the temple is to be taken through difficult paths in the forest as the vehicles can go only up to Pampa.
- Kanive. A small village 9 km north of Kushalanagar in Kodagu district of Karnataka state, India. Kanive also sits on the bank of Kaveri river.
- CSI maddock Church, Koppa gate (2 km).
- Harangi Backwaters. Worth visiting immediately after the rainy season when one can experience the full glory of the Harangi backwater reservoir. Though not much of activity oriented place but worth spending couple of hours.
- Harangi Reservoir (Hudgur village, Somwarpet taluk in Kodagu district). The reservoir is formed by a masonry dam built across the river Harangi, a tributary of the Kaveri. The dam is about 9 km away from the heart of Kushalnagartown.
- Harangi Dam gardens, Hudgur village (6 km). Beautiful garden surrounded by water bodies and cute little temples. Limited bus facility. Share autorikshaws charges Rs.15 per head.
- Nasargadham Bamboo Gardens, Madikeri Road (3 km). This is a 25-acre island filled with bamboos, teak, sandalwod and tree houses. Kaveri river flows around it.
- Valnoor Fishing camp, near Dubare elephant camp (18 km).
- Chikihole Dam, Near Suntikopa town (15 km). A small reservoir built across the river Chiklihole flowing through the Cauvery basin of Karnataka. The dam is near the town of Nanjarayapattana that lies between Madikeri and Kushalnagar in the Kodagu or Coorg district of Karnataka. The best part about the location of the dam is that it stands 5 km from the Dubare forest.
- Dubare Elephant Camp. This is an island with facilities for capturing and training elephants. Boat service is available. The Dubare Elephant Camp is a must-experience for the elephant lover in you. Karnataka’s history with elephants, goes a long way back. The state’s Forest Department has about 150 elephants in various camps. The Dubare Camp, where elephants were trained for the famous Mysore Dasara, found a brand new calling.
- Tibetan Golden Temple (Tibetan Monastery), Bylakuppe (6 km from Kushalnagar towards Mysore). The Tibet Camp, as locally called, is the largest Tibetan settlement in Southern India. There are 2 monasteries now nearby, one old and the other is new. Don't miss the new, on the way, while going towards old one. You can shop for Tibetan and Chinese handicrafts, decorative and religious items. The tiny Tibetan colony in here is an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The enclosed calm and the spiritual ambiance of the place welcomes all the visitors. There are around 16,000 refugees and nearly 6,000 monks and nuns in this monastery.
- Ramalingeshwara Temple, Kanive village (6 km). Beautiful riverside temple with hanging bridge and natural scenery.
- Kudige Temple, Kudige on Hassan Road (3 km). Beautiful temple surrounding by peaceful riverside locality suitable for trekking.
- Ayyappa Swamy Temple, River Road (1 km).
- Tavare Kere Lake, Near Coorg Complex, Polytechnic area (2 km).
- Ronde Kere lake, Near gowda Samaja.
- Tapovana Monastery, Gumen Kolly, Hassan Road (2 km).
- Udhbhav Subramanya Temple, Kudige (3 km).
Visit Cauvery Nisargadhama early in the morning. There is a hanging bridge over the river. The place is too good in the snow.
- Horse & Elephant riding at Cauvery Nisargadhama.
- Pedal boating.
- Play in the river (watch for careful sings & boards by Govt. though).
- River rafting at Dubare.
Home made chocolates are commonly found in shops.
- Green Land, Near Post office, ☏ , . Kerala style meat and fish dishes. Fishcurry lunchː Rs.120. Spacious upstairs section.
Around Kushalnagar and close to Nisargadhama island, tourists could buy below:
- Wooden made wall clocks, kitchen items, kids toys & many Chinese made items can also be purchased.
- Home made chocolates.
- Ayurveda medicine oils.
- Green tea, Coffee tea and many other.
- Special food items.
- woolen dresses for kids.
- Leather hats.
- Kaveri bakery , Madikeri road.
- Purple Palms Resort & Spa, Coorg, Bollur Village, Guddehosur Post, ☏ . Restaurant, bar, swimming pool, kids' play area, games room. 2 nights for 2 adults and 2 children with breakfast and dinner: winter ₹16,000, summer ₹30,000.
- The Casiita, Mysore-Madikeri Road, opposite Cauvery Nisargadhama, Guddehosur Post, ☏ . 21 rooms and cottages. Double from ₹2,600.
- Maharaja Hotel, Koppa gate (2 km), ☏ , .
- Mahalaxmi Residency, River Road (0 km), ☏ . On the left side of the KSRTC bus station.
- Iceberg Lodge, Koppa gate (2 km), ☏ , . In-house BSR Restaurant gives Kerala food. ₹800 for double room.
- Top in Town, Near Koppa Bridge (2 km), ☏ , . ₹2,000.
- Bhagavathi Lodge, Opp.Post Office (0.5 km), ☏ . No western toilets. Rooms are spacious with great windows and big bed and TV. ₹800.
- Remya Lodge, Near Travancore Coffee Estate, Kudige (3 km). Peaceful riverside locality suitable for trekking. ₹2,600.
- Bird of Paradise Homestay, Kudige (3 km). Peaceful riverside property.
- Honnamana Kere
- Madikeri - at the tip of Coorg district. Making Madikeri town as central point, tourist can visit to: