Madikeri is the centre of the lucrative coffee trade, and a walk to Abbi Falls is a good introduction to coffee-growing country. The pleasant road, devoid of buses, winds through the hill country past plantations and makes for a good day’s outing. At the litter-strewn car park at the end of the road, a gate leads through a private coffee plantation, sprinkled with cardamom sprays and pepper vines, to the bottom of the large stepped falls (fenced off so no swimming is possible) that are most impressive during and straight after the monsoons.

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