Coorg is an exotic land epitomizing culture, simplicity and sophistication in an innately easy manner. It is a land of bounty and lush greenery that never seems to end. Mainly a land of agriculture, Coorg or Kodagu is a small hill station in the state of Karnataka. With an average area of4, 102 sq.km and a population of approximately 5, 48,561, Coorg is one of the cleaner regions of Karnataka with environment conscious natives.
The British called the South Indian region of Coorg "the Scotland of India" .This may seem overstated, but as you drive through miles and miles of green coffee estates, laden with the red berries or trek in the Western Ghats; it is easy to see why they loved this area.
Renowned as a land of warriors –the brave Kodavas are an immensely hospitable lot. Coorg was originally known as Kodaimalenadu or the land of dense forest on steep hill. Coorg district is very beautiful with scattered villages, hamlets and a few townships. Coffee and pepper are the most cultivated crops here and driving / walking around Coorg is indeed a delightful option.
A perfect getaway from the urban chaos, the Lush green forests, mist topped hill and wide stretch of coffee plantations welcome you to a world less discovered. And that’s not all! Coorg cuisine is one of a kind and is a must have while you are here.
Besides the rich greenery and pleasant weather experienced throughout the year, the important places of tourist importance are not to be missed. Coorg is mainly divided into South Coorg and North Coorg.
Madikeri: Located 1525m above sea level, Madikeri is the headquarters of Coorg. The main places of tourist importance are:
Madikeri fort: It is located in the centre of the town which houses a temple, a chapel, prison and a small museum. If you wish to catch a spectacular glimpse of the scenic beauty of the place then you must visit the fort.
Raja Seat: The Raja seat is a small pavilion located at the western end of the city. It offers a magnificent view of the valley below. It is exceptionally beautiful at sunset. As the name denotes the then Raja of the region spent his evenings here. Mist capped mountains and the cool breeze is indeed a real treat.
Omkareshwara Temple: This is a very popular temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was built in the year 1820 and is a mix of Islamic and Gothic styles of architecture.
Walk through the enchanting coffee fields, to reach the spot where, the elixir of life spouts with all its vivacity. Do not miss the mesmerizing water fall while you are in Coorg. You may reach the place from Madikeri on local transport and walk a short distance to enjoy the mystical beauty of the place.
Madikeri is indeed a refuge from warm weathers and a frenzied lifestyle. From this destination you may plan excursions to a few places nearby:
This is a holy place for all Kodavas. Better known as the birthplace of River Kaveri, the Brahmagiri hills is situated 1276 m above sea level. Below the hills is the holy temple. At the temple you will see a tank, where the spring water gets collected. At one end of the tank there is a small shrine where Pujas are performed regularly. Talacauvery with its mystic splendor is an excellent destination for tourists. Make sure to visit the temple early in the morning.
A connection between Coorg and Mysore districts, this place is renowned for the Tibetan monastery and well kept surroundings. The main places to visit in and around Kushalnagar are
Tibetan Monastry: The monastery is a renowned tourist destination. You may also visit Bylakuppe, one of the biggest Tibetan settlements in India. It is well known for its handicrafts and Buddhist monasteries. The 40 feet idol of the Namdroling Monastery (also called the Golden Monastery) is unquestionably a popular attraction.
Cauvery Nisargadhama: Nisargadhama is an island on the river Cauvery. Access to this beautiful and serene island is through a hanging bridge. It is densely covered with huge bamboo plants and a walk through this greenery, discovering huts, tree houses and bird nests can be a real treat. You may go on elephant rides or visit the small zoo for amusement. It’s a popular picnic spot and the perfect place to chill out with friends and family. You may go on a boat ride to view some really exotic birds if you are here during winters.
Dubare Forest: This is a perfect picnic getaway with crystal clear stream and thick woods. A visit to the elephant training camp is a must. For adventure lovers there is river rafting and for those who are not, there is the lazy elephant ride.
Harangi dam: A famous water reservoir located in Kushalnagar across a small stream of Dubare forest and offshoot of river kaveri.
Madikeri is well connected to most tourist destinations in Coorg and is no doubt a tourist's paradise. There are a few lesser discovered places in Coorg which are mushrooming into famous tourist destinations. One of these lesser discovered places, is Kutta. A small village in South Coorg, it is about 236 kms from Bangalore and can be easily reached on road. The route traversed is Bangalore – Mysore – Hunsur – Nagarhole – Kutta and it takes about 6 hrs to cover the distance.
While you are in Kutta you may hire a jeep and visit places nearby. The hospitability of Coorgs will bowl you over during your stay at one of the ‘home stays’.
The ‘Nagarhole National Park’ is about 10 km North of Kutta. If you are a wild life enthusiast, then make sure to visit Wyanad wildlife sanctuary as well, which is located 8 kms south. The Nagarhole park is open between 6 am to 9 am and remember, earlier the better. Early mornings are the best to spot animals. In the evenings the park opens from 4 pm to 6 pm.
It is counted among India`s finest wildlife parks. On its northern confines is the Kabini River and on its southern periphery is the Bandipur National Park. A dam on the Kabini River and its picturesque reservoir demarcates the two national parks. During the dry season i.e from February to June, this man made lake attracts a large number of animals, making it an ideal spot for sighting wildlife.
The significant predators in the Nagarhole National Park are tiger, leopard, wild dog, sloth bear and the hyena. The herbivores are spotted deer, sambar, barking deer, four-horned antelope (Tetracerus quadricornis), gaur (Bos gaurus), wild boar (Sus scrofa) and elephant.
If you have never spotted the Indian Gaur or jungle bison then Nagarhole is just the place where you will spot one. Elephants are a common sight at the jungle. It is interesting to note that the total population of elephants in southern India is about 6500. And almost all of them live in the area where Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala join in the shadow of the Western Ghats.
This is a famous water fall located within the Brahmagiri wild life sanctuary; the fall is 58 feet high. The river ‘Lakshman Thirtha’ flows as an ejection of crystal clear water. You may bathe and swim around the water fall and adjacent low lying areas filled with water. There is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva on the right bank of Lakshmanthirtha River. If you want to enjoy surreal beauty of nature and bathe at the water fall, then make sure to go there in the mornings. The sanctuary is famous for butterflies and exotic peacocks. If you get lucky, you may spot some dancing peacocks.
The most enchanting thing about Coorg is the ‘home stay’ facility available here. It is a welcome change from the hotels and suites that urbanites are accustomed to. It gives you a truly ethnic experience with unmatched hospitality and mouth watering cuisine. In a place like Kutta ‘home stays’ are the only option and be rest assured that you are going to have the time of your life. Come, be at the mercy of serenity, warmth and good food.
Coorg has the distinction of being the only place in South India where white river rafting on class 1 to 5 rapids, is possible. It is usually done on the Barapole River in South Coorg. It is professionally organized from June to October and is booked well in advance due to its popularity.
Trekking to various mountains like the Thadiyandamole, Choma betta and Brahmagiri hills is also a popular activity for adventure loving Coorgs. Be a part of this adventure extravaganza while you are here.
There are a few golf courses in Coorg. You will find both nine-hole and 18-hole golf courses, spread across hundreds of acres for an evening of leisure and unwinding.
That is Coorg or Kodagu for you. Planning a trip down south? Then make sure to visit the place bestowed with the blessings of Lord Igguthappa, Cauvery and Mother Nature. The lush greenery, pleasant weather and clean environment is certainly going to entice you, to come back for more.
Hotel Coorg International
Near Raja Seat
Located 5 km from Madikeri, it is located within beautiful coffee and cardamom plantation. There are trekking, plantation tours and angling trips on offer.
Gowri Nivas Homestay
PO Box138, New extension,
By Air: The closest airport is Bangalore
By Train: The closest railway head is Mysore
By Road: The Mysore-Mangalore highway passes through Coorg. The district headquarters Madikeri is located 260 km from Bangalore and 120 km from Mysore. You may reach Kutta from Bangalore in 6 hours via Mysore.
Co-ordinates: 12.25 N, 75.44 E
Best Time To Visit: April to November
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