Nestled amidst the elevated mountains and picturesque nature, Coorg is an exciting tourist puling site in Karnataka. With an expanse of around 4,102 sq km areas, this place has a blend of jade hillock, misty environs and quaint hamlet. The history of Coorg region carries a confrontation tales between Kadambas and the Gangas. Ages back in the 2nd and 6th century, the northern division of this region was under the control of Kadambas of Goa. Not only this, till 14th century the region was under control of several sovereigns. Later in 1956, Coorg got a distinct identity as a district and amalgamated with Karnataka state. Today Coorg is famed as Kodagu and visitors consider this place as the ‘Scotland of India’. The place is popular for breath-taking vista of mountains, abundance of flora and fauna, green woods and coffee plantations. Visitors also come to Coorg seeking ayurvedic treatments.
Coorg Culture, Food and People
Likewise its appealing nature, the people of Coorg are equally rich by their arresting cordiality. Though, the customs of Coorg people are quite different as compared to other parts of India. People here follow Animism and Hinduism. The inhabitants of Coorg (also called Kodavas or Coorgs) pay their highest regards to the holy river Cauvery and admire it as their own mother. Likewise river, they do worship of earth, fire, sun and moon. Kodavas prefer to conduct any of their religious rituals by their own elder instead of involving any Brahmin priests.
An interesting part of Coorg religion is their beliefs towards the weapons. The Croogs celebrate a separate festival called ‘Keil Podh’, which is only dedicated to weapons. In addition, few important festivals that are also celebrated with equal enthusiasm here are Podu, Huthri and Madikeri Dassera. Podu and Huthri festivals are celebrated in the months of September and November.
Despite of following Animism and Hinduism, the Croogs are predominantly non-vegetarian. They mostly prefer to have Kodava cuisine made of pork. In most of the community feasts, people enjoy the luscious dishes of pork, which is specifically prepared with a fruit made vinegar. Apart from pork, some of the popular food items of the Croogs are rice noodles, Pandi (pork curry), chicken curry and bamboo shoot curry (Bembla). They love to have the pork curry served with Kadumbuttu (kind of steamed rice dumplings).
The Croogs have their own language called Kodava. In addition, Kannada and English languages are also spoken here.
The jade bush slopes and magnificent mountains sustain a pleasant environment in Coorg. The striking hill station goes through different seasonal phases including summer, monsoon and winter. The summer season lasts here for three months from the month of March to May. During these three months the temperature climbs up to maximum 34°C. After summer, monsoon hits the region in the month of June and it continues till the month of September. Monsoon brings the temperature moderately down here as a result of which, many visitors start flocking here to embrace the rain and soothing panorama. The hillock beauty of Coorg gets best revealed from the months of December to February when winter embraces this beautiful region. This is the time when Coorg attracts a healthy volume of visitors across the sphere. During winter, the temperature in Coorg stands somewhere around 13°C or less.
The best time to visit Coorg is between October and March.
Places to visit in Coorg:
The misty mountains and wintry climate of Coorg has already crowned the place as the ‘Scotland of India’. For tourist, Coorg has ample of fascinating sites to offer. Let’s take a look into some of the exciting and breath-taking tourist pullers in Coorg.
Situated near Madikeri, the scenic vista of Abbey falls drags attention of many tourists across the country. The flow of this energetic waterfall from an elevation of around 70ft. gives you an amazing view to cherish for long. There is a hanging bridge across the mountains where numbers of visitors flock to get an eye-catching view of Abbey falls. The best time to reveal the actual beauty of this waterfall is between November and December.
This is one of the prehistoric relics in Karnataka that adds a historical eminence to Coorg. The hushed onlooker of many confrontations since 17th century of Muddu Raja, Madikeri Fort is a must visit in Coorg. This primeval fort is not only a preserved ruin of past, but over time it has witnessed plenty of architectural conversion as well. Madikeri Fort was actually a structure of mud, which was further shaped into a different architectural look by Tipu Sultan. He has named this fort as ‘Jaffarabad’. With times, this fort has undergone another architectural alteration under the rule of Lingarajendra Wodeyar II and British Empire. Visitors rush to this architectural ruin to explore its Gothic style decor. The mystifying trail of the fort represents the mastery of architectural expertise of ancient India.
Madikeri Fort can be visited for maximum up to two hours (per visitor) a day and the timings here are between 10:00 am to 5:30 pm. However, the fort remains closed on Monday. No entry fee is required to enter the fort and you can also carry your camera for free of cost.
The peak of Brahmagiri is an ultimate trekking and climbing site for visitors. You can scale the peak through lush bush, galore of floras and crystal clean water. Apart from exploring your audacious persona, at Brahmagiri Peak you can also visit a wildlife sanctuary, which houses many wild lives like elephant, Nilgiri Langur, Jungle Cat and Lion-tailed Macaque. In addition, presence of various colourful birds and flying Squirrel turn this place to more riveting. If you have zeal to arrest the exquisiteness of a soothing nature, Brahmagiri Peak is must for you.
This place is best known for its extreme 1746 meters elevation above sea level. Situated close to Kakkabe town, Tadiyendamol is the highest peak in entire Coorg region. People who love adventure, the elevation of Tadiyendamol will excite them the most. You will get auto and car to reach till a considerable height. After that you can scale the remaining 4-5 Kms distance by trekking.
Note: Avoid trekking in the afternoon, as sunny weather may lead you to dehydration. Hence, carry sufficient amount of water and energy drinks on the way.
#Dubare Elephant Camp
If you are accompanied by your family and kids, they are going to remember this place for long. With 150 plus elephants, Dubare forest caters you a great exposure to know about the captivating animals. Here you can have a close and explicit view of the elephants getting bath and fed by their Mahouts. One of the most exciting experiences that one must try here is Elephant safari. Well, this is not the end. If you move towards the Cauvery River, you will come to sight crocodile, gaurs and peacocks. The local park authority also caters lodges and resorts for the tourists to explore the wilderness of the environs to a great extent. Dubare Elephant Camp is a splendid location that every tourist must visit.
In Coorg, you will come across various cascades. Out of these, Iruppu Falls is one such attraction that the tourist flock to explore. Iruppu Fall is the consequence of River Lakshmana Tirtha, which plunge around 60ft.amid the lush mount. A breath-taking vista of vascular plants with animated waterfalls and their sounds will make your presence more overwhelming. As per Hindu mythology, it is said that Lord Rama and his brother Lakshmana has gone through this place while searching his consort Devi Sita.
#Nagarhole National Park
For wildlife lover, Nagarhole National Park is probably the best place to visit in entire district of Coorg. Having said that Coorg has abundance of dense woods, it will not wonder you when you come to know that the place has more than 270 species of birds and galore of animals. If you are still not able to chalk out a time when to visit Nagarhole National Park, the best time to visit here is either between April and May or between November and February. It is believed that earlier this place was idyllic for hunting practise performed by the kings. Today, the Nagarhole National Park is the dwelling source to plenty of wild creatures including elephant, panthers, tigers, snakes, deer, langur, wild dogs and various birds.
Known as the ‘Scotland of India’, Coorg has several attractions for you in terms of natural exquisiteness and historical interests. Located nearly 1.5Kms north-east of Madikeri, Gaddige is best known for getting an aerial view of the entire town. This site is also famed as Raja’s Tomb where visitors gather to get an eye-catching vista of the entire Coorg region. You will come across many structural series of crypts here that belongs to Kodava Empire. In addition, the structural complex also contains a depiction of Lord Shiva distinguishing it from this Hindu sepulchre from the Muslim monument.
Gaddige or Raja’s Tomb is built in Indo-Saracenic architectural style. The tower is positioned at the corner and on the other hand, the domes are positioned at the centre of the tomb. The centred tomb represents the mortal relics of King Doddaveerarajendra and his beloved queen Mahadeviamma. The best time to visit this place is during winter season when you can have a gorgeous sight of mountains. Some of the nearby accommodations are Sai Estate, Coorg Southmere and Coorg View Homestay.
If you want to experience something tranquil apart from the peaks and edgy wild lives, you can visit Chettalli. Located on the Madikeri – Siddapur road, this is a small hamlet in Coorg. Visitors enjoy stepping into the roadways to this small hamlet because of its peaceful environs and wonderful atmosphere.
Located in the town of Madikeri, Raja’s Seat is best known for its beautiful sunset point. In the words of local inhabitants, ages back the kings of Kodagu used to spend their dusk at this spot. Presence of musical fountains and surrounding garden make this place more beautiful and appealing to the visitors. Visiting this place during early morning and evening is mostly recommended. If you want to sight a blend of eye-catching sunset and musical fountain, the best time is between 5.30Pm to 7.30PM. Thought, cloudy weather often hinders the visitors from getting a clear view of sunset. In such circumstances, the best way out to visit this place in early morning. You can also rejoice a ride on toy train available near the park. The entry fee to this park is only Rs.5 and Rs.20 for parking charges.
Visiting this place will give you a different experience. Being India’s second biggest Tibetan settlement, Bylakuppe is one of the significant tourist pullers in Coorg. Tourists gather this place to explore the delight of Namdroling Monastery, which is also known as the Golden Temple here. The Tibetan style of architecture can best be revealed during Tibetan New Year, which is Losar. During that festival, plenty of Tibetans visit here and experience their cultural delights in Coorg.
In addition to the above cited tourist attractions in Coorg, you may also visit some other interesting places like Cauvery Nisargadhama, Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary and Mandalpatti View point.
How to reach Coorg
Situated in the state of Karnataka, Coorg or Kodagu attracts a good number of visitors every year. Apart from the galore of natural environs in Coorg, tourists also flock here to see the lively waterfalls, national park, forts and temples. It truly reflects the significance of Coorg as a luring holiday destination in India. Considering the number of footfalls, Coorg is conveniently connected to various parts of the country through the following modes of transports:
The nearest airport is Mangalore Airport, which is situated around 160Kms away from Coorg. Besides, within around 265Kms reach of Coorg, the nearest International Airport is Bengaluru Airport. These airports have sound air connectivity with other prime cities of India and overseas. From airport you can also hire a taxi or cab to reach Coorg. It may take around 3 hours to reach Coorg from Mangalore. Depending on the type of cab you hire the charges may vary from Rs.7 to Rs.14 per kilometre. However, before boarding a cab, do not forget to negotiate the rates.
The roadway connectivity between Coorg and other adjoining cities are quite convenient. There are various buses that run under KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) from the places like Mangalore (135Kms), Hassan (115Kms) and Mysore (120Kms). The distance can be crossed in 2-3 hours. From Bangalore (260Kms) it will take more than 5 hours to reach Coorg by road. Alternatively, you can also hire private cabs to reach Coorg.
Coorg does not have any railway station. Therefore, you need to travel till the nearest railway station Mysore Junction, which is located around 95Kms away from Coorg. From railway station you can hire a taxi or cab that will take you to Coorg.
Travelling within Coorg:
Coorg has various steep ways due to which people also come here for trekking purpose. If you want to have a close view of the vicinity, you can hire rickshaw or bicycle.
Places to stay in Coorg
Considering the mounting visitor, lot many lodges, resorts and hotels are established in this district from time-to-time. Being one of the luring tourist destinations, most of the hotels here are booked in advance. Therefore, it is advisable to book your accommodation in advance. Depending on the amenities that you avail the charges may vary. However, within the range of Rs.2000 to Rs.3, 500 you will get luxurious staying options here. Some of the options are listed here for your convenience:
#La Flora Jungle Hill Resort
Makeri Village,Kodugu district,Madikeri,
Karnataka, India 571201
#Hotel Alwesal International
Near KSRTC bus stand Kohinoor road madikeri,
Karnataka, India 571201
#Wind Breeze Coorg
Near Ranipet Park,Madikeri ,
Karnataka, India 571201
#Coorg Guest House
kutta Road, S.Coorg, Srimangala, Karnataka 571217,
Karnataka, India 571218
#Palm Era Resorts
Sunnadakere road, Guddehosure, Kushalnagar,
Karnataka, India 571234
#Coffee Cadu Estate Stay Madikeri
PB No.35, Mysuru Madikeri Road/NH275/ Madikeri,
Coorg, Karnataka, India 571237
In addition to the listed hotels, there are few more prominent staying options like Orange County Coorg, The Tamara, Heritage Resort and Old Kent Estates and Spa Resort.
Eateries in Coorg:
The Coorgs are popular for their unique Kodava cuisines. As already mentioned earlier, they are predominantly non-vegetarian. Therefore, you can expect to have lot of meat and pork items in most of the restaurants here. Some of the luscious items that you must try in Coorg are crab meat, Akki Oti, Pulvas, Kumm Curry, Chekke curry and different types of pickles made of fish, mushrooms and bamboo. In many restaurants you will also get scented rice served with mushrooms and Baimbale Curry.
The place also has number of quality eateries for vegetarians as well. You will get to taste various vegetable dishes including Tibetan, South Indian and Chinese cuisines. Some of the popular South Indian dishes here are idli, sambhar, dosa, rasam etc. In addition, you can also try the homemade bright green wine and coffee in Coorg.
Let’s have look at some of the restaurants in Coorg:
Charges: INR 120-180 (approximately)
Location: Opposite of Golden temple, Bylakuppe, India
Charges: INR 30-100 (approximately)
Location: Mysore Madikeri Main Road, Near City Police Station,
Chickpet, Madikeri, Karnataka 571201
Timings: 12PM-4PM & 7PM-10PM
Charges: INR 100-250 (approximately)
Location: Stuart Hill, Madikeri, Karnataka 570201
#East End Hotel
Location: Behind East End Petrol Pump, General Thimaya Road,
State Highway 88, Madikeri, Karnataka 571201
So explore the vivacious panorama of Coorg and share your wonderful voyage tale with others. Do not forget to carry your camera to arrest some happening moments out there. Plan, visit and explore. Captivating Coorg is all set to make your trip eternal.