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Coorg

The Scotland of India with abundance of spices and tranquility of nature

About Destination

Coorg or Kodagu as it is officially known now, is an astonishing land in the heart of the southern Indian peninsula. This unspoilt “country of million hills”, situated on the slopes of the Western Ghats, is India’s coffee bowl. The tiny district in the state of Karnataka is the biggest producer of coffee.

Dotted with red-tiled bungalows, the town has an old world charm about it. The British who colonized Coorg and set up coffee plantations prior to Independence, compared Coorg to Scotland as both the places had grand and regal highlands with a sturdy mountain-dwelling race.

Coorg, officially known as Kodagu, is the most affluent hill station in Karnataka. It is well known for its breathtakingly exotic scenery and lush greenery. Forest covered hills, spice and coffee plantations only add to the landscape. Madikeri is the region's centre point with all transportation for getting around starting from here.

Misty hills, lush forest, tea and coffee plantation, orange groves, undulating streets and breathtaking views have made Coorg an unforgettable holiday destination. Madikeri is the heartland of Coorg region and was the seat of ruling dynasty.

Scotland of India : Coorg was called Scotland of India by the Britishers during their visit in the 19th century to this quaint little town of Karnataka. Once you enter the geographical boundaries of this hill town, you will realise the place has done true justice to its nickname. Coorg is famous for the surreal beauty of nature and the hills of the Western Ghats covered by the mist of clouds and accompanied by the pleasant weather. To enjoy the best views that Coorg has to offer, you must visit Raja's Seat - a small garden adorned with the flowers affording a view of the majestic hills of the Western Ghats. Mandalpatti viewpoint is another spot which offers the awe-gaping view of the lush green beauty of Coorg along with the experience of trekking amid the hills of Western Ghats.


Destination : Coorg Capital/State : Karnataka
Capital's calling code : +91-08272 Currency : Indian Rupees
Time Zone : GMT + 5.30 hours Minimum Stay : 3 to 5 Days
Languages : Kannada & English
What to see : Rivers, Coffee & Spice Plantations, Natural Beauty at its best, Waterfalls, Wildlife Park and Bird Watching, Fort, Mountains and Temple
Suited for : Nature lovers, Honeymoon Couple, Family Trips, Adventure Sport Seekers, Trekkers, Solo Travellers, Girls Gang, Boys Gang, Leisure Seekers
Best Time to Visit : April to October
Selfie Spots : Abbey Falls, Madikeri Fort, Raja’s Seat, Triveni Sangam (which is confluence of 3 rivers : Kaveri, Kannike and Sujyoti), Cauveri Nisargadhama Island, Mallalli Falls, Namdroling Monastery, Tadiandamol Peak (Highest Mountain Peak in Coorg), Honnamana Kere Lake
What to Pack : Camera, Walking shoes, Cotton handkerchief or tissues, Raincoat / umberalla, Scarf, Mosquito repellent lotion/spray, Extra Luggage (to pack the souvenirs), Sweater/ Jacket


Explore

The river is part of the early reaches of the river Kaveri. Flow is much higher during the monsoon season. The waterfall is located between private coffee plantations with stocky coffee bushes and spice estates with trees entwined with pepper vines. A hanging bridge constructed just opposite the falls. It was earlier called Jessi falls named after a British officer's wife. However, the place was a thick jungle area back then. Years later, the beautiful waterfall was discovered by Mr Neravanda B Nanaiah who bought the place from the government and converted it into a coffee and spices plantation that is surrounding the waterfall.  

Coorg is home to the famous Namdroling monastery, also called the Golden temple on account of the gold work done on every painting. Namdroling monastery is situated just 6km from the town of Kushalnagar and 35km from Madikeri. It belongs to the Sangha community. It is a typical Tibetan monastery, presided over by a 18m-high gold-plated Buddha. Children are also taught outside the temple. The paintings inside the temple describe the gods, demons, culture and also some of the phases of Buddha's life.

If there is one thing that defines Coorg the best, then it has to be the infinite regal fields of coffee plantations. Coorg is one of the highest producers of coffee in India. You must visit the Tata plantation trails of coffee in Coorg and enjoy the freshly brewed coffee made from the fresh cocoa beans. To gain the best experience you can also choose to stay at one of the resorts located right in the centre of coffee fields. Another precious thing that Coorg boasts of proudly is the Indian spices that are grown here and are considered the best in the world. Famous for its pepper, cardamom and cloves, the soothing aroma of spices keeps the air of Coorg pleasant.

With its diversity of flora and fauna, the Nagarhole National Park is one of the best known wildlife reserves in India. It houses not just multiple species of plants and shrubbery but also mammals, reptiles, crawlers and rare birds. Tiger, Indian bison and Asian elephants are found in large numbers inside the park. Other species include leopards, wild dogs, jackals, grey mongoose, sloth bears, striped hyena, spotted dear (Chital), sambhar, four-horned antelopes, wild boars, Indian porcupine.

The national park has over 270 species of birds including the critically endangered Oriental White Backed Vulture, the Greater Spotted Eagle and the Nilgiri Wood-Pigeon. Reptiles including the crocodiles, vine snakes, wolf snakes, rat snakes, bamboo bat viper, Russell's Viper and Indian Rock Python are also found here.

Talacauvery is the source of the river Kaveri, located on the Brahmagiri hill (not to be confused with the Brahmagiri range further south) near Bhagamandala in Kodagu district, Karnataka. It is located at 1,276 m. above sea level. Kodavas have erected a tank; which is now considered as its origin. The place also has a small temple, a worship place of Kodavas. The Kaveri River, also known as Cauvery, originates from a spring filling up this tank. It?s a holy place to bathe in on special days. Thousands of pilgrims visit this place on the Cauvery Changrandi day to witness the rise of the fountainhead, where the water gushes up from the spring at a predetermined moment. During Tulam Sankrama, special rites are conducted in the temple adjoining the pond which attracts many devotees. Beside the temple, there is a series of 356 steps which lead to the peak, from here the prepossessing hills can be viewed. 


Experiences

Barapole river is a famous white river rafting destination in Coorg. The white frothy river with speedy waters and rapids, flowing through beautiful landscapes, makes for an ideal river rafting experience. Set against the backdrop of the Western Ghats and bordering the Deccan Plateau, Coorg is a popular destination among travelers. White water rafting is organized in Upper Barapole are called Kithu-Kakkatu River which is a strong catchment area for the monsoons, thus providing a some of the most challenging stretch of rapids. Experience the thrill of adventure as the choppy waters of the river toss you about and the wind rushes through your hair. The Barapole River surges through dense forests and offers rafting participants a breathtaking view of the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. The rapids have some fascinating names like Morning Coffee, Grass Hopper, Ramba Samba, Wicked Witch and Big Bang.

Tadiandamol is the highest mountain peak in Coorg, at an elevation of 1748m. Most tourists interested in trekking are drawn to this place as the journey is difficult, but the view from the top, unparalleled. While being the second highest peak in all of Karnataka, Tadiandamol trek is also a very good option for nature lovers who desire scenic surroundings and are beginners in the trekking scene.

Soak up the mesmeric beauty of the waterfalls in Coorg while rappelling through these cascading splendours! An activity that involves climbing down a rocky surface while harnessed to a safety rope, rappelling in Coorg is all about fun and excitement. In this activity, the participants are briefed about all the safety measures, tips and tricks of rappelling. Safety gears include a helmet, carabineers, gloves and other such necessities.

Microlight flying in Coorg can be best described as an unforgettable experience. Allowing you to fly at around 5,000 ft above the surface of the earth, it gives wings to your dream flight. When up in the air, enjoy the aerial views of Coorg's mist clad landscapes, mountain peaks, and forests. The hand glider is perfect for two people and comes with a robust machine that can easily accelerate to a speed of 100 km/hr. Most of these gliders are usually imported from other countries and are fitted with other parts here.

Honnamanna Kere is widely considered as one of the best destinations for rock climbing in Coorg. The adjoining Gavi Betta and Mori Betta hills offer great opportunities for rock climbing enthusiasts. Before embarking on such a tour, ensure that you are properly harnessed with all the necessary safety gears, right type of footwear and gloves. Paying heed to the instructors and complying with their instructions and suggestions is mandatory. Rock climbing is best enjoyed during the winters when the sun is relatively weak. You should include this activity in your Coorg tour packages to make your vacation more memorable.


Get to know About

The culture of Coorg, has a very distinct ethnic identity, keenly safeguarded over centuries. Most of the festivals celebrated are centred around agriculture and military tradition, like the Kailpoldu (Festival of Arms) and Kaveri Sankramana (worship of river Kaveri). One of the most important aspects of their culture is the connection with martial arts and agriculture. They are known to worship their heritage, right from the arms and swords to nature, especially Cauvery river. Coorg is a land of the generals and beautiful women. Coorgs or Kodavas as they are locally known, are the only race in India who are exempt from the Indian Arms Act and are permitted to possess guns without license. Their customs are also unique. Though Coorgs are Hindus, priests do not perform their marriage rites. When a son is born in a family, a single shot is fired in the air to greet the newcomer. Similarly, when a Coorg dies, two simultaneous shots are fired in the air to alert the neighbours. Coorgs are legendary for their hospitality. These fair complexioned men and women with distinctly long noses belong to a martial race. Though they do not belong to mainstream Hinduism, the Coorgs are Kshatriyas (warrior class). Coorg women occupy a predominant place in the community. Among these highly educated women, there is no dowry system, unlike other Indian communities.

November to May are the ideal months to visit Coorg when the weather is pleasant. The South-West monsoon sets over the hills in June and the monsoon lasts for three to four months.

Summer season in Coorg
The summer season in this magnificent hill station begins in the month of March and lasts till May. Though, during summers the temperature is a little on the warmer side but the maximum temperature does remains under 34°C.

Monsoon season in Coorg
The region welcomes the monsoon season in the months from June to September. Heavy rainfall occurs during this season especially in the month of June. To embrace the magic of rain and fragrance of the hill station, a number of visitors from different parts of the world love to visit Coorg.

Winter season in Coorg
Winter begins in Coorg in December and lasts till February. The minimum temperature of this beautiful hill station remains above of 13°C. The climate remains quite cool and pleasant. This season also attracts a good number of tourists. This is the best time to visit Coorg and enjoy a memorable vacation here.

Coorg is the home of authentic Kodava cuisine. Like most areas in and around the town, the platter revolves around the staple rice. A speciality of the area is Sannakki, a fragrant kind of rice. Non-vegetarian preparations of pork, meat and fish are also popular.

Other local favorites include Akki Oti (Rice chapatis), a huge variety of Pattus (a steamed dish), Pulvas, preparations of pork, dried fish, crab meat, Baimbale Curry (a preparation of Bamboo Shoots), Kumm Curry (a preparation of wild mushrooms) and Chekke curry (made using unripe jackfruit). Also find a wide range of teasing chutneys here, as well as unique pickles of pork, fish, mushrooms, bitter orange and tender bamboo.

A number of restaurants also serve many vegetarian dishes along with typical Indian, Chinese, Continental and Tibetan cuisines as well as popular South-Indian cuisine consisting of dishes like dosa, vada, idli, sambhar and rasam.

The picture-perfect hill station of Coorg in Karnataka is famous worldwide for its breathtaking natural beauty and serene environs. With its sprawling coffee estates, Coorg happens to be one of the major producers of coffee in India. On top of every shopper’s list for Coorg is the world famous variety of coffee - Coffea Arabica and Coffea Robusta, which are grown here. The unadulterated organic coffee here carries a strong aroma that tempts every tourist to buy packets of coffee for themselves and as souvenirs for their folks.

Coorg is known for its organic farming and organic products. Signature spices like pepper, cardamom, cumin, mint, oregano, sage, basil, bay leaves, thyme, garlic, and rosemary is found here in bulk. Coorg is also famous for its dry fruits like cashews, raisins and figs.

Besides coffee and spice plantations, Coorg is also famous for its juicy and pulpy oranges. Coorg oranges are unique because they are easy to peel off and carry a tinge of citric tang and sweetness in them. Local chocolates and homemade wines are also a speciality here. Coorg cultivates grapes and is famous for producing homemade wine and toddy, a kind of liquor made from coconut palm.

Of course, you cannot take leave from Coorg without buying a saree as a souvenir for yourself or your loved one. When you consider Coorgi sarees at their core, they're actually a timeless sartorial staple that consistently pops up on every big or small happy occasion thanks to their festive edge.

By Air : Coorg does not has its own airport, the nearest airport being Mangalore, which is approximately 135 km away. Mangalore airport has good connectivity with direct flights from different parts of the country. The airport has scheduled flights to major Indian cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and Hyderabad.

 

By Train : The nearest railway station from Coorg is at Mysore, about 120 km away. Mysore is well connected to major cities in India by an extensive rail network. The rail stations in Mangalore and Hassan can also be conveniently used for reaching Coorg.

 

By Road : Coorg is well connected by road with all major cities in Karnataka. Cities like Mysore (120 km), Mangalore (135 km), Bangalore (260 km), and Hassan (115 km) are linked by excellent roadways with Coorg. The drive is worth it as one could enjoy miles of greenery, thick forests, acres and acres of coffee estates and shimmering streams.