Coorg or Kodagu located in the south-west part of Karnataka bordering Kerala is around 260kms from Bangalore. Called as the Scotland of India, Coorg is every bit mesmerizing to oneself. Whether it is for coffee plantations, spices, its culture or people, coorg has become a latest tourist hot spot and people from all over the world. Coorg is one of the top hill stations in India.
If you planning to arrive in Bangalore, I would suggest to take an early morning flight as the drive to Coorg is approximately 6 hours. Check in to some nice resort near Pollibetta area as mostly all tourist places are closer to this area. I stayed at ‘Coorg Cliff Resort’ and the experience was more than wonderful. The Staff is very helpful and courteous. The resort is located on a cliff with an excellent view of the valley. The infinity pool adds to the beauty of the resort.
After check in and lunch, visit Nagarhole National Park. Safari timings are 6am to 8am or 3pm to 5pm. Tickets are reasonably priced at Rs 300. Nagarhole wildlife sanctuary extending over 284 sq. km. You can expect to sight wild animals such as elephants, peacock, deer, panther, tiger, etc. The thrill of watching an elephant pass by in the open jungle is unlike any other. Tourist prefer wildlife safari also, check wildlife safari in India.
People wrap up early by 5 here, so after Safari, enjoy a nice dinner at the hotel or you can a nice bonfire organised by the hotel.
After breakfast enjoy a nice plantation walk. The naturist and plantation manager Mr Lohit is very well-informed and gives you an extraordinary tour of the place. Coorg is famous for coffee, cardamom, pepper and honey. Learn firsthand the difference between an Arabica and Robusta, and explore the spice scented pathways. By end of it learn the difference between different types of plants and trees.
Around 11 am leave for Barapole River Rafting. The river is picturesque and a ride of scenic delights. On either side of the river are forested areas. The Barapole River has rapids between 02 and 04. The length of the rapid is generally 5 to 6 km. Even though this is a short distance, it is a thrilling ride. Tickets for rafting generally depend on the season but usually it is ranged between Rs 800 to Rs 1250. Instructors are well-informed and add fun quotient to the sport.
After river rafting proceed towards ‘Iruppu Falls’ Iruppu waterfall is one of Coorg major tourist attractions. Iruppu is a sacred place and is located in south Coorg on the Brahmagiri range of hills. Tumbling through the hills, the Lakshantirtha river thunders 60m into the valley. Flowing northwest from here to join another rivulet Ramantirtha, it changes course northeastward to join Cauvery in Mysore district. The walk from the main gate to the fall is approximately 1 kms; it is an easy terrain amidst jungle. Brahmagiri Hill, at 1608 m height, is a scenic tourist attraction. The top of Brahmagiri Hill is well forested and has a lot of wildlife.
DINNER: Try local cuisine.
Rice really is the heart of Kodava cuisine, as rice is grown abundantly in the valley, it is the staple food here. Kodava cuisine make rice preparations in every form and creativity. From the hearty Akki Otti (rice flatbread), to the eternal oduputtu (something like dosa) you can find something or the other to fulfil your taste bud. I started with a chicken starter which was cooked to perfection. Instead of ordering roti, try rice noodles with seasoned and spicy gravy.
DAY 3 in Coorg:
Check out from Pollibetta and head towards Madikeri. After breakfast, around 9.00 AM, head towards Madikeri to visit the following tourist spots:
Built in the 19th century this temple is a mix of Gothic and Islamic styles. It is one of the 12 revered Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. This temple is very ancient and a powerful place on earth. This temple is the main centre of pilgrimage. One can also enjoy boat ride in Narmada river. Other than main temple, other temples in Omkareshwar are Panchmukhi Ganesh Temple, Mamleshwar Temple, Vrahadeshwar Temple, Govindeshwar temple, etc. The temple is Similar to a Muslim dargah with a Linga installed near the entrance door.
TALACAUVERY & BHAGAMANDALA:
Talakaveri is origin point of river Kaveri.It is around 50 km.from Madikeri Town and at the height of 3850 feet(approx.) The climb of 400 steps to hilltop is worth a lifetime…superb view of the entire valley. No photography is allowed inside the main campus. People perform pooja also at the river origin point. Water is carried away in pitchers, being sacred water. Besides being a pilgrimage centre, Talacauvery is known for its natural beauty.
Have Lunch at either ‘Taste of Coorg’. If you like to try local cuisine I would strongly recommend this place. Else, you can try ‘Rain Tree’ which is just around the corner.
Here after lunch check into the resort. We stayed at Vivanta by Taj, Madikeri which is around 6kms from main town. Enjoy your tryst with nature with the 360 view, infinity pool. It is an excellent place for rest & recuperation among luxury & rain forest. 180 acres of lush green Property recharges your lungs. Very peaceful, away from maddening crowd like in other locations. Relax all day and enjoy the resort. They have some amazing restaurants to fulfil any kind of taste buds. ‘Nellaki’ serves some authentic Coorg dishes while ‘Fern Tree’ has multi cuisine spreads.
The breakfast at Vivanta is not to be missed! Check out and head towards Dubare Elephant camp. This is another scenic spot located 15 km from Kushalnagar famous for its elephant training camp. You can also go for rides on the Gentle Giants. You should ideally reach this place by 10 am if you wish to experience Elephant bathing. Else, you can experience Elephant rides as well.
Later head towards Tibetan monastery, near Kushalanagar is one of the largest Tibetan settlements in south India. Amidst quiet surroundings and agricultural fields, stands an impressive edifice of divinity. The Namdrolling Monastry accommodates thousands of Tibetian refugees and has emerged as a tourist destination and learning centre for Tibetian Buddhism. The place has a very calming effect, with three gold statues of Buddhist monks in the main hall. Sitting for a few minutes in front of the three stunning statues makes you forget all your worries. Skip the cafes here; you can only try momos, which are famous here at Buddha cafe or Golden star hotel.
Head back to Bangalore and if you still hungry you can maybe stop at Anand Bhavan or A2B and try South Indian Thalli. This place is packed with travellers; hence grab an empty seat when you see one. Reach Bangalore and catch you late evening flight and take back memories of this beautiful place.