“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”Gustav Flaubert
Coorg is relatively an easy weekend getaway from Bangalore, Mysore and Malabar region in Kerala.. So plan your trip well in advance to get the best accommodation options.
Coorg is known for its Coffee Plantations.It is ideally not a hill station but a district named as Kodagu (Coorg) in the Indian state of Karnataka and has to offer many locations for sightseeing, and road trips in and around 80~100 kms of radius.
My family and I visited Coorg in January 2015.Coorg secures the top-rated position among Karnataka tourism for being the most travelled destination. Coorg is a perfect place for both shorter or longer duration trips. You can easily keep 2-3 days, if you are planning for a trip to Coorg.
It was the British Planter community who affectionately coined the term ‘The Scotland of India’ for Coorg. Most of the planters were Scots and the uncanny similarities between both places earned Coorg that nickname. Also like Scotland, Coorg is mountainous, misty and cool.
Places that we visited:
If you’re in Coorg, most likely you’ll find yourself in Madikeri at some point. Madikeri is a beautiful hill station and the headquarters of Coorg.
Bylakuppe (A little Tibet)(Tibetan Monastery Golden Temple):
In the midst of all the coffee and forest is a surprising little Tibetan settlement in the form of Bylakuppe. Around 40 km southwards of Madikeri, the Namdroling monastery is located in Bylakuppe. It is built on the land donated to the Tibetian refugees by the Government of India. This is the second largest Tibetan settlement after Dharmsala. The interior of the temple has some of the largest and most fascinating Buddha statues.
The sunset amidst the mountains is the most mesmerizing sight from Raja Seat. There is also a garden with loads of flowers which makes it even more beautiful.
Located on the River Kaveri, Abbey or Abbi falls is one of the best waterfalls in Karnataka. During the monsoons, it is very high in current and density. It is located inside a coffee plantation. A hanging bridge is also there just in front of the falls.
Nisargadhama is a island which is surrounded by bamboo groves on all sides. Here you can find a number of sandalwood and teak trees. You can also do boating. Personally we did not like the place.
Mandalpatti 4 Wheel Drive Jeep Safari:
This is something that you should definitely do if you’re in this area. Another instance , when I really became a big fan of Mahindra Vehicles.The road trip from Madikeri to Mandalpatti is a nature lover’s dream come true. It will also arouse the interests of any adventure seeking traveller. Mandalapatti viewpoint is 20 KM away from Madikeri. You can drive till Mandalpatti checkpoint in any car, but from thereon you have to hire a forest department Jeep. The jeep will take you through the narrow roads, hairpin bends, coffee gardens and of course the Abbey Falls to a hill which is incredibly beautiful.
Dubare Elephant Camp:
If you get your timing right, you can even participate in the bathing, scrubbing and feeding of the elephants in the Dubare camp.
Structured in the Gothic and Islamic architectural styles, Omkareshwara temple is devoted to Lord Shiva. It is open all days of the week and takes just an hour to view the entire temple. There is a huge water tank with fishes which makes the place even more beautiful. At the entrance, there is a copper plate that explains the temple’s history.Omkareshwar Temple is at a walking distance from Raja’s Seat
Other Attractions Nearby: (within 50 kms)
If you are a foodie, don’t forget to taste some Coorg food (Pork and Home made Wine). Personal recommendation would be try some varieties of pork especially Pork Fry + Rice balls or Pandhi Curry + Rice.We tried 2 restaurants ‘East End Hotel’ and ‘Coorg Cuisine’. Both of them were good.
There are lot of excellent homestays and resorts in Coorg.
Also you can look for costly options like Tamara, Windflower Resort, Vivanta By Taj and so on.
We stayed in Bird of Paradise. Overall the Home stay was good. Probably one of the very few home stays having a swimming pool.Please don’t expect any hill top view .There are some very good paintings on the trees within the campus. This is very near to Buddhist Monastery.
Another place that we stayed was Sri Venkateshwara residency, Madikeri: Location of the hotel is nice, It is situated in the ghat road from Madikeri and is little far from the city center.
How to get there:
By Air: Mangalore Airport is about 150 kilometers away and is the nearest airport to Coorg.
By Bus: Mangalore, Mysore and Bengaluru have daily bus (KSRTC deluxe buses) services going to and from Coorg.
By Train: 100 kilometers away, Mysore Railway station is the closest to Coorg.
Self Drive: Fly to Bengaluru and drive to Coorg. A 5 hour journey and a delightful road trip.