Coorg in Karnataka in South India is a beautiful hill resort. Coorg is famous for dense forests , coffee plantations and the brave Kodava or Coorgi people who are a martial community.Coorg was earlier known as Kodaimalenadu, which in the local language Kannada, means ‘dense forest on a steep hill. Coorg is also known as the Scotland of India because of its hills, picturesque towns and mist-covered slopes.
The district headquartes of Coorg is Maderi, a scenic town and very popular as a holiday destination with urban residents of Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka, who want to spend a pleasant weekend in a scenic hill resort. Madikeri is 252 kms from Bangalore and is situated at a height of 1525 m.
Tourist Attractions in Coorg:
Situated in the middle of Madikeri, this historic fort which was built in the 19th century, contains a museum, a prison,a chapel and a temple.
A beautiful viewpoint in Coorg, this hilltop offers stunning views of the surrounding forests and the view of the sunset is not to be missed. It is said that the kings of Coorg came to this viewpoint to see the panoramic view of their kingdom.
Talakaveri in the Brahmagiri Hills, is the source of the river Kaveri. A perennial spring situated at a height of 4,500 ft is the beginning of this mighty river.
The capital of Coorg formerly called Mercara, Madikeri is often known as the Scotland of India. It has enchanted millions of travellers with its misty hills, lush forests, coffee plantations and breath taking views. Also known for its lovely climate, Madikeri is a world record holder for the cardamom crop.
Famous for being the largest producer of honey in south east Asia, though most come here for the Padi Igutappa temple. This is Coorg’s most important temple and the presiding deity of the Puthari Festival. Built as a hunting lodge, the Nalnad Palace is used as a kiddies’ camp, though no one will really mind you pottering around. You could also visit the honey farms.
Omkareshwara Temple :
It is a old temple with a dome in the middle of a square lake and minarets at each corner, this is a catholic mix of Keralite, Gothic and Islamic architectural styles. Which was built in 1820 by King Lingarajendra.
Cauvery Nisargadhama :
A great place to cuddle up for the night. This 2.5 sq. km. large island in the middle of the River Cauvery, which is a beautiful place to romance.
Bhagamandala & Telecauvery :
At the convergence of the rivers Cauvery, the underground Sujyothi and the Kanike, the Bhangandeshwara temple here has a distinct Kerala touch. Because of the three rivers, it is also called Triveni Sangama. The serene temple has intricate carvings and a copper roof. A dip at the Triveni Sangam nearby is supposed to revive sagging spirits, but take prior permission at the temple.
Every October 17, on Tulasankranama, thousands come here to swim and pray. The source of this long river, is on the top of the hill called Brahmagiri. It is 1535 metres above sea level. Steps lead up to the Brahmagiri peak, from where a panoramic view of Kodagu meets the visitor.
Bus & Taxi: Buses leave Madikeri every hour, and take about 90 minutes to reach. The ride is very scenic.
Nagarhole National Park :
Though the name literally means Snake River in Kannada, there aren’t too many snakes around. Created from a former raja’s hunting grounds, Nagarahole is one of the best game sanctuaries in South India, providing a natural living conditions to several wild animals like elephants, tigers, panthers, rhinos and wild elephants, but one is more likely to see smaller game like gaur, deer, wild dogs and langur. Pleasantly cool round the year, it is a little difficult to reach, which makes it quieter than other parks. This in turn makes it a great place to relax. Jungle safaris are available as elephant rides.
Bus & Taxi: Direct dailies from Mysore and Madikeri. You could also take a bus to Gonikoppal from either of these places, take another to Kutta, and finally hire a jeep.
Irpu Falls :
These scenic waterfalls are situated on the Lakshmanatirtha River. The people of Coorg believe that bathing in the Iruppu Falls will wash ones sins away. On the Holy day of Shivarati, devotees come in large numbers to bathe in these falls.
Bus & Taxi: Direct buses leave Madikeri every couple of hours. You could also catch a bus from Gonikoppal. There are more of those from there.
Situated 8 Km from Madikeri, the beautiful Abbey Falls are a popular tourist attraction in the hill resort of Coorg. The surrounding cardamom and coffee plantations make the Abbey Falls locale a scenic locale, which has been featured in many movies made in Karnataka. The narrow road to Abbi Falls is a combination of steep ups and downs, twists and turns, wriggling through the green and dense foliage of surrounding coffee plantations. This white wall of water creates a misty cloud with its moisture-like spray and descends into a flowing stream to perhaps join with the River Cauvery somewhere in the vicinity.
If you can get off to an early start and if the sky is beautiful with the clouds, take the road to Somwarpet. This 42-kilometer, one-and-half hour drive will surely perk you up. This is the coffee heartland of Coorg. You will pass through some of the finest coffee estates you will ever see. Magnificent trees reaching up to the skies, casting much wanted masses of shade to the coffee plants. It’s one great spread of continuous foliage very gloriously prepared in an extraordinary operation by Nature. Mingled with cardamom and pepper as well. Big, medium or small, they add to the already beautiful and fabulous landscape all around.
Besides being the hub of coffee activity, Somwarpet’s other claim to fame is the Basappa Club. Like the cold stone-walls of taverns where sailors and ship mates would gather to make merry, drink, talk and pick up some gossip, the Basappa Club is frequented by the medium and small gentlemen coffee planters, who meet here to unwind. Except that out here, there are no cold, stonewalls. Instead, one can have a game of Table Tennis or Snooker in this small, but compact club. And there’s plenty of gossip to be picked up, as well.
Apart from the popular sight seeing places, Kodagu district has a whole lot of Trekking Tracks for those who seek adventure in the wild.
How To Reach Coorg
The nearest airport to Coorg is Mysore, which is 120 km. The second nearest is in Mangalore, which is located at a distance of 135 km from it, followed by the Bangalore Airport, located about a distance of 250 km. You can easily fly from any place in India or abroad, to one of these airports, and then board a private taxi, bus, or car for reaching Coorg.
If you plan your tour by road, Coorg has a well-connected network of roads that connects it to most of the important cities in Karnataka. The roadways connect cities like Mysore (120 km), Hassan (115 km), Mangalore (135 km), Bangalore (250 km) to Coorg by a well-maintained system of roadways. You can enjoy the scenic beauty of the place to the fullest, while traveling by road, either in a public carrier or in your own vehicle.
The railhead situated nearest to Coorg is in Mysore, at a distance of 55 kms, and is a drive of two and a half hours from the place. Mysore has an extensive network of railways that easily connects it to the rest of India. One can even avail trains, in the nearby cities of Mangalore or Hassan for getting to Coorg.