Coorg or Madikeri is right out of a detective story. With its rolling green plains, smoky hills, and lush tea plantations, it isn’t too difficult to imagine this place as a one of Satyajit Ray’s or Saradindu’s detective tales’ locations. Coorg has a lazy charm that seeps into your bones but the scope for activities remains uncountable nonetheless. Every sort of person, starting from someone into adventure sports to animal lovers to passionate photographers, nobody stands the risk of being left out. Recorded history of Kodagu (formerly Coorg) goes back to the ninth or tenth centuries.
There are several activities to choose from while you are in Coorg. You can do the white water rafting, trekking, bird watching and visiting wildlife parks. Even fishing is a possible tourist activity here.
Coorg has the Raja’s Seat. This is where the kings would watch the sunset with their consort. You can imagine how exotic the view might have been. It was fit for the kings after all. The Omkareswar Temple built in 1820 has a very interesting architecture that clearly reflects the Mohammedan style. Then, there’s the Madekari Fort built in the distant 1600s and reconstructed llater by Tipu Sultan bears witness to many a battle lost and won. It has an exquisite architecture and is wonderfully replenished with a museum, a chapel, a temple and even a prison.
The treats for the rooky historians don’t stop here. The Indo-Sarcenic Gaddige houses the tombs of many a great kings here. Tibet finds a place at Bylekuppe here. This place is full of colorful monasteries. We next move to the Abbey Falls where the Kaveri River flows down. The view from the hanging bridge shouldn’t be missed. We now move to the sacred spot of Talacauvery wherefrom river kavery originates. It has got beautiful scenic beauty around. The river rafters should buckle up their shoes because the Barapole River enables rafting. Last but not the least would be the heart-breakingly beautiful Somwarpet that has ample coffee plantations to gorge the eyes on. This place is also considered sacred and the Gowri festival sees much ceremonial pomp but the animal lovers are probably feeling neglected by now. There’s really nothing to worry about because Somwarpet has the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary where people can go say hi to the inmates. Coorg, in short, is a ‘complete place’
Intrepid trekkers can visit Brahmagiri. You’ll need a guide to help you navigate this area. You will be sighting wildlife such as elephant, tiger cat and leopard cat. Another specialty of the region is the toddy. The toddy is a potent alcoholic mix made from pine trees or coconuts that will make you tipsy in no time. There are also many local wines made from local fruits.
Don’t miss the local coffee and oranges during your stay here. Peppers and cardamoms accentuate the spicy food of the district. There is a little more meat here than in the rest of India. However, there are plenty of options for vegetarians too. Don’t miss the pandi curry, akki roti or kadubittu. Souvenir hunters can find local honey or traditional costumes and weapons.
While you are driving in Coorg, better watch out for errant animals along the roads. Leeches thrive in rainy season here, so pack some salt or cigarettes to wean them away. Coorg climate is pleasant round the year. If you are trekking in unfamiliar areas, take a reputable guide. This being a hill station and there’s no train connectivity. Trains and planes fly into Mysore. It is 120 KMs from Mysore so, you can either drive or get into a bus. Mangalore and Bangalore are also well connected to Coorg.
Coorg (Kodagu) - THINGS TO KNOW
Hill-station, Trekking, Scenic
Kodava takk, Kannada, Hindi, English