Coorg (Kodagu) a beautiful hill station in the southern Indian state of Karnataka lies nestled in the Western Ghats like a shimmering emerald, rich, green, and splendorous. Yet ‘undiscovered’, Coorg is a leafy hilly paradise which is so culturally and geographically different from the rest of the state that somewhere along the climb, up from the plateau, it’s Jack-at-the-top-of-his-beanstalk-déjà vu.
Fair and robust, this strong martial society may have been a warrior tribe from further north in India or perhaps even Kurdistan or Arabia. Nature worshippers, with traditions very different from mainstream Hinduism, these people make equal rights for women a redundant issue! Kodava women can own and inherit property, choose their partners and are a strong voice in the community.
Besides its natural beauty and historical attractions, Coorg boasts of the highest number of Golf Courses in India.
How to Reach Coorg?
By Air : Kodagu has no airport. The nearest airport is Mangalore (135 km).You can also choose to fly to Bangalore (260 km) which is serviced by many national and international carriers. From the airport take a cab and be prepared to face a long journey to Coorg or you can even take a bus to get to your destination.
By Rail : There is no direct railway connection to Kodagu. However, you can travel by train to Mysore, Mangalore, Hassan first and then plan your journey by road- either by taking a bus or hiring a car to Kodagu.
By Road : Madikeri, the main town in the Kodagu region, is well connected by bus to Mysore, Bangalore, Mangalore and Hassan. From Mysore it is 3 hours by road, from Bangalore six hours, from Mangalore four and from Hassan 3 1/2 hours. Most bus services are state-run and they get you to Coorg in considerably less time.
Best Time to Visit Coorg
While Coorg can be visited most times of the year, November to April are great months to visit Coorg as the weather is cool and nature is at her verdant best in the hills and vales. It’s a good time for sightseeing and to be outdoors. Summers come in from March and stay on till May, winters start from December and continue till February and bring in soothing weather. The weather is unpredictable and so it is always best to carry woollens as it can get chilly during the night time.
Try and avoid the rainy season in Coorg between the end of June and September but be sure to pack an umbrella while visiting anytime of the year as the heavens have an unpredictable way of pouring down when you least expect it.
Things to do in Coorg
This hilly paradise, features exciting list of things to do. Coorg offers you to experience nature at its best. Hike through the coffee shrubs or spice plantation and head towards the lovely Abby Falls. Enjoy a peaceful time in the lush green hills and smell the scented unruffled breeze. For adventure enthusiasts Coorg offers trekking in the highest Tadiandamol peak. Try peaceful angling in River Cauvery and soak in the stunning scenes around.
Take a walk in beautiful forests surrounded with wreath of water bodies or visit the Dubare Forest in particular. This forest is situated on an island and has the state run ‘Elephant Training Camp,’ Visit this place to witness the daily routines of tamed elephants and get a chance to lie with them in river water, pat, scrub and clean them.
The Tipu Sultan’s Fort and various temples ensure the history lovers and religious travellers to have a great time. Try appetizing Coorg cuisine cooked in lots of fresh coconut, spices and curry leaves. Don’t forget to shop for some honey, aromatic coffee and spices for your friends and family. You can also visit nearby Bylakuppe to buy local handicrafts, eat some steaming momos and witness the Tibetan culture.
Places Near Coorg
Some of the interesting places near Coorg that you can visit on a day trip are mentioned below for your convenience.
Bylakuppe the largest Tibetan settlement in South India is just 40kms from Madikeri or Mercara. Visit here to enter a different world - smiling Tibetan faces greet you everywhere and there is general feeling of bonhomie in the air. Be sure to try the delicious momos you get here and shopaholics can buy some authentic Tibetan thangkas and other handicrafts.
Nagarhole National Park set at 94 kms from Coorg is a great wildlife park renowned for tiger sightings, amongst other animals like elephants, hyenas and jackals to name a few. Makes for an interesting visit for the outdoor enthusiast.
Hotels in Coorg – Choice is Yours
There are numerous hotels in Coorg ranging from 3-star, 4-star and 5-star deluxe to budget hotels.