Nestled in Karnataka, Coorg aka Kodagu is a popular hill station among the globetrotters. This place is called ‘Scotland of India’ due to its breathtaking landscapes, pleasant weather, wooded slopes and quaint villages.
Places to visit
Splendid view, isn’t it? Called Abbey Falls, this cascading waterfall is situated amidst fragrant cardamom and coffee plantations. Monsoon is the best time to enjoy the magnificent sight of this waterfall. You can walk on the hanging bridge and capture stunning shots of the gushing water.
Nagarhole National Park
Part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, the Nagarhole National Park is one of the protected habitats for endangered species like the tiger and elephant. You can indulge in a wildlife safari to spot leopards, tigers, and rare species of birds while savouring the breathtaking views of the hills and valleys. Plan a trip to this place between February and June as this is the time when the animals come towards the lake to quench their thirst.
Situated in Bylakuppe, the Namdroling Monastery is the largest teaching centre of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Founded in 1963, it is home to nearly five thousand lamas including both monks and nuns. This mini Tibet of South India houses Tibetan mythological paintings and golden idols of Buddha. Popularly known as the Golden Temple, you will be amazed by the golden deer on the rooftop and the intricate work on the pagoda.
Nestled in Madikeri, you’ll find the Raja's Seat inside a beautiful garden of colourful flowers and musical fountains. Visit this garden when the flowering plants are in full bloom. People come to witness the colourful fountains dance to the tune of music. For a wonderful experience, you can visit this place during sunrise and sunset. You’ll fall in love with the splendid view of the green mountains beyond the valley.
Image courtesy: visitingplacesofgreatindia.blogspot.in
During the Festival of Arms aka Kailpodhu, all the weapons and arms are removed. After cleaning them, they’re worshipped before being put to use. It is also the day when men prepare to guard their crops from wild boars; you’ll see a number of sports and entertainment activities being carried out in the open ground.
Kaveri Sankramana is celebrated in October, the auspicious time when the sun enters the Libra sign. The locals visit the holy tank at Talacauvery to take a dip and purify their souls. Dressed in new clothes, the married women worship Goddess Cauvery and offer rice to the deity.
The rice harvest is called Puttari in Coorg. Celebrated in November or December, you’ll see families gathering in their courtyard which is beautifully decorated with flowers and leaves of banana and green mango. Locals go to their paddy fields and fire a gun to mark the beginning of the harvest. People savour different kinds of delicious food items during this occasion.
Bollywood movie - 7 Khoon Maaf starring Priyanka Chopra as the leading lady was shot near the town of Virajpet in Coorg. It’s an adaption of Susanna's Seven Husbands, the short story by Ruskin Bond.
Cuisines to relish
Image courtesy: acookeryyearincoorg.com
When in Coorg, you can tease your taste buds with authentic Coorg cuisines which include Kadambuttu (rice dumpling) served with chicken/pork or Nool Puttu (Idiyappam) with pandi curry at the local restaurants.
Souvenirs to pick
Honey, spices, coffee, Tibetan artefacts, home made chocolates and silk saree.
On the wedding day, the bride wears a brocade saree in the Coorgi style. The groom is dressed up in a churidaar, kurta with a silk sash around the waist and a turban.
The official language of Coorg is Kannada. Other regional languages include Tulu, Kodava and Arebhashe.
You can book a stay at the luxury resorts in Coorg to rejuvenate your senses. Some of them include Orange County, The Tamara, Porcupine Castle and The Ibnii.
Coorg is home to a large number of tribal population. Majority of them depend on hunting, gathering forest produces and subsistence farming. One can get to know of the tribal culture through their festivals and fairs. During these occasions, the local deities like Ayyappa (Shasta) and Bhagavati (Povvedi) are worshipped. These celebrations last from a week to three weeks.
Approximately 156 km from Coorg, lies the picturesque hill station of Chikmagalur. In Kannada language, Chikmagalur translates to younger daughter's town. Legend has it that this place was given as a dowry to the youngest daughter of Rukmangada, the chief of Sakharayapattana town. You can explore this place which is located amidst the dense forests of Western Ghats. It is popular among nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.
There are many ways you can enjoy a holiday here: go for the Mullayanagiri, Kemmangundi or the Baba Budangiri trek, catch a glimpse of the Hebbe Falls and Kalhatti Falls, enjoy wilderness at the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kudremukh National Park and experience spiritual bliss at the Sharadamba Temple, the Hindu temple bulit in honour of goddess Saraswati.
Best time to visit
October to May. However, the pleasant weather makes Coorg a year-round destination.
We recommend: 2 Nights / 3 Days in Coorg @ Rs 12,500
How to reach Coorg
By flight: Mysore Airport, Mangaluru Airport or Bengaluru International Airport
By rail: Mysore, Mangalore or Hassan