Posted 01 September 2022

Six reasons why Coorg should be your next holiday in the hills

Fondly called the Scotland of India, Coorg has lush green forests and towering misty mountains. Located in the western region of Karnataka, Coorg was previously called Kodagu, but the British called it Coorg. It is blessed with beautiful and clear blue skies throughout the year and is frequented by not only coffee lovers, but also photographers, food connoisseurs, adrenaline junkies, and nature lovers.

The winding roads in the beautiful city reach the thriving coffee plantations, and pepper vines, making for picturesque scenery and road trips. The city is rich in history and culture, and apart from the natural beauty, there are monasteries, temples, and cultural events. With something for everyone, Coorg is an extremely popular destination among tourists who are looking for a quick, quiet and comfortable weekend getaway.

Read on to know the top 6 reasons to plan a trip to Coorg:

1. Coffee plantations

Think of Coorg, and lush, bright green coffee plantations come to mind. The coffee county of Coorg is spread over many acres, along with pristine rivers and streams, and a few waterfalls that emerge amid the scenic landscape. The coffee plantations are a must visit for every coffee lover, and it is a unique experience. Most of the aromatic and flavourful coffee that makes its way to our cups comes from these beautiful Karnataka-based plantations, where they are grown, dried, roasted, and ground to perfection.

For visitors interested in the crop to cup story, many plantations and locals offer plantation walks and trails where they explain the entire process with great enthusiasm and love. A typical walk amid the coffee plantations is a treat to all five senses. In some trails, tourists might be invited to pick the red and green coffee berries off the branches and add them to the wide container provided. Walking through the aromatic Arabica and Robusta coffee is a coffee aficionado's delight, and cardamom and pepper are grown in between.

The region has diverse and rich fauna, with many unique bird species found in the region. Birds like Malabar barbet, Malabar grey hornbill, and the white-cheeked barbet flock to the plantation and are a delight for any serious birdwatcher and ornithologist alike. A visit to coffee plantations is one of the top reasons to plan a trip to Coorg.

Few plantations that are a must-visit are:

  • Karagunda Coffee Plantation
  • Mercara Gold Estate Coffee Plantation
  • Plantation Trails by Tata Coffee
  • Alath Cad
  • Java Hills Estate
  • Natura Vista

2. Raja’s Seat

One of the most popular tourist spots in Coorg, Raja’s Seat literally means the throne of the king in the Hindi language. Located in the town of Madikeri, the spot is picturesque and scenic, while providing a calming and tranquil environment. The place is named Raja’s Seat because it is the place where the kings of Coorg would visit to enjoy the sunset and the breathtaking natural beauty around.

Raja’s Seat is famous for the beautiful views of sunrise and sunsets, which are mesmerising and are sure to captivate your interests. The golden rays of sunlight and lush forests all around make for a wonderful picnic spot. Tourists frequent the spot in the wee hours of the morning to enjoy the sunrise, have a warm cup of coffee, and submit themselves to nature.

Raja’s Seat has a Gandhi Mandap, where the remains of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, have been kept. Apart from this, there is a children’s park, making it a perfect family-friendly place. Raja’s Seat is also home to a toy train that goes around the Seat and attracts not just kids, but adults too. Inside the train, the journey is a lot of fun, providing beautiful views of the natural scenery and delicious snacks.

3. Dubare Elephant Camp

One of the most fun activities in Coorg is to visit the Dubare Elephant Camp where tourists can play and take care of the elephants. Under the care of the forest department of Karnataka, the camp is home to about 150 elephants. The resident elephants of the Dubare Elephant Camp are the very elephants that are showcased during the grand and opulent Mysuru Dussehra festival.

Visitors can bathe the elephants on the banks of river Cauvery, feed them if they arrive early in the morning, and take a ride on them in the jungles located nearby. A trained and professional naturalist takes the visitors through the complicated yet interesting history of the elephants, and their biology and ecology. Guests get to spend about 3 hours with the elephants. They get to see the elephants being bathed with full pomp as oil is applied to their forehead and tusks and then scrubbed. Once the elephants are groomed, the visitors learn how the food is prepared, and then fed. Mahouts will also display how they train the elephants, and how the gentle giants obey commands.

The forests surrounding the camp are home to the gaur, leopards, wild dogs, peacocks, sloth bears, and partridges. During the monsoon season, river rafting is arranged in the stretch near the Dubare Elephant Camp. The camp serves both vegetarian and non-vegetarian delights, and some local cuisines can be arranged as well.

4. Nisargadhama Forest Park

A must-visit for families, friend groups, and even couples, the Nisargadhama Forest Park is a must-visit. The park is a forest resort on an island and is under the care of the forest department of Karnataka. The river Cauvery forms the major part of the park, and the forest is dense and heavy on the flora and fauna.

The Nisargadhama Forest Park is sprawled over 64 acres and was established in 1989. It is widely popular among tourists who are enamoured by the sparkling clear night sky, the chirping of birds, and wish to see the sights of the river flowing through the forest and the soft, golden rays of the sun.

The Nisargadhama Forest Park is one of the top reasons to plan a trip to Coorg, and it has elephant rides that tourists can enjoy. Additionally, there is a deer park and a rabbit park that delight the little children. The river Cauvery blesses the park by flowing through it and offers breathtaking views, especially from the hanging bridge. The river water is quite shallow, and the tourists can even wade across the river on foot, letting the cool water refresh and rejuvenate them.

5. Spectacular waterfalls

Coorg is home to some spectacular waterfalls with sparkling water, which attract not only tourists but also locals. The waterfalls are mesmerising as they gush down the lush green forested hills. During the monsoon season, the waterfalls are especially spectacular and offer excursions, picnic spots, trekking and waterfall rappelling.

Viewing stunning waterfalls is one of the top reasons to plan a trip to Coorg

  • Abbey Falls: Abbey Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in Coorg, and is nestled amidst coffee plantations, and thick forests. These waterfalls are especially busy during October-December, when the rainfall is torrential, making the falls look thicker, and fuller.
  • Iruppu Falls: Lakshman Tirtha river gushes down a great height to make the Iruppu Falls. This waterfall is one of the best for bathing and has stunning green surroundings and beautiful scenic landscapes. It is advised to wear comfortable shoes with good grip as the path is a little slippery. The Iruppu Falls is famous for the Shiva Temple Rameshwara.
  • Chelavara Waterfalls: A must for the adrenaline junkies, water rappelling in the Chelavara Falls is a must. During this adventure sport, tourists will rappel down the rocky and wet surface of the waterfall with the help of a harness. The waterfalls are known as Emepaare which means tortoise - because the rock on which the water falls resembles a tortoise.
  • Devaragundi Falls: One of the lesser known waterfalls, the Devaragundi Falls has spectacular beauty for visitors to marvel at. There are some rock benches to sit on and admire the scenic landscape.

6. Golden Temple

Nothing like its namesake in Amritsar, the Golden Temple in Coorg is like a little slice of Tibet. Coorg is the only place in Southern India with a Tibetan population, and the Namdroling Monastery or the Golden Temple is a stunning monastery. For tourists travelling with children, it is a great experience to introduce them to different traditions, and the surrounding stalls serve delicious thukpa and momos.

Bylakuppe in Coorg is one of the largest Tibetan settlements and is spread across cornfields and divided into camps. The camps are adorned with prayer flags, stupas, and monasteries. The Golden Temple has tall statues of Lord Buddha, Amitayus, and Padmasambhava.

How to reach Coorg?

  • By road: Coorg is well connected to other cities of Karnataka by road, and the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) plies regular buses on the route. Bengaluru, Mangalore, and Mysore are all connected, and it is easy to reach Coorg from these cities. It is advised to take the evening or night bus, so that visitors can reach the destination in the early hours, providing extra time for sightseeing.
    Tourists can also take their own vehicles and drive down from Bengaluru or Mangalore. The stretch of roads is glorious, with beautiful natural beauty.
  • By rail: Coorg does not have its own railway station, so tourists wanting to reach Coorg by train must get off at Mysore, which is the nearest railway station, at about 107 km away. The Mysore Railway Station is connected to all major cities of India. From Mysore, visitors can take either a taxi or a bus. Mangalore and Hassan also have railway stations and are 150 km and 100 km away from Coorg, respectively.
  • By air: Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport provides the easiest way to reach Coorg. IndiGo operates daily non-stop flights to Bengaluru from many major cities, and visitors can arrive at Bengaluru, and then drive down to Coorg.
    Coorg is an extremely popular tourist destination and caters to all sections of society. It provides a welcome break from the daily hustle-bustle, and it is a unique place where visitors can come to unwind and soak in the natural beauty. The coffee plantations of Coorg are famous globally and attract many tourists. The remote and less popular waterfalls also make for beautiful photographs and lush natural beauty. These are some of the top reasons to plan a trip to Coorg.

Packing tips for Coorg

  • Summers: The sun is not as scorching and is very busy and popular among tourists. Light cotton clothes and summer wear should be packed, along with sunscreen, sunglasses and hats. Tourists should also carry salt or matches, as the Western Ghats are full of leeches during this period.
  • Monsoons: The season begins in June and ends in September. During this period, tourists are not that many, as the region gets heavy rainfall, and cool winds. Visitors must carry umbrellas, raincoats, and rubber boots as the roads get slippery. Comfortable shoes and a light jacket is a must.
  • Winters: The days are warm with beautiful sunshine washing over the land, and the nights get a little cool. Visitors must pack warm jackets, scarves, and warm hats. Also, comfortable shoes for trekking, and matches and salt to protect from leeches are advisable.

Weather in Coorg

For tourists visiting Coorg in the summer months, the temperature ranges from 30℃ to 37℃. The monsoon season is cooler, with an average temperature of 20℃. The winter season is the peak tourist season, and the temperatures average to 14℃.

Best time to visit Coorg

The period from October to May is the best time to visit Coorg, as the waterfalls are full of water, just after the monsoon season. In the winters, there is nip in the air, and the lush green landscape is a sight for sore eyes. For the coffee aficionados, Coorg should be visited in February which is when the plantations are in full bloom.

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