Officially called Kodagu, and popularly known as the ‘Scotland of India’ is the most sought after and popular hill station of Karnataka after Chikmagalur. Coorg’s landscape is always foggy amidst high mountains and Kodavas, natives of the place. Kodavas speak, Kodagu, Kodava or Kannada. Being the largest coffee producer in India, it is also a place with highest recorded rainfall across India. The best time to visit Coorg is between October and May, peak season being February.
Coorg is an amalgamation of forests, coffee plantations, tea gardens and orange groves.
Some of the popular tourist destinations here are:
Abbey Falls: Located only 1km from Madikeri, Abbey falls is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Coorg. Spice plantations, coffee estates, rich green plains and the Kaveri river posing as waterfalls falling over huge rocks, Abbey Falls is a hike to admire for a long time.
Dubare Elephant Camp
Get up close and witness the glorious elephants in their natural habitat at Dubare elephant camp. Home to over 150 elephants, you can have the chance to see the elephants being given baths, being fed and trained. The enchanting environment also includes other wildlife like crocodiles, peacocks, wild dog, and sloth bear, which can all be seen during a coracle boat-ride through the camp.
Nagarhole National Park
Wildlife is abundant in Coorg, and the Nagarhole National Park is quite the perfect spot for watching wildlife. Over 270 species of birds and a great number of animals can be spotted through the dense forests which have open lines across the river-banks to be able to see the wildlife clearly. During the summer and the winter, it is much easier to spot as many animals as possible than other times. The natural surrounding is also quite rewarding around the wildlife sanctuary.
Madikeri is home to Raja’s Seat, which is one of the most picturesque points of Coorg. Raja’s Seat is a sunset point from where the kings of Coorg watched glorious sunsets with an incomparable view of the hills and valleys, coupled with musical fountains, periodic flowers inside a charming garden that make it such a popular tourist location of Coorg.
Coorg is not only rich in nature, but it also boasts of a deep culture, which can be witnessed at Bylakuppe, the second biggest Tibetan settlement located in India. The Namdroling Monastery at Bylakuppe is built with the typical Tibetan way of architecture. The monastery is home to nearly 5000 monks and nuns, it is renowned as a center for pure upholding of Buddhist teaching.
Located 44km from Madikeri, take a bus to TalaKaveri at Brahmagiri hills and witness the birthplace of this holy river. Talakaveri stands at a height of 1,276 m. above sea level. A tank or kundike has been erected on a hillside by kodavas, at the place that is said to be the origin. It is also marked by a small temple, and the area is frequented by pilgrims. The river originates as a spring feeding this tank, the water is then said to flow underground to emerge as the Kaveri river some distance away.
Kodavas worship nature and they hold the river Cauvery in the highest regards. To them, the holy river is their mother. In the puranas it is mentioned that Lord Brahma summoned Coorgs during the birth of the river. So all the Coorgs were the first to take a dip when the Goddess appeared and turned into the river.