A friendly warning to all concerned: One trip to Coorg (Kodagu) and it'll haunt you for the rest of your life. You might leave Coorg, but Coorg will never leave you. Don't blame us if you keep returning to it time and again.
That's Coorg for you- incomparable scenic beauty, lush green valleys, coffee plantations, teak wood forests & majestic mountain ranges. Add to that a strong, brave martial race of Coorgs (Kodavas) that reveres tradition, has a distinct culture and lives life to its fullest.
Coorg is situated on the Western Ghats of Karnataka in South India. For the adventurous at heart, it is an absolute treat. There are trekking, golfing and angling (Mahaseer too!) options available. Religious trips abound on Hindu and Buddhist circuits. Family getaways can be easily arranged. You can also relax your body and mind with special Ayurvedic massages. Coorg is also as trendy and happening as its close neighbour Bangalore.
FESTIVALS: Iruppu, 91 km from Madikeri, is a well-known pilgrim centre, associated with Rama, hero of the Ramayana. A Shiva Temple stands on the bank of the River Ramathiratha. On Mahashivratri day, thousands of pilgrims take a dip in the river.
Coorg enjoys a moderate climate. Winters are pleasantly cool at 15-20 degrees Celsius though during December to February the minimum temperature may go down to 9o C. Summers are only slightly warm at 25-35 degrees Celsius. June, July & August are the months with heavy rainfall. During this season the weather is cool, humid and wet.
EXCURSION: Talacauvery: Talacauvery is 47 km from Madikeri and 9 km from Bhagamandala. Located 145.7 metres above sea level, it is the source of the River Cauvery. It is believed that on Tula Sankaramana day usually on October 17, the spring gushes forth with extra velocity.
Nagarhole National Park: The Nagarhole National Park (93 km) provides excellent opportunity for wildlife viewing. Here, one can see the swift-footed spotted deer, bison, elephant, wild boar and jackal, different species of monkey, and with luck even the mighty tiger. Nagarhole, the game sanctuary, covers an area of 284 sq km with tropical and deciduous forests. The state transport corporation provides transport inside the sanctuary.
Omkareshwara Temple - Coorg
Talcauvery - Coorg
Harangi: Situated near the Kushalnagar in North Coorg, Harangi Reservoir is a popular picnic spot. The reservoir is located at a distance of around 36 km from Madikeri and famous for its treehouses.
Horticulture Research Centre: The Horticulture Research Centre, 24 km from Madikeri, is on the Madikeri-Siddapur-Virajpet road and is run by the government. The best months for a visit to this centre are March and April as it is coffee blossom time in Coorg. One can see the coffee bushes sheltered from the sun's direct rays by tall sentinel-like trees over which dark green pepper vines trail. Stretches of these white flowers exude a heady fragrance and their collective magnificence is an unforgettable sight. When the blossoms give way to berries, the bushes are cropped. The cherry red fruit is then pulped, the separated coffee seeds dried and sent to the curing works.
Attractions and Places to Visit in Coorg
Madikeri: The capital of Coorg formerly called Mercara, Madikeri is often known as the Scotland of India. It has enchanted millions of travellers with its misty hills, lush forests, coffee plantations and breath taking views. Also known for its lovely climate, Madikeri is a world record holder for the cardamom crop.
Kakkabe: Famous for being the largest producer of honey in south east Asia, though most come here for the Padi Igutappa temple. This is Coorg's most important temple and the presiding deity of the Puthari Festival. Built as a hunting lodge, the Nalnad Palace is used as a kiddies' camp, though no one will really mind you pottering around. You could also visit the honey farms.
Nagarhole National Park: Though the name literally means Snake River in Kannada, there aren't too many snakes around. Created from a former raja's hunting grounds, Nagarahole is one of the best game sanctuaries in South India, providing a natural living conditions to several wild animals like elephants, tigers, panthers, rhinos and wild elephants, but one is more likely to see smaller game like gaur, deer, wild dogs and langur. Pleasantly cool round the year, it is a little difficult to reach, which makes it quieter than other parks. This in turn makes it a great place to relax.
Abbi Falls: Just 7 kilometers from Madikeri town are the Abbi Falls, as remarkable and striking a sight as you would see anywhere. The narrow road to Abbi Falls is a combination of steep ups and downs, twists and turns, wriggling through the green and dense foliage of surrounding coffee plantations. Situated on private property, a narrow pathway leads you downward to where the waterfall can be seen.
How to Reach Coorg
By Air: The nearest airport are Mangalore (135 kms) and Bangalore (260 kms).
By Rail: The nearest railheads are at Mysore, Mangalore and Hassan (146 kilometers).
By Road: From Bangalore, there are two routes to Coorg. Both routes are almost the same distance (around 250-260 kilometers). The route via Mysore, is the oft-frequented route. The stretch after Hunsur is scenic and the drive through the coffee plantations is absorbing.