Coorg : Welcome to India's Scotland

You'd think an artist dreamed up Coorg.

Picture this: 1,593 sq miles of undulating topography carpeted in just about every shade of green possible, wreathed over by a gauzy stole of thin white mist.

Coorg-4.jpg

Bamboo, sandalwood, rose-wood forests.Apiaries making heavenly honey. Murmuring streams and rivulets, children of the mighty Cauvery, herself born within the realm, wending her way swiftly at times, languorously at others, through her land.

Waterfalls, deep rivers, paddy fields, sloping glades , grassy downs. Coffee bushes studded with red berries. Pepper, cardamon, oranges , nutmeg, turmeric , lemon grass... A land fecund beyond belief.

Flowers like the jasmine, the Coorg rose and the Coorg lilac in a riot of Colors. Denizens including elephants, the Malabar squirrel, tigers, bison , spotted deer, wild dogs and monkeys.

IMG_20180605_184250.jpg

The highlanders , martial race of women and men who compel a second and even third glance with their chiselled profiles, stately bearing and striking dress.

And oh yes!, Crisp air-conditioned weather.

Things to do and see

Coorg, was one of the South's better kept secrets. Then the honeymooners discovered it. After them came the trekkers. In the trekker's wake came families looking for a 're-change' holiday.

Soon corporates were here and started roaming around these hills. And now, Coorg is fast becoming a backpacker's paradise.

Coorg-10.jpg

There are those who say the real Coorg lies in the south. That's where civilisation more or less falls away leaving just jungle, wildlife, water. Get yourself a vehicle and drive through Coorg at a leisurely pace, stopping every now and then to smell the coffee-scented air.

MADIKERI FORT

Originally a mud fort, Madikeri fort was rebuilt with stone by Tipu Sultan. Tipu ruled Coorg for a brief period in the 18th century. Inside the fort is the palace of the Lingayat rulers, a simple double-storey structure, a pale reflection of the grand places seen elsewhere.

RAJA'S SEAT

One kilometre from the bus station at Madikeri, this was where the Kodagu kings would view the many-splendoured sunrises and sunsets.

The view encompasses emerald valleys , parrot green paddy fields and in the distance, the grey-blue crags of the western ghats.

Seen at night, with a gibbous moon suspended above, it's a mesmerising view.

ABBI FALLS

2018-06-06_11.15.59_1.jpg

Abbi in Kodava dialect means 'Falls'. This beautiful waterfall is 5kms from Madikeri inside a privately-owned coffee estate and a big hit with locals and travelers alike.

OMKARESHWARA TEMPLE

Built by Kodagu king, Lingaraja in 1820, the temple is remarkable for its shape borrowed from the Mohammedan style, with an impressive central dome and four minarets , which are surrounded by Basvas or sacred bulls. On the top of the dome sits, a glided ball, with weathercock.

Special mention must be made of the window frames and sculpted blocks with solid brass bars. A large tank in front of the temple enhance the serenity.

ADVENTURE

Coorg is a trekker's paradise, so get those boots on and get moving. Up and down hills through coffee and pepper plantations, alongside the graceful Cauvery and myriad little streams, whether it's leisurely ramble or a purposeful trek, its most satisfying... And great fun!

Trekking

FISHING is also a popular indulgence, as the rivers are well-stocked with Mahseer.

Cauvery Nisaragadham(28km) : Around Madikeri is a man-made island just 2kms from Kushalnagar on the Mysore-Madikeri road, spans 65 sprawling acres. A hanging bridge, machans (tree-top shelters), pergolas and log cabins make this a lovely picnic spot. A canteen , deer park, pedal boating and elephant ride facilities are on offer.

Bylekuppe(35km) : This town is home to the largest settlement of Tibetans in South India. The attractions here are the awe-inspiring Namdroling Monastery, the flea market and little hole-in-the-wall eateries which serve momos.

WHERE TO EAT

All the places in Madikeri serve up clean and simple local fare.

The Kodavas have a way with pork (pandi curry), fowl (Koli curry) and mango and their akki rotis and kadumbuttus are a treat.

Crabmasala.jpg

Rice and pork is quiet the staple here so it helps if you have a partiality for both.

The Raj Darshan is a popular way station for a hot meal. Almost every roadside stall serves the wonderful coffee of Coorg , but of course. Coorg International is very popular, serving all kinds of cuisine.

Hill town, Amrit , Chitra and Brahmagiri are other favourites.

Coorg is the land of coffee beans and beautiful roads.

IMG-20180607-WA0013.jpg

Tropical and deciduous forests and belts of swampy ground at the head of small streams and a host of wildlife ensure this is a must-see when visiting South India.

We await your arrival at this beautiful land of peace.

Book your off-beat experience at, www.zostel.com

Crafted By, Anushka Arora


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE...