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Coorg - Tourism,Homestays and Places to Visit
Kodagu - nature at it's best !
Coorg or Kodagu is one of the famous tourist destinations in the state of Karnataka in South India. Located at a height of around 1500 mts above sea level, this place is termed as 'Scotland of India'.With lush green forests, Coffee plantations, Orange groves, Spice gardens nestled in enchanting hills, coorg is truly a nature lover's paradise !
Location and details
Coorg or Kodagu is around 250kms from Bangalore city and 120kms from the town of Mysore in Karnataka,India.Situated in the western ghats,it is one of the excellent tourist destinations in south India. The district of coorg is situated in a hilly terrain with cauvery river flowing through it. Brahmagiri, Talakaveri and Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuaries are situated here and so, this place is famous for wildlife and forests. The wonderful coffee plantations of coorg make this place picture perfect and beautiful.The best time to visit coorg is just after the monsoons, sometime in september/october. Slight drizzle of rain enhances the scenic beauty of this place, making it seem heavenly. The nearest railway station would be Mysore and nearest airport is at Mangalore (180kms from here).
When in coorg, make sure that you take advantage of the homestays available. You can get excellent home stays in middle of coffee plantation, with the aroma of coffee lingering in the air. There are lots of estates with huge bunglaws whose owners arrange for the homestay. The services in the homestay can vary depending on the budget, but the experience of staying inside a plantation or estate is unbeatable. You also have some lovely resorts located around ammathi, which is an hour's drive from coorg. Alternatively, if you prefer to stay in the town itself, you do have a good number of budget and 3 star hotels in madikeri. Here are some of the best hotels in ammathi, kabini and madikeri. I've been to couple of these places and my personal favorite is Kadkani.
- Homestays - Bethel Home stay, Bell Home, Kabbe Holidays, Polycad estate
- Best Resorts - Orange County(5 Star), Club Mahindra(5 star), Kadkani river resort(4 star)
- Budget hotels - Aleth cad, Silent valley cottage, Hotel Coorg International (3 star), Hotel Misty Woods (3 star)
Places to visit
Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery
It is a buddhist temple in a tibetian settlement. Huge golden statues of lord budha attract everyone to this place. You would forget that you are in south india when you are here, you'd think that you were in tibet or nepal.In fact, this place is also called as little tibet !
This is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was built around 1820 by king lingaraja and it's architecture is quite different from those of other temples in south india. I found it to be quite peaceful and calm, compared to other crowded temples that we generally visit.
It's a nice picnic spot with lots of greenery and play area for kids. Cauvery river flows nearby and you can step into the shallow waters here. The hanging bridge, elephant safari and Deer park are also nice.
Dubare Elephant camp
Although this place is an elephant training camp related to forest department, tourists throng this place to watch the mighty elephants take their bath. The tourists are also allowed to help the mahouts in giving a nice scrub to the giants.This place can be smelly coz of so many elephants around, it is still fun to watch them play in water. You can even get an elephant ride here.
It is said to be the place with cauvery river originates. There is a sacred temple here making it some sort of a piligrim centre, but what attracts people here is a view point at a height of more than three thousand feet. However, I have seen better view points so I don't think it is that great. It's worth a visit just for the temple.
Abby and Irpu falls.
Irpu falls are situated in the Brahmagiri hill range alongside laxman thirtha river and Abby is a scenic waterfall near madikeri. Although it looks great, you are not allowed to enter it, can only watch it from a distance.The only thing you can do is to take snaps. If you are going around summer, you can skip this place altogether as the water fall would just look like a small stream. Heard of some balmuri falls near srirangapatna where we can get into the water, I am yet to check it out.
Apart from this, there are few other places like Bhagamandala , which is a sangamam of three rivers - Kanika, Cauvery and Sujyothi and Nagarhole national park, which is a wildlife park comprising of three forests spread over the districs of coorg and mysore. Elephants, Bison, Deer, Sambur and bear are few of the animals that can be generally spotted. Heard there are others, but you rarely see. In Madikeri, you also have Raja seat, Iguthappa temple which you can check out if you have time.
People and shopping
People of this place are called Kodavas and they speak Kodava takk , Kannada , Tulu and Malayalam. Since this is a tourist destination, most of the shop keepers do talk english/ hindi. From my personal experience, this is not a good place for shopping. You need to bargain heavily and most of the items that I saw were over priced.
However, there are two things that should not be missed - Freshly grounded Coffee and Pure Delicious mountain Honey - You would get the best of their kind here and you would just love it !