If you are the type who likes to mingle with nature, see the snow-like mist romance with mountain slopes, feel the tingle of the cool and gentle breeze, watch the leaves flutter in dance-like movements, hear the sounds of chirping birds fill the air, then Coorg is the place for you.
Often called "the Scotland of India", Coorg is a picturesque charming town situated at an elevation of over 5,000 ft, where the cool bracing wind whips the hair about your faces, as you ramble along the streets that dip and rise delightfully. All about coffee with a fair amount of cardamom and pepper thrown in, breathtaking views surprise you from pretty cottages as you sniff appreciatively, the heady fragrance of coffee blossoms.
Though there is very little to do in this quiet and unhurried hill station, yet you'll wonder at the marvels and mysteries of Mother Nature and her endless enthusiasm, to create spectacular sights, that is every where exemplified in Coorg.
Dubbed as the Scotland of India, Coorg or Kodagu is the home of colorful, robust and fiercely independent martial race - the Kodavas, said to be the descendants of the Greeks (Alexander?s soldiers). Neither Tipu Sultan nor the British ever conquered them and hence to this day all Kodavas, retain the privilege of carrying firearms without a license.
Coorg was a kingdom ruled by the Hoysalas from the 11th to the 14th century AD. Thereafter ruled by the Vijaynagar kings and the Chengalavas, the Wodeyars of Kodagu ruled it from the 17th to the 19th century. Though the British annexed it in 1834 after dethroning Chikkaveerarajendra Wodeyar.
Chief Commissioners administered it till India attained independence. Later in 1952, it was elected as a category C state, and had a representative in the Rajya Sabha before being merged with Karnataka.
The Coorgis or the Kodavas have a distinct and fascinating culture. History has it that they could be descendants of Alexander the Great, when his troops invaded India somewhere around 327 BC. Perhaps, that should explain their unique physical features, of the men being tall and well built.
Coorgi women can be easily identified in the way they wrap around their saris. They pleat the sari at the back unlike other women who pleat the sari in the front. The Kodavas - like any other Indian community - celebrate their festivals with pomp and joy. But most of all, its their reverence for the River Cauvery, whose origins are from their lands.
Therefore, the Cauvery Sankaramana festival each year, takes precedence and is considered to be very sacrosanct. It?s but natural, that they call themselves the children of Cauvery.
Pandhi, Koli and bembla curry, kadumbuttu, noolputu, voti and excellent coffee.
Coffee, honey, cardamom, pepper and oranges ( season).
24 hour coffee shop is an airy retreat, open on two sides and filled with greenery. The spaciousness, the plants and the laidback, old world atmosphere slows down time in a way reminiscent of India's coffee paradise, Coorg. The coffee shop serves an endless choice of snacks, ranging from burgers and chaats to fillet steaks.
Coorg is located in the Southwest corner of Karnataka, South India at an altitude of 5,000 Feet.
The nearest airport is at Mangalore, at 135 Km and is well connected to Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai.
The nearest railhead is Mysore at 120 Km and is well connected to Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi, and Bangalore.
Regular buses operate between Coorg and Bangalore, Mysore, Mangalore, Hassan, Arasikere, Belur, Chikmagalur, Cannanore and Tellicherry.
Coorg is pleasant throughout the year.
Nagarahole is derived from the combination of two Kannada words-nagar meaning snake and hole meaning streams and true to its name a number of streams snake through its rich tropical forests. Situated in the picturesque districts of Coorg and Mysore in southern Karnataka, the Nagarahole National Park was set up in 1955. Once an exclusive hunting preserve of the erstwhile rulers of Mysore, the park is gently undulating with lush green vegetation, swamps and numerous water resources, rendering it an ideal habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. It is home to the four-horned antelope, sloth bear, and jungle cat, civet, spotted deer, elephant, wild dog, flying fox, tiger, panther, Indian bison, sambhar, wild boar, black napped hare, bonnet macaque and pangolin. Cobras, crocodiles, kraits, pythons, vipers, and several species of lizards are also found here. With around 250 bird species including the bee-eater, bulbul, dove, crested serpent, eagle, peacock, hornbill, Malabar pied, alexandrine, woodpecker, warbler, great Indian reed, crested hawk, golden-back parakeet, and the southern tree pie. The park is worth visiting at the height of the dry season, when wild animals can be spotted in large numbers near sources of water.
According to legend, the kings of Kodagu spent their evenings here, enjoying the spectacular sunsets from the top of a hill.
The Omkareshwar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple, built in 1820, is a mix of Islamic and Gothic styles of architecture.
Situated on private property, a narrow pathway of broken twigs and decaying, leads you to the waterfalls. 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. As various streams, congregate in the mountains above, they swell with the monsoon rains and force their way down the mountain slope. Splashing hard against the huge boulders of rock, unmindful of the crevices and hollows, the water drops at enormous speed, accompanied by gushing sounds. An ideal picnic spot with protective railings installed at the edge of the falls, this white wall of water creates a misty cloud with its moisture-like spray and descends into a flowing stream to perhaps, amalgamate with the River Cauvery somewhere in the vicinity.
Situated at the Northern extremity of Mahadevpet, at Madikeri. Four Tombs, Veeraraja, 1811; Lingarajendra, 1820 along with Biddanda Bopu - the Warrior of Veeraraja and Biddanda Somaiah - Bopus son, are seen.
Located in a Shola forest, on the Brahmagiri range, Talacauvery is surrounded by mountains with a picturesque view. The source, which is a tiny spring perennially flowing with water, disappears within a few yards of its emerging, to re-emerge at a sacred site, known as the Triveni Sangam as it emerges at the confluence of 3 rivers - Cauvery, Kannika and the mythical river, Sujyothi. On the occasion of Cauvery Sankaramana, thousands of pilgrims visit Talacauvery, to witness the waters of the Cauvery, gushing out from its source. It is believed that Goddess Cauvery appears in the form of a spring causing the upsurge at the source. The river Cauvery is revered as one of the 7 holy rivers and considered to be the "Ganges of the South". A dip in the holy Sangam at Bhagyamandala completes the Hindu Shradha rites for the departed soul. In the vicinity of the river source, is the Brahamagiri Hill. A steep climb of 300ft - that's 363 steps - brings you to the summit of the Brahmagiri Peak, where according to legend, the 7 great sages meditated.
The district headquarters of Coorg, Madikeri or Mercara is a small sleepy town with one long, zigzag of a narrow road but much to offer to the tourist... Off the Town Hall is Rajas Seat. Legend has it, that the kings of Kodagu would come here to spend the evenings and watch the grand sight of the setting sun, in the deep valley beyond. The view is indeed amazing - sunset or no sunset. The 19th century Madikeri Fort - complete with temple, chapel, prison and a small museum is yet another places to be. Abbey Falls, on the outskirts of Madikeri, is where you can almost breathe the greens as you walk through streams and falls are a typical natural element of the Coorg countryside. Mountaintops, red-tiled roofs of the town, green slopes dotted with white bungalows, memories of Madikeri will linger forever.
BHAGYAMANDALA TEMPLE - Built in the Kerala style, at the confluence of three rivers (the Cauvery, the Kannika and the Sujyothi), the Bhagyamandala temple houses a variety of smaller shrines dedicated to various gods.
IRUPPU FALLS - 48 Km from Virajpet on the way to Nagarahole, Iruppu is a sacred spot on the Brahmagiri range of hills. This place is believed to possess the power to absolve one of all the sins and is hence thronged by thousands of devotees from far and near on Shivaratri. MANGALORE - Mangalore, the district headquarters of Dakshina Kannada, is one of the major cities of Karnataka state. Narrow winding streets, lofty coconut trees, quaint gable-roofed houses, beautiful beaches, temples and churches, the heady fragrance of Mangalore make it unforgettable. SOMWARPET - With the beautiful sky, sailing with the clouds on its bosom, take the road to Somwarpet. You will pass through some of the finest coffee estates you will ever see.