Today the #XploreBharat Blog Train has come to a halt at Coorg from the serene and spiritual Pondicherry on Prerna Wahi’s blog. The next stop of this #XploreBharat Blog Train is Aalo at Ajit’s blog musings.
My parents have a lifelong membership of Club Mahindra Resorts. So when we were looking for available Mahindra resorts during Ganpati holidays, Coorg came up with high recommendation. The time was right for a monsoon holiday in Coorg and Mahindra Resort in Madikeri was available. Without wasting much time, we booked our hotel, flight tickets and cab.
We took a flight from Mumbai to Coorg and then rented a cab to Coorg. We were 6 adults and 2 toddlers. It took us approx. 6 hours to reach Coorg with a couple of pitstops.
The journey on the whole was through the plains, however the last 1-2 hours saw us through winding roads. We were met with rains on our arrival, but when welcomed at the hotel with hot coffee laced with jaggary, it revived our spirits.
Travel from Bengaluru to Coorg:
We took a cab from Bengaluru to Coorg. However, there are various ways to reach Coorg. There is an airport at Mangalore and the distance from Mangalore to Coorg is 140 kms and shorter too (takes 3 hours), however, has winding roads which might not be conducive for people with altitude sickness. You can take a train to Mysore and then a cab from Mysore to Coorg. Mysore is 107 kms and takes 2-3 hours to reach to Coorg.
8 Places to see in Coorg:
We were told that Coorg is the Scotland of India. Well, I can’t comment on that, as I haven’t visited Scotland, but I found Coorg to be clean and green.
Abbey Falls: The hike to the falls involves 150-200 steps, but the view is totally worth it. And just imagine our little kids of 3 also managed to climb up and down the steps. River Kaveri falling over huge rocks makes up for a mesmerising sight, and also the spray from the falls delights kids to no end.
Raja’s Seat: A charming garden and one of the most picturesque points of Madikeri, you get a view of rolling lush hills and green valleys. Try visiting it at sunset, the view of Coorg is incomparable.
TalaCauvery: Talacauvery is the source of the river Kaveri. At its origin, a tank is built. The river more like a spring at this juncture feeds into the tank and then flows underground and re-emerges as Kaveri some distance away. A temple is built around the tank which is dedicated to Goddess Kaveriamma. It is a popular tourist attraction and people flock to witness the sight when the spring gushes water into the tank for the first time in the season.
We had a sumptuous snack of piping hot Maggi noodles at a roadside stall near this site which tasted heavenly in soaking rains.
Dubare Elephant Camp: Over 150 elephants are daily bathed, fed and trained in this camp, and you can witness all of this. Moreover, you can ride the elephants too for a small fee. You need to cross the river in a ferry boat to reach to the camp or else you can cross the river on foot too.
If you are keen on water sports, this is the place known for water rafting.
NisargaDham: It is an island, off the state highway, surrounded by Kaveri river. The island can be accessed by crossing a hanging bridge. The island is home to bamboo groves, sandalwood and teak trees. Deer park, children’s park, elephant rides and boating are some of the major attractions of this site.
There are many eateries outside this place and you can even shop for local chocolates, spices and other knick-knacks here.
Namdroling Monastery (Golden Temple): If you thought Tibetans lived only in the North India, you wouldn’t be more wrong. Bylakuppe in Coorg is the second biggest Tibetan settlement in India. Namdroling Monastery at Bylakuppe gives a glimpse into the rich heritage of Tibet.
Chikhlihole Reservoir: If you are a nature lover and don’t mind a secluded place which is not thronged by tourists, then this is a must-visit site. Nestled between verdant hills, it’s a sight for sore eyes. You walk through the green meadows and grazing cattle and come upon the river Kaveri gushing forcefully into the reservoir bowl. Instead of a taking a cab, you can hike all the way to the dam.
Coffee plantations: Coorg is known for Coorgi coffee and you wouldn’t want to miss a walk through coffee plantations. Most resorts have their own coffee plantations and they offer free walks. However, you can take a paid one on one of the numerous private coffee estates and learn the entire process of planting it to the time when it comes brewed in a mug.
Time to visit Coorg:
We visited Coorg in the monsoon, in the first week of September. Though it was raining a lot, it didn’t inconvenience us much. The falls were in their full glory and also the lush green landscape was a sight to behold in the monsoon (June-September). Also, monsoon is the best time to go for river rafting and other water sports.
However, November-February would be a better time to visit this place as it doesn’t rain much and give you the feeling of a true hill station. Also, you can buy some of the fresh harvested coffee at this time.
The summer season from March to May is an ideal time too for a holiday in Coorg if you are looking to escape the heat of the cities and stay somewhere cool to relax.
Places to stay in Coorg:
We stayed at Club Mahindra in Madikeri and there are various popular resorts in this area. Another popular resort is Orange County. There are many Homestay options available which is worth checking out.
Public transportation in Coorg:
You will hardly see any taxis or autos in Coorg. We hired a 6-day long taxi from Bengaluru which helped us in our day excursions in and around Madikeri. You can also request to hire a taxi from your hotel or drive to Coorg in your own car.
Food in Coorg:
Coorg is known for its Coorgi cuisine. Unfortunately, there are not much eating out options in Coorg. In spite of Café Coffee Day sourcing its beans from Coorg and most Indian coffee coming from this place, Coorg doesn’t boast of a single CCD or other cafes. Hence, for food you are entirely at the mercy of the hotel or Homestay you are staying in. However, you will get many fresh fruits which you can buy from the local market.
There are a few eateries in KaushalNagar which is a good 1-2 hours away from Madikeri.
Shopping in Coorg: As mentioned earlier, Coorg is famous for its coffee, chocolates and spices.
While we were apprehensive of traveling for a holiday in Coorg with two small kids, we needn’t have been. The kids enjoyed themselves at every place we visited. From the spray of cold water at Abbey falls to riding on the majestic elephants and spotting deer in Nisargdham, they had a great time. Even the 6-hour long journey was uneventful as they were sleeping through it most of the time.
Coorg is a place where the time moves in slow motion and asks you to do the same. Just relax in the beautiful weather and get rejuvenated with all the greenery around you. I would strongly recommend enjoying a monsoon holiday in Coorg at least once in a lifetime.
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