A guide To Coorg’s Best Holiday Experiences

From temple-hopping to windsurfing, here’s a quick guide to the best holiday experiences to be had in Coorg: 

Get an adrenaline rush For the adventurous there’s no dearth of activities in Coorg. Go trekking, rock climbing and windsurfing at Hyrige reservoir with Coorg Adventure Club. Try river crossing and rappelling near Keemalekad with Coorg Outdoors. Go on an off road ride, camping or a trek to Kerala with Crimson Eye. Do kayaking, canoeing and river crossing in the Kabbe river and camping around Kakkabe with Jungle Mount Adventure. For Quad Biking, zip-line and other adventures head to Now Or Never Land outdoor activity centre. In the monsoons, go river rafting on the KKR River with Barapole Rafting and Southern River Adventures. 

Discover amazing waterfalls Being a mountainous region criss-crossed with rivers and streams, Coorg has some stunning waterfalls. Abbi Falls near Madikeri, where the famous croc scene of the Bollywood flick Khoon Bhari Maang was shot, is easily the most popular while Preity Zinta’s Liril ad was filmed at a cataract near Karike. Mukkodlu near Kotebetta, Mallali near Somwarpet, Irpu near Srimangala and Chelavara Falls near Cheyandane are also easily accessible. But deep within the forests near Birunani lies the magnificent Sarathabbi, which only the most adventurous can reach.

Go on a coffee plantation tour Despite being Karnataka’s tiniest district, Coorg is the largest coffee growing region in India. A guided plantation walk through a coffee estate while staying in a plantation bungalow is essential to trace the journey of the wonderful brew from berry to cup. See how cardamom is grown and cured and pepper is harvested to make green, black and white pepper. Make sure you buy Coorg coffee, honey and spices like cardamom and pepper from the nodal towns of Madikeri, Virajpet or Gonikoppal. Enjoy the life a colonial planter at Tata Coffee’s Plantation Trails bungalows like Thaneerhulla, Woshully, Yemmegoondi and even a tea estate stay in a land known for coffee!

Play golf in scenic courses Golfing in Coorg’s undulating greens is an invigorating exercise, made more interesting by an occasional gaur or wild deer ambling across the fairway. The challenging Mercara Downs at Madikeri, the popular Coorg Golf Links at Bittangala near Virajpet and old favourites Pollibetta Golf Club and Belur Club beckon golfers of all ages. Colonial era club houses with hunting trophies, vintage posters and indoor games add to the charm. Non-members can request the host/homestay to be introduced as a guest. Golf equipment and caddies are available for a token fee. 

Bathe, feed and ride an elephant Take part in the amazing Elephant Interaction program at Dubare Elephant Training Camp. An early morning visit allows you the chance to give the wonderful creature a bath in the Cauvery and feed it gigantic balls of ragi and jaggery followed by a ride in the adjoining jungle. Learn about pachyderms at the old forest rest house that serves as an interpretation centre. And if that’s not enough, head to Nagarahole, one of India’s best habitats of the Asian elephant. Go on a wildlife safari in the national park, though a drive along the highway is often more rewarding with frequent elephant crossings.

Trek to Thadiyendamol, Coorg’s tallest peak After Mullaiyangiri in the Baba Budan Giri range, the second highest peak in Karnataka happens to be in Coorg. Accessible from Kakkabe, the mighty Thadiyendamol lures trekkers to experience the unparalleled beauty unfolding at the peak. The lucky ones even recount seeing the Arabian Sea in the horizon on a clear day. Coorg has numerous moderate to tough treks. Popular trails include Thalathamane and Nishanimotte near Madikeri, Kotebetta near Madapur, Pushpagiri near Somwarpet and Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary near Irpu.

Visit the source of the Cauvery, South India’s holiest river Pay your tribute at the unique Trimurti shrine at Bhagamandala, the sacred confluence of the Cauvery, Kannike and Sujyothi. Continue uphill to Talacauvery, where the Cauvery emerges from a spring. Collect some teertha (sacred water) from the tank and climb the Brahmagiri Hill for a stupendous view. According to legend, when the Goddess Cauvery took the form of a river to revive the drought-stricken land, people gathered at the base of the hill to receive her. The force of her currents was so swift that the pleats of the women’s saris turned backwards. To this day, Coorgi women wear the sari in this manner.  

Try Kodava cuisine and homemade wine Savour Coorg’s signature dish pandi (pork) curry, usually paired with kadambuttu (steamed rice balls). Other unique combination dishes include noolputtu (string hoppers) with kozhi (chicken) curry, paputtu (steamed rice cakes) with yerachi (mutton) curry and mutton pulao with kaipuli pajji (bitter lime chutney) or vegetable pachadi (raita). Vegetarians needn’t fret; Coorg cuisine integrates local produce like bemble (bamboo shoot), bollari (gourd) and kumbla (pumpkin) curry, with akki otti, ghee and honey. Wash it down with the perfect cup of coffee and homemade wines that range from betel, rice, orange, coffee, tea, banana, sapota, star fruit and other exciting flavours!

Visit Namdroling Golden Temple at Bylakuppe Marvel at the 30ft high gilded statues of Buddha, Amitayus and Padmasambhava at the Namdroling Golden Temple in Bylakuppe, India’s largest Tibetan settlement. Spread across vast fields of corn and divided into ‘camps’, the area is dotted with stupas, prayer flags and monasteries of the Sakya, Sera, Kagyudpa and Nyingmapa orders. Try Tibetan fare like momo-thukpa and pick up knick-knacks like hand knotted carpets, prayer wheels, flags, vajras and incense. 

Holiday at a Coorg Homestay The best way to enjoy Coorg and its legendary Kodava hospitality is to surrender to the charms of a homestay. In one of India’s fastest growing homestay regions, travellers are spoilt for choice. Opt for heritage homestays like Gowri  Nivas, School Estate and Java Mane, wildlife lodges like Elephant Corridor and Kalmane, plantation retreats like Bamboo Loft, Alath Cad and Palace Estate, hilly escapes like Kabbe Holidays and Honey Valley or riverside getaways like Polaycad Bungalow, Silver Brook and Sand Banks. Staying with well-informed hosts is a great way to learn about the culture of this fascinating region. Kodavas trace their lineage through a maneypeda (clan name) and each clan has an ainmane (ancestral home). Built mostly out of wood, the richly carved doorframes, windows and ceiling panels are a visual treat. Check out the Nadikeriyanda ainmane while staying at Keemalekad Estate. 

What do you think of this story? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter

You may also like:

5 BEST CONCIERGE SERVICES IN INDIA 

COOLEST CELEBRITY PROPOSALS

3 IN-FLIGHT SAFETY VIDEOS

 

 

 

 

Anurag Mallick & Priya Ganapathy

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

On Now: Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab

On Now: Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Fifties from Watson, Samson power Rajasthan to a big score. More »

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

The Nawab of Najafgarh says a good run in IPL could help his chances of a comeback on India's tour to England in June. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

Five things England must do to bounce back

Five things England must do to bounce back

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusiast.” More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Moores gets second stint as coach

Moores gets second stint as coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »