Coorg, locally known as Kodagu, is a district in Karnataka. Also known as, the Scotland of India, Coorg is famed as the perfect holiday destination near Bangalore. It is a picturesque mountainous area frequented by nature lovers all across India. It is renowned for its waterfalls, coffee and tea plantations, groves, valleys, and hills.
There are plenty of places to visit in Coorg, and it is less crowded as compared to other places in Karnataka. There are historical forts, monuments, ecological parks and ancient temples in Coorg. It is also the ultimate pepper, cardamom and coffee destination. Here are ten places that you must visit in Coorg.
1. Raja’s Seat:
Raja’s Seat is a beautiful garden located in the town of Madikeri. It is an ideal place for tourist to enjoy the spectacular view of the beautiful hills and valleys. The Raja’s Seat is an oasis of idyllic fountains and seasonal flowers. Nowhere in Coorg will you see the flowers in full bloom as much as you see them in Raja’s Seat. It was the place where the King of Coorg would sit with his consorts and watch the sunset. The place will surely rekindle your lost romance just like the royal kings. Just sitting on the park benches will give you a delightful feel. There is also a toy train to keep your children occupied.
2. Omkareshwara Temple:
The Omkareshwara temple is a stunning Shiva temple built by Lingarajendra. The architecture of this design is based on Islamic and Gothic styles. The center of the temple is dominated by a dome while the turrets flank the corners of the temple. The history of the temple is inscribed on a copper plate by the king. According to legends, Lingarajendra had killed a pious Brahmin in order to fulfill his political ambitions. The murdered Brahmin turned into a “Brahmarakshasa” and started troubling the king. Lingarajendra then built the temple in order to get rid of the dosha. He brought a Shivalinga and installed it in the temple naming it “Omkareshwara”.
3. Abbi Falls:
Abbi Falls, also known as Abbey Falls, is a waterfall located 8 kilometers from the Madikeri town. The river Kaveri cascades down from 70 feet, making a beautiful view. The waterfall is nestled between the spice estates and coffee plantations. Clouds constantly hang over the falls, making it an ideal place to escape the summer heat. The hanging bridge is a perfect place to witness the beauty of the falls. You can also visit the Kali Mata Temple after visiting the Abbey Falls. To reach the destination, take a narrow road to the coffee estate. From there, a path through the cardamom and coffee plantation will lead you to the waterfall.
4. Cauvery Nisargadhama:
Cauvery Nisargadhama, located near Kushalnagar is an island formed by the Cauvery River. It is a popular tourist spot for both locals and international visitors. You will find not just flora, but also fauna in this island. You will find deer galloping across the island. Even rabbits and birds are found in abundance here. These animals increase the grace of the surroundings. There is also a children’s playground to keep your kids entertained. Elephant rides are another popular activity here. You can reach the island by traversing a hanging rope bridge. The island has lovely riverside cottages that can accommodate more than five people.
5. Coffee Plantations:
There are abundant of coffee plantations in Coorg. The coffee plantations of Coorg contribute around 60% if India’ coffee production. The plantation also has teak, rosewood and sandalwood forest. The best way to experience the coffee plantations of Coorg is by staying in one the resort or homestays located on the coffee estates. Go on a walking tour of the plantation, sample fresh coffee and learn about the never-heard-before coffee making process. It will be a fascinating experience.
6. Nyingmapa Tibetan Monastery And Golden Temple:
The Nyingmapa Tibetan Monastery is one of the must visit monasteries in India. It is located in Bylakuppe, near Kushalnagar. It is also the second largest Tibetan monastery in India. The place has huge golden Buddha statues. The amount of gold in this monastery will leave you awestruck. Many homes in the monastery have shrines too. The temple is known for its interesting architecture. The Golden Temple is a part of the Namdroling Monastery. The architecture of the Golden Temple is very different from what you see in other temples of India. You can have mouth-watering Tibetan food at the restaurants near the monastery. There are also shops that sell Tibetan souvenirs, which you can pick for your family.
7. Dubare Elephant Camp:
Dubare is an elephant capturing and training camp in Coorg. It is located at the edge of the Dubare rainforest. It is the place where you can learn everything about the elephants. The Kurbas capture the wild elephants and tame them. The tamed elephants do various jobs during the day and evening. They come down to the river to be scrubbed by their mahouts. Then, they oblige the tourists free elephant rides. The elephants are offered ladoos made of rice and jaggery for the evening snack. If you want to bathe and scrub the elephant, then you have to reach the camp before 9 am. You can also reside in one of the cottages offered by the camp. Dubare is also a haven for bird lovers. You will find all kinds of exotic birds in this region.
8. Nagarhole National Park:
If you are a wildlife lover, then you must visit the Nagarhole National Park, one of the most visited tourist spots in Coorg. It is also known as the Rajiv Gandhi National Park. You will spot tigers, elephants, sambars, leopards, tigers and deer around the watering holes. There are more than 250 varieties of birds in the Nagarhole National Park. Nagarhole National Park is a dense deciduous forest. The main trees found here include rosewood, teak, silver oak and sandalwood. The park also offers accommodation next to the watering holes. The National Park is around four hours from Mysore, so you will not face much difficulty in reaching the place.
9. Madikeri Fort:
Madikeri Fort is a magnificent historical structure built by Muddu Raja in the 17th century. It was originally built of mud, but was later rebuilt in granite. Later, the first was reconstructed in mortar and brick. The inside of the Madikari Fort serves as the office of district collector. The fort provides stunning views of Coorg from its walls. Within the fort, you will find, chapel a small museum, prison, and various government offices. The other attraction of the Fort is the stone formation of a tortoise with the initials of King Vijayarajendra engraved on it. There are two stone replicas of elephants killed by King Veera Raja. The fort is built using European style architecture.
10. Thadiyandamol Hills:
Thadiyandamol Hills is a popular tourist destination for family picnics. It is the highest peak of Coorg, standing at an altitude of 5730 feet. From here, you can get the view of the rising run and the majestic Arabian Sea. The Thadiyandamol Hills are also a popular among trekking enthusiasts for its steep slope. It is covered with dense forests, making it a perfect place for nature walks and bird watching. At the base of the hill, you will find the Nalaknad Palace, which serves as the camping spot for the trekking groups. The best time to visit the hills is from September to February, just after the raining season. The rains enhance the beauty of this place manifolds. You can also visit the Padi Iguthappa Temple when visiting the Thadiyandamol Hills.
Coorg offers an old world charm along with a relaxing ambiance and laid back experience. The best time to visit Coorg is February to December, when the climate is at its best behaviour. Share your experience at Coorg in the comment section below.