Also known as Kodagu, Coorg is a place said to haunt you forever with its timeless beauty. Described as the Scotland of India, Coorg lies at an altitude of 1,525 m on the Western Ghats about 252 kms from Bangalore in Karnataka. Misty hills, lush forest, acres and acres of tea and coffee plantations, orange groves, undulating streets and breathtaking views are what make Coorg an unforgettable holiday destination.
The Coorg Effect
A friendly warning to all concerned: One trip to Coorg (Kodagu) and it’ll haunt you for the rest of your life. You might leave Coorg, but Coorg will never leave you.
That’s Coorg for you, incomparable scenic beauty, lush green valleys, coffee plantations, teak wood forests & majestic mountain ranges. Add to that- a strong, brave martial race of Coorgs (Kodavas) that reveres tradition, has a distinct culture and lives life to its fullest.
The predominant entity here is nature at its best. Coorg is like the dreamland of the philosopher. If you’re the type who likes to mingle with nature, romance in the mountains, feel the tingle of the cool and gentle breeze, watch leaves flutter in dance-like movements and hear sounds of birds fill the air, then Coorg is just the place for you.
Area : 1595 square miles/ 4102.3 sq. km
Altitude :Uneven surface- average height around 1170 meters
Climate : Pleasant Winters, warm summers, heavy monsoons
Warmest Months : March To May
Average Temperature :13° C To 26° C
Coolest Months : December To February
Languages :Kodava-Thak, Kannada, Maliyalam, Tamil, Hindi, English
Telephone Access Code : ++91 8272 (Madikeri), ++91 8274 (Virajpet), ++91 8276 (Somwarpet)
How to Get There
Air : The nearest airports are Mangalore (135 kms) and Bangalore (260 kms).
Train : The nearest railheads are at Mysore, Mangalore and Hassan (146 kilometers).
Road: From Bangalore, there are two routes to Coorg. Both routes are almost the same distance (around 250-260 kilometers). The route via Mysore is the oft-frequented route. The stretch after Hunsur is scenic and the drive through the coffee plantations is absorbing. The other route is via Neelamangal, Kunigal, Channarayapatna, all of which are located on the National highway. After Chanrayanapatna, the state highway route takes you to your destination The bus service in Madikeri has connections to almost every place in Coorg, except Kushalnagar, for which you have to hop onto a bus to Bangalore. Alternatively, there are regular buses to Mysore, Mangalore, Hassan, Chikmagalur and Shimoga.
Distance from important cities
Mangalore: 136 kms
Mysore: 120 kms
Bangalore: 256 kms
Hassan: 115 kms
Dharmasthala: 133 kms
Subramanya: 87 kms
Tellechery: 110 kms
Kasargod: 106 kms
Calicut: 170 kms
Cannanore: 110 kms
The capital of Coorg formerly called Mercara, Madikeri is often known as the Scotland of India. It has enchanted millions of travelers with its misty hills, lush forests, coffee plantations and breath taking views. Also known for its lovely climate, Madikeri is a world record holder for the cardamom crop.
This 19th century fort, in the center of Madikeri, houses a temple, a chapel, prison and a small museum. The fort offers a beautiful view of Madikeri.
According to legend, the kings of Kodagu spent their evenings here. But what’s unforgettable about Raja’s seat is the spectacular sunset that one can enjoy from here.
1 km from Madikeri town. Built in the early 18th century by the King Lingarajendra, it is a beautiful piece of architecture.With a dome in the middle of a square lake and minarets at each corner, this is a catholic mix of Keralite, Gothic and Islamic influences.
Nagarahole National Park
The most visited tourist spot in Coorg is the Nagarahole National Park (96km) named after the river that flows through it (meaning Snake River), is a wildlife resort where you can feast your eyes on a variety of wildlife. Though the name literally means Snake River in Kannada, there aren’t too many snakes around. Created from a former Raja’s hunting grounds, Nagarahole is one of the best game sanctuaries in South India, providing a natural living conditions to several wild animals like elephants, tigers, panthers, rhinos and wild elephants, but one is more likely to see smaller game like gaur, deer, wild dogs and langur. Pleasantly cool round the year, it is a little difficult to reach, which makes it quieter than other parks. This in turn makes it a great place to relax. There are facilities for over-night stay inside the Nagarhole park next to water-holes. Jungle safaris are available as elephant rides.
Bhagamandala & Talakaveri/ Talacauvery
At the convergence of the rivers Cauvery, the underground Sujyothi and the Kanike, the Bhangandeshwara temple here has a distinct Kerala touch. Because of the three rivers, it is also called Triveni Sangama. The serene temple has intricate carvings and a copper roof. A dip at the Triveni Sangam nearby is supposed to revive sagging spirits, but take prior permission at the temple. Telecauvery (meaning Head of the Cauvery)is the origin of one of the seven sacred rivers. The source of this long river, which passes through two states, is on the top of the hill called Brahmagiri. It is 1535 metres above sea level. Steps lead up to the Brahmagiri peak, from where a panoramic view of Kodagu meets the visitor.
Fall that mesmerizes you with its beauty is the sacred Iruppu Falls in Kodagu’s southern side. It is believed that Lord Rama and his brother Lakshmana passed through these hills in search of Sita. The river Lakshmana-tirtha, flowing through here, is said to have originated when Lakshmana was asked to fetch water by Ram and he shot an arrow into the Brahmagiri hills, thus bringing the river into being. Also said to be blessed with powers of cleansing one’s soul, it is an important pilgrim point for many devotees and a temple dedicated to Lord Ram is a few km below.
Located in the midst of coffee plantations, this is one of the most scenic spots in the area. Only 7 km away from Madikeri, the road leading to it is an adventure in itself with ups and downs and sudden curves and bends. This waterfall flows to unite with the River Kaveri. Even during the summer there is plenty of water in these falls. The roar of the falls can be heard from the main road, from where a path goes through lovely coffee and cardamom plantations right up to them.
This is mainly an elephant capturing and training camp of the Forest Department, at the edge of Dubare forest, on the bank of river Kaveri, on the Kushalnagar – Siddapur road. The largest land animal is captured here with the help of tamed elephants and local tribals – the Kurbas – and is held captive for upto 6 months in large teak wood cages. The tamed elephants attend to various jobs during the day and in the evenings they come down to the river to bathe and to be scrubbed clean by their mahouts. Afterwards the mahout obliges eager tourists for free elephant rides within the camp. In the evenings, all the elephants are offered a special treat of ladoos made of ragi and jaggery, each no smaller than a cannon ball!
If you can get off to an early start and if the sky is beautiful with the clouds, take the road to Somwarpet. This 42-kilometer, one-and-half hour drive will surely perk you up. This is the coffee heartland of Coorg. You will pass through some of the finest coffee estates you will ever see. Magnificent trees reaching up to the skies, casting much wanted masses of shade to the coffee plants. It’s one great spread of continuous foliage very gloriously prepared in an extraordinary operation by Nature. Mingled with cardamom and pepper as well.
Housing mostly refugees from Tibet, it is located near the hills of Madikeri. The famous site to visit here is the Namdroling Monastery, and 2 km from there two more monasteries of Sera Jhe and Sera Mey at the Sera village.
Coorg has many verdant trekking routes in the midst of forests and hills, and it’s best to go in the months from October to February. Some of the known trails are in the hills of Brahmagiri, where you could trek your way to the Iruppa Falls. Or you could trek to Pushpagiri, the second highest peak of Kodagu, or even Tadiandamol, the highest peak.
Valanoor is the backwater of the River Kaveri, which draws fishing lovers from all over the country. You can try and catch the famous mahaseer and the best season is from October to May.
White Water Rafting
For white water rafting check out the camps around Madikeri, which offer rafting down the Cauvery. Some fast paced action visit the Upper Barapole River to the south of Coorg in Brahmagiri. The best time for rafting is from mid-June to mid-September.
Golfers can tee off at the 9-hole course of Virajpet.
Coorgi cuisine is famous and unique, especially for non-vegetarians as it is based on game meats, pork and other delicious ingredients. Popular dishes are pandhi (pork), koli (chicken) and yarchi (lamb) spiced with pepper, kokum, bamboo shoot, red chilly, bembla curry, kadumbuttu, noolputu, voti and excellent coffee.
Some of the popular items to buy are coffee, honey, spices, cardamom, pepper, pineapple papads and oranges ( season). Coorgi silk saree are also very famous and they have a different style of wearing them.
Fairs & Festivals
Schedule your visit to coincide with one of the colorful festivals of the region. The festivals of the Kodava community are largely around agriculture military activities.
- The ‘Festival of Arms – Keilpoldu’ is held in the months of June to September. During this festival the weapons are polished and worshiped before reuse.
- Cauvery Shankaramana is based around the river Cauver is held in October.
- The harvest festival ‘Puthar’ is celebrated in November or December. The festival is accompanied by folks songs and dances, performed by the different villagers at their temples.
Pompei Valley Resorts
Mobile: 94483 52909
Hotel Coorg International
Ph No 08272-229142,228071,225191.
Near Raja seat, M.G.Road,
Madikeri – 571201
Hotel Crystal Court
Phone: +91 8272 – 221543, +91 8272 – 221870
Behind JEDI Hospital
Madikeri – 571201
Ph No -08272-223801.223805.
Jr. College Road
Madikeri – 571201
Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation
49, Khanija Bhavan, 2nd Floor, West Entrance
Race Course Road
Bangalore – 560 001
Phone: (080) 2352901, 2352902, 2352903