Coorg: A Spicy Hill Station Of Western Ghats
Are you planning your holiday vacation in the monsoon? Then I would suggest visiting Coorg, the hill station on the Western Ghats adorned with patches of coffee and aromatic spice plantations. The moderate climate with mild temperatures during monsoon makes the best time to visit the spectacular nature. As a place with misty mountains drenched with the first drops of rain, the lush green plantations are as breathtaking as the Scottish Highlands.
This tropical paradise offers the finest vistas to treasure the experience of the enchanting view of a hill town. I preferred to walk along the meandering paths to soak in the scenery. If you are a rain-loving person, then monsoon is a bonus, while this little town is an all-year-round destination.
[Note: The best season for trekking is from November to March]
History of Coorg
Madikeri is the district head of Coorg, situated at the Western Ghats stands 1452 meters above sea level. Kodagu was ruled by several kingdoms in southern India, including Pandyas, Cholas and Vijayanagara Empire. Later, in 1565 the defeat of the Vijayanagara Empire, a Lingayat priest gained authority to create a base for the Lingayat Rajas.
A surprise attack by Tipu Sultan over the Kodava led to the defeat and captivating of the citizens. However, in 1788, Rajendra Wodeyar, aligned with the British, thrived in driving out the armies of Tipu. The anglicized name– Coorg was renamed in 1854 after the British took over Kodagu. After the Independence of India, Coorg, in 1952, was reorganized as a state along linguistic lines and later became a district of modern Karnataka.
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Solo Traveller’s Diary for the Places to Visit in Coorg
Nestled amidst the lush green landscapes of the Western Ghats in Karnataka, Coorg, also known as Kodagu, is a captivating destination that offers a perfect blend of tranquillity and adventure. The journey begins through the winding roads that lead to Coorg, surrounded by sprawling coffee plantations and mist-covered hills.
The aroma of freshly brewed coffee fills the air, enticing you to stop and savour a cup of the famous Coorg coffee. One of the highlights of a solo trip to Coorg is the opportunity to connect with nature to embark on an exhilarating experience, allowing you to discover the true essence of this enchanting place at your own pace.
Raja’s Tomb is a testament to the region’s rich history and cultural heritage. On a solo journey to this hidden gem, I found myself enchanted by the serene beauty and historical significance that it holds. Join me as I recount my immersive experience in a place that echoes the whispers of a bygone era. The serene ambience and the breathtaking views of the surrounding hills provide the perfect backdrop for introspection.
The entry gate, adorned with intricate carvings, welcomed me into a peaceful courtyard. Surrounded by well-maintained gardens exudes an aura of tranquillity that immediately transports visitors to a different time. The main attraction is an imposing structure distinguished by its domed roof and ornate minarets.
Timings: 9:30 am- 5:30 pm
Raja’s Seat presents an idyllic setting where lush landscapes, mist-kissed mountains, and an aura of serenity converge to create an unforgettable experience for those embarking on a solo adventure. The erstwhile kings admired the view as a blissful retreat offering a panoramic tableau of nature’s finest creations.
The early morning sun bathes the horizon in golden hues, with the mist gently rising to unveil an awe-inspiring panorama of rolling hills, verdant valleys, and an endless expanse of lush forests. The sight from this vantage point evokes a sense of insignificance and awe, reminding travellers of the vastness and beauty of our world.
Timings: 5:30 am- 8:00 pm
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Upon reaching Abbey Waterfalls, the sound of rushing water and the lush greenery will transport you to a different world. At the heart of this region lies Abbey Waterfalls, a mesmerizing cascade that has captured the hearts of travellers from around the world. The falls, surrounded by dense foliage, descend from a height of about 70 feet, creating a captivating spectacle that leaves a lasting impression.
The cool spray of water and the rejuvenating aroma of nature create an ambience that soothes the senses and provides a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. From the moments of introspection by experience, it offers a unique opportunity to connect with both the external world and the inner self.
Timings: 9:00 am- 5:00 pm
Namdroling Monastery: The Golden Temple
Namdroling Monastery, officially known as Thegchog Namdrol Shedrub Dargye Ling, was established in 1963 by His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche, also known as Penor Rinpoche. The Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism is an invitation to step into the world of spirituality, serenity, and self-discovery. The towering golden spires catch the sunlight in a breathtaking dance of light, casting a serene glow over the surroundings.
The chants of monks engaged in prayers and the scent of incense permeate the air, setting the tone for a soul-soothing experience that can provide a welcome respite from the chaos of modern life. The peaceful surroundings encourage moments of reflection and meditation, allowing you to reconnect with your inner self.
Timings: 9:00 am– 6:00 pm
Tickets: Free Entry
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Dubare Elephant Camp
When you enter Dubare Elephant Camp, you will locate the serene atmosphere of the dense forests and the gentle lapping of the Cauvery River, which flows nearby. The camp is strategically located within the Dubare Reserve Forest, which is not only a vital elephant training and rehabilitation centre but also a haven for biodiversity.
The region’s rich flora and fauna provide a breathtaking backdrop to the unique interactions that unfold at the camp. It is a chance to reconnect with nature, engage in meaningful cultural exchanges, and form unforgettable connections with these remarkable creatures. As you depart, you’ll carry a renewed sense of wonder and appreciation for the delicate balance of life on our planet.
09:00 am- 11:00 am and 04:30 pm – 05:30 pm
Entry: ₹100 per Person
Elephant Bathing: ₹100 per Person
Elephant Feeding: ₹50 per Person
Nagarahole National Park
Venturing into Nagarahole is akin to stepping into a realm of diverse wildlife. The park is home to wild creatures, including Asian elephants, Indian bison (gaur), spotted deer, sambar deer, sloth bears, and even the elusive leopard and Bengal tiger. As you journey deeper into the park, the Nagarahole River becomes a constant companion.
This lifeline sustains the ecosystem, offering refreshments to the animals that inhabit this region. A solo traveller’s heart races as the distant call of a langur monkey echo through the trees or the rustle in the bushes hints at the presence of a hidden creature. Engaging in a jungle safari or a guided wilderness trek is an excellent way to explore the park safely.
6:45 am – 8:45 am
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
₹150 per person for Indians
₹1500 per person for Foreigners
₹200 for Still Camera
The world is full of hidden gems waiting to be uncovered by those with an adventurous spirit and a thirst for exploration. One such gem is the Chelavara Waterfalls, a pristine cascade tucked away in the heart of nature’s embrace. The journey to Chelavara Waterfalls is not only just about reaching the destination but also about the road that leads there.
Winding roads bordered by coffee plantations, dense forests, and occasional glimpses of wildlife create an immersive experience even before setting eyes on the falls. The sound of rushing water is a soothing symphony that instantly disconnects you from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Best Time to visit: 6:00 am- 5:00 pm
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Nalknad Aramane Palace
The Nalknad Aramane Palace is not just a structure; it’s a testament to its rich history. In the 18th century, this palace was a royal residence for the Kodava kings. When I reached the majestic facade, I couldn’t help but be transported back in time, imagining the vibrant court life and intriguing stories that once unfolded within its walls.
The intricate wooden carvings on the ceilings and pillars are a sight to behold, depicting scenes from local legends and mythologies. Exploring the various rooms and chambers, I marvelled at the attention to detail and the craftsmanship that went into creating this masterpiece. One of the intriguing aspects of the Nalknad Aramane Palace is the sense of mystery that it shrouds.
Timings: 9:00 am- 6:00 pm
Tickets: No Entry Fee
How to travel?
Navigating this charming region requires careful planning to make the most of your journey. Renting a car or a motorcycle is a great way to explore Coorg at your own pace. However, be prepared for roads with narrow and winding, especially in hilly areas. Local buses and shared jeeps are available for short distances between towns and villages within Coorg. With various transportation options and a wealth of attractions to explore, Coorg promises a memorable journey for travellers seeking to discover the beauty of this enchanting region. Plan, embrace the local experiences, and create lasting memories amidst the hills and coffee plantations of Coorg.
Local Cuisines to Try
Coorg’s local cuisines reflect the rich cultural heritage and unique geography. The flavorful Pandi Curry, the delicate Noolputtu, the freshly harvested Bamboo Shoot Curry, the steamed rice dumplings Kadambuttu and the aromatic spices of this dish tells a story of tradition and passion. When visiting Coorg, you can embrace the opportunity to indulge in these delectable local delights, allowing your taste buds to embark on a journey through the heart of this enchanting region.
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Festival and Fairs
Coorg celebrates its diverse festivals and fairs that paint the canvas of its cultural identity. From religious celebrations to Puthari harvest festivals, Kaveri Sankramana marks the spiritual connection the locals share with their environment that offers a glimpse into the lives and traditions of its people. Cauvery Theerthodbhava, Huttari Festival, Keil Poldu Festival, and Coorg Coffee Festival are not just events on the calendar; they are an integral part of the people’s lives, reflecting their traditions, values, and close-knit community bonds.
Coorg is a treasure trove of adventure and sports activities waiting to get explored. Trekking through lush forests, rafting down challenging rapids, camping under the starlit sky, ziplining above lush valleys, and off-road adventures on rugged terrain offer a diverse range of options for travellers seeking an active and thrilling getaway. As you immerse yourself in these activities, you’ll quench your thirst for adventure and create lasting memories of a remarkable journey through this picturesque destination.