The misty hills, lush teakwood and sandalwood forests, and acres of tea and coffee plantations of Kodagu are, in a word, stunning. Also known as Coorg and dubbed "The Scotland of India.
Located amidst imposing mountains in Karnataka with a perpetually misty landscape, Coorg is the place to be for all nature lovers.
Coorg, officially known as Kodagu, is the most affluent hill station in Karnataka. It is well known for its breathtakingly exotic scenery and lush greenery. Forest covered hills, spice and coffee plantations only add to the landscape.Madikeri is the region's centre point with all transportation for getting around starting from here.
Nestled amid evergreen hills that line the southernmost edge of Karnataka is the luscious Kodagu (Coorg) region, gifted with emerald landscapes and hectares of plantations. A major centre for coffee and spice production, this rural expanse is also home to the Kodava people, who are divided into 1000 clans. The uneven terrain and cool climate make it a fantastic area for trekking, birdwatching or lazily ambling down little-trodden paths winding around carpeted hills. All in all, Kodagu is rejuvenation guaranteed.
Kodagu was a state in its own right until 1956, when it merged with Karnataka. The region’s chief town and transport hub is Madikeri, but for an authentic Kodagu experience, you have to venture into the countryside. Avoid weekends if you can, when places can quickly get filled up by weekenders from Bengaluru.
Kodagu is a postcard-perfect region of scattered villages and hamlets, which are the epitome of old-world charm. Kodagu is ideal for outdoor activities such as trekking, angling and white-water rafting, and major festivals like Keil Poldu (worship of weapons), Cauvery Shankaramana (return of the river goddess) and the Huttari (harvest) festival are a huge draw.
3:30pm-5:30pm : Raja's Tomb
Visit Raja's Tomb to observe an impressive monument that remains an exquisite example of Indo-Sarcenic design. The site features three royal tombs, which hold the remains of a Kodava king, his wife, and various court dignitaries. The major elements of the tomb's architecture include a square base, multiple dome structures, and bronze windows. Relax in the sun by the outdoor garden lined with colorful flowers, but keep in mind that that the site does not offer restrooms or drinking water.
10:00am-12:00pm : Madikeri Fort
IMost people visit Madikeri Fort for the hilltop views, and a bit of history. The fort dates back to the 16th century and today houses municipal offices. Also inside the walls is a museum dedicated to the period under the British rule, as well as a colonial-era church.
12:30pm-2:30pm : Rajs's Seat
Breathe in the fresh and regal air at Raja's Seat, a neatly arranged garden offering an uninterrupted view of the surrounding mountain landscape. Popular with the kings of Kodagu, the gardens became a favorite with successive rulers, who came to take in the mist-covered peaks and setting sun. Take a stroll through the gardens to see its pleasant artificial fountains, landscaped lawns, flower beds, and monuments.
3:00pm-5:00pm : Omkareshwara Temple
Enjoy the tranquility of a sanctuary built over a pool at Omkareshwara Temple, a small Hindu temple perched on the banks of the Narmada River. Originally built in the mid-18th century, the current structure features a mixture of neo-Gothic and Islamic architecture, with a gilt dome surrounded by four turrets resembling minarets, and the main building painted white with stark red lining. One of the 12 revered Jyotirling temples, the complex serves as a popular pilgrimage site. Check out the pool behind the temple, abundant with fish and frequented by ducks and herons.
10:00am-12:00pm : Abbi Falls
Take a drive or hike up to Abbi Falls, a scenic cascade on the Kaveri River. Enjoy a stroll through verdant plantations filled with black pepper vines, coffee shrubs, and lush green trees to reach the waterfall, best admired from a hanging bridge constructed across the cascade. Flowing thunderously during the monsoon season, the falls can seem comparatively underwhelming in dry weather. You can't swim at the base of the falls.
4:30pm-5:30pm : Devaragundi Falls
11:00am-1:00pm : Talakaveri Temple
1:00pm-2:30pm : TTalakaveri
Secluded and almost secret, Talakaveri is a religious place situated atop a hill, near the place where, according to the ancient legends, one of the seven sacred rivers starts its journey. You must go there by a vehicle, but be careful because of the fog which is there most of the time. See the quiet, peaceful temple, and behind it you’ll find stone steps leading to the very top of the hill. If you climb them, you’ll get the opportunity to experience incredible views of the entire and huge landscape.
10:30am-2:30pm : Dubare Elephant Camp
Dubare Elephant Camp allows you observe elephants from up close and learn how they behave in their natural habitat. Besides hitching a ride on one of these noble animals, you can also explore the surrounding forest on foot. Get you walking shoes on, pack enough food and water, and go on a trek through the moist deciduous trees. Many carnivores roam the area, including tigers, leopards, wild dogs, and crocodiles, so keep a watchful eye and take care of your party.
3:00pm-5:00pm : Nisargadhama forest
Pay a visit to Nisargadhama Forest, a small island on the Kaveri River covered in dense greenery. A popular eco-park and vacation spot, the 64 acre (26 hectare) island is dotted with cottages and treetop shacks among the lush sandalwood, teak, and bamboo groves. Cross a hanging rope bridge to get to the island, where you can take a relaxing walk and spot peacocks and rabbits, or visit the deer park and the small orchidarium. A couple of spots on the sandy shore allow swimming; boat rentals and elephant rides are also offered.
10:00am-12:00pm : Igguthappa Temple
1:00pm-3:00pm : Tadiandamol
3:00pm-5:00pm : Sri Bhagandeshwara Temple
1:00pm-3:00pm : Mandalpatti
Take a jeep ride through coffee plantations to reach the scenic viewpoint of Mandalpatti. An adventurous, four-wheel-drive trek through sandy paths and winding hills is the recommended way to reach the vantage point. Alternatively, those of an appropriate fitness level can opt for a strenuous 5-6 km (3-4 mi) hike to the peak. Once you reach the viewpoint at 1,600 m (5,249 ft) above sea level, a captivating view of the surrounding hills and valleys stretches out before you.