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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.
Also known as steamed rice dumpling, Kadumbuttu is a popular food in Coorg. It is mostly served with pandhi curry or chicken curry and is prepared on all major occasions in Coorg.
The Kodava people love their pork and the delicious pandhi curry will leave you wanting more. Served with akki roti (rice roti) or kadambuttu(rice dumplings), the pork curry is cooked on all special occasions.
Special spices in Coorg like Malabar Tamarind (Kachampuli), Pepper, Cardamom, Bird’s Eye Chilli are included in the recipe which adds to the delicacy of the Kodava pork curry.
A favourite during the rainy season, the bamboo shoot curry is another local specialty in Coorg. Cooked in mustard, red chillies and ground coconut, the dish is mostly served with rice.
If you are interested in wildlife, the Nagarhole National Park is possibly one of the best places to visit in Coorg in one day. Despite the dense jungle, it has open sight-lines along the river bank, which makes for fantastic place to watch animals and over 270 species of birds. The best time to visit is during summer (April to May) or winter (November to February).
Present in the town of Madikeri, Raja’s Seat is considered one of the most scenic places to visit in Coorg. A popular sunset point, it provides a breathtaking view of the green valley and the surrounding hills. It is also surrounded by a beautiful garden of seasonal flowers and musical fountains. The best time to visit is during the early morning and evening hours.
With abundance of greenery, trekking is definitely one of the things to do in Coorg, tourist places for this activity too are in abundance here, but Mandalpatti is considered the best. Climb up towards the Mandalpatti View Point via the scenic Makkandur route but be sure to pack some water for the way as you explore one of the best trekking places in Coorg.