Aptly dubbed as the ‘Scotland of India’, Coorg is located in the WesternGhats, amidst the mesmerising beauty of the Nilgiri ranges. I happened to undertake a family trip to this beautiful spot via the road in December few years back. Located about 250 kilometres from Bangalore, the journey from Bangalore to Coorg through the road was around 6-7 hours long. Originally known as Kodagu, this place has been dubbed as Coorg mostly by westerners. This district is situated in the Western Ghats in south west Karnataka. It is a highly attractive tourist destination with cosy natural beauty including hills, waterfalls, highly successful agriculture especially of spices and coffee, beautiful wildlife and famous rivers.
According to me, the best time to visit Coorg is from November to February to see this place in all its glory and to enjoy the best weather. It is mostly raining from July to October here and as the monsoon leaves, the place becomes lush green and sublime.
There are 2 routes from Bangalore to Coorg. If we go via Mysore you would get to touch South Coorg, including Kutta, Gonikopal, and Nagarhole. The total distance in this stretch would be about 270 Km.
Bangalore City -Nelamangala-Kunigal-Bellur Cross -Channarayapatna -Holenarsipur- Arkalgud -Sanivarasante-Somwarpet-Madikeri Town.
We chose the NH46 route and the total distance was around 275 Km. After leaving Bangalore and as soon as we crossed the outer ring road of Bangalore, the road became quite interesting. The road from Bangalore to Coorg is pretty good and smooth. It had some good attractions, some man made, some natural including rock clusters and lush green fields. As we moved forward, we encountered wild forest landscapes and then the industrial plantations of spices, tea and coffee. For those wanting to stop and eat on the way, there are a few eating spots on the way and some local coconut water vendors. The beautiful weather added to the fun and the spots were apt for some memorable pictures with family. A lot to upload on Instagram I can say!
There are many resorts and local hotels in both Madikeri and South Coorg. These include budget options. Do get an advanced booking before you leave if the members are more. The room rent for a decent hotel would be somewhere around Rs 1000 to 1500 per head per day. We stayed at Hotel Solitaire Exotica in Madikeri.
There are many restaurants, coffee shops and local food joints in and around Coorg. Try the local cuisines, they were pretty well made.
There are many petrol stations including in Madikeri and around.
As soon as we touched Coorg, wild bamboos greeted us with lush green beauty. The wildlife destination Dubare was on way that has an elephant training site worth a visit. Once we reached Coorg, we reached our hotel and rested the day after dinner. The morning greeted us with a beautiful weather and we felt so welcome by the place that we went for a walk in the woods.
Later in the day, we went to the famous Tibetan Namdroling monastery in Bylekuppe. This is a teaching centre and monastery. Luckily we went just in time for their prayer. The scintillating experience of the prayer session was memorable. There was a nunnery and also souvenir shops around.
Next day was reserved for the Nagarhole wildlife sanctuarywhich is a project tiger reserve within the Nilgiri biosphere has an amazing wildlife. We spotted Asiatic elephants. Squirrels, langurs, deerand clicked numerous pictures with the beautiful sunset while leaving.
In the night we enjoyed in the hotel with DJ night and a bon fire.
The final day of our trip was reserved for numerous experiences. We started the day by visiting the Abbey falls near Madikeri. We also went to local spice and coffee shopsthere.
Later we went to Taal Cauvery which is the starting point of the river Cauvery. This place has a beautiful temple dedicated to the river which was full of pilgrims. There are about 250 steps from the temple to the top point which gives a beautiful view of the mesmerising Nilgiri ranges.
Later in the day we went to the Cauvery river site for rafting experience. The charges were nominal at Rs 100 per person. We hired 2 boats and had quite a memorable experience in the fast water.
On the way back, we took the route via Mysore where we visited the beautiful and sprawling Palace of Mysore. In the evening, the palace was lit up with stunning lights and that view was enthralling for us. Then we did some shopping for sarees and handloom products.
The whole trip was laid back and pleasant. The stay in between laps of coffee and spices plantations was a welcome change for all of us and we returned home rejuvenated. The main attraction for me in Coorg was the beautiful scenery with Blue Mountains covered in mist, the waterfalls and the coffee estates. The place did take us very close to the nature and finally we bid farewell to this beautiful place.