April 28, 2015

Coorg – the heaven on the earth

As a travel consultant I was facing a barrage of questions.

One week back, one of my friends asked me to suggest a good place for trekking in South India. 

Another pal, who does absolutely nothing during the weekends (and little during the weekdays :-) ), unable to bear his family demands, asked me to suggest a good weekend getaway where he can just laze around and, importantly, do nothing. Yet another of my chums wanted a suggestion to visit some religious places. I also have a buddy, who just visits forests, rivers, waterfalls and such natural delights.

To all of them, I had one magic answer – Coorg.

Let me add besides, that if someone asked me about that particular place in the country reputed to give birth to the most beautiful women, my answer would have been the same.

Coorg! A lovely and sexy tourist site! Before I start exploring this heavenly place in this article, let me warn you. If you are a kind of person who would not love to visit the same place again and again, you better do not go there. Or else, you will fall in love with this place and hardly imagine forming travel sentiments for other places.

People call this place as 'Scotland of India'. Well, I have never been to Scotland. So, I cannot say if Scotland is as beautiful as Coorg. But, I am certain, Coorg is one of the best hill stations in India. If you are travelling to India for the first time, Coorg is easily one of the 'must visit'.


Madikeri

Not only foreigners, even many Indians feel that Coorg is a city, which turns out to be false. Coorg is a district in the state of Karnataka. Madikeri is its capital city. The city of Madikeri, along with the adjoining towns, together forms what is called the Coorg region. If you want to cover the entire Coorg region, the best place to pitch up tent is Madikeri. You can reach the city by taxi from Mysore or Bangalore quite easily. If you stay in Madikeri, you can comfortably travel around the entire Coorg region in just 3-4 days.

Places of interest in Madikeri

There are many interesting places in Madikeri. Let me briefly introduce some of the landmarks.

Omkareshwar Temple:

The 19th century temple of Lord Omkareshwar (Lord Shiva) is a small picturesque place of worship located in the heart of Madikeri city. The temple has an awesome architecture (a curious mixture of Islamic and Gothic styles). The tank in the foreground adds to the historic and architectural charm.


Raja's Tomb:

Raja's tomb is a monument located in a hill in Madikeri, which houses the mausoleums of a king and his family and commanders. I have been to plenty of hill stations and monuments. However, this architecturally beauty in the backdrop of breathtaking ranges is something which I have seldom experienced anywhere else. Whether you are a lover of nature or monuments, this place is sure to captivate you.

Raja's Seat:

Raja's seat is the most important place for the traveler in Madikeri. This is where the kings of Coorg used to sit and spend their evenings, leisurely watching the sunset. You can view the fascinating Western Ghats ranges and an aerial expanse of the entire Coorg region from this vantage point. I am sure the kings of Coorg would have been more attached to this seat more than their royal throne in their palace.

Places around Madikeri:

 Abbi falls: 

Abbi is a small but beautiful waterfall located inside a coffee plantation near Madikeri city. You need to walk for around half a mile through the coffee fields to reach this wonderful destination. You will keep wondering which feast for the eyes is more enticing – the coffee plantations on either side or the spectacular waterfalls.

Dubare forest:

Dubare forest is an elephant capturing and training centre located on the banks of river Kaveri. Not only your kids, even you will be fascinated by the trained wild elephants wandering together. Want some active excitement? You can also indulge yourself water rafting in the river.

Bylakuppe Golden Temple: 

Bylakuppe Golden Temple is a huge Tibetan monastery, the abode of big idols of Lord Buddha and other Buddhist deities. This extraordinary monument has become a crowd puller in Coorg nowadays. When you visit this place for the first time, you will definitely wonder if you have landed up in Tibet by mistake.

Nisargadhama Forest:

Nisargadhama Forest is a wonderful picnic spot where you can run into deer, peacocks, and rabbits with the opportunity to take rides either on boats or even the back of an elephant. It is also a haven for the seasoned birdwatcher. The bamboo trees surrounded by river Kaveri will definitely be balm for your eyes.

Tala Cauvery:

Tala Cauvery is the place of origin for the river Kaveri (Cauvery). There is a small temple at the site. There is a peak which you can trek to in order to watch the surrounding Western Ghats mountain range. Bhagandeshwar (Shiva) temple and Triveni Sangam, where three rivers merge, are a couple of religiously significant sites near Tala Cauvery.

Iruppu Falls:

Iruppu is the most beautiful waterfall in the Coorg region. You need to climb concrete steps and slippery rocks to reach the waterfalls where you can enjoy a refreshing bath. There is a separate route available in these hills (known as Brahmagiri hills) for the avid trekkers.

Tata Tea Estate:

Ever wondered where I would like to work without remuneration? This is that place - Tata Tea Estate. I have no words to describe this exceptional locale. A lovely and scenic site located near the Iruppu falls.


There is lot more to write about the destinations in Coorg. However, I do not want to load your rucksack with too heavy a travel guide . Let me stop here and allow you to explore the place on your own.

Happy travelling.

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