Coorg Tourism and Travel Guide

Kodagu also known as Kodava Nadu, is an administrative district in Karnataka, India. It occupies an area of 4,102 square kilometres (1,584 sq mi) in the Western Ghats of southwestern Karnataka. In 2001 its population was 548,561, 13.74% of which resided in the district's urban centres, making it the least populous of the 30 districts in Karnataka. The district is bordered by Dakshina Kannada district to the northwest, Hassan district to the north, Mysore district to the east, Kannur district of Kerala to the southwest, and the Wayanad district of Kerala to the south. Agriculture is the most important factor that upholds the economy of Kodagu and the main crops cultivated in this region are rice and coffee. Coorg is rich in natural resources which included timber and spices. Madikeri (English: Mercara) is the headquarters of Kodagu.Kodagu is known for its coffee and its people. The dominant group are the indigenous (Kodavas) and other ethnic groups (Arabasha and Kodava subgroups). Kodavas (freehold farmers, rulers and miltiamen), and of late Arabasha (farmers) from Sullia. The chief languages presently spoken in Kodagu are Kodava, Are Bhashe,Kannada, Kasaragod Malayalam, Yerava, Kuruba, Konkani, Urdu, Tulu and English. Kodagu is home to the native speakers of the Kodava language.
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Best Time To Visit Coorg

Like most hill stations, Coorg tourism is at its liveliest during the summer and winter months. Monsoons are off-season for Coorg tourism owing to the incessant rains. However, for some travellers, exploring Coorg tourism during the monsoon months is an experience like never before. The waterfalls are gushing with fresh water and the plantations are at their greenest. Like most parts of the country, the months of June, July and August are marked by the monsoon. 

Coorg tourism is blooming during the summer months of April, May and June. The homestays are packed with travellers and tourist attractions are bustling with visitors. If you want to explore Coorg tourism in peace and without the hustle and bustle of tourists, we recommend visiting in early March or the end of June. Coorg welcomes winter around November. This is also a great time to explore the beauty of Coorg tourism and tick off things to do in Coorg. The winter season lasts till February.


Top Attractions In Coorg

Abbey Falls
Since Coorg is surrounded by the Western Ghats, it’s no surprise that lush greenery is a big part of Coorg’s surreal views. Now add a gushing waterfall to the scenery and you will find yourself with an exciting Coorg tourism itinerary. Abbey Falls or Abbi Falls is located ten kilometres from Madikeri and is easily accessible by road.

The waterfall is situated at a height of 70 feet and is surrounded by breathtaking greenery. The view seems to be out of a painting and if you are a nature lover, you’ll be spending quite a few hours here. Abbey Falls is situated amidst wild coffee bushes and vast spice estates. There is a hanging bridge opposite the waterfall that offers the most spectacular view of the surrounding scenery.

The drop-off point for the downhill trek to the waterfalls is ten to fifteen minutes away. If you are travelling with elderly persons, it might be a good idea to reconsider this tourist attraction. The downhill trek to Abbey Falls offers spectacular views of surrounding coffee and spice plantations. If capturing the place you are visiting is a high priority for you, we think you’d find quite a few Instagram-worthy shots here. While there are a few stalls around the waterfall that serve basic snacks, it’s best to carry your own food. 

Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary
Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is among the lesser-known spots that make up Coorg tourism. It is separated from Nagarhole National Park by a row of coffee plantations. The sanctuary gets its name from Brahmagiri Park, which is the highest peak in the area. The unique geography of the sanctuary is a major reason for its popularity among people exploring Coorg tourism. Made up of grasslands, evergreen forests, lush hills and paddy fields, the sanctuary offers a unique opportunity to explore the local flora and fauna of Coorg.

The sanctuary is also an elephant corridor and connects the Nagarhole and Wayanad sanctuaries. A tour of the sanctuary will reconfirm the fact that men and animals can have a peaceful relationship and can coexist (a rarity in most parts of the world). The villages around the sanctuary are well-versed with the way of the gentle giants and have made changes to their lifestyle to accommodate the animals.

Iruppu Gate is the most popular entry to the sanctuary and the most accessible. If you are a bird lover, we highly recommend a tour of the sanctuary with a guide. Some of the popular birds that you can spot are the emerald dove, the Malabar trogon and the black bulbul. A tour of the sanctuary will take anywhere between three and five hours. It would be advised that you don’t combine too many tourist attractions with the sanctuary since that might exhaust you and dull your experience of Coorg tourism.

Dubare Elephant Camp
Elephants are intriguing animals that have kept animal lovers and wildlife enthusiasts engaged for decades. Their fierce solidarity with their own kind has been studied for years and continues to be a fascinating subject. If you are an animal lover who would like to learn more about this beautiful creature, Dubare Elephant Camp should be on your Coorg itinerary when exploring Coorg tourism.

Each session at the camp is for three hours during which you can interact with elephants as well as learn more about their behaviour. Throughout the tour, you are accompanied by naturalists and tour guides ensuring your protection. If you are exploring Coorg tourism with young children, this is a wonderful activity that you can include in your itinerary.

An interesting facet of the camp is that it earlier served as the training ground for the vibrant Mysore Dussehra. The elephants are no longer trained for the occasion, but this fact still attracts travellers to the camp. Among the various activities that you can try at the camp, we suggest an elephant safari, a brief interaction with naturalists to understand elephants and their behaviour as well as a tour of the camp.

Honnamana Kere Lake
An ideal itinerary is one that offers you a mix of everything. Whether it’s a spiritual attraction, bustling markets or natural attractions, it should spoil you for choice. A Coorg tourism itinerary offers just that. Among the top choices on this itinerary is the Honnamana Kere Lake. It is the biggest lake in Coorg and is a crowd puller for nature lovers and bird watchers owing to the surreal views it promises. But that’s not all, the lake is also known for its spiritual as well as historical significance. It is named after Goddess Honnamana and there is a temple adjacent to the lake that is dedicated to the goddess. The Gauri Festival takes place here every year and it is a huge part of Coorg tourism, especially if you want to explore the culture of Coorg.


The route from Madikeri to the lake is gorgeous and is surrounded by thick forests on both sides. If you enjoy scenic drives, this will certainly be the highlight of your journey. We recommend carrying your own picnic basket since there are no restaurants or cafes here. In fact, the lake is one of the lesser-known attractions of Coorg tourism. 


Raja’s Seat

Is there a better way to enjoy the sunset than to sit on an erstwhile royal throne? We think not. Coorg tourism offers you this memorable experience if you visit Raja’s Seat. Situated amidst a vibrant garden, the seat overlooks the mountains and offers you a direct view of the setting sun. An erstwhile viewpoint, it still retains its charm and is a highlight for Coorg tourism owing to its history and popularity with the locals. 


For the erstwhile kings of Kodagu, watching the sunset here was a regular activity and one that was valued immensely. Ironically one can see that today as well. The locals seem to enjoy picnicking at Raja’s Seat and it is one of the top recommendations if you speak to a local. If you are travelling with little ones, you will be pleased to know that there is a toy train at the site. A small addition but one that has increased the popularity of the picnic site immensely. 


Since Raja’s Seat is an attraction that you can cover within three to four hours, we recommend heading here during lunch and admire the setting sun as you wrap up your leisurely lunch. For those who’d like to end their day with a picturesque sunset, it’s best to head here around 4:30 pm lest you miss out on the best viewpoints.

Activities And Things To Do In Coorg


A lesser-known facet of Coorg tourism is that it offers plenty to trekkers and hikers. Whether you are just starting out or are an expert trekker, there is so much to try when exploring Coorg tourism. Most trekking expeditions are combined with camping, stargazing and bird watching so if you are in the mood to enjoy a trip full of outdoor activities, we highly recommend Coorg.


Tadiandamol Peak is one of the most popular trekking routes for adventure enthusiasts and is highly recommended if you are looking for a medium-level trek. The starting point is Nalknad Palace and the trek is 4.5 kilometres long. If this is the first time you are exploring Coorg tourism, it’s best to take the services of a local guide. 


The Iruppu Falls trek is another popular trek owing to the spectacular views it offers. The trek takes you through dense forests with the sound of the waterfall always accompanying you. This trek will give you an opportunity to explore the rare flora and fauna of Coorg. One of the best treks in Coorg for beginners, it will take you anywhere between four and five hours to complete.


The Pushpagiri-Galibeedu-Subramanya trek and Subramanya-Kumara-Parvatha trek are a few other popular trekking routes that are a part of Coorg tourism. 



Adventure enthusiasts planning to explore Coorg tourism can breathe a sigh of relief since Coorg offers a fair number of activities. Among which rafting is quite popular with travellers. If you have planned a long holiday to Coorg, it certainly makes sense to include this time-consuming activity in your itinerary. However, if you have only a couple of days in hand, it’s best to spend your day covering other tourist attractions. The Barapole River is the chosen site for all rafting activities in Coorg. It is an ideal rafting site with umpteen rapids and surreal natural beauty.


The rafting experience in the Barapole River is slightly challenging and if it is your first time here, it might be a little overwhelming. The rapids are strong and it’s a strong catchment area for the monsoons. 


Since rafting is a popular activity for Coorg tourism, we do recommend booking your spot before you head to the pick-off point. The activity typically takes three to four hours and covers a distance of four kilometres. Since it’s a physical activity, it tends to take away most of your energy and that’s why we suggest not planning anything else on that day. However, a hot meal of Coorg’s spicy curry might be a great way to end the day. 


Explore coffee and spice plantations

Tours of coffee and spice plantations have gradually become an integral part of Coorg tourism. As we become more aware of where our food comes from, this process becomes even more fascinating. If you are interested in the coffee-making process or are curious to know where your spices come from, this should be on your things to do in Coorg list. 


While some coffee plantations offer guided tours, others welcome tourists to walk around and explore on their own. Depending on the kind of traveller you are, you can either book a guided tour or choose to let your senses guide you. For those who are not interested in coffee or spices, this is a great activity simply because of the views that you will be treated to.

Where To Stay In Coorg

There are numerous reasons that prompt one to travel and living at a luxurious hotel is certainly among the top few. But, what makes Coorg tourism unique is that the hill station is home to a wide array of accommodation types. Whether you enjoy the hospitality of a homestay or the numerous facilities that a hotel offers, you will be spoilt for choice when exploring Coorg tourism.


Luxury hotels in Coorg

If your budget allows for luxury accommodation while exploring Coorg tourism, you are in for a surprise. The best resorts in Coorg promise an experience that you won’t easily forget. The rooms are spacious, warm and typically come with a separate sit-out area. Some hotels also include a variety of activities with the package. You can expect a short tour of the market, a trip to one of the wildlife sanctuaries and indoor activities with your package.


Here are a few luxury Coorg hotels that you can choose while exploring Coorg tourism 

  • Coorg Wilderness Resort
  • Evolve Back
  • The Tamara
  • The Serai Kabini
  • The Ibnii
  • Old Kent Estates


Mid-budget hotels in Coorg

Since Coorg sees a steady stream of tourists all through the year, there are numerous hotels and unique accommodation types that contribute to Coorg tourism. Whether it’s the location or the service, there is something special about all accommodations in Coorg. 


Here are a few mid-budget accommodation options that you can choose when exploring Coorg tourism 

  • Heritage Resort
  • Coorg International
  • The Casiita
  • Serene Woods
  • Brooke Stone Villas


Budget hotels in Coorg

One would assume that a low budget for accommodation means an untidy room and below average service, but Coorg will surprise you. The budget accommodations in the hill station are clean, welcoming and ensure that guests have a memorable vacation.


Here are a few budget accommodations you can try while exploring Coorg tourism

  • Le Coorg
  • Madikeri Heritage
  • Coorg Cliff Resorts
  • Porcupine Castle Resort
  • The Cocoon


Homestays in Coorg

Travellers are gradually warming up to the idea of staying at a homestay. A unique experience, homestays offer you a glimpse into the life of locals as well as show you a different side of the city. With home-cooked food, heartwarming service and a treasure trove of information, homestays have become a preferred choice for travellers exploring Coorg tourism.

  • Anirvaa
  • Sri Nidhi Estate Stay
  • Tanglewoods
  • Vaishnavi Estate
  • Honeypot Homes
  • Gowrinivas

Cuisine And Best Places To Eat

Earlier, Coorg was a landlocked region which meant that the locals had to use readily available ingredients. Since the hill station is home to numerous spice plantations, all dishes have a hearty dose of spices and locally available vegetables. You will find that most dishes comprise bamboo shoot, pork, coconut, kodambuli, jackfruit, plantain and different kind of puttus


The food is light and refreshing since it’s prepared using local vegetables and fruits. Some of the dishes that you must try while exploring Coorg tourism are koli curry, bamboo shoot curry, pandi curry and thaliya puttu.


Travellers who enjoy exploring the cuisine of a place will have a lot on their plate in Coorg. Whether it is street food or food at a restaurant, there are numerous dishes to keep your palate satisfied. Here are a few restaurants that you must try when exploring Coorg tourism. 

  • Beans and Brew Cafe
  • Raintree
  • Coorg cuisine
  • Zaffron by Le Coorg
  • Taste of Coorg
  • Tiger Tiger Ethnic

How To Travel In Coorg

Coorg district is extremely well connected by a network of local highways. For travellers exploring Coorg tourism, you can choose to travel by buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws. 


If you are on a budget trip, we recommend hiring an auto rickshaw for a tour of the popular local attractions or hiring a self-driven car. Cycling and walking are also popular among locals and is a great way to learn more about Coorg. For those who are on a luxury trip, hiring a cab for the entire duration of your stay will be a smart option. Most hotels and homestays will give you authentic information with respect to local cabs.


If you enjoy discovering the local way of life in a city, there isn’t a better option than travelling in a local bus. State as well as private buses ply in the city and depending on where you are headed, there are numerous routes available.


Since Coorg is a busy tourist destination, cabs and auto rickshaws have fixed packages for a tour of popular attractions. Depending on the number of places you want to see and your budget, you can choose how you’d like to travel within the city.

Typical Costs In Coorg

What is the one thing that we all think about before planning a trip? If your answer was – budget, then you are a seasoned traveller! The budget is the most critical part of planning a trip. It determines the kind of accommodation that you will choose and the list of activities that you will try during your stay.


Coorg tourism welcomes all kinds of travellers and if you know the tricks of budget travelling, you will find it easy to plan a fun and memorable trip!


Luxury travellers have the choice to opt for the most gorgeous accommodations where their food, activities and tours are taken care of. While this is quite heavy on the pocket, it ensures that you have a hassle-free experience while exploring Coorg tourism. Luxury travellers can expect to spend between Rs 15,000 and Rs 25,000 per day. This cost includes travel, food and activities.


Mid-budget travellers have to be more mindful of where they spend their money. If you have opted for a reasonably priced homestay accommodation, you can choose more activities that fit your budget and have a more fulfilling experience while exploring Coorg tourism. Mid-budget travellers can expect to spend anywhere between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 per day.


The burden of planning and pre-booking accommodation typically falls on budget travellers. Since they are trying to explore Coorg tourism on a predefined budget, travellers have to research extensively and find hotel discounts, reasonable transport options and plan activities with other budget travellers. For budget travellers, typical per day costs are between Rs 1000 and Rs 5000.


How many days do I need to explore Coorg tourism?

The number of days one needs to explore Coorg tourism will depend on the itinerary. If you want to include trekking, rafting and other outdoorsy activities, you will need a couple of days extra. If, on the other hand, you want to explore the city, the cafes and the local attractions, you can plan a trip for five to seven days.


What are the things I should pack for a trip to explore Coorg tourism?

Coorg is blessed with a moderate climate so you don’t have to plan extensively for your clothes and accessories. Depending on the weather in which you are exploring Coorg tourism, you can pack appropriate clothes and shoes. As for other basic essentials, you should carry extra cash, a pair of sturdy shoes and slippers, an overnight bag for impromptu day trips and prescription medicines.


Suggest three tips for planning a trip to Coorg.

Tips can help save money, ensure that you have a safe trip and make your vacation worthwhile. Three tips that you should keep in mind while planning a trip to explore Coorg tourism are:

  1. Carry cash with you since the ATMs are only in the main towns. If you are travelling to villages, you might face a shortage.
  2. Carry your trekking gear if you are planning to include trekking in your Coorg tourism itinerary.
  3. Make sure to book well in advance, especially if you are planning a number of activities on your trip.


Which are the lesser-known places to visit in Coorg?

Coorg tourism offers travellers a variety of places and activities. But, despite the growing number of tourists, there are quite a few hidden gems in Coorg that you can explore on your trip. Some of these places are Chelavara Falls, Nalakunad Palace, Mallahalli Falls, Kumara Parvatha and Namdroling Monastery.


Which are the best budget homestays in Coorg tourism?

Homestays have gradually become a preferred choice for travellers exploring Coorg tourism. Not only do they offer a homely experience but also give you an opportunity to learn more about the local culture. Some of the best budget Coorg homestays that are part of Coorg tourism are Victorian Verandaz, Casa Coorg, Little Jungle Homestay and Ananda Nilaya.


Which activities should I include in my Coorg tourism itinerary?

If you are an adventure enthusiast exploring Coorg tourism, there are a ton of things to add to your itinerary. Some of the things you can try are trekking, white river water rafting, visiting wildlife sanctuaries and cycling tours. For those who enjoy the laid back way of life, cafe hopping and tours of coffee and tea plantations are a great addition to your Coorg tourism itinerary.


Name three offbeat experiences that are part of Coorg tourism.

During our travels, all of us look for unique experiences to make our trip more fulfilling. Whether it is learning more about the local culture or heading out to explore lesser-known attractions, offbeat experiences add charm to any vacation. Here are three offbeat experiences that you can try in Coorg.

  1. Learn more about Tibetan culture at Namdroling Monastery. It is the largest teaching centre of the school of Tibetan Buddhism known as Nyingmapa.
  2. Enjoy a leisurely picnic at Chikli Hole and admire the surreal views that the offbeat attraction offers.
  3. Rent a four-wheel drive and explore Mandalpatti. Typically a trekking destination, it also offers one a unique experience if you are interested in exploring scenic routes.


Which are the best places near Coorg?

There is plenty to keep one occupied in Coorg but if you are planning to stay for a long period of time, there are numerous destinations around the hill station that you can explore. Some of the more popular tourist places around Coorg are Mysore, Mangalore, Nandi Hills, Bandipur and Kabini.


Which are the best markets in Coorg?

Travellers are driven by many reasons. While some of us enjoy a hearty dose of adventure, others prefer a quiet, laid back holiday. Whether it is food that interests you or shopping, there is much to keep you occupied while exploring Coorg tourism. Some of the best markets in Coorg are Madikeri market, the Friday Market that takes place weekly, Kushal Nagar Market, Tibetan Flea market and Shop n Stop store that is well known for their wide variety of coffee.

Written by Kirat Sodhi. She is a proud mom of three cats and lives for lemon tea, a good book and spontaneous travel plans.