Known as the Scotland of India, Coorg is a land of beauty and magic with lush green mountains, dense tropical forests and cascading waterfalls; all wrapped delicately by a thick mist. Situated along the Western Ghats in Karnataka, Coorg offers a dreamy environment best suited best for trekking, river rafting and bird watching. Some of the best places to visit in Coorg are nestled in the countryside, filled by endless greenery. Also known as Kodagu, Coorg is home to the Kodavas, a native community of hunters and warriors, known originally for their hospitality. There are plenty of places to visit in Coorg – all brimming with natural beauty, culture, history,and adventure.

Reminiscent of its colonial past, Coorg is full of bungalows that have now converted to lovely homestays. When visiting this incredible district, it is best to stay at a homestay instead of hotels to learn more about the offbeat places to visit in Coorg, the local life, or simply try out scrumptious Kodavan meals, and relax with a cup of coffee.

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Places to visit in Coorg: Waterfalls

Abbey Falls

One of the most famous Coorg tourist attractions, the Abbey Falls is located at a 10-kilometer distance from Madikeri. This waterfall roars down from a height of about 70 feet to join the river Cauvery, and is exceptionally beautiful in monsoon, making it one of the most crowded places to visit in Coorg during this season. Though you might be tempted to, bathing is not permitted here.

Surrounded by coffee and spice plantations, this Coorg tourist place is a popular location for photoshoots. An over-bridge located across this waterfall provides an alluring view and a perfect spot for a picnic. The sound of the gushing water paired with the sounds of birds and crickets will have a calming effect on those who visit, making it one of the most relaxing places to visit in Coorg.

The beauty of this place may be discovered further by trekking, where the winding trails lead you to a whole new world of pristine natural beauty. Be it the meandering streams of the Cauvery, or the mountain peaks that seem to walk with you, a trek here is bound to rejuvenate your mind and soul.

We advise carrying salt or Eucalyptus lotion to avoid leeches during monsoon. All in all, Abbey Falls is a delightful place to visit in Coorg. 

 

Iruppu Falls

Iruppu Falls is located in the Brahmagiri Range, and is also known as the Lakshmana Tirtha Falls after the river Cauvery's tributary of the same name. Apart from its natural beauty, the Iruppu Falls is also well-known for religious reasons.

It is believed that Lakshman's arrow pierced the Brahmagiri hills, cracking it open, and giving rise to the clean stream now known as the Lakhsmana Tirtha. The Rameshwara temple was constructed here owing to this history. Considered a holy place, hundreds of tourists today, visit the Iruppu Falls in hopes of having their sins washed, making it one of the most revered places to visit in Coorg.

Tourists have to trek for about a kilometre from the entry point. With the luxurious greenery around you, this trek would seem like a walk through the gardens of paradise. This path is known to be slippery during monsoon, and wearing appropriate shoes is a must when visiting this popular Coorg tourist place.

Gushing down from a height of 170 metres, this mighty waterfall has been declared an eco-tourism centre, and carrying plastic is prohibited. Bathing is allowed here, resulting in hundreds of tourists flocking here daily to enjoy the calm waters of the falls. We advise getting there as early as possible to avoid big crowds. One of the best places to visit in Coorg, Iruppu Falls is a must-visit.

 

Mallalli Falls

As the fog lifts from the crags of the Pushpagiri Hills, you witness the wondrous sight of the Mallalli Falls pouring down with a mighty power from a height of 200 feet. The sight of this alluring waterfall is what makes Coorg a tourist attraction.

Wrapped intimately by viridescent foliage, trekking is the best way to reach the Mallalli Falls while enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. While trekking towards the waterfall, you might even be greeted by the waterfall drizzle! A great way to feed your thirst for adventure is to visit the lower part of the waterfall by carefully climbing down the massive rocks. The view that this new point offers is magnificent and makes the trek worthwhile. There are several private coffee plantation estates around the location which enhances the beauty of this magical place.

Like most of the places to visit in Coorg, Mallalli Falls too, is best enjoyed during the monsoon season. Do make sure to wear appropriate shoes, carry salt to prevent leeches, and take some snacks with you. The list of places to see in Coorg would remain incomplete without a mention of the Mallalli Falls.

Places to visit in Coorg: Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks

Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary

If you thought that popular Coorg tourist attractions consist only of stretches of coffee plantations and misty waterfalls, then you're about to be pleasantly surprised. Coorg possesses several wildlife sanctuaries, and a national park. Among other forests to visit in Coorg, the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is worth a visit if you want a glimpse of nature in its purest form. This captivating place to visit in Coorg is bordered by the Wayanad district of Kerala in the south and the Coorg district of Karnataka in the north.

Established in 1974, this sanctuary is home to a wide array of flora and fauna. From the elephant, gaur, sloth, to the jungle cat, leopard and tiger, this popular Coorg tourist place boasts of around 240 species of birds. Bamboo trees occupy the majority of the flora section of this wildlife sanctuary, followed by eucalyptus and axlewood trees.

The sanctuary derives its name from the Brahmagiri Peak, standing at a great height of 1608 metres, and a popular place to visit in Coorg for trekking. Dried leaves crunching beneath your shoes, you emerge from the thick cover of mist. With only the chirping birds and crickets as company, a trek to the Brahmagiri Peak is nothing short of a magical quest. Additionally, you may visit the Thirunelli Temple – believed to be constructed by Brahma himself – on your way to the sanctuary. Owing to its variety and sheer beauty, the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is deemed to be one of the most beautiful places to visit in Coorg.

 

Nagarhole National Park

Nagarhole came into existence when the Venugopal Wildlife Park was divided in the year 1941, and more than a decade later, Nagarhole was recognized as a national park.
The word Nagarhole means 'snake-like river' (Nagar meaning 'snake'; Hole meaning 'river') referring to Cauvery's tributary, Kabini. True to its name, Kabini slithers through the forest grounds amidst rows of bamboo, teak and rosewood trees.

Home to around 250 different types of mammals, reptiles and birds, the most favourable time to visit this park is from October to March for the best wildlife sighting experience. What makes this national park one of the most exciting places to visit in Coorg, is the fact that you might encounter a wild animal when you least expect it. Tiger viewing is quite frequent here, so do not be alarmed if you spot this majestic feline relaxing against the backdrop of the dense, green forest.

Go on an early morning safari to witness the vast stretches of green being caressed by the golden daylight, and watch the forest buzz with life. Elephants roam leisurely, feasting on bamboo shoots; herds of deer prance around, langurs hang off branches, while the scarlet minivets sing away to glory.

Nagarhole sees a lesser number of tourists compared to other national parks, making it an ideal place to visit in Coorg if you are a nature lover craving for some solitude. The sunsets here are mesmerizing, marking a perfect end to days spent here. One of the most spectacular places to visit in Coorg, Nagarhole is a must-visit.

 

Dubare

If you have spent hours on the Discovery Channel watching elephants in the wild, hoping to see them up close, then Dubare is the perfect place for you to live your dream. Dubare is an elephant conservatory managed by the Forest Department of Karnataka, on the banks of the river Cauvery.

Wonderfully maintained, this unique place to visit in Coorg is a beautiful place to learn more about the conservatory, or the famous Asiatic Black Elephant straight from the naturalists. If you prefer a more hands-on approach, then feel free to help out a mahout (elephant trainer) bathe, scrub or even feed a gigantic elephant. Beware though; these mischievous elephants can sprinkle water on you! Impressively, these elephants are trained to participate in the annual Mysore Dussehra festival.

Dubare is not only a popular Coorg tourist attraction for its elephants, but also for the wide variety of adventure sports that take place. Be it river rafting, trekking, bird watching or elephant rides, Dubare makes sure that you leave with a suitcase full of pleasant memories. In fact, the more you learn about this place, the more you realise why Dubare can be considered one of the most interesting places to visit in Coorg. Visit any time between September to March to enjoy the exotic elephant experience!

Places to visit in Coorg: Trekking

Chomakund Trek

Home to magnificent landscapes and verdant fields, some of the best places to visit in Coorg, with magnificent views, may be reached by trekking. One such place is Chomakund, whose beauty can only be compared to Scotland. With open fields and sprawling mountain ranges, the Chomakund trek is genuinely one of the most heavenly places to visit in Coorg.

Located near the border of Kerala, the trekking trail begins from Chelavara waterfalls and runs deep into the dense forest. After a relatively easy trek, you are rewarded by the view of the clouds kissing the cliff where you stand. Prepare to be blown away by the stunning view of the mountain ranges if you stick around long enough to witness the cloud clearing away. Chomakund is counted among the most enthralling places to visit in Coorg, for the rocky path through the misty hills, and the aroma of cardamom wafting in the air, is bound to leave you mesmerised.

 

Kakkabe Trek

Many of us dream of going to Scotland — to experience the vast expanse of green fields and rocky hills. Surprisingly, you can live your dreams in our very own country, in the quaint village of Kakkabe, which is known as one of the greatest places to visit in Coorg if you want to experience Scotland.
The trail is through the green forests of the Western Ghats and past heavenly waterfalls, where you might be lucky enough to encounter wild animals or exotic birds. Among all the places to visit in Coorg, Kakkabe boasts of the highest peak in the district, from where you may even catch a sight of the coastline if trekking on a clear day. This magnificent village is also famous for producing superior quality honey. On the whole, the Kakkabe trek is an experience that you carry for the rest of your life.

This is surely one of the best places to visit in Coorg if you are an avid trekker.

When in Kakkabe, do not forget to drop by the Nalknad Palace, built as a summer retreat for King Langaraja, to admire its intricacies and architectural brilliance. Take a peek into the traditional religious beliefs of the Kodavas by visiting the Igguthappa temple, or the temple of the mighty Rain God. This serene place to visit in Coorg is reminiscent of local culture and festivities. Even with rapidly growing tourism, there are hidden gems in Coorg that are still untouched.

 

Nishani Betta Hills

If you are one of those who prefer trekking in offbeat locations, then the Nishani Betta Hills is your perfect match. Located in the Brahmagiri range, this is a relatively tougher trek, owing to its steep slope. Green meadows, coffee plantations and sparkling streams, make it one of the most beautiful places to visit in Coorg. The initial trail leads to a grassland full of varying flora and fauna. Administered by the Tala Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, the Nishani Betta is home to leopards and elephants. Add it to the list of places to visit in Coorg if you want to be closer to nature. 

Places to visit in Coorg: Architecture

Namdroling Monastery

Coorg is a well renowned hill station, known best for its mist-covered hills, stretches of green forests, and lovely weather. Not only is Coorg a nature lovers' paradise, but is also home to several architectural wonders. If you wish to experience the peacefulness of a Tibetan monastery, then this is certainly one of the most ideal places to visit in Coorg. Situated in the town of Bylakuppe, which has several Tibetan settlements, the Namdroling Monastery was established in the year 1963 by Pema Nobu Rinpoche, and is today renowned for their true preservation of the teachings of Buddha.

When you stand before this white-walled monastery surrounded by the rich green hills, all you feel is serenity. In fact, just looking at the green lawns on either side of the main building fills you with a sense of peace. Rich Tibetan paintings adorn the walls of the monastery, all depicting a Buddhist myth. The spacious prayer hall is lined with prayer desks where you might even catch a monk meditating in front of the golden statues of Buddhist saints and a 60 feet tall statue of Buddha himself.

When you walk out the gates of this tranquil monastery, you will suddenly be more aware of the air around you, the chirping birds and the delicious aroma of coffee. You will feel the positive change around, and in you, with a feeling of being a little closer to a force greater than all of us. There are hundreds of fabulous places to visit in Coorg. However, do not miss the Namdroling Monastery if you want a reminder of how beautiful and peaceful this world truly is.

 

Madikeri Fort

If you wish to peek into the cultural and historical side of this misty hill station, then the Madikeri Fort is definitely one of the unmissable places to visit in Coorg.

Built in the 17th century by Muddu Raja, the founder of Coorg, Madikeri Fort is the embodiment of the bygone days, where every brick and stone whisper stories of valiant kings and long, bloody battles. The Madikeri Fort has seen kings come and go; have been claimed and reclaimed, yet it stood the test of time and will continue to do so for centuries to come.

Originally made out of mud, the granite of the Madikeri Fort that we see today, was constructed when Tipu Sultan captured it. However, the Kodagu rulers reclaimed the fort and added more oriental features to its construction later on, showcasing an interesting blend of European and Indian style of architecture. Under the British rule, the fort underwent yet another change in the form of St. Mark's Church, which was built in the place of the demolished Vidarbha temple. Amid changes, the Madikeri Fort has continually been one of the most revered places to visit in Coorg.

Surrounded by verdant hills, a trip to Madikeri Fort is a pleasant walk down the lanes of history. Today, the fort serves as not only a museum, but also an extraordinary place to visit in Coorg.

 

Gaddige

If you want to witness an amalgamation of natural beauty and cultural heritage, then you would undoubtedly find such an experience in the various places to visit in Coorg. Gaddige, or the Raja's Tomb, never ceases to amaze tourists with its sheer magnificence – be it natural or architectural.

Standing high and proud, Gaddige is situated at the edge of a hill and overlooks the quaint town of Madikeri. The architectural structure is Indo-Saracenic in nature, with four turrets at the corners and a dome in the centre, reminiscent of the Islamic style of architecture. The interiors consist of the remains of the Kodava king Dodda Virajendra and his queen, along with the tomb of the royal priest. Interestingly, the tombs have inscriptions dedicated to Lord Shiva, owing to the Hindu background of the kings.

A kilometer from Madikeri town, this spot is a popular Coorg tourist place, where thousands flock to enjoy the gentle breeze and stunning sights. Picnics too, are a common activity here because of the large, well-maintained garden. Gaddige is one of the best places to visit in Coorg if you wish to relax or familiarise yourself with the rich history of the valiant Kodava kings.

Places to visit in Coorg: Eateries

It is not just the natural and architectural beauty of this land that has made Coorg a popular tourist attraction. This area is also famous for its mouth-watering dishes. From bamboo curry to pork curry and rice balls to rice pancakes, Coorg guarantees you happiness in the form of food.

 

Coorg Cuisine

Owing to its demand, Coorg Cuisine is notably one of the best places to visit in Coorg to satisfy the foodie in you.
Easy to locate and budget-friendly, Coorg Cuisine is a food lover's paradise. Without fail, try their pork dishes, especially the famous Pandhi curry (pork curry). If you're a vegetarian then their bamboo shoot curry and akki roti, or neer dosa should not be missed for the world. Coorg Cuisine is now synonymous with authentic Kodava cuisine that is a favourite among tourists and locals alike, making it a popular Coorg tourist attraction.

 

Tiger Tiger

A short walk from Raja's Seat, Tiger Tiger is a quaint, cosy restaurant serving authentic Kodava cuisine. You might have checked out all the touristy places to visit in Coorg, but your trip will not be complete unless you've had a taste of their delectable ghee rice and pandhi curry. In fact, the pandhi curry here is so famous that it is often sold out. Pandhi Barthad, or fried pork, is another dish that you absolutely cannot miss. If you happen to visit this Coorg tourist place during the summer, do not miss out on their sweet and savoury mango curry.

 

Taste of Coorg

This is one of the best places to visit in Coorg if you want a taste of its traditional cuisine. The saying, 'What's inside is what matters' rings true for this small and inconspicuous eatery, for the homemade food here is bound to make you come back for more. Taste of Coorg is one of the best places to visit in Coorg to have desserts and Noolputtu, a rice noodle dish.

Places to visit in Coorg: Markets

A market is the pulse of a region. With different sights, smells and sounds converging into a particular area, a market is a true reflection of the living style of the people of a place. Take a little break from the popular Coorg tourist attractions, and have a look at these places to visit in Coorg that support thousands of families.

 

Friday Market

Close to the railway station, the Friday market should be in your list of places to visit in Coorg if you want to take back some of the authentic spices of this region with you. The constant calls of the sellers, the haggling customers and the aroma of fresh spices together give rise to an experience that must not be missed when visiting Coorg.

 

Coffee Market

A visit to Coorg without buying coffee is incomplete. The shops selling coffee from the nearby plantations are too tempting to just walk by without a second glance. Here, you get a variety of coffee, all being sold at an affordable price. The coffee here is unlike any you have ever had, therefore, make it a point to add the coffee market to your places to visit in Coorg list.

 

Coorg Flea Market

A major Coorg tourist attraction, be prepared to face a crowd, pushing and pulling, moving like waves on the street of the Coorg Flea Market. When you are finally steady on your feet, will you see the colourful collection of items displayed. With clothes, utensils, toys, home decor items, fruits and vegetables up for sales, the Coorg Flea Market is a one-stop solution. However, we advise doing a quality check before buying electronics or jewellery here. This market, though one of the most crowded places to visit in Coorg, is a budget-friendly option for tourists who wish to take back souvenirs.

 

Tibetan Market

Carry a tiny piece of Tibet with you back from your trip to Coorg. Selling authentic Tibetan statues, jewellery, carpets and clothes, this quaint market is one of the many places to visit in Coorg. If you get hungry from all the shopping, there is nothing to worry about. After all, what is better than a plate of steaming hot momos?

Located on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats, Kodagu, or more commonly known as Coorg is a land best known for its aromatic coffee, natural beauty and friendly populace. Kodagu is a rural administrative district located in the southwestern part of Karnataka. One of the most sparsely populated regions in the state, Kodagu is famed for offering travelers a chance to connect with nature. With several national parks, adventure activities, virgin trek routes and hidden camping spots, a trip to Kodagu will surely bring out the nature lover within you!

If there’s any one place that can be considered to be the heart of Kodagu, it is none other than the popular hill town of Madikeri. The town is famed for its gushing waterfalls which are one of the best places to visit in Kodagu. The falls of Chingara, Abbey and Chelavara are great spots one can head to for a family picnic or a dip in freezing waters. Apart from its several waterfalls, Madikeri also boasts of some ancient monuments that promise a trip back in time. The seventeenth century Madikeri Fort is a prime example of Madikeri’s rich history and is a popular tourist attraction in Kodagu. If you’re a history lover sightseeing in Kodagu, make sure you just don’t miss out on catching the sunset from Raja’s Seat, a favourite garden amongst the kings of Kodagu.

Kodagu’s biggest natural attractions, however, go much beyond Madikeri’s gardens and are epitomized in its protected wildlife areas. The Nagarhole National Park is one spot which should find a place in every wildlife enthusiast’s itinerary of sightseeing in Kodagu. One can easily spot tigers, Indian bisons and elephants within the park premises. To add to that, Nagarhole National Park also has a dense forest cover, small streams, hills, valleys and waterfalls, making it easily the most wholesome tourist attraction in Kodagu. For those looking for an in-depth experience with the wild, plan a day trip to Dubare Elephant Camp while in Kodagu. Located on the banks of River Kaveri, the nature camp gives visitors a chance to play around with mighty elephants, feed them and even give them a nice bath!

However, if you’re someone who’s really looking to experience the wild side of Kodagu, treat yourself with a rush of adrenaline by indulging in extreme adventure sports. The insane rapids of River Barapole which flows through Kodagu offer an unmatched rafting experience while moto enthusiasts can hire a quad bike in Chelavara and explore the jungles of Western Ghats like a pro. Being the origin point of River Kaveri, Kodagu also makes for a great place to indulge in some fishing. The region is home to the mighty Mahaseer fish, fishing for which is one of the best things to do in Kodagu.

If the thrill of adventure has got the better of you, there just can’t be anything better than unwinding and giving yourself a dose of luxury. Being a popular tourist destination, Kodagu boasts of a large number of luxury resorts and spa centers offering beauty processes, special packages and Ayurvedic treatments that will heal you inside out. Sit back, relax, breathe in the fresh air and live the good life in Kodagu, right in the lap of nature.

Written by Baishali Dutta, an in-house Tripoto writer.




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