Coorg - Scotland of India 

Photo of Coorg - Scotland of India  1/1 by Gayatri

Coorg, officially known as Kodagu, is one of the most popular hill station in the state of Karnataka. Known for its lush greenery and breathtaking scenery, Coorg is a popular destination all through the year because of its spectacular weather.

A two and a half drive from Mysore, our first visit before checking in at the hotel was the Golden Temple, Namdroling Monastery. Located around 35 kms from Madikeri, the temple is known for its painting depicting Gods, demons, cultures and some phases of Buddha's life. Visitors are not allowed during the prayer hours. The main sight of the temple are the three 40 ft high statues of lord Buddha namely Padmasambhava, Buddha at the centre and Amitayus.

We then proceeded to Nisargadhama. It is a beautiful island formed by the Kaveri river and is a popular tourist attraction. The entry to the place is walking through a hanging bridge. It also houses a deer's park, children's park. An ideal place for the children to play along the riverside. One can also opt for boat ride in the island.

The next halt was at Dubare, popular for its elephant training camp, visitors can witness the activities involved with the elephants. Dubare is popular for rafting, fishing and trekking. One can also opt for an elephant safari.

We then checked in to our homestay. We were put up at Chingaara Estate Guest House. The family owned coffee estate with its own plantations of spices amongst the lush green forest is truly a welcome for those who are looking for a break. The property owned waterfall (10-min walk from the resort) is an eye-catching view streaming down the old hills admist the lush green forest. Chingaara is a home away from home and ideal for tourists looking out for trekking, bird watching and relaxing.

Day 2 started with a visit to Omkareshwar Jyotirling Temple situated in the town of Madikeri. As the name suggests, depicted to Lord Shiva, this place attracts many tourists. The architecture of the temple is unique. It is a mixture of Gothic and Islamic style. In front of the emple is a water tank, which has a mandapam in the middle connected by a causeway.

The next stop was Madikeri Fort. Today, the fort has been converted to a government official complex. Built in the 17th century using mud by Muddu Raja, the fort was rebuilt by Tipu Sultan in granite. The fort offers some panoramic view of the entire city. Two life-sized elephants are seen at the entrance.

We then visted the Raja's tomb, Raja's seat and the Madikeri fort. Talking about the tom, there are three tombs built for the royal dynasty. The biggest tomb is of the the Kodava King Doddaveerarajendra and his wife Mahadeviamma. This place is unique as Lord Shiva is placed and worshipped inside the tomb as the King was a Hindu.

Raja's seat was the recreational place for the kings. Built of bricks and mortar, on a high level ground with wonderful surroundings, the Kings of Kodagu spent their times with their Queens in this lovely ambience. Today, this place attracts many tourists for its lovely scenic beauty and the spectacular view of the green cladded mountains beyond the valley. Some stay back to enjoy the glorius sunset.

Day 2 was incomplete without a visit to the Talacauvery. It is the place where River Kaveri originates. Located on the Brahmagiri hill, near Bhagamandala. The temple is dedicated to the Goddess Kaveriama. The Kodavas have erected a tank which is now believed to be the origin of River Kaveri. Besides the temple is a series of 365 steps which leads to the peak to witness the mountain ranges.

We reached our homestay by 4 in the evening after which we relaxed in midst of the serene atmosphere. The environment was just apt. The home cooked Kodagu food (Akki Roti, Puttu and Kumm Curry) was mouth watering. The food wasted is feeded to the bull named Ganesh. The property has dogs, donkeys, bulls and cows. The staff were good with great hospitality.

To sum up, Coorg is for nature lovers and also a honeymoon's paradise. An ideal destination with numbe rof adventure sports, it is definitely Scotland of India, as named by the Britishers.