Hopping with elephants in COORG: A Backpacker's guide

Tripoto
21st May 2018
Photo of Hopping with elephants in COORG: A Backpacker's guide by Gunjan Garg
Day 1

Bangalore has everything in store for every sort of person. The metropolitan city is giving major goals to all other cities not just in terms of traffic snarls, but also hill stations. And not just the usual hill stations, but the ones North India has never seen.
Coorg wasn't a place on my bucket list or even my itinerary, but it somehow made it's way through. Ditching my plan for Bangalore sightseeing, I decided to spend a day in "Scotland of India" and see the hype for myself.

HOW TO REACH
Road Transport including car, bikes and buses are the best ways to reach Coorg. Book a bus from Redbus and travel overnight. The distance of 243 km can be smoothly covered in roughly 5 hours.

WHERE TO STAY
Kodagu district, also known as Coorg is divided into 3 parts- Madikeri, Virajpet and Kushalnagar. Prefer to stay in Madikeri as that way, you are closer to all the tourist spots.
There are ample hotels and home stays available in all the three parts.

EXPLORING COORG ON FOOT
Since I had only one day in Coorg, I decided to do the unusual and shortlisted 3 places. The cab drivers charge around 1800-2000 per day in case you want to visit Dubare Elephant Camp. Dubare is no less than an adventure park  where the royal elephants take you on a magical ride. Home to more than 30 elephants, it's a beautiful river island situated on the outskirts of the city. It offers exciting activities like elephant bathing, elephant feeding, river rafting, joy ride, etc at a nominal fee. Opt for this camp to have a great life experience.

Start the trip early in the morning to reach Dubare Elephant Camp. The place opens up 8:30 am and closes by 11:00 am in the summers. The 29 km journey from Madikeri to Dubare will take 1.5 hours. It's a beautiful ride with plantations and forests on both sides of the road. The gush of the pure air fills your lungs with joy!

To reach the island, one has to waddle through the shallow river in Summers. Hundreds of tourists hold hands to cross the river on foot. After reaching the "fairy" island, the joy ride begins!

From Dubare, move towards Nisargadhama. It has a deer Park and a beautiful lake where you can enjoy a boat ride. It's a  peaceful park built for the tourists to feed deers and unwind. Nearby are a number of shops to buy local goodies like homemade chocolates, coffee and spices. Grab a quick bite before heading off to the golden temple.

The golden temple or the "Namdroling Monastery" is located in Bylakuppe, part of Mysuru district. The monastery is home to more than 5000 exiled lamas of the Sangha community. Sit for a while in the Monastery to meditate or just two hours lie on the grass in the garden under the trees to enjoy the fresh air.

These three places will be done by 5:00 pm in the evening. On your way back, ask the driver to drop you off at Raja's seat in Coorg.

Raja's seat is the hill top in Coorg which overlooks the whole city. Indulge in touch train ride to check the whole city out. Must try the local delicacies served- Pineapple chat and Bhelpuri.

Grab dinner from any hotel (Recommended- Heritage Hotel) and take your bus back to Bangalore.

RECOMMENDED VISITS
Talacauvery, Abbey Falls and Coffee estate visit

BEST THING ABOUT COORG
It has surprisingly beautiful things to offer which no other North Indian Hill station can ever provide- A Complete Package.

Happy travelling :)

Golden Temple or "Namdroling Monastery"

Photo of Madikeri, Coorg, Karnataka, India by Gunjan Garg

Waddle across water to reach Dubare

Photo of Madikeri, Coorg, Karnataka, India by Gunjan Garg

Waking up in Coorg

Photo of Madikeri, Coorg, Karnataka, India by Gunjan Garg

Raja's seat

Photo of Madikeri, Coorg, Karnataka, India by Gunjan Garg

Deer Park in Nisargadhama

Photo of Madikeri, Coorg, Karnataka, India by Gunjan Garg

Majestic elephants in Dubare

Photo of Madikeri, Coorg, Karnataka, India by Gunjan Garg
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