As we contemplated on how best to use our summer break, we decided to explore Karnataka. Coorg became an obvious choice for us because a) I love rains and this place is known for its lovely monsoons 2) This is one of the most known destination of this state!
Reaching Coorg: So, with rucksacks on our shoulders, we hopped on our flight from Delhi to Bangalore and then took a local bus from a bus stand near the airport to a KSRTC bus stand (too difficult a name for me to remember for that bus stand). Take a KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) bus to Madikeri which took 11 hours..that's some crazy hours in a local bus, inspite of amazing scenery and great driver. But, 3 of us did face lot of communication barrier because of language and ended up in it! I would suggest, take a taxi because GPS at that time and locals later told us, it takes 6-7 hours maximum to reach Coorg! **sigh**
What to Do?
1. Increase your Caffeine Quotient! Coorg means Coffee..Actually NO (forgive me for this poor joke..but ideally it should)! This place has the best spice gardens and coffee of India, and you have to book a tour in one of them. Understand the history, touch the berries and know about your favorite drink! And, of course, enjoy your glasses of filter coffee and these are also perfect souvenirs for your family back at home! Tip-Remember to cover your legs to avoid insect bites and wear non-slippery footwear!
2. Sightseeing Tour- Coorg is home to some gorgeous waterfalls (Abbey Falls), Raja's Seat (for spectacular sunsets and gorgeous panoramic views across the valley), Madikeri Fort, Nagarhole National Park, Dubare Elephant Camp, Talcauvery and few more! You can take 2 days to cover all or can lazily experience them, depending on how many days you have. Autos are abundant and best way to explore the hill station. Tip- Do check the timings of all places, we did goofed up and couldn't see Dubare camp because no one told us that the entry closes at 11:00 am. And there were almost 100 people, who suffered the same. So, cross check the details and enjoy these touristy spots!
3. Little Tibet in South India- There is a little Tibetan settlement around 40 km from Madikeri- The Namdroling monastery in Bylakuppe. In the oasis of greenery, find this oasis of peace! It is a beautiful place and shows a different side of the place!
4. Homestay Experience- There are lot of charming and exotic home stays to be experienced. Our stay was in the middle of wilderness 'La Flora Adam Estate', however, we wished it was a little more well maintained, though the food was excellent. When we explored the town, we came across lot of sprawling estates which were offering stay on their estate at very a reasonable cost! Do book them in advance and leave all your worries behind! The pleasant climate, local delicacies made from the ingredients grown in their backyard and really polite people, makes this an ideal spot to rejuvenate!
5. Trekking or Adventure sports- Coorg is a perfect starting point for treks in the Western Ghats ranging from the simple ones to the more difficult ones! The flora and fauna here is really diverse and the landscape perfect for the trek. We unfortunately, couldn't do it because of continuous rains, but then that's what I definitely would love to do next time!
There is no night life here. It is a simple world here. You will have to slow down to savor it. Coorg is all about spending time with nature. Take a stroll, drench in the rain, enjoy a hot plate of vada and sambhar or just count the different shades of greens!
Discover this postcard-perfect beauty!