Coorg, now known as Kodagu, is a district in Karnataka. The headquarters of Coorg is at Madikeri. In the eastern side of the Western Ghat range it covers an area of 4,102 sq kms. It is the least populated district of Karnataka. Agriculture and hospitality is what keeps the economy of Coorg going. It also has a stock of natural resources. Known for its coffee and its people Coorg is one of the most visited tourist places in Karnataka. Kaveri is the main river that flows through Coorg.
In East India Company annexed Coorg in 1834, it is then it became a part of British India. Coorg back then was a separate state by itself. It was made a part of Mysore state which was much larger. Now it is known as state of Karnataka of which Coorg is a district.
WHAT TO SEE
Flora and Fauna
Coorg has three wildlife sanctuaries namely Pushpagiri, Brahmagiri and Talakaveri and Nagarhole National Park. Flora includes ebony, ironwood, rubus, black wood, bentak, dindul, bamboo etc. The undergrowth includes black pepper, variety of ferns, cardamom, arums cane and others.
Fauna includes over 300 species of birds, Asian elephants, leopard, wild boar, tiger, gaur, different species of deer etc.
Places to see
Abbey Falls is 8kms away from Madikeri. It is one of the most popular attractions of Coorg. What is interesting is it has plenty of water flowing even in the summer season. The falls can be heard even from the main road. The road to the falls is lined by coffee and cardamom plantations. There are several birds here whose voices fill the air throughout the day.
Madikeri Fort is situated in the centre of the headquarter area Madikeri. The complex includes a temple, a chapel, a museum and a prison. Initially the fort was built of mud and it was only later that Tipu Sultan replaced it with solid stone. It is one of the places that should surely be visited when in Coorg. It is in the shape of an irregular hexagon, going along with the shape of the hilltop on which it is built. The entrance is to the east and has three gates. The palace presently has government offices.
Iruppu Falls in the southern zone of Coorg is considered as a sacred place. It is situated on Brahmagiri range of hills. The river Laxmana Tirtha flows here. It is believed that during the exile Laxmana shot an arrow in the hill, while looking for water for Shri Ram, and thus the river Laxmanatirtha came into being.
Raja’s seat is the place where Kings of Coorg are said to have spent their evenings. The beautiful sunset, with vibrant colours is what is so attractive about this place. If you miss the sunset, the sunrise next day is not any less a view.
Kaveri River is considered as sacred in India. The origin of this river is at Talakaveri. It is 4,500 ft above sea level, in Brahmagiri hills. Nearby are two temples of Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha. Furthermore, it is believed that Sapta Rishi – great 7 spiritual sages, of Hindu mythology are considered to have conducted Mahayagna here.
Nagarhole National Park, was originally created by kings of Coorg as a local hunting ground. Langur, deer, wild dogs and gaur are mostly seen in this region. Other animals include elephants, tigers, panther and many more.
What to do
Trekking is one of the best sports in Coorg. It being a hilly region there are several places where trekking can be done like Mandalapatti (637 m.), Pushpageri (1870 m.), Choma Kundu (1620 m.), Kotebetta (1620 m.) etc.
Beelur Golf Club is a very famous activity hub. It is not only famous for golf but also for Campfire nights.
Honnamana Kere Lake is another popular place in Coorg. It is famous for boating and fishing.
What to buy
Coorg coffee, spices and local costumes are the things what tourists look for. These things are of good quality and are available in local shops too.
Traditional Coorg jewels are worth buying. They are available in different shapes and sizes easily at local shops.
Honey is something you can surely buy from Coorg. Coorg Progressive Bee-Keepers Co-operative Society produces honey and it is known for its taste and colour.
What to Eat
Homemade wine is a popular choice. It is available even in small local shops. Wine is available in variety of colours from green to pink. Coffee here is of good quality. It is famous all over India.
Homemade chocolates are a speciality of Coorg. Traditional dishes of Coorg are really worth having. Kadubittu, paapittu, pork pepper dry, akki roti, idumbalittu are some of the most popular dishes.
How to reach
The nearest railway station is Mysore. From there bus of a cab can be taken to reach Coorg. Coorg can be reached by road. There are frequent buses from cities like Bangalore, Mysore, and Mangalore etc. Car is also a comfortable option.