Monsoon is the season that wide opens its arms to welcome you into Nature’s habitat. Additionally, there are places that owe to its weather all throughout the year. And Coorg or Kodagu is one such place. Indeed, an affluent hills stations of Karnataka. It occupies an area of 4,102 square kilometers (1,584 sq. mi) in the Western Ghats of southwestern Karnataka.
I always wanted to visit Coorg for the past few years and had never gotten an opportunity. If you are a nature lover, then Coorg is the place as it is known as the Scotland of India, . Certainly you do get to enjoy the exotic scenery and lush greenery here. This is my yet another summer trip. Consequently early February was not the very pleasant season to enjoy the place and weather unlike in Winter or Rainy seasons.
Coorg is girdled by Dakshina Kannada, Hassan, Mysore districts of Karnataka and Kannur, Wayanad, Kasargod districts of Kerala. The weather and nature are substantially close to that of Wayanad. Coorg has always been a topic of talk for its coffee, spices, nature and its people. Kodava culture, heritage, and tradition are very rich. Kodavas are the predominant people here.
In every walk of life, I have had a diverse set of weirdos as my friends.
I once read, “Become friends with people who aren’t your age. Hang out with people whose first language isn’t the same as yours. Get to know someone who doesn’t come from your social class. This is how you see the world and this is how you grow.”
This was a complete check. All the criteria met. All the weirdos in closest vicinity caught. It’s a different feeling to be with a set of people younger than you. As a result, you can be extra demanding, extra dominating, you can take undue advantage of being older, you can shhh shhh them and act like a wise person even if you are not.
This was one such trip where I could act like old and wise in spite of being young and stupid. My friends call it as an instant plan and a successful one. However, every single time the planned trips were a real flop except for this. We started our way to Coorg from Bangalore on a Friday night. On a chilled weather night, eight of us went to Coorg.
On our way, we halted for an hour or two at a Café. Had a midnight supper, played Uno and started again. Leaving moderately late from here, we still endured reaching Coorg by early morning 6’o clock. The most pleasant weather to welcome us. The aroma of coffee that spreads across miles is something that makes your heart dance in joy.
We stayed at a Homestay near Kushal Nagar. A single house encompassed by acres of coffee estates on one side and a highway on the other. It looked merely surreal. Close to the nature and close to the heart. After a quick walk around the homestay, we got ready and began our excursion. Food is not a problem here at all. The non-vegetarians get a plentiful of varieties to have, while the vegetarians can still manage with a decent and good food.
Coorg/Kodagu is packed with ample of tourist attractions like Namdroling Monastery, Abbey Falls, Iruppu Falls, Dubare, Nisargadhama, Talakaveri, Bhagamandala, Tadiandamol peak, Raja seat, Omkareshwara temple, Brahmagiri, Honnammana kere, Nagarahole etc. Depends on every individual as to what is their primary preference to pick up the places, as 2-3 days aren’t just enough to cover all the places. We covered a bunch of them and below are from my basket of memories.
Namdroling Monastery, Bylekuppe:
It is situated just 6 Kms from the town of Kushal Nagar and around 35 Kms from the Madikeri. It belongs to the Sangha community. The temple is termed “golden” because of the golden work done on every painting. It is yet another beautiful Tibetan monastery. The monastery is presided over by an 18m-high gold-plated Buddha. Children are also taught outside the temple. The paintings inside the temple describe the gods, demons, culture and some of the phases of Buddha’s life.
It is a very beautiful and well-known waterfall in Coorg. It is very close from the city like around 5km. For any waterfall, the monsoon is the season and right now, I feel this falls looks much more beautiful than any other time of the year.
Nisargadhama is a manmade island and it looks beautiful. It takes a small bridge to cross over the Cauvery river flowing to go on the other side of the nisargadhama. There are animals that look calm, there are lush groves of bamboo, sandalwood and teak trees. This also consists of a Deer Park and a Children’s park. This has some cottages alongside the Kaveri river. This is located just 2-3 km away from Kushal Nagar. Yet another tourist pull that cannot be a miss.
For if my fate wasn’t really a bad one, I could have enjoyed this place much much more. There is an elephant training camp where one can actually go for rides. Also, the elephants come across the other sides of the forest to drink water at the Cauvery banks. I’m sure this looks great now with many more elephants than then. Definitely, a must visit. Pay a few bucks and you get a chance to feed and bathe the elephant along with rides. It is also said that the Mysore Dasara elephants are trained in this camp.
There is a river rafting facility available during the heavy outflow of river Kaveri. The place is beyond beautiful. Amazing weather and a beautiful place are all it takes for an escapade into nature.
After the day-long visit we stopped at various places for shopping. My pick was the spices. Stop anywhere in Coorg and you find shops for spices. These shops have a lot of spices, medicinal herbs, coffee, honey, homemade chocolates, varieties of Wines and what not. Pick the store wisely, do not just go by the look of them. They cheat you if you don’t know the prices already. Thus, check in a couple of places before you make huge purchases.
As the sun set on the west, the chirping birds return to the nest. So did we returned to the home-stay. Just so that you know it was in the middle of estates, also there were none around except us. Undoubtedly perfect for narrating horror stories. And that’s what I do perfectly when given a chance. But even before that, we had a campfire arranged by the home-stay. Celebrated KB Bhai’s birthday and then enjoyed some music.
Before everyone could hit the bed, we played a few rounds of UNO. A few games and when everyone wanted to go to bed, there was this cool breeze. Once a while the sound of a passing by vehicle from the nearby highway and it faded away sooner than expected. Owing to which I pulled myself into narrating some cool horror stories. The problem raised only after that. Furthermore, the fading away vehicles, the noises from the jungle kept the girls awake. The boys quietly made way to their floor. Overall everyone so afraid of everything, none even dared to walk to the washrooms. Nish stayed awake all night and felt there was someone staring at her all night. And the next morning I had a baby sleep until 09:00 am.
Day 2: Talacauvery
Our first visit for the day was Brahmagiri hills. On the slopes of the Brahmagiri hills is the birthplace of River Cauvery(Kaveri). It is located amidst the lush greenery and on a mountain side. The drive to Talacauvery is a beautiful one. On a morning visit, when it is still not very sunny the clouds are right on top of you. Misty weather with dark fog that makes it worth the visit. Talacauvery has a religious importance with temples in it. There is a worship place where the Cauvery originates, along with temples of Lord Ganesha and Agasthya Muni.
After visiting the temples some of us chose to climb the 300 steps to have a look at the serene beauty while others chose to meditate at the temple shelter. On top of the mountain is the peace all that your inner-self endures enjoying the nature. Slight drizzles would make it even more beautiful.
Raja’s seat or the King’s Seat is yet another attraction in Madikeri, Coorg. It has a garden with seasonal flowers and fountains. It is basically a sunset point, As a result, the view from here is amazing. The view offers the breathtaking experience when one watches the towering hills, valleys, and fields amidst which runs the highways. As the name suggests, there is a 4-pillared structure which is said to be the place where the Rajas of Coorg sat and watched the glorious sunsets.
Besides, right next to the Raja seat is the toy train station. Just remember, you are never too old for some crazy toy train rides. It is okay to be a child at heart. Surely grab that ticket of 10 bucks and get into the train. For if nothing, at least for the child in you will enjoy the ride.
Post the day long moving around we went for another round of shopping. This time it was another round of spices for my mother. Picked all the varieties of spices of a better quality and a better price. Not only spices but also a passion fruit flavored wine for Octopus. Finally, chocolates for people at the office. And loads of memories for my heart.
For there is a Scotland of our own here in our land why crave for another land? Decide the right weather and the right place is to go to Coorg. Pack your bags and tie the shoe laces. Escape into the serenity. For this time go to Coorg may be with a better plan than ours which was rather very random as it was a last minute escapade. Pick your choice of places and then get set goooo!
P.S: The blog content is of the author and is migrated from the old blog site.