Set up in the western ghats, Madikeri town(Headquarters of Kodagu destrict fondly known as Coorg – British name) is sure to take you away from the worries and busyness of day-to-day life. The picturesque valleys, the beautiful houses with pretty gardens, gushing waterfalls, misty mornings, spice plantations, and so much more.
The early morning drive to Coorg from Kannur was refreshing. I had spent the whole night at Kannur airport, but the journey to Coorg through western ghats just made me forget the sleepless night.
As our car approached the Kodagu district, the heady fragrance of coffee flowers blooming in abundance filled the atmosphere. Roll your car windows down, so you do not miss this heavenly fragrance if you are visiting between Feb to June.
Coorg is a plant lover’s paradise. Every home in Coorg adorns pretty balconies/gardens full of blooms. Impatiens being their favorite, I presume.
How to reach Coorg: You can either drive to Madikeri from your location, or to shorten your travel time (like we did) take the nearest flight to Kannur International airport. From Kannur, Coorg is just 90km by road. Some google search results will tell you it’s closest to Bangalore or Mangalore airport, but no it’s Kannur.
Best time to visit: Sept to Feb are the best months to visit, keeping in mind the gushing waterfalls, breathtaking treks to numerous hills, and coffee plants overflowing with coffee berries. In case you do travel during off-season, Coorg still won’t disappoint you, as the climate is always pleasant year-round, except for the scorching summer afternoons.
Where to stay: Coorg being so touristy, offers never-ending list of resorts and homestays. Book according to your budget, for there are plenty of options. Avoid long weekends as the prices shoot up more than necessary.
Must visit places in Coorg:
1. Raja’s seat – you might feel this is hyped – but believe me it’s worth that hype.
2. Namdroling Monastery – don’t miss it.
3. Dubare elephant camp – make sure you reach there according to the google timings.
4. Mandalpatti trek – supposedly the best thing you will do in Coorg.
5. Abbey falls – didn’t visit it myself, but highly recommended.
6. Tala Kaveri – can’t say much, since I didn’t visit.
7. Omkareshwar Temple – Visit in the morning, during sunrise.
8. Nisargadhama Deer and bird park – Visit it only if you are in Coorg during Sept-Jan.
9. Coffee Plantations – You could just visit any of them, as the whole district is full of them.
How to hop around spots: Rent a car or bike, since the roads are a biker’s or drive lovers paradise. You could even sit back and relax and splurge on taxi’s. Or if you are strong, young and don’t mind an adventure- take a rickshaw. Taxi’s are a bit over-priced in Coorg. Also, the treks to places like Mandalpatti, you cannot go without an off-roading vehicle.
What to bring back home: Coffee – if you are a connoisseur. Spices – if you are an Indian (obviously). We got home lots of cardamoms, home-made chocolates, some local coorgi coffee, souvenirs from Namdroling monastery. Homemade fruit wines are also sold in Coorg.