Coorg: The Scotland of India | A Complete Travel Guide

Coorg Travel Guide

Table of Contents

  1. About
  2. Geography
  3. History
  4. Best time to Visit
  5. How to Reach
  6. Best Places to See
  7. Things to do
  8. Best Place to eat
  9. Best Places to stay

About Coorg

Coorg or traditionally known as Kodagu is a sleepy hilly hamlet tucked on the Western Ghats. Surrounded by misty valleys, rolling hills, lush plantations, and pristine waterfalls, it’s a treat for all senses and a thing of beauty that no traveller ever forgets. It is one of the most prosperous hill towns of Karnataka, with its district headquarters in Madikeri, which is also the centre of trade and transportation for the entire district of Kodagu.

For a romantic getaway, a rejuvenating vacation, or a soul-searching trip, the Coorg tour can fulfil all your travel goals.

Geography

The geographical location of Coorg has made this region a land of natural wonders. It sits on the eastern slopes of Western Ghats, spreading across an area of 4102 sq. km. The highest point of Kodagu rises to Tadiandamol, at 5740 ft. above the sea level, followed by Pushpagiri, at 5627 ft. making it quintessentially a hill station.

Coorg is surrounded by equally scenic locations, with Dakshin Kannada in the northwest, Mysore district to the east, and northern districts of Kerala on the south and west. The entire region is fed by the Cauvery River, which originates at Talakaveri, close to the Madikeri town. It is this rich landscape that has made this place very popular. Most of the tourist places here are in or centred around hills, plantations, rivers, and waterfalls.

History

Coorg-Kodava-People
Kodava people

The Kodava people, a warrior community, were the earliest inhabitants of the Kodagu region, who farmed and promoted agriculture in this part of the state. Coorg was ruled by many local clans and dynasties, like the Ezhimala, followed by the Haleri dynasty, until the Coorg War in 1834. After which, the British ruled until the independence but was a separate state before Kodagu was merged with Mysore state in 1956, which is now Karnataka.

[Also Read: Scotland of India – Coorg]

Best time to Visit Coorg

Being at a great height on the Western Ghats, Coorg enjoys a tropical hilly climate. The weather of here remains pleasant all year round, with foggy mornings, warm days, and chilly nights. The winters are colder than the rest of the year. Any time is good for a trip here, but if you want to do a complete outdoor adventure, February to April or November is the best time, when the temperature is perfect. 

How to reach Coorg

By Train

There is no direct rail connectivity to Coorg. The nearest railway station is in Mysore, 95 KM away. There are frequent trains to Mysore from other major cities and towns across India. You can rent a car or take a bus from the railway station Mysore to Coorg.

Also Read: Mysore to Coorg Road Trip – Distance, Time and Useful Travel Information

By Road

Coorg is well-connected to all major cities in Karnataka by NH275. There are regular state-run and private buses from nearby cities like Mangalore, Mysore, and Bangalore, or Kasargod, Kannur, and Wayanad. The best way to reach Coorg from neighbouring towns and cities is to book an outstation cab or rent a private car and drive to Madikeri. 

By Flight

There is no flight connectivity to Coorg. The nearest airport is in Mysore, at Mandakalli Airport, about 115KM from Coorg. The other nearby airport to Coorg is in Kannur, about 92KM away. You can fly from major cities in India like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, or Chennai to Coorg via any of these airports. From the airport, you have to book a cab or rent an airport taxi to reach here. 

Video Credit: Lose Yourself Vlog

[Also Read: Bangalore to Coorg by Road – Distance, Time and Useful Travel Information]

Places to visit in Coorg

Rich in natural wonders, local culture, history, and there are a host of places to see in Coorg. The popular Madikeri tourist places are centred around the town while the other places are outside the main town. Check out these best Coorg attractions – 

  • Madikeri Fort- The most popular landmark of Coorg, this 17th-century fort commemorates the three ruling dynasties of this region.
  • Abbey Falls – The best of all falls in Coorg, the Abbey Falls like about 6KM from Madikeri town, in the middle of plantations. You have to walk downhill for a few minutes to reach the base. There’s a hanging bridge opposite the falls to get a panoramic view of the hills and the valleys behind the falls.
  • Raja’s Seat – A public, terraced garden, this is a popular viewing point on top of a hill. Visit during sunrise or sunset for the best views.
  • Dubare Elephant Camp – At an hour’s drive from Madikeri town, lies this elephant camp, in the middle of forested areas. You can play with baby elephants or feed them and watch them in their original habitat.
  • Mercara Gold Estate & Plantations – The biggest and most popular coffee estate in the district. You can take a tour of the plantation and learn about different varieties of coffee and other spices grown.
  • Tala Kaveri – The source of the Cauvery River, Tala Kaveri sits on the hills and is also a pilgrimage site. It is 44 KM from Madikeri town.

Things to do in Coorg

Coorg Somwarpet
Somwarpet, Kodagu

Apart from sightseeing in Coorg and exploring the touristy places, there’s a host of adventure activities in Coorg that you can include in your tours. 

  • Experience the best homestays. The district is home to beautiful colonial cottages and bungalows, and some of those cottages have been turned into homestays. You can book a stay at any of these homestays and have a taste of the local lifestyle, home-cooked, traditional food, and learn about the people. You can also try a homestay within a coffee plantation. 
  • Try the Madikeri Trek. It is the most popular activity to do in Coorg and covers all major nature spots. The trek begins in Madikeri town and takes you to the Raja’s Seat, followed by the Madikeri Fort, and the Abbey Falls. The route passes through spice plantations, coffee estates, paddy fields, small rivulets, and offers incredible views of the hills and valleys. 
  • Trek to the Tandiandamol Peak. The highest point of Coorg and the third highest peak of Karnataka, this trek is much easier than most others in the region and popular among trekkers and campers. The trek base is at Kakkabe, about 32KM from Coorg and goes through dense coffee plantations, gurgling streams, and scenic viewpoints. The best time to do this trek is between November and February when the weather is clear and dry for the best views.
  • Try rafting in Coorg. The Cauvery River offers a great platform for river rafting. You can camp by the riverside and then enjoy a day of rafting. The best time to do this is during or right after the monsoon when the water level on the river and streams is higher. 
  • Go for a night safari. It’s a different kind of fun to explore the hills at night in a Jeep. The safaris start around sunset and take you through the dense forests and mountains of Coorg. The journey lasts for a few hours or until midnight.
https://www.instagram.com/p/CV5BvFnpTFZ/

Best Places to eat in Coorg

The food here is one of the biggest highlights of Coorg tourism. Pork and bamboo shoot curry, steamed rice dumplings, rice cakes, and akki roti are the most famous food. 

Here are some of the best restaurants to sample the local flavours of Kodagu – 

  • Coorg Cuisine
  • Coffee Blossom Restaurant 
  • Raintree Restaurants 
  • Taste of Coorg 
  • Thaliya
  • Nellaki
  • Church Side Bar & Restaurant
  • Coorg Special Restaurant 

Popular Places to visit near Coorg

Coorg sightseeing includes many places beyond the district. You can easily visit these places in 2 days – 

  • Bylakuppe – Coorg’s only Tibetan settlement, the Bylakuppe sits at 41KM from Madikeri town. It is known for housing Namdroling Monastery, the largest Buddhist monastery of South India. Take a walk through the Tibetan market, sample Tibetan teas and snacks at the local cafe.
  • Iruppu Falls – After Abbey, this is the next best Coorg waterfall to visit. It lies at 75KM from Madikeri town. There is no vehicle access to the falls area. You have to hike down a steep path for about a few minutes, through wooded areas. The best time to see the falls in full form is right after the monsoon.
  • Nagarhole National Park – The second largest national park in Karnataka, Nagarhole lies at 92KM from Madikeri. It is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere and is home to exotic wildlife like leopards, different families of deer and monkeys, hornbills, ibis, eagles and more. Visit between December and March for bird watching or safaris.

Best Resorts & Hotels in Coorg

Coorg hill town

With scenic views and great amenities, there’s plenty of luxury resorts in Coorg you can stay at and make the most of your trip. Most resorts and hotels are centred around Madikeri or right outside the town. 

Check out of these best Coorg stays for your trip – 

  • Fort Mercara
  • IBNI Springs 
  • Woodstock Resorts 
  • Kollanoor Guest House 
  • Abbydhama Estate Stay 
  • Silver Brook Estate
  • Wanders In

Witness the magic of Coorg by booking a car rental to take you to all these places with a local driver. Install Savaari cab booking app for offers and discounts on outstation rentals.  

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Coorg: The Scotland of India | A Complete Travel Guide
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Coorg: The Scotland of India | A Complete Travel Guide
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Coorg, traditionally known as Kodagu in Karnataka, is a sleepy hilly hamlet tucked on the Western Ghats. Surrounded by misty valleys, rolling hills, lush plantations, and pristine waterfalls, it's a treat for all senses.
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