9 Things to Do in Coorg (Kodagu)

Working in a digital agency, sometimes you don’t realise how your days/weeks pass-by and it’s more so when you are managing your own business. A couple of months into the regular regime, I knew that my soul needed a break! That’s when we started planning for our next vacation. Being in Delhi, North has always been accessible so we wanted to explore a bit of South India. Having visited Kerala in 2011, we were looking to visit a new destination. After a bit of looking-up, the thought of going to Coorg and Mysore came to our minds.

So we started with our plan and the idea was to get the basic elements of our trip right:

Number of Days: We holidayed for 4N/5Days. Spent 3 nights in Kushalnagar near Coorg and 1N in Mysore.
Flight: We booked our flight tickets with Indigo Airlines a couple of months in advance.
Where to Stay? (Hotel or Home-stay) We opted for the Eco Habitat home-stay at Kushalnagar and the experience was brilliant. Post our vacations, we have realised that nothing can beat the experience of a home-stay if chosen correctly. In Mysore, we stayed at The Ginger Hotel and got a good deal from goibibo.com.
Food: Karnataka has a lot to offer in food. It’s not just about the Dosas and Vadas. It’s a heaven for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians 🙂
What to do? Coorg and nearby areas have plenty of options. It depends on what you are comfortable with. There are places for trekking, rafting, river sight-seeing, you could see the waterfalls and of-course the usual ones such as visit the temples, heritage sites etc.
How to go? This isn’t a million dollar question as you would be traveling via cab if you’re like me and are coming all the way from Delhi. I evaluated a couple of cab/taxi services and finalised Taxiforsure.com.  What an experience it was & the driver was a rockstar. He was very helpful despite the language barrier and went a long way in assisting us and clicked a lot of our trip pictures. 

Here is a photo-story of what we did & the places we visited during our stay in Kushalnagar/Coorg. The pics have been taking using an iPhone 5 and Nikon DSLR camera. That’s why you would see a difference in the quality/type of images.

The taxi from taxiforsure.com was right on time and we got an instant buzz the moment we touched down at the Bengaluru airport.

That's our sweet driver Jayram from Taxiforsure.com

That’s our sweet driver Jayram from Taxiforsure.com

Stop over for the Kairali meal at the Kamat. Since I was just getting into the journey groove, I started with a plain dosa and mausami juice. The restaurant is just before you touch Mysore, enroute Coorg.

Stop over for lunch with the traditional Kairali thali at the Kamat. Since I was just getting into the journey groove, I started with a plain dosa and mausami juice. The restaurant is just before you touch Mysore, enroute Coorg.

1. Stay in a Home-Stay 

The charm, the aura and the surroundings of a home-stay are really very special. Coorg has plenty of options for home-stays. We stayed at Eco Habitat in Kushalnagar which is slightly off Coorg but a fantastic property and well connected.

That's the beautiful Cottage at Eco Habitat

That’s the beautiful Cottage at Eco Habitat, Kushalnagar

An Instagram Shot of the Eco Habitat Resort. With the pony and a bunch of other animals, the Eco Habitat resort was far from the maddening crowd in city.

An Instagram Shot of the Eco Habitat Resort. With the pony and a bunch of other animals, the Eco Habitat resort was far from the maddening crowd in city.

That's another shot of pony in

That’s another shot of the pony and sheep lazing around in their habitat

Food at Coorg

Our gracious hosts, the husband wife duo of Som & Chetanwere so warm and friendly. Chetna’s meals breakfast, lunch and dinner were delight and gave us a real glimpse of the South Indian delicacies.

Traditional South Indian food for dinner

That’s dal, rice dumplings and curd for dinner. The heavy image exposure is for the flash used to compesnat for the night shot.

2. Visit the Dubare Elephant Camp

Dubare Elephant Camp near Kushalnagar is a good place to enjoy the good old elephant rides, elephant bathing and more. Across the river, you can also enjoy water rafting.

Dubare Elephant Camp near Kushalnagar is a good place to enjoy the good old elephant rides, elephant bathing and more. Across the river, you can also enjoy water rafting.

The Camp is The Property of Jungle Lodges and Resorts Ltd, Govt. of Karnataka

The Camp is The Property of Jungle Lodges and Resorts Ltd, Govt. of Karnataka

3. Chikli Dam, 3km from Eco Habitat

The Chikli Dam

We went to the Chiki Dam which is 3km off Kushalnagar. It offers picturesque spots and is a delight for the shutterbugs.

Here is another black and white shot of the mountains/river near the Chikli Dam. It's a heaven in the evenings.

Here is another black and white shot of the mountains/river near the Chikli Dam. It’s a heaven in the evenings.

4. Visit the Golden Temple, Coorg

Located at about 30 minutes from the Eco Habitat, Bylakuppe is a Tibetan Refugee settlement, the magnificent Monastery in Kodagu state. You would see Tibetan refugee monks, their families and the golden statues of Buddha and other gods across the Namdroling Monastery.

The Golden Statues of Buddha, Padmasambhava and the Buddha Amitayus. The picture shows 2 of the gods.

The Golden Statues of Buddha, Padmasambhava and the Buddha Amitayus. The picture shows 2 of the gods.

Bylakuppe monastery

Bylakuppe monastery

An elderly couple were praying right at the footsteps of entrance, there was something which caught their attention

An elderly couple were praying right at the footsteps of entrance, there was something which caught their attention

Group of young monks at a park in the temple

Group of young monks at a park in the temple

5. Don’t Miss out on Abbey Falls, Madikeri 

8km from Madikeri, Abbey Falls are in the mountains of Western Ghats.

8km from Madikeri, Abbey Falls are in the mountains of Western Ghats.

While I like being behind the camera, my dear wife did manage to click a picture or two of me :)

While I like being behind the camera, my dear wife did manage to click a picture or two of me at the Abbey falls 🙂

6. Go for the Jungle Trek in the Western Ghats

With lush green jungles & waterfalls all around, Coorg is a heaven for those who love trekking. We trekked right after the monsoons and there were leeches who greeted us, but the breathtaking views and the scenic waterfalls didn’t dampen our spirit.

Go for the Jodhpala jeep trek, 12km of Madikeri as we did with the help of local ex-army man, Ravi. He took his 4 wheel drive Bolero in the narrow lanes of the jungle and made it an experience of a life time. On our way up the hill, we met a local family and were treated with limejuice and Upmas.

That's our 4wheel driver, Ravi up the jungles. He waited for us in the heart of Jungles as we came back from our trek in about 1.5 hours.

That’s our man Ravi up the jungles with his 4 wheel drive, Bolero. He waited for us in the heart of Jungles as we came back from our trek in about 1.5 hours.

The jungled opened upto some pictersque views during our trek. It was a beautiful view of the western ghats, with rudraksha trees calling for the rains and waterfalls all around.

The jungled opened upto some pictersque views during our trek. It was a beautiful view of the western ghats, with rudraksha trees calling for the rains and waterfalls all around.

I couldn't resist taking a pause and clicking such heavenly views.

I couldn’t resist taking a pause and clicking such heavenly views.

7. Adore the Mountain View at Raja’s Seat, Madikeri

Raja’s Seat (Seat of the King) is a seasonal garden of flowers and artificial fountains and was a favourite of the king during ancient times. It is a popular tourist spot in Coorg and you would see large groups of youngsters out here at any time during the day. The garden offers breath-taking views of low rise mountains and you can spend hours here adoring the sunset.

Raja's Seat

Raja’s Seat

Special Tip: Just before you enter the Raja’s Seat garden you can take a ride on the toy-train for 10 bucks. It’s good fun and will revive the memories of child in you 🙂

The Toy Train outside the Raja's Seat

The Toy Train outside the Raja’s Seat

8. Experience the Natural Beauty of Coorg

Unfortunately, I don't know names of any of these flowers. If you do know any of these names, do share them via comments.

Unfortunately, I don’t know names of any of these flowers. If you do know any of these names, do share them via comments.

If you just want to relax, you can adore a variety of colourful and exotic flowers bloom in Coorg.

If you just want to relax, you can adore a variety of colourful and exotic flowers bloom in Coorg.

If you just want to relax, you can adore a variety of colourful and exotic flowers bloom in Coorg.

If you just want to relax, you can adore a variety of colourful and exotic flowers bloom in Coorg.

Coorg rich in flora and fauna with coffee plantations, pepper and cardamom plantations all around.

Coorg is rich in flora and fauna with coffee plantations, pepper and cardamom plantations all around.

Coorg is rich in flora and fauna with coffee plantations, pepper and cardamom plantations all around.

Coorg is rich in flora and fauna with coffee plantations, pepper and cardamom plantations all around.

9. Grab a Copy of Short Escapes from Bengaluru

Lastly, before you pack your bags, do grab a copy of the travel guide Short Escapes from Bengaluru by Lonely Planet. It will be a good friend for your trip 🙂

Short Escapes from Bengaluru

Short Escapes from Bengaluru – My Companion for the journey around Coorg

This is what I did in Coorg 🙂 Came back from a wonderful vacation recently? Do share your experience in comments while I pen down my next post on Mysore.

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