Coorg or Kodagu as the people of this little district in Karnataka call their land, is located atop the lovely blue mountains, the Sahyadris, at an average altitude of 1400 meters. Coorg still retains its old world charm - it is in fact a cluster of hamlets and homesteads, surrounded by nature at its best - Unsullied, beautiful, green and exciting. There are dense forested valleys, gurgling mountain streams and waterfalls. Coffee plantations predominate, along with a fair amount of cardamom and pepper thrown. in There is an abundance of exotic flora and birds.
The Kodagu people have always stood apart - handsome, and refined.
Known by their special variants of wearing the saree, the Kodagu women are graceful and beautiful.
Come to Coorg to mingle with nature, discover the deep silence of the thick forests, hear the sounds of chirping birds, and the gurgle of the little brooks, see the gorgeous dance of the peacocks, breathe in the scent of the coffee blossoms, taste the delicious Coorg honey, watch animals in the wild or walk through forests to climb the gently sloping peaks and marvel at the views.
Coorg is approachable only by road. The nearest airports are at Manglore ( 135 Kms), and Mysore, ( 120 Kms), The 3-4 hours journey; particularly from Mangalore is scenic as it cuts across the mountains from the coast. You can visit Coorg any time between November to April. The blossom time is March-April. Nature’s colours are everywhere. Coffee plants resplendent with red berries, cardamom fields profuse with white and purple flowers, and old silver oak trees laden with huge hives
The climate is refreshingly cool – even in summer.
Coffee and spices:
Coffee, is grown extensively in Coorg under canopies of huge trees, on plantations that dot most of the hillsides. Also grown are oranges, black pepper and cardamom.
Well maintained with modern curing and irrigation, these plantations exude a heady fragrance in April, when the coffee bushes blossom. Coffee picking time is from November to March. The estates attract a large variety of birds. At times even the wild elephant and the boar visit. The elephants forage for tender coconut shoots, jackfruits and papayas that are grown on the estates.
We have crafted a tour to enable you to explore the coffee estates. Owners of Coffee and spice plantations will host you. They will show you around their estates and factories, take you on excursions to nearby sights, and introduce you to people for stimulating interaction You will get comfortable and well appointed guestrooms with en-suite toilets.
If you do not fancy staying as house guests, we can arrange your stay at the Orange County Resort- An exclusive destination for nature lovers amidst 300 acres of Coffee & spice plantations.
Lifeline of the south, Cauvery bubbles up from Talacauvery and reaches ground level at Bhagamandala, 39 kms to the west of Medikeri. One of the seven major rivers of India, Cauvery is called the ' Ganges of the south'.
It is a shrine of Bhagandeshwara. It is here the Cauvery merges in joyous and divine form with the rivers Kannike and Sujyothi to form a 'Triveni Sangama'. The Bhangandeshwara Temple built in Kerala style is located on the bank of the Sangama.
Madikeri ( Mercara)
Madikeri, a sleepy little town of about 26,000 people is the capital of Kodagu district. It is 1525 metres above sea level and is surrounded by nature’s bounty. Around Madikeri roll the coffee estates.It is a walker's delight, Winding lanes disappearing into green mountains promise tall delight.
At Raja’s seat The “seat of the Kings” you get view of hill ranges, clad in green, rising up to play with silken clouds of myriad hues. It is here that the Kodagu kings enjoyed nature and unforgettable sunsets. Feast your eyes on an endless expanse of sun-kissed greenery.
Built by Lingaraja in 1820 AD and dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is a quaint mix of Islamic and Gothic styles.
The annual 'Teppothasava' or "Boat Festival" is a memorable event.
7 kms from Madikeri amid a valley in a coffee- cardamom plantation, where water drops from 70 ft. You can have a great splash of a picnic.
48 kms from Virajpet on the banks of the pristine Lakshmanatirtha River, which descends in joyous leaps, to salute the Shiva Temple believed to have been consecrated by Lord Rama himself. A wonderful getaway spot, near Kutta
Dhubare Elephant training camp
The village of Dhubare, on the Cauvery, is home to an elephant training camp. While you get a close look at the elephants and learn about their domestication, some may find their captivity and training distressing. The best time to see the mighty beasts being washed, is between 6am and 7am, and 4 to 6pm.
Tashi Lhunpu Buddhist Monastery
Tashi Lhunpu - The Golden Temple was established in Tibet in 1447 by the Dalai Lama as the main teaching monastery of the Gelupa order. After the Chinese take over of Tibet, the refugees were settled at Bylakuppe and the Monastery was re-established here in 1972. It now houses over 250 monks.
Nagarhole National Park
The 643 sq kms Nagarhole National Park offers one of the best wildlife experiences in India. Its moist deciduous forests, merge with the coffee plantations of Coorg.
You can visit throughout the year. However, during March, April and May, when the season is the driest, most of the elephants of the surrounding forests converge at Kabini, to take advantage of the back waters of the river Kabini, and to feed on the grass growing on the dried out surface. This is when you can view the largest congregation of Asiatic wild elephants, anywhere in the world. During the rainy season, from July to September, the trees are at their greenest best, with less animals visible. During the other months, a fair number of a variety of wild life can be sighted.
Nagarahole harbours a density of 91 animals per square Kilometer, which is comparable to any other rich habitat on the Planet Earth. It has has 65 to 70 Tigers, 150 leopards, many rusty Spotted cats and leopard cats. The park has a population of over 1500 Asian elephants.
Some of the other animals are the Bonnet Macaque, Gray Langur , Slender Loris , Wild dog or “Dhole”, the sloth bear, stripe- necked Mongoose, Civats, Otters, Indian Pangolin, Giant Flying Squirrel, Flying Fox, Indian Porcupine, Jackal, Black Naped Hare, barking deer, Sambhar, Four horned Antelope, Gaur, and wild boar.
The Mouse Deer is an extremely rare animal of the Park. It is found only in South India and Sri Lanka.
The forests and water bodies are teeming with birds. A preliminary checklist records the occurrence of 270 species of birds. The occurrence of as many as thirteen different species of Woodpeckers, eleven species of Owls, and five species of Parakeets in the Park indicates the diversity of the avian fauna. The Hill Myna, various species of Drongos and babblers are the most vociferous birds during the day. During the night several species of Nightjars, Barred Jungle Owlet and the Great Horned Owl keep the forest alive with sounds. However, listening to the extremely weird and terrifying call of the rare bird 'Forest Eagle-Owl', in the night is an extraordinary experience.
The Crested Serpent Eagle is the commonest eagle of the forests. The Crested Hawk Eagle, Shikra, Pariah Kite, Brahminy Kite and the Black-winged Kite are the commonly sighted, and easily recognized birds of prey at Nagarhole. The King Vulture, the White-backed Vulture, Long-billed Vulture and the White Scavenger Vulture are the scavenging birds of the Park.Amongst the rare species are the Malabar Trogon, Blu-bearded Bee-eater, Lesser Coucal and the Forest Eagle Owl. The Malabar Pied Hornbill, and the extraordinary bird - the Great Pied Hornbill could also be sighted.
The Kabini River banks are host to Painted Storks, Open Billed Storks, White-necked Storks, White Ibises, Lesser Adjutant Storks, Egrets The Osprey, the Shaheen Falcon, the King Vulture and such rare birds of prey render the river bank a favorite destination for an ornithologist.
We arrange wildlife packages of various durations. You stay at the Cinchona Estate You will be hosted by the owners Vithoo and Anita who are ardent conversationalist and operate an NGO called "clean up Coorg" . Their bungalow set amidst coffee and pepper plantations on the fringes of the Nagarhole park is often visited by elephants, leopards, bisons and other animals. You will stay as house guests and your hosts will arrange wildlife safari and birding in the park.
Walking the blue hills and forests
The long high ridges and large forest cover, with breath taking views makes Coorg a walkers paradise. There are many hills that can be climbed and beautiful spots for picnics. Little shrines dot the landscape. It is a pleasure to come across these little structures sometimes near a waterfall, on the bank of a river or on a hill. Most walks last 1-2 days. Nature walks up to the 1745 meters high peak of Tadiandamol, 1712 meters high Pushpagiri , and the 1590 meters high Iggutappa are invigorating walking experience.
Suggested itinerary for 07 days Coorg escapade
"How can we ever thank you for showing us Coorg ? Everything is so green and fertile, the hills rise all around in shades of soft purple. We will never drink another cup of coffee without remembering all the work which goes into producing the beans we buy. It has been especially intresting to be introduced to Coorg by the people of Coorg. Neither of us will forget the elephants, the river, the waterfalls and most of all the hospitality. Thank you."
Arrive at Mysore or Mangalore. Received at airport. Drive to Mercara ( Medikeri). Overnight home stay with host family at Coffee Estate.
Explore the coffee estate Watch and participate in coffee picking. Overnight with host family.
Spend the day Visiting coffee curing factory and getting an insight into how coffee is cured, sorted and packed. Overnight home stay at Cofee estate.
Today we drive into the blue hills to Palace estate, 40 Kms from Mercara. Visit Nalkhand Palace the summer retreat of Coorg Rajahs. Option of climbing to Tadindimol 1712 meters, for panoramic views. Alternativly visit HoneyValley Estate to get an idea of the art of bee keeping, where some of the best Coorg honey is produced. Return to your host family by evening.
Drive to Cinchona Coffee Estate near Nagarhole National Park. On the way spend time at Elephant training Camp at Dubare. In the afternoon take a wild watch safari to Nagarhole National Park. Overnight with host family at Cinchona Coffee Estate.
A full day to explore the estate and surrounding areas. Overnight with host family
Drive to airport at Mysore, or Calicut or to next destination.
Price: On request
The itinerary can be tailored to include more walking in the hills, birding, wild watch or Angling for Mahsheer.
- Tour can be combined with Goa , Kerala, or Mysore