Coorg

A popular tourist destination, Coorg is known for the hospitality of its people, pleasant climate, sprawling coffee plantations, aromatic pepper and spice plantations, lush green forests and misty hills. Coorg is accessible by road from Bengaluru and Mysore. An exhilarating place for nature lovers, they can enjoy the scenic beauty at Rajas Seat, Mandapatti view point and Madikeri Fort. Eco tourism enthusiasts would like to visit Nagarhole National Park, Dubare Elephant Camp, Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary and the magnificent Abbey Falls, Iruppu Falls and Mallalli Falls. Honnamana Kere, Talakaveri and Brahmagiri peak, the river confluence and Sri Bhagandeswara temple at Bagamandala are sacred places also abundant in natural beauty.

Best time to visit: November to April
Languages spoken: Coorgi or Kodava language
Climate: Pleasant climate throughout the year
Holy places: Honnamana Kere, Talakaveri, Bagamandala – Temple and river confluence
Natural wonders: Abbey Falls, Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Mallalli Falls, Nagarhole National Park, Iruppu Falls, Mandalpatti View point
Places to visit: Madikeri Fort, Dubare Elephant Camp

Cool Coorg

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The return journeys, as always, make the heart heavy. This time my heart did put on a lot of weight. We decided to leave for Bangalore via a detour of ‘Talacauvery’. So we started very early on the next morning. Talacauvery, the source of the river Cauvery in the south was draped in a mystical legend.

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COORG DELIGHTS-DUBARE, MADIKERI AND MYSORE

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We reached Dubare Forest Camp at 4.30 PM. All our tiredness from the ride vanished at the sight of the serenely flowing Cauvery and the joyous screams of the people frolicking in it. Even before our car halted at the parking area, my first impulse was to rush out and throw myself into the river. But my wife calmed me down and reminded that we had a lot of time in our hands. As soon as we got out of our car, we were swarmed by the locals advertising their boating and rafting rides.

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Coorgi Delights – Talacauvery and Bhagamandala

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Every visitors’ must-see destination in Coorg is Talacauvery and that is where we were first heading to. It is the birthplace of River Cauvery and is 48 kms from Madikeri Town. I had hoped to start around 7.30 Am to reach the place early and enjoy the surroundings before the rush started. But since Madam had overslept(!)our start got delayed by an hour. We stacked up on some snacks and cool drinks before we left Madikeri.

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COORGI DELIGHTS-GOLDEN TEMPLE AND NISARGADHAMA

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The place has a guest house and treetop cottages run by the Forest Dept. I heard from the regular visitors to the place that tourists were allowed to enter into the river at certain safe and shallow points to enjoy themselves under the watch of the guards. But I found all those entry points locked and out-of-bounds for tourists. The guards at the place said that this was a precautionary step to avoid any mishaps because of flash floods which were possible sometimes in January. He also added that in March and April, there was no restrictions for tourists to enter the river. I wondered how much water will be there in the river then !

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Coorgi Delights – Reaching Coorg

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The shortest route from my hometown in Tamil Nadu, Tiruppur to Madikeri (Coorg’s largest town) passes through Mysore and is around 315 kms. But going by this route meant a difficult climb on the Dhimbam Hills from Bannari Checkpost in Tamilnadu right upto the TN-Karnataka border just past Hasanur (An almost vertical climb with 27 continuous hairpin bends in just 16 kms). This was a strict no-no because my wife has a chronic allergy to hill travel and vomits incessantly during hill rides, of which I have had many unpleasant experiences, especially during one trip to Munnar on a packed Innova and during another ride on the Palani-Kodaikanal route last summer. Inexplicably she never has any problems when riding up hills on a bike and that is the reason for my many bike trips to nearby Ooty (Thanks for small mercies). So, I had to choose a relatively less adventurous route and picked the Bangalore-Mysore-Madikeri route as my best option. Although this doubled my travel distance (Tirupur to Bangalore to Madikeri is 575 kms by road) there was no other choice.

Travelling to Coorg from Bangalore, though has its own attractions. The stretch between Bangalore and Mysore is dotted with many tourist hotspots. The ride is almost a tracing back of river Cauvery from the plains to its birthplace in Coorg district. Srirangapatna an island situated in the midst of Cauvery river, is renowned for its famous Ranganathasamy Temple and the historical sites connected with the reign of the brave Tipu Sultan and his encounters with the British. Further on the route, a mere 6 kms after Srirangapatna is the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, the largest of its kind in Karnataka. Here guided Boat tours are available throughout the day to watch the birds. Along with the birds, the riders on the boat can also enjoy the thrilling sight of huge crocodiles, sun-bathing on the rocks, precariously close to the boat’s edge.

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Temple trails of Karnataka-Part 5-KUDREMUKH NATIONAL PARK

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On our way to Kudremukh, we happened to spot this beautiful little Ganapathi temple amidst lush green tea gardens at a village named Samse, 6 kms from Kalasa.
We drove further and a km later, reached Kudremukh National Park Checkpost. On giving the details of our vehicle and its passengers to the officer at the checkpost, we were issued a receipt indicating both our entry time and the time by which we had to exit the park at the western side of the reserve.

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Temple Trails of Karnataka-Part 2-MULLAYANNAGIRI PEAK

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We were now off to Mullayanagiri, the highest peak in Karnataka with a height of 1,930 metres(6,330 feet). It is said to be the highest peak between the Himalayas and the Nilgiris. The route from Chikmagalur town to the peak is a thrilling drive with fantastic views all along the way.

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Thadiyandamol trek, Madikeri.

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We had booked a cozy and nice home stay in the heart of Madikeri and it dint take more than an hour and half for us to reach Kakabbe- the village from where our trek began. To reach Kakabbe isnt too tough because the localites guide you till the place, or even better, take a local bus from the Madikeri bus station till Kakabbe.

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