Coorg – Coffee Country

Many a times I have come across people who tell me that they have visited Coorg and my first question would be “Where in Coorg?”. “Cooorg” comes the answer. Well..not many people realise that Coorg (aka Kodagu) is actually a District, and the town Madikeri is its district headquarters. Coorg is known for its coffee plantations primarily.But then there’s a lot of other things one gets to see in Coorg.

Getting there
The town of Madikeri is around 230 kms from bangalore. The only mode of transport is through road and it takes abt 5 – 5.5hrs. The first time we (Vijay and me) went there by KSRTC bus and it was then that we learnt it the hard way that having a own vehicle is the best way to get around,else you need to be at the mercy of the local auto-rickshaw fellows or the private bus operators.

The next time that we went there (Priyam, Krishna, CV and me), we drove down to Coorg.

Route : Take the four laned Mysore road till Ranganathittu and proceed till you hit the Hunsur road,then on to Hunsur, and to KushalNagar. Madikeri is 40 kms from Kushal Nagar.

My personal opinion is to stay in Kushal Nagar rather than Madikeri for 2 reasons

Most of the places that one would visit are near to Kushal Nagar
It is less crowded than the town of Madikeri

Before I get on with the nitty-gritties of the “what-to-do”, one word of advice “Ensure you have made arrangements for accommodation”.

Orange County in Kushal nagar is a nice option if you are willing to shell out a decent amount of money.Other good option is Hotel Kannika International in Kushal nagar.

Madikeri has loads of options close to Bus stand.

Day I (Oct 30 2004)
We started from Bangalore early in the morning and as usual stopped at Kamat Lokaruchi for breakfast. After this , we proceeded to Srirangapatna ,10 kms before the city of Mysore, to visit the temple of Ranganatha swamy.

By the time we reached Kushal Nagar after the brief stops, it was around 2 PM when we checked into Kannika International.

We decided to take it easy for a couple of hours before we decided on an agenda for the evening.

In the evening, we decided to visit Bylakuppe,which houses the largest tibetian monastery in India. There is this Golden temple in the Namdroling monastry which is a must-see. Streams of monks wearing yellow and maroon robes can be seen all around this monastery.

Its a good idea to visit this place in the morning or when there is ample lighting. The walls of the prayer hall have colored glasses that let the natural lights into the hall.There are 3 statues , each of 40 ft high inside this temple.

The statues are of Padmasambhava, Buddha and Amitayus.

It was getting dark as we got out of the monastery and headed towards Kushal Nagar. With no specific agenda and time in hand, we decided to explore the place. We then headed towards Veerbhoomi, a place where one gets to see the cultural side of Karnataka with folk dancers performing while the dinner is served. The approach road was very bad and the experience inside also was not all that great for us.

After a long day , all we wanted to do was to have a good rest and gear up for the next day.

Day II

Coorg is said to be the place from where the river cauvery originates. So, we set out in the morning after a light breakfast to TalaCauvery, which is around 30 kms from the town of Madikeri.

From Kushal nagar, it took us almost an hour and a half to reach as the roads were bad. The place of origin of cauvery is a small tank. We took a dip in the tank. The cold water was refreshing enough to beat the heat of the day.

From this place, steep steps lead to a hill top (Brahmagiri) from where one can have a bird’s eye view of the whole area around.The climb is steep and there are no support railing to hold on. The view and the breeze are worth the climb.

On the way down from Talacauvery, there is a temple known as Bhagamandala.

This temple resembles the temples of kerala in its structure.

After a brief stopover in the temple,we headed back to Madikeri for lunch. Madikeri has few options for vegetarians near the bus stand. One place that you would probably want to skip is Raja’s Seat. Today this is just a park with a toy train for the kids amusement.

Since it was around noon that we landed in Madikeri , the Omkareshwara temple was closed.The architecture of this Shiva temple is muslim-like structure, with a central Dome and four minarets. A tank in front of the temple provide serenity to the temple.

Off we were, bidding farewell to Madikeri ,and heading towards Nisargadhama, a place where Cauvery has been diverted through. We spent close to an hour sitting on the rocks in the water and cooling our heels. The quite atmosphere adds to the calm. It was beginning to get dark and we decided to head back to the hotel.


This was the last day of the outing and we had saved this for Dubare, an elephant training camp ,around 8 kms from Kushal Nagar. The roads are narrow, but motorable except for the last stretch of 100 metres. Hang on, you are still not there yet.The last leg of the journey to the elephant camp has to be covered by boat across the cauvery.

As we were getting out of the boat, the first of the big visitor was on its way into the river. You get to spend time with the elephants, bathing them, feeding them with the specially-made food.

There is a doctor in the camp who explains all about elephants. Pretty interesting lecture. Finally the elephants get ready to give the visitors a ride on their back. All these activites are a part of a package that costs INR 150 per person.

If you are a person who is not fascinated by the huge creation of Mother Nature, then you could sit among the rocks in the river and enjoy the serene settings.All in all , this place has something to offer for everyone.

Plan to reach here as early as 7.30 or 8 in the morning so that you get to spend time with the elephants and also enjoy the nature sitting on the rocks.

Finally, the time had come for us to bid adieu and get back to rozi-roti. A long weekend well spent..

Last but not the least, the machine that helped us make it …. my fav.wagon

Until next time………


  • Veena says:

    Hi author,

    Thanks so much for the detailed info. i went to coorg first week of april, 2009 and i took prinouts of ur blog. it really helped me to plan the itenery. oh btw, coorg is awesome place and i stayed at halimane in kushalnagar (as per ur suggestion) and went early to visit dubare. dedicated a whole to talacauvery visit.
    Do keep posting your travels, it is very informative and interesting.

    Thanks again.

  • Aaarti says:


    Lovely post.. enjoyed reading and was quite informative as well. me and some friends are planning a trip sometime next mth…

    if you have contact details to the accommodation, this or any others pls do fwd to my email

    Thank you!!

    • Karthik says:

      @Aaarti, Its a nice place indeed.

      A word on the accomodation. There are quite a few homestays that have sprung up in the past few years. These make a good experience as they take you close to the culture of the place.

      Hope you have a nice time with your friends there :-)

  • Karthik says:

    Hi Karthik,

    I am visiting Madikeri during Dussera holidays from 24th to 27th (checkout). Starting from Bangalore and would like to cover all the places you have mentioned. Hope this is the right time to visit and please let me know if there is any special sequence to follow to save time.


  • Nandan Jha says:

    Re-published one of Ghumakkar’s first posts.

  • venkatt says:

    A nice crisp summary of your Coorg outing, Karthik. I travelled last November from Bangalore to Coorg with virtually the same itinerary as yours(My Ghumakkar series: Coorgi Delights). I went to Dubare elephant Camp in the evening and so I missed the chance to watch the Elephants in close quarters.

  • ashok sharma says:

    good post.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Coorg (or Madikari) seems like a all-time popular place. Karthik, you get the honor of writing it first here. hehe. After all this story is one of the first stories to be published, which was not from Editorial gang.

    I am also leaving a link of Venkatt’s series which so comprehensively covers this whole belt and is a brilliant reference.

    Karthik, please respond to comments as your time permits and do write more. Wishes.

  • Karthik says:

    Thanks everyone for the comments!
    I remember writing this when I first visited the district of Coorg way back in 2003. Wow, coming to think of it , that was a decade ago :-) . My experience (read hardships) during that trip prompted me to write for the very simple reason that people can be aware of what to expect and be prepared accordingly. I am glad that that cause has met its worth :-) ..

    Jha, thanks for re-publishing this and invoking nostalgic emotions :-) ..

    Been on a break from writing. Hope to take a break from the break sometime :-) ..

    Tab tak ke liye…. Ram Ram
    Karthik ( aka RK)

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