I am currently touring across South India, and Coorg (or Kodagu) was the second stop I made after Mysore. Also known as the Scotland of India, Coorg is a perfect stop for nature lovers. It is a hilly district of the Karnataka state, which is why the temperature here is a little more cooler.
I met my friend from college, Ankita here and we spent two days exploring this beautiful town. So here are the top things to do in Coorg - a 2-day itinerary.
How to reach Coorg?
If like me, you are coming from Mysore, catch a KSRTC bus from the city that takes you to Madikeri in around 4 hours. The ticket cost me around 110 INR.
In case you are coming from Bangalore, you can take an overnight sleeper bus to Madikeri that will take around 6-7 hours to reach the city.
If you are coming from a faraway city, you can take a flight to Bangalore or Mysore, and then take a bus from these cities to Madikeri.
PS: You can also rent a two-wheeler or a car from your city and drive to Madikeri. You'll need to take extra care during monsoons since the roads are a little slippery during that time of the year.
Where to stay?
Coorg is full of tourists all around the year because of its beautiful weather, and especially during the weekends when most of the people from Bangalore visit it.
Coincidentally we were in Coorg on a Friday and a Saturday, and most of the accommodations were full during that time. So we switched our accommodations on these two days, both of which were pleasant and comfortable stays.
Our first stay was at the Mayura Valley View hotel by KSTDC, with literally the view of the green valley right from our wall-length window. The hotel is very close to the market, and yet a little secluded from all the noise. The rooms were spacious, and clean, but the food, however, I think they can improve. So you can have your meals either at some restaurant outside the hotel or just ask the chef their specialty.
The second night, however, we stayed at Kushalnagar (an hour drive from Madikeri) in an Oyo room. The room was basic as opposed to the first day, but I really loved the location of the property. It was situated in a village surrounded by tiny houses, and the market was just a 10-minute walk from here. Breakfast was included as part of the reservation, which they probably got from a restaurant, but it was good though.
Day 1 - Spend time touring the attractions in Madikeri
We started the day with the very tourist Abbey Falls. It's a little far from the main town of Madikeri, so you can either rent a two-wheeler from Royal Brothers (the only scooter rental in Coorg) or take an auto that takes you to the falls and bring you back to the town.
Since it was raining that day, we took an auto to the falls, and it cost us around 300 INR for the round trip.
Even on a Friday, the place was crowded with tourists, and you could hardly get enough place to stand. Find a corner for yourself, where you can stand leisurely for some time and enjoy the waters gushing down the rocks.
As a plus, you can also see the coffee plantations on one side as you walk to the falls.
This is my personal favorite for two reasons, one there were not many people here, and second, the view of the city and hills are astounding from this place.
There are three tombs, two of the kings, and one is of the priest of the royal Kodava kingdom. These tombs are surrounded by a garden on all sides that gives it a beautiful aesthetic touch. Climb atop a small cliff at the entrance, and you'll get a panoramic view of the surrounding hills and the city below.
Once the leisure spot for the king to spend time at while they enjoyed the beautiful scenery in front, Raja's seat has now become one of the most famous tourist attraction in the town.
With a view of the valley and hills, it is a perfect point to sunset from.
We were there on a clouded day, and although it looked beautiful then, I think it would have been even more stunning on a clear day.
Day 2 - Explore the nearby town of Kushalnagar
The next day we took a bus from Madikeri to Kushalnagar that cost us 33 INR per person. After checking into our stay, we rented a two-wheeler from the Royal Brothers and set off on exploring the place.
I love visiting peaceful monasteries nestled between the hills with beautiful scenery. The Namdroling monastery is around 5 km from Kushalnagar and located within the Tibetan settlement.
The day we visited, there was some performance happening, which we were lucky to witness - although I am not very sure of the story behind that weekly performance. I asked a few monks, but not many people knew about it.
After visiting the monastery, treat your tastebuds to authentic Tibetan food. We went to a tiny multi-cuisine restaurant in the market just outside the monastery, but if you walk a little further from the monastery, you'll see many small Tibetan restaurants that serve only Tibetan food.
Located at a distance of around 10 km from Kushalnagar, the roads to the Harangi Dam passes through quaint villages and green pastures. The whole place is well maintained with manicured gardens around the dam. It is a great picnic spot, but if you walk further towards the dam and away from the gardens, you'll see the secluded and the less crowded area, the pathway that leads you to the dam.
Although the dam gates were closed at the time, and there was not much water in the tributary, the whole place was quite scenic.
Apart from these places, you can also visit the Mandalpatti, Elephant Camp, Chiklihole Reservoir, Nisargadhama Deer Park, or trek to Thadiandamol Peak if you have more time in the city.