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Coorg – Get Lost in the Scenic Beauty & Charm of Nature
Set amidst the beauty and tranquillity of hills, vegetation, and deep valleys, Coorg is a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life. The area is spread over 4102 sq km. The place is also called Kodagu. It has an abundance of opportunities to make your holidays enjoyable and also have a calming effect on you.
Coorg through the ages
The place started to gain importance back in the 2nd and 6th century, when it’s northern part was controlled by the Kadambas from Goa. Coorg witnessed a terrible war in the 11th century, fought between the Kadambas and the Gangas. Over the next few centuries, the place came under the control of different dynasties like the Hoysalas, the Cholas and also the Vijayanagara Empire. It was in 1956 that the place was declared as a district and it became a part of Karnataka.
Places to visit in Coorg
A place with a rich history and beautiful scenery is always popular among tourists and Coorg is no exception. The hill station includes a number of attractions that captivates one’s eyes and heart. And so travellers from different parts of the country and even abroad visit this place.
One of the popular places to see in Coorg, the Abbey Falls is located 1 km away from Madikeri, a town. The scenic attraction of this waterfall cannot be narrated in simple words. It is located in the middle of spice estates and coffee plantations. The beauty of the Kaveri River as it gushes down the rocks, forming the falls is incomparable.
You can get lost or take snaps of this breath-taking scene. Ideal to visit between November and December, Abbey Falls offers the best view after the monsoons. The waterfall originates from a height of 70 feet and there is also a hanging bridge formed across a gorge that is part of the waterfall. The place is accessible from Madikeri, through the spice and coffee plantations.
While Coorg is a place of thick forests, coffee plantations and beautiful waterfalls, there is a place that holds historical importance. It is the Madikeri Fort, located in the hill station of Madikeri that has its share of royal importance in the pages of history.
The fort even today speaks of several moments of victory and also defeat, right from the reign of Muddu Raja in 17th century. The place has also undergone architectural changes. Originally built of mud, it was rebuilt in granite by Tipu Sultan. Later eras saw it being rebuilt again by Lingarajendra Wodeyar II and the British.
The fort is a unique example of Gothic style in the form of its Anglican Church built in 1855. Addition of secret paths makes it mysterious as well. The palace like fort also has an exhibition of several artefacts and historical weapons.
Tadiandamol is said to be the highest peak in Kodagu. It is close to Kakkabe town, above 1748 metres sea level. The place is known for a number of adventurous activities that spark interest among tourists from different places. It can be also a peaceful trekking trail for some. Apart from being heavily visited by naturalists and trekkers, the place also includes Nalaknad palace at its foothills.
The Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the beautiful Somwarpet taluka in Coorg. The place is known to be of high interest due to abundance of wildlife in the Karnataka state. Ornithologists and others who love to sighting birds will love this place filled with endangered and rare species of birds. The melodious chirping and bird songs melt one’s heart. The sanctuary is also connected with the reserve forest of Bisle. On the other hand, the sanctuary is also connected with the Kukke Subramanya forests. Pushpagiri has a cool and wet climate.
If you have an equal thirst for nature and history, the district of Coorg has lots to offer to you. The Gaddige hill station is located on a hillock and is more popularly called as Raja’s Tomb. The place allows a perfect view of the entire place from above. The building includes a complex series of tombs belonging to the Kodava dynasty.
The Hindu tombs bear Shaivite depictions that serve as a major difference from the Muslim tombs. The architectural style is very much Indo-Saracenic. The most important tombs are that of king Doddaveerarajendra and the queen consort Mahadeviamma. There are also tombs of other important members of the court like the royal priest.
Bird Watching in Coorg: Spot Birds in the Coffee Hills
Coorg (also known as the Scotland of India) is well-known for being a bird watcher’s paradise thanks to the variety of birds present in its forests. Largely green, this special place is conveniently located between the evergreen Western Ghats and the plains. Rich in green coffee plantations and several sacred groves, over 300 different species of birds call the area their home. In addition to these, there are also several migratory visitors that come around each year.
Birds of Coorg
Four main areas in Coorg have been identified areas for birdwatching and these include the Brahamagiri, Pushpagiri and Talakaveri wildlife sanctuaries. The Nagarhole national Park is another popular birdwatching spot.
White Bellied Shortwings, the Nilgiri Laughing Thrush and Black and Orange Flycatchers are found on the grassy hilltops. Along streams and rivers, you are likely to spot Kingfishers – Stork Billed Kingfisher, the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher and the Blue-Eared Kingfisher. The common bird in the forests of Coorg is the Sri Lankan Frogmouth. The white-bellied Treepie is known for its comical way of calling loudly as it jumps up and down on a branch. These birds are commonly spotted along Coorg’s southern edge.
Around plantations, the orange-headed Thrush is commonly sighted. They enjoy living in wooded areas. These birds are omnivorous and popular among coffee planters as they eat insects that would otherwise spoil the coffee plants. The Oriental White-eye is another popular bird with a vivid yellow plumage and distinctive eye patch of white.
Amongst the most difficult to spot are the Wyanad Laughing Thrush, these birds are found in small bamboo patches along the rivers and feed on insects on the ground. Small bodied, they have glossy black wings and contrasting white fronts.
The Malabar Trogon is a bird that is so quiet that you probably won’t even hear its wings flutter when it takes off. It has rich bright red breast. It is most often spotted in moist evergreen forests but has also been spotted in the Nagarhole area.
Tips to Remember While Bird Watching in Coorg
Depending on whether you are a seasoned bird watcher or an amateur, there are a few things that are essential before you set out to do bird watching in Coorg. Remember to pack basics such as a good pair of binoculars and a field guide.
Dress appropriately for rough terrain and sudden weather changes. Carry a small first aid kit if necessary.
A bottle of water is bound to come in handy. To have a successful time birdwatching, for beginners it may be wise to spend some time learning to identify ad differentiate between the common birds. Or have a naturalist accompany you.
Besides spotting a few elusive feathered friends, a walk or trek through the forestsof Coorg is bound to uplift anyone’s spirits. Cool fresh air, green goodness for the eyes and the anticipation of wildlife around the corner, what more could one ask for? Come, enjoy bird watching in Coorg.
Local Sightseeing in Coorg
Coorg is a famous hill station located at a distance of 260 kms from Bangalore. It is a popular tourist destination and a treasure of scenic beauty. Some of the Local sightseeing in Coorg are mentioned below:
Madikeri Fort: The Madikeri fort displays the history and architecture of South India. It is a major tourist destination in the South India. Built in 17th century, the fort has seen many changes and represents a solid history of Coorg.It has beautiful architecture and sculptures that link the past to the present. It is a must to add this place to your local sightseeing in Coorg.
Raja’s Seat: The Rajas’ seat is a famous tourist destination in Coorg, it is a beautiful garden consisting of flowers and artificial fountains. There are layers of greenery amidst the low rise mountains. This place was a favorite among Mysore royalty.
Omkareshwara Temple: The Omkareshwara temple in Madikeri is a 19th-century temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. There is a Gothic and Islamic style of architecture in the temple. The temple has a dome and four minarets surrounding it. It has fresh water lake in the front.
Abbey Falls: Abbey Falls lie at a distance of 8 kms from Madikeri. The falls is located among coffee plantations and a hanging bridge is constructed opposite the falls. There is a heavy fall during the months of monsoon.
Bhagamandala: It is a religious place in South India. Situated on the River Kaveri, there is a Triveni Sangam, which makes it holy for a dip. There are two small temples located at a short distance from Bhagamandala.
Nisargadhama: Nisargadhama lies in the Kogadu district of Karnataka. It is a holiday destination for those looking for peace and quiet. The island has lush bamboo grooves, sandalwood, and teak trees. It is accessible through a hanging rope bridge.
Nagarhole National Park: The Nagarhole national park has a rich wildlife and forest cover. It has a huge population of elephants, bison and tigers. It is dominated by teak and rosewood plantation and has certain trees with medicinal value. The park has a variety of birds, reptiles, and mammals that include the Bengal Tiger, Indian Elephants, Indian leopard, golden jackals, wild boar and many more. If you are planning a trip to Coorg, add this to your local sightseeing in Coorg list.
Iruppu falls: Irupu Falls, also known as Lakshmana Tirtha Falls lie in the Kogadu district. There is a famous Shiva temple here, which attracts many tourists to the falls. There is a forest trail from the falls to the peak of Brahmagiri. Monsoon is the best time to visit the falls. Be sure to add this place to local sightseeing in Coorg
Adventure Activities in Coorg – Satisfy the Adventure Buff in You
Coorg is one place on this earth where tourists looking for relaxation along with the occasional adrenaline rush can find something to do. Rightly named as the “adventure capital of Karnataka”, Coorg is the ideal place for an adventurous holiday. Its natural beauty along with the magnificent views makes Coorg a place you should visit once in your lifetime.
From mountain climbing to jungle trekking, from river experiences to flying ones, from elephant camps to fishing, there is something that will please every visitor who comes here. Let’s take a peek into some of the top attractions here.
Kodagu – A Quick Snapshot
Coorg, or also known as Kodagu is one of the most beautiful lands placed in the heart of the Southern Indian peninsula. It is situated on the slopes of Western Ghats and is counted amongst the unspoilt zones of the country. This tiny place in Karnataka is the biggest producer of coffee. The extremely fertile land is flooded with streams, rivers, high hills, dense forests thus providing varied places for people to visit and explore.
A variety of people visits Coorg, ranging from those who are looking for some quiet relaxation to adrenaline junkies. Endless activities can be taken up at this place. Here is a list of adventure activities in Coorg:
Rafting: The Coorg whitewater rafting is worth experiencing. The rapids range from Class 1 to Class 4. The base camp to this rafting is located in PonyaDevarakad estate, which is well organised with hot showers and bonfire ensuring that travellers do not have to experience any discomfort while visiting the place. The rafting stretches to 2.8 km wherein you can bounce through the rapids and go through different levels of difficulty. If you are looking for adventure in Coorg, this is the activity to indulge in.
Flying off (Microlight): Coorg Sky Adventures give you the opportunity to experience the chilly winds on your face, in a two-seater open plane that takes you to the height of 3500 sq. ft. This activity is highly impacted by the weather conditions and time of the day. So don’t forget to reach to the activity spot sharp at 7.30 am or 3.30 pm, else you may miss the chance to enjoy the activity. The most appropriate weather for flying is between November and May. Before boarding the microlight, you will be required to sign an indemnity form at the counter. Individuals who have heart conditions or suffering from any kind of attitude related disorder, they should make a wise decision before embarking on this adrenaline rush. This adventure activity in Coorg will surely quench your adrenalinrush.
Brahmagiri Trek: The trek through Brahmagiri is one of the challenging treks to perform, as it is moderately difficult and is only suitable for the ones who are physically fit. During the trek, one has stay overnight, which means one has an amazing opportunity of spotting wild animals and experiences the beauty of Coorg.
Kayaking and Canoeing: Experience the calm side of the River Kaveri with Jungle Mount Adventures. Experienced instructors shall take you through the ride of a 20ft deep stretch of the river using kayak or canoe. The visitors here are offered base camp facilities which include rooms, food gear and bonfires during the end of the day. It is a one day trip and due to great demand, it is advisable for the guests to make a booking in advance and enjoy this adventure activity in Coorg.
Tadiandamol Trek: This is the highest peak in Coorg, which offers a short but quite a challenging experience to visitors. This place can be covered in a day and can be easily opted for individuals who are on the intermediate level of physical fitness.
Fishing: The ideal place for fishing and angling in Coorg is the Valanoor Fishing Camp. Several species of fish like catfish, eel, and mahseer are found in the backwaters of the Kaveri. If you have mastered the art of catching crabs, then crabbing is also a fun activity. October to May is the ideal time period for angling.
Other activities: Now or Neverland offers a variety of activities to the visitors which includes quad biking, paintball, mountain biking and also jungle gym. One of the most exciting things to do out of all is to take 250cc bike off road crossing through forests and the slushy tracks. The place is supervised by experienced instructors and safety equipment is placed all over ensuring a family safe outing for everyone.
Coorg is undoubtedly one of the best destinations to visit especially for people who wish to have some adventure. It is a land of untouched hills and rivers, which shall bring you close to nature and give you some time off from the daily routine to admire nature and make the most out of it.