The district of Kodagu (or Coorg) was an independent state until it was incorporated into the newly formed state of Karnataka in 1956. Kodagu has three taluks - Madikeri, Virajpet and Somwarpet. Madikeri also known as Mercara, it is the headquarters of Kodagu district. Coorg (Kodagu) is an enchanting expanse of natural tourist spot that nestles amid the hills and valleys of the picturesque Western Ghats. Kodagu district has several tourist spots of historic, epic and natural importance. Main attractions of this place are River Cauvery, Coffee Plantations. Madikeri is the biggest tourist attraction in Coorg.
Coorg Quick facts
Coorg Geography and Climate
Geography : Coorg is located in the south-western part of Karnataka bordering Kerala. Its maximum length is 96 km (north-south) and breadth 64 km (east-west). The area of the district is 4102.3 sq. km. Climate : Pleasant all year round. The monsoon is from June to September.
Best time to visit Coorg
Coorg is one of the most beautiful hill stations you can visit. The best time to visit Coorg is before and after rains, which are copious in these parts. Coorg has many verdant trekking routes in the midst of forests and hills, and it's best to go in the months from October to February.
Coorg is known as the Scotland of India for its wet and windy climate. Coorg offers you a captivating natural beauty, great cuisine and aromas of the coffee plantations, oranges and honey. In March and April, coffee blossom time in Coorg. A holiday on a coffee plantation can provide the visitor a heady first-hand education experience of the entire process of coffee production from harvest to shop shelf. Coorg is also famous for its Honey. This district is one of the largest producers of pepper, cardamom and honey in the world. One of the seven major rivers of India, Cauvery is the 'Dakshina Ganga' or ' Ganga of the south' is situated here.
Coorg Near Getaways
Kushalnagar is a place which is virtually the Gateway to Coorg from Bangalore. It is about 200 km from Bangalore. Just on the outskirts you have the Cauvery Nisargadhama, an island resort for tourists run by Jungle Lodges. Then you can either move to Virajpet or Madikeri. Kushalnagar is also close to Bylekuppe, the Tibetan settlement which is very popular and transports you to another realm altogether. The total distance from Bangalore to Coorg is about 252 km. The best way to reach Coorg is by road on the Bangalore-Mysore highway, which should take you about five to six hours by car. By bus, it is almost seven hours. You can catch a bus from the KSRTC bus depot near the Bangalore railway station. Buses head to Coorg every half an hour or so.
Coorg is on the Western Ghats. It lies on Karnataka's southwestern end, covering an area of 4,102 sq km.
How to reach Coorg by Road
Kodagu is accessible only by road. Many buses operated by SKRTC. Pass through Madikeri enroute to Mangalore.
How to reach Coorg by Rail
Kodagu is the only district in Karnataka without an inch of rail track. Mysore is the most convenient railhead from Coorg. The city is only less than 2½ hours drive from Coorg and is also connected to the rest of India with extensive rail network. One can also use the rail stations in Mangalore and Hassan to access to Coorg.
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How to reach Coorg by Air
The nearest airport from Coorg is Mangalore (135 kms). A number of airlines connect the city with the cities like Bangalore.
Coorg Festivals and culture
Kali Podu in September, Huthri in November/December and Madikeri Dassera. Madikeri Dassera Festival : (Navrathri celebrations) Dasara is one of the festivals which is celebrated by all the people of Madikeri. Madikeri Dasara is a 10 day celebration, which is beautified by 4 Karagas and 10 Mantapas depicting killing of Asuras [demons] by Suras [God/Goddess]. Preparation for Madikeri dasara starts before 3 months of Navarathri. Most of the money for this celebration is collected from the people of Kodagu. There are 4 Mariamma Temples in the town: Dandina Mariamma, Kanchi Kamakshi, Kundurumotte Sri Chowti Mariamma and Kote Mariamma. All the Temples will be decorated by Lights and the whole Madikeri looks more beautiful on these 10 days. The city Dasara Committee organises Cultural programs all the 10 days. The first 7 days the programs will be there at Kauveri Kalaskhetra. Rest three days the programs are conducted at a Stage near Raja Seat. On the day of Vijayadashami, there will a orchestra from night 9 p.m. till morning 6 a.m. Huthri Festival : Huthri of Karnataka is a harvest festival celebrated in areas around Coorg in Karnataka. Variety of dances and folk songs are performed on the festival day. This harvest festival is celebrated in the months of November-December.
The Kodagu people have always stood apart handsome, brave and hospitable. A distinguished martial tradition has given the Indian Army several Generals and Brigadiers. Known by their special variants of wearing the saree, the Kodagu women are graceful and beautiful. Languages : Kannada, Malayalam, English.
Coorg Religious Places
Bhagamandala and Talacauvery The Triveni Sangama is formed here by the convergence of three rivers, Kaveri, Sujyothi and Kanike. For taking a dip at the Sangama permission from the temple authorities is required. This is a pilgrimage center of Coorg. This is a place, where Kannika and Sujyothi, the two tributaries to Cauvery join. This is known as "Triveni Sangama". Near to this sangama, there are four temples, where Eshwara, Subramanya, Vishnu and Ganapathi are installed. This is also known as "Bhagundeshwara Kshetra". The pilgrims before going to Talakaveri take a dip in the sangama and perform "Karmas" (rituals) to their ancestors. (Known as "pindapradhana"). During the Cauvery festival and Tula Sankramana, tourists and pilgrims will assemble here in large numbers. Omkareshwara Temple(Hours: 6:30 am to 1 pm & 5pm-8pm) This temple is dedicated to Shiva, and was built by Lingarajendra in 1820. It is a mix of Gothic and Islamic styles. There is a tank in front of the temple. There is a footpath leading to a small "Mantap". The surrounding place is abode with peace. There is a story behind building of this temple. It is said Lingarajendra killed an honest and pious Brahmin to fulfill his political ambitions. That Brahmin became a "Brahmarakshasa" and started teasing the king with troubles. It left the king only when the king brought a "Shivalinga" from Kashi and installed it after building a temple. The shivalinga was named as "Omkareshwara" and regular rituals were performed. The bars of the windows of the temple were made of "Panchaloha" and an alphabet "lim" has been placed in between the bars. Four minars have been built on four corners of the temple and the central minar is like a globe, which anybody can see.
Madikeri Fort (19th Century) Madikeri Fort is one of Tipu Sultan?s stronghold as he ruled this region. In the center of Madikeri, this 19th century fort houses a temple, a chapel, the prison and a small museum. The fort also offers a beautiful view of Madikeri.
Coorg Entertainment and Night Life
Trekking - Brahmagiri; Pushpagiri,Tadiandamol Coorg has many verdant trekking routes in the midst of forests and hills, and it's best to go in the months from October to February. Some of the known trails are in the hills of Brahmagiri, where you could trek your way to the Iruppa Falls. Or you could trek to Pushpagiri, the second highest peak of Kodagu, or even Tadiandamol, the highest peak.
Nightlife: Coorg is a sleepy district, and most will hit the sack early and wake up to the sunrise.
Kidding around Coorg
If you wish to have a relaxed time in a quite and peaceful environment, Nisargadhama is the place. Nisargadhama is a forest Department run rest house. It has a small canteen, a deer park, boating and elephant ride and children's play area. Dubbare Elephant camp: Elephant rides apart, you'll see mahouts feeding elephants bathing them and a lot of tuskers here. Do visit this place for a boat ride, some rafting and playing endlessly in the Kaveri river.
Coorg or Kodugu is coffee country. The coffee estates here produce some of the world's best coffee. So, don't forget to take some home. You could also buy Honey, Cardamom. Pepper & Oranges (in season).
Famous To Eat at Coorg
Eating in Madikeri is easy. There are many popular vegetarian eateries and non-vegetarian continental and Coorgi style places to eat out. Food is of good quality and relatively not very expensive. Kadumbuttu (Rice Dumplings) Koli Curry (Chicken Curry) Nool Puttu (Rice Noodles) Bamboo Shoot Curry (Bamboo Shoot Curry) Votti (Rice Roti)
Coorg Museum and Hill Stations
Coorg has many tourist places and attractions to offer to its visitors. In the center of the town is the Madikeri Fort, which was built in the 19th century and has a small museum. On display are some arms, armour, historical paintings and articles of the previous rulers.
Gardens and Parks at Coorg
Raja's Seat-- has been developed into a public garden. Raja's Seat, a favourite spot of the kings from where one can see the sweep of the mist-covered blue hills and valleys with green fields. The kings used to sit here every evening enjoying the sunset and beauty of Coorg. Today, the area around Raja's Seat has been developed into a public garden. Nagarhole National Park - The place derives its name from the winding river - Nagarhole meaning "snake river" - which flows through the park. The park and animal life is part of the country's first "bio-sphere reserve". One can be sure of seeing the elephant, spotted deer, barking deer, wild boar, mongoose, peakcock, jungle fowl and many other birds and animals. Lucky people may see a tiger or panther or even a King cobra. Both trekking and going by private vehicles is allowed, though permission has to be taken first.
Lake at Coorg
Cauvery: One of the seven major rivers of India, Cauvery is the ' Dakshina Ganga' or ' Ganga of the south'. Lifeline of the south, Cauvery bubbles up from Talacauvery and reaches ground level at Bhagamandala, 39 kms to the west of Medikeri.
Weather & Best Season of Coorg
Coorg Travel Tips
Camera is a must and a umbrella can be useful if you don't enjoy getting wet. If you are traveling from Bangalore, you can visit Ranganatittu Bird Sanctuary also as it is on the way. Kushalnagar, Harangi Dam and Nisargadhama are also on the way to Madikeri. It is better to book rooms in Coorg well in advance as the rates spike near long weekends and in the season. The monsoon in Coorg is almost perennial. So have rain-friendly gear like water-proof footwear.
Coorg Tourist Offices
Important Telephone No. (Madikeri Code - 08272) KSTRC Bus Stand : 229134 Dept. of Tourism, Govt. of Karnataka, PWD Travellers Bungalow, Madikere, Coorg. Tel: 08272 - 26580 The Manager, Hotel Maurya Valley View (KSTDC), Raja's Seat, Madikere, Coorg. Tel: 08272 - 28 287 Karnataka Tourism, 1st floor, Cauvery Bhavan, K.G. Road, Bangalore 560 009. Tel: 221 5489
Must do at Coorg
A visit to coffee plantations is a must.
Not to do at Coorg
Entering into temples with footwear is not allowed. Please follow the tradition of the religious place and remove the footwear before entering in to the temples.