Situated at a southern fringe of the state of Karnataka, sharing a border with the hilly districts of Kerala, Coorg (now re-named Kodagu) is renowned for its mist draped mountains and its lush coffee and spice plantations. The region normally receives an annual rainfall of 3000 mm spread over 6 months from the southwest monsoons during June extending to September, supplemented by cyclonic rains from the east between November and December. The river Kaveri originates in the hills of Coorg, on the eastern face of the Western Ghats and with its tributaries draining through most of Coorg, provides sustenance to the people along its banks. The river is also of great cultural significance to many people in South India.
Coorg’s mountains form a part of the formidable Western Ghat range and they are part of an enthralling bio-diversity hotspot. However, despite 80% of its area being under tree cover, with dense forests ranging from dry to moist deciduous and evergreen, the region and its natural resources face enormous anthropogenic stress. The diversity of Coorg’s forests provides varied habitats for a host of birds, mammals and reptiles most of which reside in three wildlife sanctuaries (Talacauvery, Pushpagiri and Brahmagiri) and a National Park (Nagarhole).
Coorg is a land where many communities and people of different religious persuasions and cultures live together. Tribes such as Yeravas, Kurubas, Airies and Kudiyas who are believed to be the earliest indigenous settlers of the area continue to reside in Kodagu.
The people of Coorg are referred to as Kodavas and they are ancestor worshipers. They are also very proud of their rich heritage and maintain deep roots in and respect the land they live on. Today, with impending climate change and natural resources under threat of commercial exploitation the Kodavas are at the forefront in the movement for environmental conservation and are actively promoting sustainable practices in responsible tourism.
Abbey falls or Abbi Falls are set amongst scenic surroundings and popular among guests as a picnic spot. Surrounded by lush coffee and spice plantations, a stream cascades over rocks, dropping into a pool forming a fine haze of mist that often engulfs a platform built for visitors to view the falls. The best time to visit Abbey Falls is between June and September when the south west monsoon rains ensue.
Distance From Resort: 49 km
The reservoir is formed behind a dam by a tributary of the River Cauvery. Surrounded by the Dubare Forest Reserve, the scenic, secluded surroundings are ideal for picnics and family outings. Views of sunsets from here are spectacular and photographers will be delighted. Guests may also visit the forest reserve here that is rich in flora and fauna. For visitors with a penchant for outdoor activities, the area around the reservoir offers many trails that are ideal for short treks and nature walks.
Distance From Resort: 33 km
Mandalpatti is a hill that is part of the Pushpagiri Reserve Forest near the town of Madikeri. In the vernacular, Mandalpatti is also known as ‘Mugilu-Peth’ or ‘Mugilu-Pete’ which means ‘Market of Cloud’.
Mandalpatti is popular with off roading visitors who relish the challenge of driving uphill in four-by-four wheel jeeps. There are two routes to Mandalpatti: one, via Abbi Falls, on which the ride is little bumpier but the distance is shorter. Traversing the other, via Makkanduru, one drives through coffee estates and there are a lot of small scenic waterfalls and streams en-route. Over the final 3 Km stretch, due to entry restrictions enforced by the forest department, vehicles are parked near a checkpoint and one can walk to the summit or board a jeep offered by the forest department.
Distance From Resort: 63 km
Dubare Elephant Camp
Situated on a bank of the River Kaveri, the Dubare Elephant Camp attracts wildlife enthusiasts from different parts of the world. Set amidst stunningly beautiful natural surroundings, visitors will have opportunities to observe at close quarters different aspects of how the elephants are cared for and participate in some of their daily rituals – bathing and feeding them ragi, jiggery, sugarcane, banana and coconuts. Guest may also opt to go on elephant rides that are conducted in the jungle at different points of time in the day.
Distance From Resort: 27 km
The area around the dam’s reservoir is lush undulating countryside and is a popular picnic spot amongst visitors, ideal for family and group outings. Guest could also opt to go for nature walks in the scenic surroundings.
Distance From Resort: 43 km
Honnamana Kere Lake
Surrounded as it is by towering mountains and set amidst coffee plantations in a plain between two hills, Honnamana Kere is the largest lake in Coorg. A temple dedicated a goddess named Honnamma in the local religious mythology is situated beside the lake and the area attracts, both, pilgrims and tourists. Folklore narrates that this goddess sacrificed her life for the wellbeing of the people here and newly wed couples come to seek her blessings. Guests may also opt to engage in boating and fishing in the lake. They could also include visits to the Mallalli Falls and the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary nearby in their day’s itinerary.
Distance From Resort: 67 km
Omkareswara is the phallic representation of the Hindu god Shiva and he resides as the presiding deity in this temple built in 1820 by a king who reigned in Coorg. The temple is also a stunning architectural marvel combing both Islamic and Gothic styles, featuring a pool in front, four Minarets at the fringes and a dome in the middle.
Distance From Resort: 36 km
The Madikeri Fort was first built in the last quarter of 17th century and later renovated by Tipu Sultan. The fort possesses a fascinating history and has in its active lifetime witnessed a succession of rulers and numerous momentous battles. Eventually the British, on taking possession of the fort, added a clock tower and a portico. Visitors are greeted by a pair of life-sized replicas of elephants made of mortar. What was once a temple was later converted in 1855 by the British into an Anglican church. The church is a fine example of Gothic architecture in South India. An adjacent museum displays antiques from different periods in the fort’s history. The fort complex also contains a library, a temple and houses the district prison.
Distance From Resort: 36 km
Kotebetta Peak trek
At an elevation of 1620m above sea level, Kotebetta is third highest peak in Coorg. The name of the peak has been derived from the vernacular in the area, joining two words, ‘kote’ and ‘bettta’ meaning ‘hill fort, referring to the distinctive shape of the peak resembling a fort. Surrounded by a verdant landscape, numerous trails that are a trekker’s delight, wind through coffee plantations. A temple dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva sits at the crown of the peak. Below, the landscape stretches to the mountains on the horizon offering spectacular views to guests that make the climb. The best season for trekking in Kotebetta is between the months of October and March.
Distance From Resort: 63 km
The Mallali Falls spectacularly drop down from a height of about 200ft at the foot of the Pushpagiri hills where the Kumaradhara River nears the plains journeying from its source on Pushpagiri Peak. Numerous pathways cut through the scenic forests and hills that surround the falls and are ideal for short treks. The best time in the year to visit the falls is during the south west monsoon, between the months of July to December.
Distance From Resort: 81 km
Padi Igguthappa Temple
Constructed in 1810, in the likeness of the temples of Kerala, it is one of the most ancient temples and of tremendous significance to many people in Coorg.
The people of Coorg believe that the temple holds miraculous powers and fulfils the wishes of devotees. An annual festival in the temple is held in March when ceremonial dances and cultural performances are held in its precincts. The deity is propitiated by devotees - weighing themselves with fruits, sugar, coconuts and rice as offerings.
Distance From Resort: 41 km
Nalknad Aramane Palace
Built in the year 1792 on a hilltop by Dodda Virarajendra, a king from the Haleri dynasty, after escaping capture by Tipus Sultan’s troops, the palace features an underground tunnel, perhaps to prepare for an eventuality requiring escape. Entering through an enormous gateway, the palace is a formidable edifice. Its interior roofs and walls are adorned with many ancient paintings, carvings and carved wooden pillars. The palace also contains a ‘durbar hall’ where kings granted audience to citizens and ministers alike, and a ‘kalyana mandapa’, a platform on which traditional marriage ceremonies were conducted.
Distance From Resort: 39 km
Raja’s Seat is popular amongst tourists as a spot that offers very beautiful views of, both, sunsets and sunrises. It was also a favourite spot to relax with the erstwhile monarchs of Coorg. A park surrounding the area is ideal for walks in the morning and evening. Beside the park is pavilion where some of Mahatma Gandhi’s belongings are displayed. A play area and a toy train make the spot eminently suitable for family outings.
Distance From Resort: 36 km
Talakaveri Temple & waterfalls
Situated high up in the Brahmagiri hills, Talakaveri is of religious significance to Hindus. The falls drop from a height of 1276m above sea level, emanating from a small spring named ‘Tirtha Kundike’ or ‘Brahma Kundike’, this is believed to be the source of the River Cauvery. Even though the source of the spring remains invisible it flows profusely during the monsoon. Many believe that the spring flows underground for a distance and emerges as the river downstream.
There are two temples near the spring and devotees bathe in a tank fed by the spring before their prayers. One temple is dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva and the other to Ganesha. Religious tourists will also see a tree where it is believed that an ancient sage was visited by manifestations of gods. Nature lovers may trek from Talakaveri to the Brahmagiri peak to experience beautiful panoramic views of the valley.
Distance From Resort: 66 km
This serene village contains some of the best maintained ancient traditional homes in Coorg that belong to families from the area. Many are more than 2/3 hundred years old. Guests are welcomed into these homes experiencing traditional Kodava hospitality and authentic indigenous cuisine. In the course of their stay guests may also opt to go on nature walks and exploratory treks into the surrounding countryside.
Distance From Resort: 35 km
Gaddige / Raja’s Tomb
Gaddige is the location of the tombs of Virarajendra and Linga Rajendra, historical rulers of Coorg besides a court priest, built in the 18th century. Visitors will also notice couple of smaller tombs nearby that were built in memory of their fallen soldiers. The tombs arrayed beneath a dome and turrets in the peripheries are reminiscent of Islamic architectural influences. Interesting spot to visit for history buffs.