I am not much of a traveler but I went on a trip to Coorg recently. Given the kind of hectic schedule that I have and juggling the struggles of adulthood, I feel I needed this much needed four-long days of vacation.
But, actually, even though it was just four days, the experience was enthralling. It was rejuvenating, adventurous and at the same time a very fun trip.
When I got around and planned everything for the trip, I was pumped to just go and explore the place and breathe in the beautiful surroundings without any inhibition. For those four days in Coorg, I just wanted to let go.
How do you reach Coorg?
Okay, so, there are three main close destinations around Coorg that you can take.
I travelled from Hyderabad and had a cab booked from Mysore. The distance is 720 kms.
I did start off with a train journey from Hyderabad. I boarded the Kacheguda – Mysuru express which leaves the Kachiguda station at 07:10 PM at night and reaches Mysore the next morning at 10.
I would definitely suggest hiring a rental from the station for the number of days that you have the Coorg trip planned for.
This might not seem economical but trust me; it provides you with a very luxurious trip without you having to worry about anything.
I had a very amazing driver with us who was there with us for 3 days till we were there in Coorg and even dropped us back to Mysore from where we had our flights booked for Hyderabad.
I don’t want to divulge on the amount the cab costed because every rental will have different pricing.
Trip to Coorg – Itinerary
Much like every other traveler, I had a set itinerary planned based on the kind of time we had in our hands.
We sorted out the places we wanted to see and even the kind of time it would take us to reach from one spot to the other.
Everything was completely changed once we met our driver. His name was Janardhan, by the way.
He suggested that instead of just focusing on Coorg being part of the itinerary, we should keep the last day (which was Tuesday) for a short Mysore trip and sightseeing too.
The first day, after getting down from the train, he took us to Ruchi Resorts where we had our breakfast. The place is quite posh and a couple was having their engagement ceremony there, so the overall ambiance was pretty amazing.
The shocking part was the fact that the prices there were very reasonable given the kind of big end resort that it was.
So, coming round to the Itinerary.
- Board the cab from Mysore station
- Stop for breakfast
- Namdroling Monastery
- Nisarga Dhama
- Harangi Reservoir
- Dubbare Elephant Camp
- Go to the homestay
- Have breakfast at Homestay
- Get on the vehicle
- Bhagamandala Temple
- Abbey falls
- Raja’s tomb
- Raja’s seat (view point)
- Madikeri town
- Try out the local cuisine
- Set sail for Mysore
- On the way – explore coffee plantations
- Krishna Raja Sagar Dam
- KRS Backwaters
- Sri Venugopalaswamy temple
- Balmuri falls
- Get dropped off at Mysore airport
How was the weather?
I loved every single part of the trip but the weather was a hate and conspiracy all throughout.
It rained straight for the three days that we were there. Sometimes more, sometimes less.
But, the second day was definitely out of everyone’s expectations. Literally, every single one of the sightseeing that we did was drenched. The moment we stepped out of the car, it started raining like cats and dogs.
That being said, the weather brought along experiences that we didn’t think we would ever get to see, so that was an added bonus.
Where did I stay?
I have always wanted to experience staying in a homestay and that is exactly what I did at Coorg as well.
We booked a room at the Royalwoods Homestay which is located a little inside from the proper Madikeri circle.
The trip to the homestay was an adventurous one because of the fact that it is located in the middle of all the coffee estate, thus making is surrounded on all the sides with greenery.
If you don’t have a rental cab booked with you or you don’t have a car of your own, the trip can be a bit difficult. I would also definitely suggest that you get back to the homestay before 7 at night because it gets pretty dark and the road isn’t the best.
So, plan ahead.
Places to visit in Coorg
When we planned the trip to Coorg, we had in mind that we want to cover almost all the spots that we could. The rain proved to be a Debbie downer in that.
Irrespective of everything, we were able to cover the majority of the places in Coorg, Madikeri and even in Mysore.
And the best part of this was the fact that we got to explore some of the underrated spots that many tourists either have no idea about or don’t go around to visit.
Our driver became an amazing guide, so that helped, especially in Mysore because we saw some amazing spots in Mysore as well.
If you are visiting Coorg for sightseeing, these spots are quite the cliché ones. But trust me, none of them will make you say that they didn’t stand up to the expectation you had.
Each and every sightseeing spot is out of this world beautiful (in their own ways).
The very first and possibly the most beautiful monasteries that I witnessed till date is the Namdroling Monastery.
I won’t get too much into detail. You can read more about the history of the monastery here, if you want.
Let me share the amazing experience that I had there.
I was lucky enough to visit the place during their prayer time. The monks (old and young) were all sat in rows which their manuscripts and scriptures in front of them, praying.
The chants and the environment around is too amazing. You just can’t match it with anything else.
I sat there for 15 minutes just taking everything in, trying to experience what was going around. The young monks served tea mid-prayer to keep them energised through the process.
Once you enter the prayer hall, there are three giant statues of saint Padmasambhava, Sukhayami and Amitayus in gold. The experience just taking everything in is exhilarating.
Location: Arlikumari, Bylakuppe, Karnataka 571104
Ticket price: No tickets needed
Distance from Madikeri: 40.7 km
This is a little piece of “natural heaven”. The place isn’t anything out of the world but has lush greenery all around. It is a delta that is formed by the river Kaveri.
From small bamboo gardens to rock sculptures and ruins, the place is quite amazing for the kind of ticket price it comes with.
The best part of this was possibly the amazing hanging bridge that you have to cross to get to the other side. It has a beautiful view of green trees and flowing water beneath.
It sounds very enthralling but for someone who is scared of heights and water, I was not in my best stature there.
Location: Kushalnagar, Karnataka 571234
Tickets: Rs. 20 per head
Distance from Madikeri: 39.7 km
Just like the name suggests, this is a water reservoir which is surrounded by gardens all across.
There isn’t much to say about this place that the fact that you can see the gushing flow of water from the opened channels and the beautiful lush greenery covered from all the sides.
The garden and the seating areas around make up for a very nice experience.
Location: Hudgur Village, Kushalnagar, Karnataka
Tickets: No tickets
Distance from Madikeri: 33.0 km
Dubbare Elephant Camp
Okay, so let me get this straight first. I was excited to visit the Dubbare Elephant Camp thinking I’d get to see actual elephants roaming around in their natural habitat.
And, I did see some. But, the harsh reality behind what we see what was broke my heart.
The elephants are treated so badly there. The locals who handle them were using spiked tools to tame them. At one point, I even told them to stop because you could see it was hurting them.
Yes, as overdramatic as it might sound like, I cried seeing the state the elephants were. And, I am no one to preach about animal cruelty given that I am a non-vegetarian myself but I just couldn’t hold myself in.
I didn’t take many pictures. I just couldn’t.
The elephants had thick steel shackles around their feet and neck, tying them down. The sight was too painful to see.
The boat ride to the camp itself was nice. You get to ride a steamer and it takes you around the entire area, showing a glimpse into the camp itself.
In addition to that, they have an option for river rafting too, if that is something that interests you.
Location: Kushalanagar, Coorg District, Nanjarayapatna, Karnataka 571234
Tickets: Boat ride (Rs. 30), Entry fee (Rs. 20), River Rafting (Rs. 600) per head
Distance from Madikeri: 36.5 km
The origin of the river Kaveri is what Talacauvery is all about. It is located atop the Brahmagiri Hills in the Bhagamandala district in Coorg. The journey to reach the spot was terrifying. Not only were the roads so steep and curvy, but the entire road also started becoming foggy as we went up the hill.
I just closed my eyes and pretended to sleep through the journey because otherwise, I would have possibly puked my guts out. I mean, if you have car sickness, just get inside the car and pray for your life.
Once we entered the premises, we were summoned by the guy who manages all the shoes. Apparently, wearing a dress isn’t allowed inside the temple, so you need to rent out “dhotis” from the there.
Yup, I have to wrap a dhoti around my waist to be able to enter inside.
Once there, you will find the “origin” spot of the Kaveri river located down and the rest of the temples are located around. You have a temple of Lord Ganesha there. The weather was so cloudy and rainy that the entire spot was covered in fog. I couldn’t see past anything there.
The experience was no doubt amazing but it was scary as well.
Location: Brahmagiri Hills, Bhagamandala District, Coorg
Tickets: Rs.2 each for shoes, Rs. 13 for dhoti
Distance from Madikeri: 45.6 km
I don’t even remember the last time I saw a waterfall. It was possible when I was in my 1st grade in school. So, needless to say, I was pretty excited to witness such a popular spot around in Coorg.
The Abbey Falls is touted as a must visit spot during your trip to Coorg, so of course, we saw it. The gushing stream of water and the rocks around is a sight to behold.
Much to our luck, the moment we got down from the car, it started raining like cats and dogs. We got drenched (again).
Nevertheless, we walked down to the spot of the falls, and boy, what a sight it was.
Location: Abbey falls, madkeri, Hoskeri, Karnataka 571252
Tickets: No tickets needed
Distance from Madikeri: 5.5 km
So, we were planning on visiting Mandalpatti but later came to know that it will take up quite some time. The weather wasn’t the best either.
This is why we stopped at Raja’s Tomb which is a small fort like spot on the way from Abbey Falls to the Madikeri town.
There was lush greenery inside and two small tombs inside.
Location: 7/73(1, SH27, Mahadevpet, Madikeri, Karnataka 571201
Tickets: Rs. 10 per head
Distance from Madikeri: 1.1 km
Raja’s seat is known as the viewpoint and to be honest, I was very excited to visit this place but just as my luck, it was entirely smothered in fog. Yes, we did go inside and there is a very beautiful garden that you can witness but the main USP of the place, the view from the spot is something I missed out on.
Location: Stuart Hill, Madikeri, Karnataka 571201
Tickets: Rs. 20 per head
Distance from Madikeri: 1.5 km
Things to remember
There’s not much I would tell you as a cautionary point because it isn’t an unsafe spot as such. That being said, there are few pointers that I would suggest you keep in mind.
- Avoid shopping from the big stores because they will charge you more. This is for the coffee, chocolates or even the homemade wine that you buy. Try the local shacks instead.
- Carry an umbrella because the weather is very unpredictable
- Try out the local cuisine there. I had a pork curry with bamboo shoots, akki roti and even a very dark (almost black) coloured pork fry dish. They were amazing.
Mysore Spots – The last day
Yes, those were some of the highlights in the trip to Coorg and then it was the day to return back home. I didn’t want to leave the place but I knew how difficult life is there.
No network. No connectivity. Limited resources.
Yes, people are happy with that but that life wasn’t something I was looking forward to. But, this kind of a digitally disconnected life is something that everyone needs when it comes to getting a break from their day to day life.
We had a flight from Mysore at almost 9 at night. So, we did have the entire day to kill and an amazing driver cum guide was kind enough to take us around some of the underrated spots in Mysore.
I won’t bore you by adding more words, I’ll just add in pictures.
KRS Backwaters and Krishna Raja Sagar Dam
Sri Venugopalaswamy temple
With all the sightseeing spots covered, we were on the way to the airport where our driver dropped us off and we got along on our flight back to Hyderabad from our trip to Coorg.