Kashmir of the South – Coorg

Coorg

Beautiful Coorg - taken at Tala-Kaveri temple

Kodagu or Coorg (as the British called it) also known as the ‘Scotland of India’ or ‘Kashmir of the South’ is one of most beautiful hill stations you can visit. Nestled among the lush greens of the Western Ghats, it is in Karnataka, about 260 kms from the capital city Bangalore. It is quite easily reachable.

Though a small area(about 4100 sq kms), the region boasts of a very distinct culture.  The Kodavas speak a different dialect of Kannada(called Kodava), have a unique dressing style found nowhere else in India, food habits are different, only Indian community with no dowry system, marriages performed by elders instead of Priests and so on. Coorg was one of the British favorites and was directly ruled by them till Indian Independence and was a separate province called Coorg Province till it was merged with State of Mysore in 1956 which later became the modern State of Karnataka. The region is well-known for Coffee plantations and the Brave-Warriors. Field Marshall K.M. Cariappa,  first Indian Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army who led the Indian forces on the Western Front during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1947, hails from here.

Coorgi_dressing

Coorgi style dressing

Of the very few places that I have traveled from the time I have come to Bangalore, Coorg is one of them. It has been a long time now but I didn’t feel like writing about it as it wasn’t exactly a nice trip. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong.  I even lost my new phone and my contacts and photos along with it. But the place is too beautiful to not visit or to visit and not share it with others. So here are a few pics from my friend’s camera and an account of places we visited.

We chose to stay in a home-stay instead of a hotel to get a feel of the place and it was pleasure being there. Our place was in the midst of a coffee-estate with a lake of it’s own(though we only got to see the small pond. It was raining and we couldn’t go near the bigger one) . A wonderful house with a very warm family as the hosts. It couldn’t get better.

With the hosts at home stay

With the hosts at home stay

One of the main tourist attractions in Coorg is the Abbey falls. And since we went at the end of July, we could see the falls in its full splendor.

The waterfall is inside a coffee estate and the small trail leading to it is beautiful too. The waterfall appears suddenly, giving you a feel that is you have discovered a hidden treasure and stand looking wide-eyed. There is also a hanging bridge right opposite to the waterfall and a Kali mandir at the other end of the bridge.

On the way to Abbey falls

On the way to Abbey falls

Abbey falls

Abbey falls

We made it a point to roam around the coffee estate and see the beautiful coffee plantations, small and big flowers of various kinds, the small pond inside it and the small red chilies growing in the backyard to come back to a sumptuous breakfast.

Inside the Coffee Estate

Inside the Coffee Estate

Another attraction in the city of Madikere(the capital of Coorg district), is the park called as the Raja seat. Along with one another park beside it, these parks are well-maintained with beautiful flowers and benches and  makes you want to stay there for a long time. The park gives a beautiful view of the paddy fields below and the mountains around.

Also, if you are planning to eat something, Madikeri is the place. Elsewhere you will keep driving for hours to only see green trees around you. Also, if you want to buy anything, the place is famous for honey, spices  and coffee. Few of my experimental friends also tried home-made oil for hair and other such things. I stuck to the traditional options.

View from Raja Seat

View from Raja Seat

Guess this is enough for one post. Will post more pics from Coorg in another part-2.
Anytime you get a chance do visit the place 🙂

Coffee_beans

Coffee_beans