The picturesque locales, alluring mountains and verdant coffee plantations, the Kodagu region, commonly referred to as Coorg is undoubtedly breath taking.
Known for its Coffee plantations ,breath taking landscape and quiet villages, it is must stay and visit for peace and solitude.
Have listed some of the highlights to see and experience:
Dubare – Elephant Camp
This is mainly an elephant capturing and training camp of the Forest Department, at the edge of Dubare forest, on the bank of river Kaveri, on the Kushalnagar – Siddapur road. The largest land animal is captured here with the help of tamed elephants and local tribals – the Kurbas – and is held captive for upto 6 months in large teak wood cages.
The tamed elephants attend to various jobs during the day and in the mornings they come down to the river to bathe and to be scrubbed clean by their mahouts. Afterwards the mahout obliges eager tourists for elephant rides (Rs 100 per head, about five minutes, free for children below seven years) within the camp. In the mornings, all the elephants are offered a special treat of ladoos made of ragi and jaggery, each no smaller than a cannon ball! If you arrive early (before 1030am ), you can join in the programme to bathe the elephant. The entry fee to the park is Rs.20/person and there is an additional charge of Rs.100 to bathe the elephant. There are elephant rides from about 10 am to noon, and from 4 to 5 pm. 4-6 persons can ride an elephant at a time. There may be a queue for a ride. Buy your ticket at the counter. However, they follow a token system to ensure queue priority.
To get to the camp you will need to cross the small still water lagoon over motor boat or still water rafting or by a small trek over a rocky pathway (no trekking in rainy seasons). Ideally you can raft across the river to reach the camp and trek back over the river over the rock pathway. The boat ride will cost you Rs.20/person.
You could also do white water rafting at this place. The rafting distance is about 7 km and path is a great combination of rocks and water. A must do if you are looking for some adventure .
Elephant food being prepared.
There is a sacred spot called Iruppu in south Kodagu on the Brahmagiri range of hills. River Lakshmana-tirtha flows nearby. Legend says that Rama and Lakshmana, warrior Gods, passed this way while searching for Rama’s consort, Sita. Rama asked Lakshmana to fetch some drinking water for him. Lakshmana shot an arrow into the Brahmagiri hills and brought into being river Lakshmanatirtha. Also the river is said to be blesed with powers of cleansing one’s soul, it is an important pilgrim point for many devotees and a temple dedicated to Lord Ram is a few km below.
The river descends perpendicularly into a great cataract known as the Iruppu Falls. This place is believed to possess the power to cleanse one’s sins and is visited by thousands of devotees from far and near on Shivaratri day. There is temple dedicated to Sri Ram, surrounded by paddy fields, from where it is a climb up to the falls through natural forest. This place can be visited from Gonikopal on the way to Nagerhole National Park by taking a detour after Srimangala, situated in the Kutta Road.
Nagarhole National Park:
Nagarhole, in kannada means Snake River, but there are not too many snakes at this place. This park was created by former king for their hunting adventure. Nagarhole provides best natural habitat for different wildlife animals like tigers, elephant, panthers and many more. Mostly found animals here are wild dogs, gaur, langur and deer.
According to legend, the kings of Kodagu spent their evenings here. But what’s unforgettable about Raja’s seat is the spectacular sunset that one can enjoy from here. A sophisticated musical fountain is also located here. Best timings for viewing the sunset and the musical fountains are from 17:30 to 19:30 Hrs. It is not always possible to see the sunset due to cloud cover. However, if you miss the sunset, an alternative is to visit the place early morning around 7am. There is a toy train next to the park which offers a small ride.
Bailkuppe near Kushalnagar is a large Tibetan settlements in Coorg. Most notable among them are the large educational monastic institution Sera, the smaller Tashilunpo monastery and Namdroling monastery .The Mahayana Buddhist University is at Sera. There are nearly 7,000+ monks and nuns. The gold-coated Buddhist statues in the monastery are imposing and unique, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the Tibetans. The statues are of Guru Padmasambhava, Buddha Shakyamuni and Amitayus. They make handicrafts, carpets and incense. Tourists can shop for sweaters, dress material and other accessories.
Walk through the Coffee trails:
A visit to the local coffee plantation is a very rewarding experience and a morning walk amongst the coffee paths is refreshing.