India is a land of adventure and mystery. This subcontinent envelops so many culture-rich, amazingly beautiful and mysterious places that one can spend a lifetime traveling around – but will still be hungry to get more out of this country. One such place is the small beautiful town of Coorg which lies in the Madikeri district in the state of Karnataka, India. I, with few of my friends, visited this place few weeks ago and was charmed with the picturesque landscapes and the pure natural greenery of this place. I stay in Bangalore, Karnataka, and Coorg lies just about 250 Kilometers from Bangalore. For the people who stay in the busy cities, this place offers a heavenly peace. It is a perfect place to run away from the hustle-bustle of the city life and just relax and rejuvenate oneself. This place can be visited any time of the year, as every season has its own charm. The hills covered by forests and lush green coffee plantations is a boon for the nature lovers. So I, along with three of my friends, packed the bags one weekend, hired a self-drive car and started off from Bangalore early morning at 6 AM. We wanted to beat the daytime traffic and get out of Bangalore as early as possible. Also, earlier we reach Coorg, the more we can inhale the beauty of the place.
Me and my friends on the way to Coorg
Coorg has all kind of hotels and resorts available for stay, but we decided to book a home-stay instead. Home-stays are usually located away from the city center, mostly inside huge private coffee estates. Also, most of these Home-stays are loved for their home-made food and delicacies and the feel-like-home hosts. It is always advised to book the home-stays couple of weeks in advance especially if it is a weekend or a holiday trip because of the constant rush of holiday-goers throughout the year. The place that we stayed was called Blue Mountain Estate Stay and was about 20 Kilometers away from the city center. It was beautifully located up a mountain, covered by forests and surrounded by huge coffee plantations. The place is so quiet and peaceful that one can forget everything and lose themselves in their own thoughts entirely. The owners of the property were really nice and friendly and the food was delicious with lots of variety. We also had bonfire at the night. We stayed there for two nights and loved every minute of the stay.
View of the Blue Mountain Estate Stay
Evening stroll around the Home-stay
Driveway to the Blue Mountain Estate Stay
Trail around the stay through coffee plantations
During the two day stay, we visited about 5 Places in Coorg. The drive through the long winding roads around the mountains, through the beautiful landscapes and lush green forest was simply mind blowing.
After a delicious hot breakfast, we left the home-stay by about nine in the morning. First place that we went was Talacauvery. This place is believed to be the source of the great river Cauvery. It is more or less like a temple and the place is considered to be quite sacred. They have a small pond inside and people come to take a holy dip in the auspicious water and offer their prayers and donations to the God. Also, there is small square compound with lot of idols of different South-Indian Gods where people worship. We did not take a dip but just went around the temple. Connected to the compound was a series of (about 400) steps that took us up a small hill. The climb definitely was tiring however the view from the top was amazing. It was quite windy at the top and we could see the surrounding mountains and hills and the view was simply breathtaking. We sat there on the rocks for some time enjoying the beautiful scenic view and then left the place.
Steps leading up the hill next to the temple
Climbing up the steps is a bit tiring
View of the temple from up the hill
View from above
Me posing for a pic with the lovely backdrop
Next we went to Abbey Falls. This is one of the many and the most popular falls around Coorg. This is about 10 km from the city center and is located amidst huge coffee plantations. There are steps that leads to the falls and by each and every step as we were getting nearer to the falls, we could feel the wind getting cooler and cooler and hear the increasing roar of the huge falls. Soon, after about a 10-minute walk, we could finally get the sight of huge gushing falls. Once we got near, we were welcomed by the foggy spray of cool water and the experience is just awesome. There was a small hanging bridge just in front of the falls, however, it was closed for the tourists at that time. We were disappointed that we could not go on to that bridge as it would give a perfect view of the falls. I do hope they soon open it again for the tourists. Also, stepping into the pool of water below the falls was not allowed. So we stayed around for some time fascinated by the beauty of the place and then went on to our next stop.
The falls are much gushier after the rainy season
The hanging bridge just opposite to the falls was sadly closed for tourists.
Raja's Seat is a perfect spot to end the day's traveling. This is a view point which is popularly called Sunset point. We reached this place just about half an hour before the sunset and was enthralled by its view. The place was huge and had a nice huge lovely garden with musical fountains which sprayed up colorful water. Towards the other side of the garden, it had a series of benches where people were sitting and waiting for the sun to set. The view is quite impressive and it overlooks a valley and we could see the far away hills, behind which the sun was quietly going down filling the sky with its most amazing and vibrant colors which was one of the most spectacular treat to our eyes. We just sat back, relaxed, watched the sun go down and then headed back to our Home-stay.
View from the Raja's seat
Sunset at Raja's seat
Dubare Elephant Camp
Next day morning we packed our bags, treated ourselves with a sumptuous breakfast, thanked the owners for their wonderful hospitality and then checked out of the home-stay. We were headed to our next sightseeing spot which was Dubare Elephant Camp. This, as the names suggests, is an elephant camp where we found lot of elephants that were being trained by professionals and also people could get to ride on the elephant. As this camp is located amidst forest area, one can also find few other animals like Deer and Sambhar and also many varieties of birds. This place is nice to enjoy the fresh cool water of Cauvery River. We saw many people playing and taking a dip or swimming near the banks of the river however, we did not get into the water due to the time constraint. White water rafting is also done here wherein they take a route of about 8 kilometers through the lush green forest and rocks, however the rapids are not that strong but the views during the course of the rafting is amazing. If we had few hours in our hand, we would have enjoyed more but however we had to head back to Bangalore so we left the place soon.
Boat ride that takes visitors to the elephant camp across the river
Rafting in the Cauvery River at Dubare Camp
The last place we visited was the beautiful Buddhist Namdroling Monastery or also called as Golden Temple. The temple has a beautiful architecture and the 40ft golden statue of Buddha inside the monastery is worth a sight. We saw a lot of Tibetan monks around dressed in their Maroon colored robes and it almost felt as if we are in Tibet. We sat down inside the temple for some time and we could see the Buddhist monks performing rituals and offering prayers in their own playful way. They were playing their hand instruments and singing prayers and the musical rhythm that it was making was purely amazing. Surrounding the temple was a nice garden with lovely architectures and also there were few shops where we stopped to buy few souvenirs for ourselves and then headed back to Bangalore.
Entrance to the Monastery
Front view of the temple
Statue of Buddha Inside the Golden Temple
Before I started this trip, I thought that a two-day weekend trip will be enough for this place but I guess I was wrong. There were many more other interesting places to see around and well…that gives me the reason to go back to this heavenly place soon! Happy Traveling. Cheers!!!