Coorg, also known as Coffee Capital is a region in Southern part of Karnataka. If you are a coffee lover, Coorg is must visit place for you. One of the best coffees in India comes from this region.


View as you ride across Coorg
Coorg is located on height and you will find many coffee plantations spread across the cities. As soon as our car reached the boundaries of Coorg, smell of coffee and greenery evoked our senses. At first I was not sure if they were coffee plants, but after checking with the local, we realised that many houses in the region have their own coffee plantation. In general cases, we have a garden outside our houses and verandas, in Coorg people have coffee plants. Apart from coffee, Coorg has many places for one to roam around. From local temple to waterfall to adventure activities like Rafting, Coorg has everything!

Let's see what one can Eat Travel and have Fun in Coorg

TRAVEL
It if difficult for me to give orders to any sightseeing as all of them are located in various part of Coorg and one can visit based on their hotel location and mode of transportation. The best way to roam around Coorg is when you have a vehicle (self-drive or chauffeur driven) as you can spot at any location and breath in the beauty.

Nagarhole National Park
Located in the south part of Coorg, Nagarhole National Park is indeed an unexplored place. Many people will visit Bandipur National Park to see the wildlife, however, Nagarhole is another national park located in the western ghats. Nagarhole is also very close to Kabini, which is another beautiful city to spend a night (relatively expensive hotels compare to the rest of Coorg). When it comes to wildlife, Nagarhole has many elephant sighting and tigers are pretty rare to see unless your Lady Luck is in the favour. Make sure that you visit the park before 3 pm to ensure safari trip as last safari goes at 4 pm only if they have more than 6 people.

All I found was Deer

Irupu Fall
Close to Nagarhole National Park is Irupu Fall. Located inside the forest, a short walk ahead is Irupu Fall. It is a pretty big Fall and gives you amazing sight and cold water to take a dip. Near the Fall, there is a small temple which one can visit. If you are staying in the north part of Coorg, visit to Irrupu Fall will be long one and entire day can be spent for that. If you have seen the biggest waterfall in the world, you can give a miss to this one unless you like to drive across the road surrounded by greenery (trust the roads are amazing, without any pothole).

View of Irupu Fall
Coffee Plantations
Well, this can be done in any part of Coorg. Most of the hotels and Resorts have their own spot where they take you around the coffee plantation and also pepper plantations. More than seeing the coffee plants, the tour is more informative in terms of knowing the process of coffee making and roasting. Roasting happens in Feb-April months, so if you also want to explore roasting, visit during these months. Don't expect a tour to whole roasting process as many coffee maker keeps this process under wraps as this decide the taste and flavour of coffee and they don't want anyone else to steal the recipe. Read more about Coffee Plantation.


Path across the plantation
Dubare Elephant Camp
This is located on the eastern side of Coorg, on your way to Mysore/Bangalore. Many people visit Dubare Elephant Camp on their way back to Mysore. If you are heading back to Mangalore, spend a day visiting Dubare along with other attractions nearby. Dubare Elephant Camp is located near Kaveri River where there is also River Rafting activity available. At Dubare, you will get a chance to click amazing pictures of Elephant, bath the elephant, feed them or take a ride on them. The Camp is dedicated in taking care of elephants and also giving a chance for visitors to come closer to them. Take a look at Photo Journey of Dubare Elephant Camp.


Elephant taking bath
Nisargadhama
It is an island created near Kaveri River. Around the island, they have rides, fun and fair for locals and tourists to enjoy. Inside the island, they have created a pathway for people to walk and also park for children to play. There are few deer also on the island. Honestly, I didn't find it an interesting place to visit as I just traveled from the forest like Bandipur and Madumalai. For those who are visiting only Coorg, they might like an hour spent in Nisargadhani


Deer at Nisargadhama
Golden Temple / Namdroling Monastery
Golden temple is basically Buddhist monastery. It is one of the biggest place where monks have resided in the southern part of India. The monastery is peaceful and quite big. It reminded me about my trip to Ladakh


Golden temple
Abbey Fall
Abby Fall is closer to the city compare to other falls around Coorg. It is small Fall in terms of height, however, the flow of water in Abby Fall was more than Irupu Falls. A short walk from the parking will lead to Abby Falls.


Abby Fall in the evening time
Talakaveri 
One of the best place to visit in Coorg. Talataveri is where the origin of Kaveri is. Before you reach the tip of the Kaveri River, you will see another temple on the way, Bagamandala. Bagamandala is on the bank of the confluence of three rivers, Kaveri, Kannike and Sujyoti. Driving around the mountain to reach a top of the mountain, a place called Talakaveri Temple. From noise temples in the city, Talakaveri is refreshingly quite place for one to pray. Best part of the visit was the view from there and being amongst the cloud. Must visit place for the driver, the view and for peace!


Temple on your way to Talakaveri
Raja's Seat
Another good place to visit in the centre of the region. Raja Seat is located in Madikeri. Apart from the garden at the entrance, Raja Seat is all about a view of entire Coorg. Raja Seat has a viewing point from which you can submerge yourself in the greenery and fresh air around you


Coorg view from Raja's Seat
Madikeri Fort
Situated in the city centre and close to Raja's Seat is Madikeri Fort. The fort compares to forts in states like Rajasthan is smaller and showcase the style of Southern emperor. If time is in your favour, do pay a visit to the fort

Picture courtesy: Karnataka.com
Chelavara Falls
Last but not the least (as there are many more things to do in Coorg) is Chelavara falls. Based on the reviews I got from the locals and concierge, it is smaller Fall than Irrupu or Abbi. If you have visited both of the above falls, you can give a miss to Chelavara Fall. The fall is located in the southern part of Coorg


Picture courtesy: TripAdvisor.com
Accommodation:
If you really want to feel like a local and eat local food, one should stay in Homestay. In Coorg, honestly is available from each and every part of the region and also from best homestay to pocket friendly ones. Homestay, some of them, are located in the interior of Coorg with coffee plantation around. For those who are not comfortable to stay in Homestay, Coorg has India's best five and four star hotels. Hotels are located in different cities of Coorg and if you want to stay in the busy part, opt for Madikeri. Madikeri is like centre of Coorg and from their visiting various sightseeing will be convenient.

During my visit, I stayed in both the property of Club Mahindra (Virajlet and Medikeri). Both the hotels were amazing and provided a unique experience to their guest. My person favorite is Club Mahindra Virajpet.


Club Mahindra Virajpet
EAT
Food will be no problem for anyone visiting Coorg. All types of restaurants are located in Coorg to offer you local flavours. There are few pure vegetarian restaurants offering amazing dosa's and Punjabi sabzi with roti. Non vegetarian lovers will have a good time exploring fish dishes in Coorg with their spicy curry. Must eat is actually must drink in Coorg and that is Filter Coffee. All restaurants will be offering filter coffee and it is must to have one after your mean. My personal favourite restaurant is Udupi The Veg in Madikeri (since I am vegetarian my choices are little biased).

FUN
White Water River Rafting
As mentioned before, River Rafting in Kaveri River an adventure you can try your hands on. The Rafting is about grade 3 and best time to do during Jan-Mar when water in the river is more. The Rafting is not as dangerous as the other places in India, however, for beginners, it can be the best place to start off!


Rafts parked before headed into the river
Tadiandamol Peak (Highest mountain in Coorg)
It is the highest mountain in Coorg and visit to Tadiandamol peak will require an entire day. The car can reach till midway from where you will have to walk till the top. This sightseeing is only for the adventure lover who are interested in challenging their strength and not visiting Coorg for relaxation. Honestly, I so wanted to visit the peak, however, due to time constraint, I had to miss it


Picture courtesy: TripAdvisor.com
Overall, Coorg is indeed a beautiful place to spend your holiday. It offers opportunity to everyone to enjoy, either it is relaxing or seeking adventure, Coorg is the place to be!

Category: Nature and Hill Station

Location: Coorg is 138 km away from Mangalore. Another option is to visit from Bangalore around 250 km away. Enroute, you can opt for stopover to Mysore. 

Time: Stay in Coorg requires a minimum 3 nights as there is so much to do and rushing everything in a few days won't make sense. Another option is to merge it with other destinations around Coorg like Mysore in between Coorg and Bangalore. 

Carry: During my visit in September, it was a monsoon, hence, it was important to carry an umbrella and jacket as it used to get cold during nights. Places like Virajpet and Kaushal Nagar are little low and have different weather like more sunny days. Also wear comfortable shoes if you are going out to explore the destination.

More pictures:



Near Irupu Fall


Merging of three rivers


Momma Elephant with Baby Elephant at Dubare Camp


Deer at Nisargadhama 
Buddha at Golden Temple
One of the top attractions in Coorg, the land of coffee, is Dubare Elephant Camp. In Nilgiri region, you will encounter many Elephant and Dubare is one of the place where they look after elephants.


If you have been to places like Kerala and Sri Lanka, Dubare Elephant Camp is also something similar. It is a huge place where you will find more than 20 elephants from small to the oldest one. People here look after the elephant and provide them basic facilities.

Dubare Elephant Camp is located near Kaveri river. It is also close to Kaveri River Rafting spot. Take a boat ride to cross the river and you will land on Dubare island. 


Entrance ticket cost is very minimal to see the elephants. Other activities like bathing the elephant, feeding them or ride on them is additional. 

During my visit, I have not done any of the above activities, except click endless pictures of elephants.


Right at the entrance, you will get a chance to see Elephants taking a bath. This was one of my favourite ones as I saw one baby elephant having fun in the river and teasing elder elephant. 

Baby elephant was going deep into the water and then suddenly emerge on the surface with his truck full of water and spraying on himself. 


Big elephants were rather more quiet and let human friend wash them and splash water on them. They were the one who liked getting pampered. 


Moving on from bathing spot, next was feeding spot. Here again, caretakers were feeding them and also giving the opportunity to visitors to feed the elephant and click pictures with them.

At some point, you might feel that poor elephants are tortured to entertain humans, especially when the mean people comes to visit them, who don't care about animals and only look for perfect selfies.


Third spot was riding the elephant, surprisingly I didn't see anyone taking a ride, or maybe I was too busy clicking elephant pictures that I didn't pay any attention to that part.

Overall, the experience in Dubare Elephant Camp was pleasant, as I ended up clicking tons of picture of elephants. Especially clicking pictures of baby elephant as they bring joy and fun to the entire experience.

Category: Wildlife and Photography

Location: It is located around 1 hour drive away from Madikeri, big city in Coorg. Combine Dubare with a trip to Kaveri River Rafting, Golden Temple and Nisargadhama. 

Time: Visit to the elephant camp is around 3-4 hours considering traveling from city centre, Madikeri. As photographers, you can spend an entire day capturing various activities of elephants to get that one amazing capture.

Carry: enthusiasm and camera to capture amazing animal. Also an extra pair of clothes if you wish to do elephant bathing or river rafting. 

More pictures:



On my last trip, I realised that the best trips are those taken on the road. We started our road trip journey from Bangalore to first stop in Mysore, second one in Bandipur and then moving on to Coorg as our last destination. In between, we had an option to take a stopover in Kabini, before Coorg, due to shortage of time, we headed our way directly to Coorg. Another destination you can explore if not Coorg is Ooty after Bandipur. Again, the road leading to Ooty from Mysore is via Western Ghat, one of the best road to take in India.

Cities covered: 

Bangalore --> Mysore --> Bandipur --> Coorg --> Bangalore

Fun of Road trip
As much as road trip sounds interesting, it is also dangerous. There are basic things to take care of before you think about heading off to the ghats and risky roads.

1. Be a careful Driver - Driving is fun, however, in a split second it can also become dangerous. There is no need to speed up or overtake just to be 2 second early. As road sign in Ladakh says, "it is better to me Mr. Late than be Late Mr.". 

2. Remember your Route - Nowadays, technology is so advanced that we can estimate our traveling time along with expected traffic on the road. Make good use of it, information not actioned is information not received. Know your road so that if gadget fails in between, you will know your way (even if it's half away)

3. Understand basics of Car - We all know driving, but that doesn't make us experts. There are so many information to learn if not everything! Learn about engine or how to change a tire before heading into nowhere! 

4. Take Breaks - Even though we have short time to reach or a short holiday, take breaks between your drive. Whether it is bathroom breaks or just stretching a leg. Be fit to drive, not exhaust while driving

5. Have a Good night's Sleep - Again, driving can be dangerous if the driver didn't get their sleep. Sleep well before a long journey as sleeping while driving will be sleeping forever!

With above safety notes, drive through the forest and nature will inspire and encourage you to explore more!


I started my drive from Bangalore airport. We started our drive through the Bangalore city with a break for lunch. Post lunch, we moved on to our first destination, Mysore. Mysore the city so bright and full of culture, we spent our day exploring local sightseeing like Mysore Zoo, Mysore Palace etc. 

Mysore Palace
Our road trip journey, powered by CEAT, continued towards western ghat leading to Bandipur National Park. 2 days of stay in the forests are indeed between nowhere still somewhere.

Roads in Bandipur National Park
Next to Bandipur National Park is Madumalai National Park. A very short drive from Bandipur will lead to Madumalai, a much denser forest than Bandipur. Safari around the park is a must for photographers and wildlife lover.


Make way towards Madumalai National Park
As mentioned before, while moving towards Coorg, take a stopover in Kabini or opt for a day long drive to Coorg. We opted for 2 cities in Coorg, Virajpet and Medikeri


Breathing the coffee and fresh air
Virajpet lies in the southern part of Coorg. We stayed in Club Mahindra Virajpet, one of the best Club Mahindra Resort. There are many things to do in Coorg and one must go for Coffee Plantation Walk.

Coffee plantation walk in Coorg
After 2 nights stay, we moved to the big city in Coorg, Medikeri. From Medikeri, you can drive cross various attractions and sightseeing. 

This led to the end of my journey across the beautiful roads of Karnataka when I made my way back to Bangalore. The roads across Karnataka is surrounded by greenery and plantation. The small coffee estate around the roads add to the fragrance of nature. 


Road trips are always the best way to find a good part of the destination. 

Category: Adventure and Nature

Location: Karnataka is located in the southern part of India. 

Time: Each destination is located around 6 hours distance 

Carry: A good car to enjoy the journey

‘I’m chronicling my road trip adventure for CEAT Tyres in association with BlogAdda.’


Roads surrounded with nothing but greenery!
Being in coffee estate and don't opt for a walk around the estate will be a shame. Coorg is known as Coffee capital, you will find Coffee plantation in each and every part of Coorg. Whether it is small estate or big, the smell of coffee will make you go on a walk around or maybe just sit in the balcony overlooking the plantation and sip on hot coffee.

Walking in the coffee plantation
Like everything, even the coffee plantation has a season. I happen to visit Coorg during monsoon, means, coffee beans have not grown fully to be plucked and put into the process. The entire process of coffee powder making is interesting yet intricate. It all starts with planting the seeds and growing the beans. There are two types of beans or you can say Coffee, Arabica and Robusta. Robusta is more stronger, whereas Arabica is lighter. Each coffee mix is mixture of Robusta and Arabica. It depends on the expert to create the mix to make the perfect cup of coffee. After plucking the beans, it gets roasted, which is the most important process of coffee making. 

Coffee beans
Let's not go too deep into the entire process. The roasting is very secretive method and only few gets a chance to see it. The walk around coffee plantation is to give you basic information about the entire process and method behind creating the perfect mix. 

Inspects around the plantation
The coffee was not fully grown as we went in the off season, September. If you really want to understand more behind Coffee, visit Coorg in Feb-Mar-Apr months when it is time for the owner to pluck the beans and start roasting. Both plants of Arabica and Robusta are different in nature, however, the difference is very minor for naked eye, for the expert, it is a huge difference. 

Difference between Arabica and Robusta plant
Apart from coffee, Coorg is also known for spices. On our walk, we came across pepper plant, both black and white pepper. 

Pepper plant
Each estate in Coorg doesn't only grow coffee, you will also find other plants around. We saw various types of plants used to create furniture. These can be as simple as bamboo, sandalwood or many more (I don't even remember their name). Some are planted to support coffee or pepper tree. 

Various plants around the plantation
The walk around the estate encountering not just plants, but also, insects and spiders. The entire area was flourishing with flora and fauna. I had tried my hands at clicking pictures of spiders, insects and butterfly. Luckily, I managed to capture few great pictures.

Crazy and not creepy looking spider
Walk around Coffee Plantation was not just informative, it was also an experience for me to do different type of photography. Those who love micro photography, they should definitely pay a visit. Even otherwise, one should go for a walk to explore nature and coffee. 

Category: Nature and Photography

Location: Coffee Plantation walk is available everywhere in Coorg, whether you go for homestay or hotel. Each estate has their own specialty. I did mine in Virajpet city. 

Time: The entire walk will take minimum 2 hours, if you are a photo bug like me, you will end up spending more time. Also, opt to walk in the morning to capture freshness. 

Carry: Just carry your curiosity to know more and camera to capture the beauty of nature. 

More pictures:

Beautiful Butterfly on flower
Beans, not fully grown yet
Pepper 
Butterfly
Flowers near the plantation
The extension of Bandipur National Park in Tamil Nadu region is called Madumalai National Park. Since we were staying in Bandipur for a day, we thought of going to Madumalai National Park for the afternoon safari. From Our hotel in Bandipur to the border of both the state, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, we went in our car. There is a place for parking where we parked our car, crossed the border and took a taxi to the forest office of the Madumalai National Park. 

On our way to Madumalai National Park
Similar to Bandipur National Park, Madumalai National Park is managed and protected by the forest department of Tamil Nadu. As for the safari, Tamil Nadu only gives the option of bus safari. No jeeps are available here. We went to the counter and bought the ticket to approximately 30 minute ride around the national park. Compare to Karnataka, Tamil Nadu was a little disorganised and slow due to only one bus available for safari. The national park in the western ghats are open all season unlike other forest around India, where it is closed during monsoon.

Our journey started and we roamed in the greenery to try and spot some wildlife. Before we go for the safari, we were informed by resort guys that Madumalai National Park has less chances of tiger spotting, however, the forest here is dense than Bandipur. There was more greenery and healthy trees in the Madumalai National Park. 

Our first encounter was with the Wild Dog. They resembled more like a fox and for a split second we were wondering whether it is a fox or wild dog. Obviously, a forest person corrected us. 

Wild Dog heading towards us

Up close
Moving on, we saw ample of Deer around the park, but no tiger in sight. 

Deer posing for the photograph
Two deer having friendly fight
Another amazing sight was of Elephants. These were wild elephants, means not the trained one. The bus was brought to a sudden stop to let elephant cross their path instead of evoking them. 

Elephant Family crossing the road
Elephant looking at us
The journey soon came to an end with no tiger sighting.

Overall, Madumalai National Park is more rich in flora and fauna, however, when it comes to tiger sighting, it has almost the same chances as Bandipur National Park. The management for Madumalai is a little unorganised than Bandipur and sadly don't offer Jeep safari which I mostly prefer. 

If you happen to go to Bandipur or Ooty, do pay a visit to the Madumalai National Park, you never know when luck is in your favour!
Category: Wildlife and Photography

Location: Madumalai  National Park is 110 km from Mysore and 50 km from Ooty. Closest airport is Bangalore (240 km).

Time: The safari will take only 1-2 hours including the waiting. Not many people stay in Madumalai National Park, hence, you will take another 2 hours of traveling time from Ooty and maximum 1 hour from Bandipur National Park. 

Carry: Camera and hope to see the tiger!

Baby Elephant