Want to take the trek trails less travelled? Want to bathe elephants on an emerald island? Want to discover a cuisine you wouldn’t normally get anywhere but here? Want to know where your morning cup of coffee comes from? Want to see the majestic tigers in their natural habitat? Want to take a dip in the sacred pond from where river Cauvery originates?
If you have answered all of the above questions in affirmative, then Coorg sightseeing is just the thing you are looking for! Embark on an exciting adventure as you explore the top things to do in Coorg. This is one place where staying indoors is as marvellous as seeking the exteriors.
Catch the uninterrupted charm of nature in the heart of Western Ghats as you follow Coorg’s adventure trails. You can choose from easy walks (Chiki Holé/Madikeri/Nishani Betta) to moderate hikes (Tadiandamol/ Kopatty/Iruppu Falls) and daunting peak summits (Brahmagiri/Kumar Parvatha), depending on the time and resources at hand. These popular trek destinations can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days to reach. Be sure to camp under the star-studded night sky. It is one of the top things to do in Coorg.
Coorg sightseeing is incomplete without a glimpse of its exotic wildlife. Its bristling wilderness is home to Leopards, Asian Elephants, Sloth Bears, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Nilgiri Martens, Lion-Tailed Macaque, Spotted Deer, Four-Horned Antelope, Monitor Lizards, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Grey-breasted laughing thrush, Malabar grey hornbill, Orange and black flycatcher and many other animals and birds. An equally impressive range of fauna forms the backdrop of the rainforest.
The emerald green hills of Coorg are blessed with cascading waterfalls. Abbey Falls is just a short 7-km-trek away from Madikeri. It bursts into a drizzling beauty at the viewing gallery. On your way to Nagarhole National Park, you can stop at Iruppu Falls. This spectacular 170-foot-tall waterfall collects into a small paradise-pool at the bottom. Do carry an extra set of clothes for you will not be able to resist a quick dip and paddle in it. Chelavara, Mallali and Devargundi are some of the other waterfalls where you can stop by for a picnic.
Wake up to coffee scented mornings in the plantation estates surrounded by perennial streams. May it be the temperate winters or misty monsoons, these experiential stays pack a lot in the little while that you will be there. You can go berry picking, take a guided tour of the coffee making process, explore the spice gardens, go bird/butterfly watching and enjoy the Coorgi homemade cuisine. There are many estates that offer stays in old colonial bungalows. You need to book them early as they are in great demand.
Strap on the helmets and grab the oars. Next 90 minutes are going to be the most exhilarating moments of your Coorg trip. One of the best things to do in Coorg is to go on a whitewater rafting expedition on the Barapole River. Experienced adventure enthusiasts will vouch for it. This 2-3 km stretch of winding waterways and rapids offers one of the most thrilling rafting experiences in south India. The rafting and rope activities start at 7:00 Am and go on till 6:00 PM.
Take a break from everyday life as you soak in the quietude of spirituality at Namdroling Monastery. Nestled amidst sandal groves of Bylakuppe in Mysuru district, 35 km from Madikeri, Namdroling upholds Buddha’s sacred teachings. Its meditative surroundings and the time-honoured rituals at the Golden Temple transport the visitors into a different world. His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche established the monastery in 1963 after he came to India in 1959. It is open from 9:00 Am to 6:00 PM. foreign nationals need to apply for a Protected Area Permit (PAP) for entry.
Plumes of mist and wafts of fresh coffee entwine to give you a heady local flavour. One of the first things to do in Coorg is to go in search of world’s most exotic coffee beans, spices and dry fruits. You can get them at the specialty and grocery stores. Your enviable stash will be priceless once you are back home. Other things to buy from Coorg are honey, homemade chocolates & wines, Tibetan handicrafts and Coorgi Sarees. The best shopping places are the Madikeri market, Kushalnagar Market, Tibetan Market and the Friday market.
Street food or homemade, the use of local handpicked ingredients gives Coorgi cuisine a special advantage. Rice is a staple so you will find many varieties of rice dishes made from sannakki, the local rice. Rotis made of rice, known as akki roti, are quite popular. An authentic Kodava meal is primarily non-vegetarian with generous helpings of Pandhi Curry, a pork dish. Spicy chicken koli curry, fish and crabs are not far behind. The vegetarian fair is a hearty one too with kadambuttu rice dumplings, Bamboo shoot Curry and assortment of vegetables & chutneys. When in Coorg, do try the kulaiputtu, steamed jackfruit cake.