Coorg – 6 Quirky Things to Do in the ‘Scotland of India’
India’s diversity of language, culture, and natural resources is awe-inspiring even at a hasty glance. But, as one starts traveling around the vast country – from its lofty northern mountains to it shiny western salt marshes, from its spectacular southern coastline to its bio-diverse eastern delta – one can understand exactly how beautifully intricate every destination in India truly is.
One such must-visit vacation spot is a misty town located in the lap of the Western Ghats called Coorg – or Kodagu, as is its official name, in the southern state of Karnataka. It is also affectionately known as the ‘Scotland of India’ and the ‘Coffee Cup’ of the country.
Bathing with Elephants
Dubare Elephant Camp is a conservation camp situated in a beautiful little leafy nook in Coorg where one can have some unusual fun while enjoying the wildlife of the area – feeding, petting, and bathing elephants! It’s a popular spot for families and there is something for everyone – from boating to rare bird spotting, from elephant safari to river rafting during monsoons. There are also arrangements for private cottages at the spot for overnight visits.
Stunning sunset view at Raja’s Seat
There is no place that makes one feel as royal as Raja’s Seat, a vibrant garden complex from where the erstwhile Kodagu kings would enjoy the famous sunsets that the place has to offer. Studded with flower bushes of all colors and kinds, beautifully landscaped fields, stone arches and an area with an amphitheater facing the unending view of undulating hills and the sunset – Raja’s Seat cannot be missed out on.
Barefoot River Trekking
Although a niche activity, one of the most unique experiences that Coorg has to offer is a river trek in the Cauvery. The trek lets one wade through the waist-deep water of Cauvery and visits the eight little islands formed by the river, all on foot. Experiencing the natural beauty of the banks of Cauvery and the islands while pushing through the water is a thrilling activity organized by the Amanvana Resort and Spa, situated on the banks of the river.
Splurging on Coffee, Chocolate, Fruit Wine and Spices
Coffee is obviously the most famous buy in Coorg, considering the thriving coffee plantations of the area, exporting fine Arabica and Robusta coffee beans all over the world. ‘Civet Coffee’, one of the costliest beans in the world, is also a major attraction. The spices of Coorg are also well-known, a dynamic mix of cardamom, mint, cumin, black and white pepper, and herbs like basil, thyme, rosemary, etc. Handmade wines of the area are also popular fare, made of not only grapes but almost any fruit imaginable – pineapple, guava, litchi, kiwi, passion fruit, etc. Little shops selling handmade assortments of chocolates and marsh-mellows are also found here in almost every corner.
Exploring the historical Madikeri Fort
Built-in the second half of the 17th Century, the Madikeri Fort has a diverse and rich history, having been controlled by an eclectic bunch of rulers at different points in time. In the present day, it serves as the office of the Deputy Commissioner and a much-visited tourist spot and museum. The fort has two life-size mortar elephant statues with intricate features and a British-era church with beautiful Gothic architecture. Antiques and artifacts from the royal families of Coorg, replete with the history of the land are displayed in the museum.
Adrenaline Rush of Quad Biking
Quad Biking on All Terrain Vehicles or ATVs is a thrilling activity that one can take up in Coorg. A 90-minute ride on 4km of muddy and rocky off-road tracks is sure to get the heart pumping as one navigates through the terrain, the wind rushing on the face and the beautiful scenery passing by on both sides.
Coorg is a great place to spend some quality time with friends and family, or even on a solo trip. It’s a favorite long-weekend haunt for the nearby Tech City of Bangalore – a unique experience full of breath-taking views and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee.