Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Come Away With Me : Destination Coorg

Editor's Note : Pls welcome on board another member in the HFA family, who will take you along with her to Coorg. She chooses to remain, much like all of us here, anonymous. Tell us how you like what she has to say in the comments or you can mail us at

So the husband and I finally got a whole weekend to ourselves (yes, I am one of the few unlucky ones, who work on weekends) and decided to have a small getaway somewhere nearby. Of the many options, we zeroed in on Coorg. Now Coorg (or Kodagu as it is traditionally known) is a beautiful hill station and is a major tourist spot near Bangalore. I haven’t been to many hill stations, except for Ooty a long time ago, so I vehemently nodded my head even before my husband can finish saying Coorg.
We had planned to leave home by around 5.30am so that we could reach early and have sufficient time to cover all the tourist spots. Who am I kidding? We left only by 6.30. Come on, I got a weekend free after like, ages – I am allowed to be lazy. I had also packed sandwiches to eat on the way. I know there are a million restaurants and McD’s on the way but come on, the joy of eating home-packed food while travelling is something else altogether (Yes, I am that kinda woman :P).
We set off towards our destination, thanks to our smart phones – NOT. The drive was great BECAUSE we had done some research before our trip, so knew the various shortcuts and all. I have a Coorgi friend and he had given me a detailed good-old route map to various hot-spots to check out in Coorg. 

We first went to the famous Buddhist monastery in Kushalnagar. This is the second largest Tibetan settlement outside Tibet and was a mini-Tibet in itself. 

The Main Temple in the Monastery
It was a complete city in itself and you could see monks everywhere. Having a mental picture of a forever meditating monk wearing robes and wooden slippers (khadaus - if you are looking for the word, i went mad remembering it!!), I was flabbergasted to see many of them in their Nikes, riding scooters, toting mobile phones! So much for my mental imagery!!!
The main temple was closed for renovations, so we really missed out on a lot. The gardens were very neat and the area was quiet and peaceful – perfect for a quiet meditative day spent with self. There was a second temple with larger than life sized gold plated statues of the Buddha, something on the lines of the Wat Pho temple in Thailand. 

It really was an awe-inspiring space as there were rows and rows of mats for monks to pray. It was interesting to see little boy monks (bonks?) helping out at the altar. The architecture was really beautiful as there were huge colourful wall murals depicting the ancient stories of Buddhism. 

We could see monks chanting away oblivious to the tourists around, clicking them (Now this fits my mental image). This place should rate high on your must-visit list for Coorg. Pls make sure you stop by in one of the restaurants and eat the authentic local Tibetan food, provided, you have the palate for bland food as they use little spices. We had the thukpa (a kind of soup) and momos. Loved it but more of a one-off food choice – nothing ground breaking.

After the monastery we headed off to Nisargadhama, which is the origin point of the Kaveri River. Frankly , it’s an over-hyped place. There isn't much to do there and most of the areas there were littered and unkempt. The only thing I enjoyed there was the deer park.

This one said, she was pleased to meet me..

Without wasting much time here, we headed off to the Chikliholi Dam.

The place with its green cover, to say the least, was breath-takingly beautiful. Our timing was such that there was hardly any water so we couldn't try river rafting there. Suggest you to plan your trip around the Monsoon season.
We headed next, to Dubare elephant camps. Apart from getting pics clicked with this super-cool animal, if you are in the mood, you can also hop on for a ride. Since it was getting dark, we called it a day and headed off to our home-stay, which was in Coorg town. The home-stay was just what we needed after a long day’s drive with good facilities and awesome home-made food. If you are not too nit-picky, I will suggest you to always choose home-stays in small touristy towns. The personal touch and the coziness really outshines the impersonal hotel experience. You can find the details of our home-stay here.

The next day we started off early and went over to Abbey falls. I haven’t seen many waterfalls to really compare but I can say with authority that it pretty much rates on the top of the Awesome Waterfalls list. This should be high on your must-visit places if you’re planning a trip to Coorg.

View from atop a hills at Madikeri

Abbey Falls, in all its glory

This signaled the end of our trip, but not without buying Coorg souvenirs. We got some famous Coorgi home-made wines (came in handy, it was a long journey back after all, hick!! Just kidding). I also picked up this cute little temple bell and this wall hanging depicting the 8 lucky signs. Is any trip complete without a souvenir to remember it by?

The Temple Bell - Isn't the dragon cool??
Hope you enjoyed our trip to Coorg, do post in your comments. Have any of you been to Coorg? Tell us how your trip went and what places you visited!!


  1. It rekindled memories of my Coorg trip :)

  2. I have been to this Buddhist monastery, isn't it in Bailukuppe? Or is this a diff one? I went inside and it was grand and colorful yet tranquil. Next door, the monks were chanting away and playing the horn (didjeridoo type instrument) that was exotic sounding. Fond memories of Dubare (boat ride too there) and me want to visit India soon :)

    1. Hey rkramadh,
      Yes it is indeed the same monastery at Bailukuppe and I agree with you it is so tranquil and beautiful!!! Yes I also did see the monks chanting away, as such a lovely sight! Wasn't as lucky as you to go to Dubare as it was closed by the time we reached! But I do hope you loved your trip to Coorg!! Do share with us more memories!! :)

  3. The Abbey Falls look is the link to our trip...

  4. Pictures are very beautiful. Also known as Kodagu and nicknamed as the "Kashmir of South", Coorg (Kodagu) is one of the precious gems in Karnataka's crown. Located in the Western Ghats of south-western Karnataka, it can be pictured thus: miles of undulating topography carpeted in green covered with a misty veil, thickets of bamboo, sandalwood and rosewood forests. Explore all best places to visit in Coorg also.