Coorg Homestay Holiday is set in a beautiful district in the state of Karnataka in South India. Fondly referred to as the Scotland of India, Coorg takes the breath away from tourists with its lush green coffee plantations, misty hills and breathtaking views. Coorg homestay holiday is a wildlife lover’s paradise with 3 sanctuaries and a national park. With imposing peaks, Coorg is also a popular trekking destination. And if you are a sinner, you can atone for your misdeeds by visiting Talacauvery the holy spot where River Cauvery originates!
Madikeri, the headquarters of Coorg is 260 kms from Bangalore and 120 kms from Mysore. The Mysore - Mangalore highway (NH48) is what will get you here by road. The nearest Railway Station would be at Mysore and the closest Airport would be at Mangalore (135 Kms away).
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The best way to enjoy the legendary hospitality of Kodavas, as the people of Coorg are known, is to stay with them. There are many home-stays located all across Coorg, most of them amidst beautiful coffee plantations. This also offers a great opportunity to savor authentic Coorg Cuisine. Popular dishes are pandhi (pork), koli (chicken), yarchi (lamb) spiced with pepper and unforgettable coffee. Even if you are a vegetarian, specialties like the Bamboo shoot curry with Otti or rice chapatti will leave an indelible taste in your mouth.
A good time to do the Coorg homestay holiday would be during one of their colorful festivals.
The Kodava community is a warrior class and has provided India with some of its greatest generals like Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa and General Thimmaiah. The 'Festival of Arms - Keilpoldu' is a unique festival among this community where weapons are polished and worshipped in the months of June to September.
During the Hutari festival newly cut ears of grain are brought and worshipped in the Vasantha Mantapa of the temple at Bhagamangalam. Thousands of pilgrims take a dip in the River Cauvery.
For a breathtaking experience of folk songs and dance, do the Coorg homestay holiday during the harvest festival 'Puthar' in November or December.
Coorg has a rich history and a fascinating piece of it is that the godmother of one of the princess of Coorg was Queen Victoria! Princess Gowramma, the daughter of King Chikka Veerarajendra was baptized by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1852 in the aegis of Queen Victoria.
You can start your Coorg homestay holiday at Madikeri which is the district headquarters of Coorg. Some prominent landmarks around here are an ancient fort, an old Palace, Omkareshwar temple and Raja’s seat.
The Omkareshwar temple was built by King Lingarajendra II in 1820 to appease the spirit of a Brahmin man whom he unjustly put to death. The architectural style is Mumammadan with a dome in centre and four turrets at the corners. The Madikeri Fort was originally built on Mud. It was converted to stone by Tipu Sultan. A gothic style Church with typical stain glass has been converted to a museum and gives you a historical look into the fort. The Palace of the erstwhile kings located inside the Fort, now houses the offices of the Deputy Commissioner. The brick and mortar Palace was built in 1814 by Lingarajendra Wodeyar II.
You can finish your Madikeri leg of the Coorg homestay holiday at Raja’s Seat, a sunset point and emulate the erstwhile Kings who used to visit the spot together with their consorts to appreciate the beautiful views.
Abbey falls is a beautiful cascade not to be missed during your Coorg homestay holiday. It is situated 5 kms from Madikeri on the Galibeedu road. The falls provide a scenic view located between private coffee plantations with stocky coffee bushes and spice estates with trees entwined with pepper vines.
Talacauvery is one of the most religious places of South India. You can find the originating place of River Cauvery here and it is a highlight of your Coorg homestay holiday. Legend has it that Sage Agastya left his wife Cauvery in his water pitcher and went on a mission. The water overflowed from the pitcher and formed the river. At the place of origin of the river is a small mantapa known as Jyothi Mantapa which has an eternal lamp burning. Agasteswara temple has ancient origins. It is in the shape of a lingam and was placed by Sage Agastya in ancient times. Aswath Tree is a banyan tree and a holy site where the Sage Agastya worshipped Aswath Narayan.
Bhagamangalam is another recommended halt in the Coorg homestay holiday. It is a popular religious spot at the confluence of rivers Cauvery, Kannika and a subterranean flow Sujyoti. The temple complex was built in Chola Times and now houses a temple of Bhagandeswara and shrines of Subramanya, Mahavishnu and Ganapathi. If you are a student of Kashatashilpa or wooden art, you will fall in love with this place as the temple walls and surroundings are filled with exquisite wooden carvings.
Nalaknad Palace was built by Dodda Veerarajendra in 1792 A.D. After escaping from Tipu Sultan’s prison, Veerarajendra look refuge in a village called Kurchi. He built this place for safety of his family. It is a two storied structure and has elaborate wooden carvings and paintings adorning it. It is worth including in the Coorg homestay holiday itenarary.
Thadiyandamol is a favorite among the trekking folks. It is the highest peak of Coorg district and is 45 kms from Madikeri and 3 kms from Nalknadu Palace.
Irrupu Falls is a great spectacle and a must-visit item on the Coorg homestay holiday. It is located 45 Kms from Virajpet. The river Lakshman Theerta forms this magnificent waterfall at a height of 170 feet. An ancient temple called Rameshwara can be found here. Legend has it that Lord Rama installed the deity of Rameshwara here. A suggestion would be to visit the annual Ramathirtha Fair held here during Shivaratri day.
Before calling it a day at Coorg, make sure you visit the Nagarhole National Park. The park stretches over 643 square kilometers protecting the wildlife of Coorg region. It is home to elephants, tigers, leopards, sloth bears, gaur, deer, langur and macaques. Other inhabitants of the park are indigenous tribes like Jenu Kurubas the honey-gatherers, Betta Kurubas the hill tribes and the Hakki-Pikki the bird trappers. Forest department managed guesthhouses and dorms are available for stay in the fringes of the Park. It is a good way to end your Coorg homestay holiday.
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A good idea while returning from Coorg is to stop at Bylekuppe in Kushal Nagar to visit the Tibetan Settlement with Golden Temple and Monastries of Namdroling and Tashilunpo. Visit my travelogue at Tibetan Experience near Bangalore.
For my travelogues on other weekend getaways from Bangalore, visit Bangalore Weekend Ideas.