Kodagu, popularly known as Coorg, is one of the most frequented weekend hotspots in Karnataka. This anglicized name -Coorg- came into existence after the East India Company took over Kodagu in 1834. Madikeri being the district capital and the main town is located at an altitude of 1067 meters above sea level. Often referred to as the Scotland of the East, Coorg is famous for its coffee plantations and Pork Pandi Curry. Apart from the chicory free coffee, Coorg is also known for spices such as black pepper and cardamom. What makes Coorg unique is that it is not yet connected by rail or air. Tucked away in the scenic Western Ghats, it is 260 kms from Bangalore, 120 kms from Mangalore and 120 kms from Mysore. Its forests are also home to the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Nagarahole National Park,
Talakaveri Wildlife Sanctuary and the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary.
According to the local language, Kodava means 'blessed by Mother Kaveri'. Their Huthri festival which is celebrated during the months of November to December is unique as it marks the end of the rice planting tenure in September and commemorates the Kodava warrior tradition. The Kodavas (Coorgis) are a martial race, and hence exempt by the Indian Arms Act from possessing a license for a firearm within the district. It has produced many famous personalities in the Indian armed forces like Field Marshal Cariappa, who was one of the two Indian armed forces officers to hold the highest rank of Field Marshal, and General K. S. Thimayya who was the Chief of Army Staff.
Pandit Nehru had once aptly stated about the region, "Coorg has given great Generals to the Indian Army. It is noted for its choicest coffee and if I am permitted to add one more to these specialties, I can mention that Coorg is famous for its beautiful and comely women."
Shopping in Coorg is quite a different experience, its not like a regular tourist spot where you pick up decorative souvenirs. A trip to Coorg is incomplete without Chicory free coffee, honey and spices such as Cardamom and Pepper, oranges during season and home made candles. Visit the local shops in the market area selling pure ground coffee, while you relish a steaming hot cupper, pick up some coffee to take back home.
Restaurant - Madikeri has a few options but most of them are in hotels. Amritha on Jr. College Road, Hotel Coorg International near Raja's Seat and Hotel Rajdharshan on M.G.Road are some options. While traveling through Coorg look out for local specialties like pork and mutton preparations. Homemade wine and toddy are also commonly available.
Coorg is located close to the Kerala border, in southern Karnataka. The climate in Coorg is pleasant throughout the year. It owes its lush green hills and forests to the southwest monsoon from June to September.
Coorg is a hilly region with an expanse of 4,102 square kilometers. The Brahmagiri range of the Western Ghats, separate Coorg from Kerala from the south-western and southern borders.
The Kodavas consider the river Kaveri sacred that springs from the Brahmagiri range at Talakaveri. A lot of trekkers and adventure seekers visit Coorg for the famous Tadiandamol range with its highest peak of 1746 m above sea level. The other being, the Pushpagiri or Subrahmanya Hills at a height of 1715 meters above sea level.
Coorg is a blend of hilly areas in the south with cluttered mountains and deep ravines to the north. The unremitting long stretch of jungle that runs between the two main Rivers Kaveri and Lakshamantirtha, is home to the Nagarhole (nullRajiv Gandhi) National Sanctuary.
A year round destination, Coorg experiences the south-west monsoon from June to September, winters from January to February and summers from March to May. The peak season in Coorg is between October to May.
There are a few Plantation Hikes that are conducted regularly in and around Coorg. These hikes take you through coffee territory, and visitors can feel the plants and the coffee beans. One of the popular ones being the Mojo Rainforest Trek that takes you on a trek to the 1,100 meter rain slope on the Western Ghats. You can contact the Coorg Wildlife Society regarding trekking options, guides and campsites to plan your treks or contact the Coorg Adventure Club to know more.
Surface - The only way that you can access Coorg is by road. The nearest railheads are in Mysore, Hassan, Mangalore and Kannur, while the nearest airports are Mangalore and Bangalore.
The best way to reach Coorg is by road on the Bangalore-Mysore highway, which should take you about five to six hours by car. By bus, it is almost seven hours. You can hop on to a bus from the KSRTC bus depot near the Bangalore railway station. Buses head to Coorg every half an hour. Once you reach Coorg, you can hire auto-rickshaws to take you to your hotel. There are regular KSRTC buses plying from Mangalore to Madikeri. You can check with your hotel and hire a private vehicle to travel in and around Coorg.
Though not connected with direct railhead or by air, Coorg is well connected with by roads. Karnataka�s state transport buses - the K.S.R.T.C ply from all over the state, offering good connectivity.
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