Equidistant from Mysore and the coastal town of Mangalore sits a cut of emerald called Coorg. It was since long on my wish-list to visit this terrestrial of undulating hills, populated by an honored race of martial men, good-looking womenfolk, and coffee plantations. It finally got crystalized with an invite from this beautiful luxury resort called The Tamara Coorg nestled within a coffee estate.
We took a flight to Bengaluru, and Madikeri being the only entry to the coffee pot of India, we decided to take in the misty, verdant hills of the Western Ghats from The Raja’s Seat – a gorgeous garden of flowers and fountains; lush forests and coffee plantations rolled past us en route to Coorg.
Coorg or Kodagu is the smallest region in the southern state of Karnataka and its altitude and proximity to the sea guarantees a pleasant climate throughout the year. Coffee estates and colonial bungalows popped up from strategic spots recapping us of British rule. Accredited for their valor, few of us know that Kodavas are the only folks in India permitted to possess firearms without license.
We drove to Talakaveri, the source of the mighty Kaveri, which proved to offer more visual delight. We had to drive cautiously through slightly sunken bridges and the views along the twisty road were simply stunning. Several streams meander through the woodlands and estates. Mahseer, a large freshwater fish thrives in these waters, as kingfishers dive for their catch while squirrels and langurs throw partially-consumed fruits to create a ripple. At Abbi Falls, we were treated to a resounding roar as Kaveri pours down a precipice and falls into an abyss.
Serenity engulfs Coorg, which allows you to spend as much time as required and even the most languorous persons adapt to the life of high-energy exploit with river-rafting, canoeing, rappelling, rock-climbing, and mountain biking. We felt excited to try our hand at bathing and scrubbing elephants at Dubare Elephant Camp.
Our trek to Brahmagiri Hills offered us an enchanting sight of the entire landscape of Coorg. As a walk across the rope bridge led us to the island of Nisargadhama, we were in for a surprise to spot Buddhist monks in ochre and red robes at Bylakappu near Siddapur, which houses India’s largest Tibetan settlement. We could discover our heart and soul connect at The Golden Monastery, which consists of three golden Buddhas and paintings worth seeing.
The elevation and salubrious clime make Coorg ideal for harvests like pepper, coffee, and cardamom. While at the resort, I learnt from their coffee expert everything from bloom to blossom about my morning cuppa. There are two types of coffee – Robusta and Arabica. While the former is very strong, the latter is rich in aroma. To get that kick, the perfect blend of both the beans with a few pea berries thrown in, is the classic Coorgi coffee characterized by stimulating whiff and mild-bitter hints.
Besides the lush hills, cool climate and various activities, the trace of coffee aroma that drifts through the air adds to the invigorating experience that is Coorg and BECKONS you to come visit it!
Photo courtesy: Pixabay