Home > Uncategorized > Coorg – A journey to the Scotland of India

Coorg – A journey to the Scotland of India

About Coorg:

Coorg or Kodagu (originally called Kodaimalenadu) means ‘dense forest on steep hill’. Madikeri, the headquarters of this district lies at a distance of 252 kms from Bangalore and 1525 m above sea level. Popularly known as “The Scotland of India” amongst tourists, this city is known for its misty hills, lush forest, acres and acres of tea and coffee plantations, orange groves and scintillating views. Altogether, it has every ingredient to make it the most coveted romantic spot.

The Kickoff:

The entire trip was initially planned for two of our friends Ranjith and Rajeev who chose not to come due to personal reasons. We were hesitant to go after their withdrawal. But Prabeesh’s arrival on his bike with a 16 litre fuel tank full of petrol waiting to be burned and a tempting Nikon D40 got us moving. And thus the journey began at 3 am from BTM Layout signal near A2B.

Riders: Anoop, Ajo, Prabeesh, Manoj, Rahul, Santosh, Yadav
Bikes: Apache RTR, Apache 150cc, Bajaj Pulsar and Honda Unicorn
Estimated duration onward: 6 hours

The early start gave us an advantage – of avoiding the irritating traffic menace of Bangalore city. We were on the Bangalore-Mysore Highway in no time. The initial bout was at normal speed, until we stopped at a tea shop and got rid of the morning blues with some horrendous biscuit eating and tea drinking. The fun began when all of us touched around 110 km/hr during most of the 135 kms to Ranganthittu. I know that our parents and dear friends will have a frown on their otherwise beautiful faces while reading this. But come on guys, the thrill was taking us on. At around 6.30 am, we reached the bypass to Hunsur. We actually reached Mysore, and then a dear autowala suggested that we come back and take the bypass so that the city traffic could be avoided, and also, the route was not as confusing. If we had taken the bypass initially, it’d’ve saved us a precious 10kms.We reached Hunsur, which was around 40 kms from the Mysore bypass, and had breakfast at Hotel Balaji. Then we took off from there to Kushal Nagar, which was another 40 kms. Our first stop was to be at the Golden Temple.

Golden Temple:

A feel of Tibet in Coorg – that is the best way to describe the Golden Temple. After the Chinese took over Tibet, the refugees settled at Bylakuppe near Kushalnagar and this Buddhist Monastery was re-established here in 1972. The monastery has become one of the most popular tourist spots because of the ambience it provides and the sheer beauty of the architecture, idols and paintings inside it. We reached here at around 9 am. All of us were very surprised to see Monks driving huge bikes and luxurious cars. Even more captivating was the architecture that lay in front of us. We were all enchanted by the atmosphere and the beauty of the place. The temple consisted of great paintings and huge idols of Lord Buddha and his disciples or descendants. We roamed about there for nearly an hour, and then departed to our next destination – Nisargadhama, a mere 2 kms from the monastery.

Nisargadhama:

Cauvery Nisargadhama is situated at about 36 kms from Madikeri. This place can very well attract people who want a quite stroll amidst nature. An island in the middle of the river connected by a rope bridge, it provides tourists with services like boating and elephant rides. Speaking about elephants, there is also an elephant training camp at Dubare just 8 kms further. If you are lucky you might also get to see a deer or two in Nisargdhama. But what we loved most was the swim we took in the river. It was really nice. The water was not so deep and hence very safe. All of us made merry for an hour. Then we recouped ourselves to move to the headquarters of Coorg – Madikeri.

The road to Madikeri is a bit bumpy and I am sure it’ll make anyone grumpy.

Madikeri:

Madikeri – I would call this place “The abode of romance”. Coffee and tea plantations present in surplus gives the air an aroma of coffee, tea, fresh cardamom, black pepper and Coorg honey. It also boasts of being the origin of the holy river Cauvery (Talacauvery). The cool climate and hilly terrain is what inspired the British to name this place “The Scotland of India”.

Coming from a city like Bangalore, where I used to breathe pure un-adulterated smoke for the past 2 years, it was like rejuvenation when I started inhaling the fresh air here. This place is radiant with a charismatic beauty and an aura of peace. Calm and quite prevails in most of the areas except for the town. But even the town is calm and quite compared to other towns and cities. You will never for once feel left out as each nook and cranny invites you with a story to tell and a memory to cherish.

We reached here by around noon marking the finish of the bike ride for day one. All of us eagerly went into a Hotel Zeenat and filled our tummies with plenty. Then we checked into a 7-bed room in Saman Residency which cost us around Rs.1000. All of us agreed to an hour’s short break. Then at around 6 pm we moved to our next location – Raja Seat.

Raja Seat:

According to legend, the kings of Kodagu spent their evenings here. But what’s unforgettable about Raja’s Seat is the spectacular sunset that one can enjoy from here. I was simply dumbfounded by the view that was ahead of me. God must surely have been in a great mood while creating this because it’s simply awesome! Raja’s Seat is a garden where one can spend time in serene atmosphere. Then there is the excellent opportunity to savour the beauty of the sunset. We were a bit unlucky to miss that. Our next visit would be to Omkareshwara Temple.

Omkareshwara Temple:

Omkareshwara temple was built by King Lingarajendra in 1820. The architecture exhibits Islamic and Gothic styles. There is a pond in front of the temple that is considered to be sacred. It is said to be always clean because a certain species of fish, Catla Catla, belonging to the carp family resides there. People from southern India, where temples are built pompously will get to see a simple one in this structure. The tale behind the origin of the temple is that Lingarajendra killed an honest and pious Brahmin to fulfill his political ambitions (also a hearsay that he wanted the Brahmin’s daughter for wife, which the Brahmin refused). According to Hindu mythology killing of a Brahmin is considered to be a hideous crime and the curse is quite deadly of which even Lord Indra couldn’t escape. The Brahmin is said to have become a “Bramarakshas” and haunted the king during his sleep. When the king consulted his astrologers for a solution they advised him to bring a “Shivalinga” and install it after building a temple. The Shivalinga was named as “Omkareshwara” and regular rituals were performed. The bars of the windows of the temple were made of “Panchaloha” and an alphabet “lim” (I am not aware of the origin of this alphabet) has been placed in between the bars. Panchaloha (also called Panchaloham – literally, “five metals”) is a term for traditional five-metal alloys of sacred significance used for making Hindu temple idols (Murti). Making Panchaloha images were a well kept secret for a long time and their color changing properties added to their mysticism. Four minars have been built on four corners of the temple and the central minar is like a globe, which anybody can see. The Shivalinga now worshipped in the temple has its origins in Kashi. Among the many Shivalingas in Kashi five are considered the most sacred, and Omkareshwara is one of them. Praying to Omkareshwara is thus believed to rid the sinner of the tormenting ‘ Bramarakshas ‘. Lingarajendra (also known as Linga Raja) installed the Shivalinga from Kashi in the temple where we now stood, seeking redemption for his sin (facts taken from various sites). We all prayed until our hearts were content. Then all of us sat for a while in that holy atmosphere. After a while we all left for our hotel to call it a day and hit the sack.

Abbey Falls:

Located at a distance of 9 kms from the town of Madikeri, the Abbey Falls produces a spectacular sight of waterfalls. Situated amidst private coffee plantations, the Abbey Falls provides a fascinating ambience. A narrow road winding through the green and dense flora of surrounding coffee plantations leads to Abbey Falls.

The water gushing down and hitting the rocky surface produces a deafening sound that can be heard even from a great distance. The abundant scenic beauty makes it one of the most preferable picnic spots. We spent an hour here before moving to our final destination – Mallalli falls.

Mallalli Falls:

This picturesque waterfall is just 50 kms away from Madikeri on Somwarpet road. The Water, in its immaculate form, drops from a nifty height, which is a sight to behold. Mallalli Falls lies on the footsteps of Pushpagiri Hill Ranges, where river Kumaradhara falls over from 200 ft. We had to park our bikes 2 kms farther from the falls. Only a small road was available, which we had to trek. Most of the walk was pleasurable because we got to see a lot of beautiful damsels. The water fall was breathtaking. We couldn’t get very close to it, but could take ample pictures of it. It is much bigger and more splendid than Abbey falls. I have not seen many visit this place. Hence it was a treat.

The Departure:

When the moment came to depart, we all were thinking in unison that the trip should have lasted for 2 more days. We had not visited Talacauvery, Bhagmandala, Nagarholey, Irpu falls… Pledging to come back in a much better organized trip, we started the descent from Madikeri with the memories of Coorg haunting us. It’s better to clear the 130 kms from Madikeri to Mysore Road before nightfall. We reached Mysore Road at an excellent pace. We touched Bangalore at 12.30 am bringing the curtains down on a wonderful trip. This will surely be one of the most memorable trips for me.

Experience:

Total distance covered: 700kms
Most economical bike: – Bajaj Pulsar. An average of Rs.1000 was spent on petrol.
Accidents: Minor skidding en-route to Malahalli due to the steep curves. Be a bit careful while cruising there. Minimum speed advisable on that terrain
Food: Couple of hotels really spoiled the mood of the trip and our appetite. They took almost an hour to serve us. We were all crying in anguish – precious time was lost because of this. But then, some hotels were pretty good
Climate: Mornings are similar to Bangalore. Nights are a tinge cooler. If you have any ailments, do carry medications
About the place: A must visit tourist spot. It will simply probe your soul

The Final Whistle:

Coorg, with all its charisma has indeed captivated my heart and I sincerely hope that it surely does the same for you. This is my first attempt to describe a trip and all about the places and their importance. Hope it has come out well. Expecting valuable comments from the readers and hoping that it’s useful for at least some. Until the next trip – Adios Amigos!

Edited by: Rekha Narayanaswamy

Photography: Prabeesh & Rahul

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. santosh
    October 5, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Dude..Nice and Really Useful Post! A few corrections.

    The names of places–
    1.Abbi falls.
    2.Mallalli falls.

    🙂

  2. Prabeesh
    October 6, 2008 at 7:30 am

    hey nice one da,,,more of fun details could have been added,,just my feeling 😛

    Thanks for crediting me :-),,,,ur the first one to do,,,,many have just used mine and never gave credit

  3. Rekha
    October 6, 2008 at 8:01 am

    Awesome work – I enjoyed editing it! 😉

    Pics are incredible – I especially liked the last two. Cudos to Prabeesh and you! First pic should have had all of you – that’s missing!!

    @santosh – Abbey falls is mostly spelled so. Thanks for correction No.2

  4. Rahul
    October 6, 2008 at 8:03 am

    Buddy… thanks a ton for updating….:-) But to be honest..I am well aware of this before hand…Abbey is the correct spelling as far as I am concerned.. Mallalli, will change to maintain raito…if you do a bit of background research you will be amazed to see how much spellings crop up…so lets leave it at this 🙂

  5. October 6, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Dear Rahul and rekha.. My apology for putting in that comment. I remember our Coorg map(that we bought) and the direction boards to say “abbi” rather that “abbey”.

    Anyway.. I am enlightened with the research that you suggested. Thank you!

  6. Rahul
    October 6, 2008 at 10:11 am

    I bought that map, hence I am well informed of its contents…..buddy…and i didn’t deny the existence of the spelling ….guess your enlightment is not complete 😛

  7. Rahul
    October 6, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Prabeesh…i was thinking on the same line…But this one came out as a description of places. Future posts will make it fun filled…Hats of to your pics…

  8. October 6, 2008 at 10:29 am

    If you enjoy biking (and reading), you’ll enjoy reading (about biking) in Jim Rogers’ Investment Biker, where he takes the longest ever bike trip across the world (including the Sahara, the Alps, the Aussie drylands, Siberia and the Congo). -RN.

  9. Anto
    October 6, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Vanakkam….

    Oru 5 varsham mumbu vare abby falls ennu aaayirunnu peru …pinne peru mattiyathu aayirkkum..

  10. Rahul
    October 7, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Sho! Eee Anto Annantey oru kariyam…5 varsham kazhinhalum…Abby ennayirikum for you…pakshe enikku ippo ullathu poleya ishtam…oru 100 varsham Britishukaar barichu poyathalley….kidakatey avarudey stylil oru peru….:-) Anna alley vidu:-)

  11. Rahul
    October 7, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Ramesh Anna..thanks for the input…

  12. Yadav Krishna
    October 7, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Rahule.. I am proud of you da…

    Prabi..keep up the good work.. Good to know my lessons are doing good to you..

    Da “Beware of police” koodi mention cheyyayirunnu..

  13. Yadav Krishna
    October 7, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    And Special thanks to Editor REKHA Narayanaswamy..

    Chillara pinne tharaam tto..

  14. October 8, 2008 at 7:02 am

    Spl thanks to editor Rekha… 😉

  15. October 8, 2008 at 7:11 am

    prabeesh e.. Oru side business thudangiyaalo ?? hehe 😀

  16. Rahul
    October 8, 2008 at 7:36 am

    Kootukaarey…randu photo mathramey Prabeeshintey ullu :-)…Baaki ee pavathintey aaney.,….credit share cheyyunney…:-)

  17. JKJ
    October 16, 2008 at 4:42 am

    Good One Rahul..And ofcourse nice pics….kudos to all……

  18. November 24, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    I am delighted to read the nice travelogue on Coorg. You would have covered Dubare Elephant Forest also which is close to Nisargadhama. Photos are nice.

  19. rahul
    November 25, 2008 at 7:35 am

    Thanks buddy for your valuable comments. We all felt that the trip should have lasted a couple of days more. We will visit these places in future.

  20. Sanjay
    November 27, 2008 at 12:47 am

    The photos are too good, I’m planning to go to coorg with my family in Dec. All the hotels are full except Saman residency during that period. I need you feedback on Saman Residency.

    It will be nice if you can let me know if the hotel is a descent one to stay with family.

    I had been to coorg 7 years back, it looks the same after 7 years also. Excellent photographs.

    Cheers,
    Sanjay

  21. rahul
    November 27, 2008 at 6:12 am

    We stayed in Saman residency. It was pretty decent. The people were good and helpful. Its safe , I believe.

  22. neel
    December 1, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Just a quick word to appreciate the well drafted travelogue. The pics come out shining. I’m planning to visit with family and was hoping against hope for a feedback/review on “Saman Residency”. Your comments certainly allay my fears and now i shall make the reservations accordingly. Cheers Mate ~

  23. rahul
    December 2, 2008 at 7:20 am

    No issues buddy. Glad you liked our post…hope it serves well for more…

  24. Muthe
    November 13, 2009 at 6:08 am

    Hai….. Santosh Bro….

    I think youn guys should take part in MTV Roadies…Ha..HA…

    Muthe

  25. Kannadiga
    December 23, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Nice maga, even i am planning to go next week on bike.

  26. March 22, 2010 at 2:01 am

    Very nicely written Rahul & Santosh. Makes me want to book my tickets right away.

  1. February 1, 2010 at 3:50 pm
  2. February 1, 2010 at 7:03 pm
  3. March 21, 2010 at 6:53 pm

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