Things To Do In Coorg
Coorg is popularly known as the Kashmir of South India and not without a reason. This stunning hill station will take your breath away every time you visit and not only from South India, but people from all over the country come here to enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of the place. Coorg will offer you everything that you need in a vacation- from stunning locales to great food, from quirky local markets to adventure activities, from great accommodation facilities to wonderful places for sightseeing. If you are on a vacation with your friends and family, then this will end up becoming one of the most memorable trips of your life. Here are some of the things which you must try in Coorg so that you can experience all that this beautiful hill station has to offer:
- Visit the Abbey Falls
- Go Spice Shopping
- ATV Biking
- Go for Trekking
- Visiting the Elephant Camp
- River Rafting
- Jeep Trailing
- Plantation Walk
- Exploring Madikeri Fort
- Tibetan Golden Temple
- Try Mountain Biking
- Go for Micro Flight Flying
- Go for Rock Climbing and Rappelling
- Visit the Talacauvery for a spiritual Uplifting
- Go for Night Drives
- Bird Watching
- Go a Luxurious Ayurvedic Massage
- Go for Coffee tasting
- Visit the Nagarhole National Park
You might have stayed in some of the best hotels in the world, but nothing can beat the experience of sleeping under the stars and the meadows and valleys of Coorg provide the perfect spot for camping. Ditch those hotel rooms that you are used to and instead, camp under the stars after setting up a tent on your own. You will sleep with the stars twinkling over you, thousands of them lighting up the sky- the likes of which you will never get to see in the polluted air of the cities. Wake up in the morning with the first sun rays touching the hill tops around you and with birds waking you up, instead of your alarm clock. You will get to experience the uninterrupted beauty of nature in this manner.
Where: Contact your tour operator for the popular camping sites in the region.
Timings: October to March
USP: Sleeping under the open sky
Visit the Abbey Falls:
One of the most sought after tourist spot, the Abbey Falls is a gorgeous waterfall which will be a treat to the senses. Unlike most other waterfalls, where you need to climb up, you have to climb down the slopes to reach the waterfall and some of the areas are quite steep. It is like a small exploration and when you finally see the waterfall peeking through the trees, it is a real treat. The water is said to sustain the ecosystem here and it also happens to be a great location for photography. It is one of the best things to see in Coorg.
Timings: Right after the monsoons
USP: The walk leading to the waterfall
Go Spice Shopping:
The entire region of South India is known for growing spices and some of the best quality spices are to be found in Coorg because of the soil which is to be found in these locations. The spices here are completely unadulterated and mostly organic and apart from the regular spices, you will also find the more exotic cinnamon, cloves, mace and nutmeg. Do not forget to replenish your stock for your kitchen at home and you will notice the difference in the aroma of cooking and from the regular packaged spices that we mostly tend to buy.
Where: There are a number of spice shops in the main city
Timings: Round the year
USP: Buy exotic spices at affordable rates
Since Coorg has a very diverse and somewhat rocky terrain, it is one of the best places to try ATV biking. This is basically an All- Terrain vehicle and it can go over rocky patches or muddy flatlands with ease. It is one of the best experience to drive a vehicle over seemingly difficult terrain and traverse boldly over them. Do follow the instructions of the trainer about how to drive and ride the bike and all would be well.
Timings: September to April
USP: Battling rocky regions
Go for Trekking:
If you are an avid trekker, then the trails in Coorg are sure to enthrall you. The best thing about the trails here are that they are adventurous and thrilling, without being overtly difficult, which is why even novice trekkers can come here and enjoy the experience. You will love the beauty surrounding the trails, often replete with all kinds of flora and fauna, mostly butterflies and some orchids as well. Since Coorg is located in the Western Ghats, the mountains around provide a glorious view and the weather here is very pleasant almost round the year. If you want to enjoy the lush greenery of the mountains, then you can also go for trekking right after the monsoons.
Where: Nishani Motte Trek, Kumara Parvatha Trek
Timings: Round the year
USP: Stunning scenery on the way
Visiting the Elephant Camp:
Visiting the local elephant camp is one of the most delightful thing which you can do on your visit to Coorg. If you are travelling with your family and you have children with you, they are sure to love this part of the trip the best. The camps here are meant to protect the elephants and often try to rehabilitate them back to the forest. One can enjoy elephant rides here and the safaris are a real pleasure. The camps are large and cover a lot of ground which is why you can also enjoy nature walks within the camps and also try some wildlife spotting. You will also get to know how elephants are reared and get a closer look at the daily routine of the camps. The Dubare Elephant Camp is the most popular one here.
Timings: According to the camp
USP: Get up close and personal with elephants!
With a number of streams and rapids flowing in the region, Coorg is an ideal spot to try your hand at river rafting. It is a most sought after adventure sport and the rapids take on their full feisty form after the monsoons. The Barapole River happens to be a prime attraction for seasoned rafters as it has some truly deadly points which require considerable skill to traverse.
Timings: Right after the monsoons for maximum thrills
USP: Controlling the raft with sheer skill
With so many forested lands in and around Coorg, the best way to cover them is on an open jeep which will take you through some of the most splendid spots. The sunsets from Madeikeri are heavenly and you can go right up till Mandalpatti, which offers stunning views of sunsets as well. You will also catch some wildlife in action and there are deer, monkeys and wild hares to be found. You might even spot a leopard. The view of the sun setting over the forests will be etched in your memory forever.
Where: Stuart Hill
Timings: Round the year
USP: Catch glorious sunrise and sunsets from view points
As Coorg is home to some of the best coffee and spice plantations in the country, you cannot afford to miss them. The tea, coffee and spice plantations are looked after by experts and you will get to see up close and personal how the choicest produce are used and processed before they finally come to your tables. You will also get to know about the life in the plantations and experience the lifestyle of the locals of Coorg, who happen to earn their livelihood primarily from the plantations. That said, the walk alone will leave you rejuvenated as your tread through miles of lush and green fields. Some of the plantations also have their own stores so you may also buy your own favorite blend of coffee or tea from here.
Where: A number of coffee plantations are there in the area.
Timings: Early mornings
USP: A closer look at plantation activity
Exploring Madikeri Fort:
Forts and palaces are often the markers of history and the Madikeri Fort happens to be a principal one in the area. The fort is said to be over 200 years old and is wonderful to explore. There are long passageways and hidden rooms and the view from the top battlements is truly astounding. History lovers usually spend hours inside, exploring the nooks and corner. The lawns in front of the fort are also a popular picnic spot.
Where: Stuart Hill
Timings: Fort timings
USP: Knowing the history of the locality
Tibetan Golden Temple:
One of the major Coorg attractions, this is not just an important landmark in the city, but is also deeply revered by the locals here, irrespective of religion or community. The ambience will immediately calm your mind and the surroundings are picture perfect. This temple and monastery is located in the heart of the Tibetan settlement area of Coorg, and is known as the Namdroling monastery. Several monks stay and study here. The architecture of the place is reminiscent of old Tibet and the golden façade is meticulously engraved with texts and scriptures. There is also a souvenir shop inside the premises from where you can buy statues of Buddhas and books on Tibetan history.
Timings: 9 am to 4 pm
USP: Get a closer look at Tibetan culture
Try Mountain Biking:
If you are an adventure lover at heart, then mountain biking is just right for you. As Coorg has some diverse terrain, driving on a bike on the bends of the mountains and rocky surfaces is quite a challenge and mountain bikers are always up for it. This is a fun and thrilling activity and will give you all the adrenalin rush you need. At the same time, you will get to feast your eyes on the beauty of the mountains as you drive through them. You can contact one of the resorts who offer mountain bikes on rent.
Where: Outskirts of Coorg
Timings: Round the year
USP: Riding a bike on hilly tracts
Go for Micro Flight Flying:
This sport is similar to paragliding but it is conducted on a hand glider and you will get a bird’s eye view as you glide over the hills, valleys and stream. This is ideal for two people and the glider will take you 5000 feet above the ground level so that you can enjoy the view from the top. You need to follow the instructions of the trainer to understand how to operate the hand glider and while you are up there, it would be one of the most thrilling experiences of your life.
Timings: Early morning
USP: A bird’s eye view of the hills and valleys
Go for Rock Climbing and Rappelling:
Because of the diverse nature of the landscape in Coorg, there are many rock surfaces and waterfalls here where rock climbing and rappelling sessions are held regularly and your tour operator will let you know about it. It takes a great degree of effort to climb the sheet rock surfaces and you will be amazed to discover how much strength you have when you finally reach the top. On the other hand, the various waterfalls and caves will give you a chance to rapel through them as you beat the odds. Try to avoid the summers as you will be sapped of energy in the humidity. Such adventure activities in Coorg will leave you asking for more.
Where: Honnamanna Kare
Timings: Right after monsoons and during winter
USP: Challenging one’s own stamina
Visit the Talacauvery for a spiritual Uplifting:
The Talacauvery is the source of the river Kaveri and is a much revered place for the locals who often come here at special times of the year to offer their prayer at the temple of Goddess Kaveri, which is situated here. Even if you do not have a spiritual bend of mind, you may simply come here to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the region. The best way to reach the temple is to walk the last few miles and you will be doing it through mists and clouds which create a dreamy ambience all around you. The mountains in the distant are mesmerizing and the spirituality of the place, combined with the pure and pristine beauty, transports you somewhere else. Do visit this place even if you are not religious and it will be worth it.
USP: The tranquil spirituality of the region
Go for Night Drives:
There aren’t many places in India where you can drive late at night and feel safe and comfortable at the same time as well as get to enjoy the stunning beauty of a region after everyone has gone to sleep. Well, Coorg provides you with that opportunity and driving through the forested paths around Coorg at night will present you with a very different experience. Even if you have travelled through the same paths during day time, the view which you enjoy at night is quite different and you will have the moon and the stars peeping through the trees to keep you company. The sound of the forests change as well as many nocturnal birds and animals go about their task. It is one of the best things to do in Madekeri.
Where: Pre- book a pick up from Madikeri
Timings: Afetr 7 pm
USP: Driving through the forests at night
If you love nature, then you will love birds as well as the climate and terrain of Coorg is such that it sustains a large number of birds, bees and butterflies. Do not forget to take your camera along with you. You will get to see a large number of birds from diverse species round the year and if you happen to visit during the winter months of October to February, then you will also see a large number of migratory birds coming here. They hatch their young and go back to their homes as far as Siberia when the winters end. The serene ambience of the Nilgiris allows them to grow in peace, away from human interference. You will be able to spot species like parakeets, hornbills, bulbuls, Malabar Trogons, Nilgiri wood pigeons, and much more.
Where: Nagarhole National Park and Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary
Timings: Dawn and Sunrise
USP: Glimpsing unknown birds and migratory species
Go a Luxurious Ayurvedic Massage:
The one thing you cannot miss when you are in Coorg is an ayurvedic or herbal massage. South India is known for the many herbs and spices that grows here and the massage oils have been made by following age of recipes which are made in a completely organic and traditional manner. Apart from being immensely relaxing, these oils also have medicinal properties, which is why you are bound to feel like a completely new person, rejuvenated body, mind and soul. The massages are done by expert masseurs who will also help you treat a problem like a pain or a migraine through their wonderful and luxurious body and head massages. Some people keep coming back to Coorg just for the massages.
Where: There are many ayurvedic spas and centers here for the massages
Timings: Spa timings
USP: Full Body Luxurious Massage
The lakes and streams of Coorg will provide you with an ideal opportunity to go fishing and the inception of the Kaveri River itself has some wonderful fishing and angling spots, right near Talacauvery. Fishing has often been known to be therapeutic, as the calm surroundings and the concentration needed can be a catalyst for the mind and soul and you will be able to catch quite a few in these choice spots. Most of the people who come for fishing here mainly try it as a sport, releasing the fish back into the water again, also a mark of reverence of not harming animal life unnecessarily.
Timings: Any time
USP: Simply relaxing
Take in the Beauty from Raja’s Seat:
This happens to be one of the most popular viewing points in all of Coorg and it is indeed a place fit for a king. You will find it hard to leave this place once you have seen the mesmerizing beauty of the hills from this point. The place also has a majestic fountain and the sunrise and the sunsets are the best time to visit. Moreover, you can also trek to the seat, and the walk will give you a further glimpse of the beauty of place, along with its flora and fauna. This is also a popular spot for the honeymooners and the scenery from the top changes with the times of the year, misty and dreamy at some times and green and forested at others.
Where: Near Stuart Hill
Timings: Any time
USP: Enjoy the glorious view of the surrounding landscape
Stay in Homestays:
If you want to truly understand how life in Coorg usually is, then ditch the hotel and stay in a homestay, and there are quite a few of them in Coorg now. They are much cheaper than hotels and you will get a flavor of authentic home life in Coorg. The food served in homestays is also entirely home- cooked with regular, every day recipes and they are often spiced up in hotels, curbing their true flavors. You will also get to relish the surroundings of the region at your own leisure and the hoemstays also have very homey and local décor to cheer you up.
Where: There are many homestays in the region
Timings: Round the year
USP: Get to know the local way of life
Go for Coffee tasting:
As mentioned earlier, Coorg is home to some of the best coffee plantations in the country and so your visit would be incomplete if you do not go for a coffee tasting session. It is also known as the Coffee Capital of South India and there are many local coffee shops, still run by families, who only use the best variety of coffee beans for their patrons. There is the famed filter Kaapi which you have to try and the experience takes on a whole new level when it is the winters or when it is raining outside. Taking in the beauty of Coorg with a cup of aromatic coffee in hand is all you will want from life!
Where: Family run cafes and restaurants
Timings: Round the year
USP: The aroma and taste of rich coffee
Visit the Nagarhole National Park:
With nature having blessed Coorg abundantly, the climate here sustains a large variety of flora and fauna and you can catch a glimpse of them in the Nagarhole National Park. This park will not only amaze you with the animals that live here, but the waterfalls and forests are also equally awe- inspiring. A number of fun activities can also be enjoyed here and you will see large number of deer, monkeys, the Nilgai, bisons and also leopards. There are safaris inside the park which will help you cover a large area is a short span of time and the guided tour will also take you to the best parts of the park and keep you away from the strictly reserved areas.
Timings: Park timings
USP: Spot endangered animals in natural habitat
Try the local cuisine: Coorg is a major hill city in South India and yet it has a very cosmopolitan crowd and that is truly reflected in the cuisine here. Hence, on the one hand you have all the traditional South India fares like the Idli, Dosa, Vada, Uttapam and Appam while on the other hand you have boutique cafes selling crepes, pastries and sumptuous and creamy pastas. The Tibetan part of the town is the apt spot to indulge in momos and Thukpas and the during Christmas and New Year, the air is heavy with the aroma of freshly baked cakes, pies and tarts. You will fall in love with this place just because of the food you get here.
Where: All the restaurants, cafes and eateries in town
Timings: Any time
USP: All the sumptuous and delectable food
If you are in Coorg, then do try out at least some of these activities and you will not regret coming. It is hard to find a place which is so tranquil and yet so exciting at the same time and the warmth of the locals will only make your stay extra special.
Hi! I am Paridhi. When not downing endless cups of coffee and binge-ing on Masala Fries, I can be found deeply engrossed in contemporary novels. Delhiite by birth and nomad by passion. I travel and I know things. I write travel blogs by day and binge watch thriller and rom-com by night.