Better known as Kodagu, Coorg is only six hours away from the busy city of Bangalore and a popular getaway during the monsoon. The rains add a certain charm to this district, even though it experiences a high amount of rainfall because it is situated on the eastern side of the Western Ghats. Madikeri is the most sought-after destination in Coorg. Endowed with a number of things to do and places to see, the drive to Madikeri is not only scenic but probably the brightest green you will ever see in any part of Karnataka. With freshly flushed coffee plantations on either side, the mist of Coorg is likely to call you once again.
Raja’s Seat is a prominent tourist spot in the centre of Madikeri town. It is a garden where the kings of Kodagu are believed to have spent their sunsets enjoying the scenic change of the sky colours. It was also their recreational space, where they spent time with their queens. It now stands as a big, open-air garden, overlooking the green hills and valleys of Coorg. Whether you want to walk around the space or sit and watch the spectacular changing colours of the low-hanging clouds, this is the perfect spot to enjoy a beautiful evening.
HIKE AROUND MOJO PLANTATION
Mojo Plantation is blessed with some of the best routes for hiking and treks. This part of the Madikeri witnesses more rainfall than the other parts and grows cardamom extensively. After two decades of organic farming, they have a thriving diverse rainforest which grows coffee, vanilla, pepper, pineapple, oranges, passion fruit, mango and kokam. The hike up to the beautiful Shola forests is just a few minutes away. In the correct season (and if nature approves), you can see the rare Nilgirikurinji blossom here. Other hikes include climbing to the Kaloor Ridge and crossing the Kaloor village and river (through scenic rice and spice fields). For more serious trekkers, the climb to Galibeedu forest towards the Sacred Grove may be worth a try. Covering a distance of approximately eight km, this stretch has a varied terrain, with a high probability of interacting with local communities.
SHOP AT COORG GREENS
Coorg is synonymous with coffee and chocolates. Due to its popularity as a tourist destination, shopping in Madikeri is a little more expensive than the other regions of the district, but you are sure enough to find everything you want. Coorg Greens has a number of branches across the district, and stocks miscellaneous products in their shop opposite the KSRTC Bus Stand. Here, you can buy Coorgi coffee, either filter or instant. They also have spices, dry fruits, oils and handmade soaps. If you want to take small souvenirs, their assorted box of spices is a good choice. The chocolates on the first floor come in many varieties. The flavours include coffee, vanilla, pan masala and nuts. They are homemade and come in a variety of packages and sizes.
WALK AROUND THE COFFEE PLANTATIONS
Coffee plantations are the most visited places in Coorg. Most homestays and resorts organise a walk around their own plantations where you can see the most popular type of coffee grown here—coffee robusta. The harvest season is in the first week of November, and in case, you would like to see and experience the processing of coffee, this is a good time to visit. Unlike tea plantations, coffee does not grow as disciplined and well-trimmed. Good shoes and good rain cover are definitely recommended. Many of these plantations also grow spices such as pepper and cardamom. Apart from the smaller homestays and lodges, Orange County, Tata Coffee and Bombay Burmah organise tours around their plantations.