My Li’l Travel Book | Coorg (Scotland of India)

After having done a good amount of traveling, I realized that I haven’t blogged about the trips which actually triggered me to go out with friends even more. 
My first ever trip without my family happened last year. And as I mentioned in my earlier posts, I have to cover up for the back log of the missed travel posts,therefore, here I am writing about Coorg. I visited to this beautiful land in March 2016. 
I so wish that I could see this during the peak season!
I went to Coorg from Bangalore via road. Since there are no Ola/Uber in Coorg, I suggest that one should take a intercity taxi or a self driven car from Bangalore, just like I did. My one night – two days trip’s cab fare was something around INR 3500, which included the round trip from Bangalore and the intra-city travel in Coorg. 
Before I start narrating my experience, here are few travel tips:
  • Nearest city connected via flight is Bangalore. The drive from Bangalore is around 4.5 hours if you start early in the morning like 5AM
  • The nearest railway station is Mysore, which is around 100Kms from Coorg
  • This place is a year-round destination. However, the weather is very pleasant from October to March
  • Food will not be an issue as you will get the regular vegetarian and non vegetarian food here
My journey started at 5AM on a Saturday. My trip was a one day trip and I guess it was complete in itself. Our cab driver was one amazing driver so we didn’t even realize when we touched Coorg! 
We stopped in Coorg for our breakfast at this restaurant. I am sure it must be giving the chain from Kentucky a run for money. I decided not to try their chicken!

Friendship goals alert! I had gone there with my friend from Kindergarten. We know each other for almost 24 years now. And going on the trip with this guy was the best decision that I made. But before that, we had stop at the Dubare Elephant Camp not because it is a place of interest but because elephants are too fascinating for Umang! 
Did I mention that our driver was amazing? So yes, we reached the camp even before it opened for general public. The camp is important for the preservation of elephants. However, I am not very happy with the way the elephants are treated as mere source of entertainment. 
Situated on the bank of River Kaveri, it is a serene and peaceful place to be UNTIL people start coming in. 

A li’l bit into the camp and you can sight elephants. This is early morning for the elephants, so the early risers are taking a bath first!
The path is pretty slippery so choose your footwear accordingly!
Finally, on reaching the camp entrance, you can have a closer look at these majestic but severely cute creatures!
There are too many elephants in the camp. At first, I felt sad for the fact that they are chained. But then, I realized that it was important. There was this angry young man, sorry elephant, who was very aggressive. 
But see, looks are deceptive!
The elephants are taken to the river for bathing and grooming. The general public can “bathe with the elephants” if they wish too. Apart from this, the camp offers a lot of other activities like river rafting, nature walk etcetera. 
After spending some quality time watching the elephants doing there own li’l things in this beautiful world, we proceeded towards Abbey Falls. 
One interesting thing that you should know is that there are many waterfalls in this li’l Scotland of India. Abbey falls is supposedly the largest of the five waterfalls here. This was my first every waterfall visit, so yes, I was pretty excited. However, as this was not the monsoon season so there was very li’l water here. 
Nested among the canopy of coffee plantations and cinnamon trees, I can only imaginge the beauty of this silvery waterfall in the months of October to December. 
All right, by now we were tired and decided to retire to our hotel. We wanted to book a home stay in side some coffee plantation. But then, spontaneous plans have their own cons. We could somehow managed to book a decent and isolated villa in the Brooke Stone Villas.
After catching up with our lives a bit and having a power nap, we decided to go to the much talked about Sunset point of Coorg – Rajaji Seat. 
The view from the top, of the whole city, is certainly something for which you have to travel to Coorg!
We waited for the sun to set. What did we decide to do in the meanwhile? Click pictures!
I am just glad that how divine each and every picture came out here! 
And finally, the mandatory selfie with the bestie – believe me, this is our first picture in 20 years. The first picture that came out this good was when we were in lower Kindegarten. And after that we never got ourselved clicked – because we are really old school – not clicking pictures, just making good memories! 
And then, it was there. The beautiful sky with the sun playing hide and seek with the clouds – in it’s dark rusty color!
After that we roamed around in the market looking for something to take back to our homes. Apart from the filet coffee, there is nothing characteristic of Coorg. We walked around a bit and then we asked for some good restaurant for dinner – with some authentic food. 
I am not saying I found a local restaurant but there was this pretty place called the Raintree Restaurants which offered good food to us.
The best thing about Kodava or Coorgi food, if you want to call it fondly, is that they use rice as a base for everything. Rice flour baked or rice flour balls or the good old pulao –these are staples here. Though this cuisine is famous for its pork preparation, we decided to skip it as I am not very fond of pork. We tried the nooputt, rice string hoppers with chicken prepared in Kodavi curry. 
The day ended and we prepared ourselves for the next day’s trek. 
Pushpagiri trek is an easy trek – with lush green surrounding. But damn, I don’t know why I forgot to check the season for the “lush greens” to be there to welcome me! I did a dry trek. When I say dry, trust me, I am not exaggerating at all. You will see why!
This place is more tourist-centric. So, if you don’t want to walk till the Sanctuary, you can take a jeep which will do all those off-road tricks before safely taking you there. 
See, the dry lands. And I have to tell you, it was hot too!
So hot that I witnessed a forest fire for the first time in my life. At first, I thought its smoke from the nearby hose or something (I had literally imagined a hut with a chimney, just like our old school drawings of scenery) but no, this was a full fledged fire. 
Both scared and fascinated, we continued till the top. It was indeed a long way but the track is fine. I was just scared of the fire!
I don’t know what Umang is trying to do here but okay!
Okay because even I am also trying to do some silly stuff – just for the pictures!
We came back after reaching here. I saw no point continuing in the hot weather. I definitely visited Coorg at a wrong time! We returned to our villa to check out. I could finally see the jungle around it – which is supposed to be inhabited by some wild animals who can actually walk into your room. Yes, the previous night was scary and we were sleep deprived!
Just for the picture – also, I have never reclined on a hammock before!
Our last stop before returning to Bangalore was the Namdroling Monastery in Bylakuppe. This is the largest teaching centre of the Nyingma lineage of the Tibetan Budhhism in the world. 
It is beautiful, calm and the second largest Tibetan settlement in India.  

There is this Golden temple which is highly decorated on the outside with pictures of the Gurus and colorful murals. 

Inside the temples, there are huge idols of the mythological characters from the Buddhist mythology. The prayer timings are fixed. You can go and sit there during that time and follow the thumb rule of maintaining silence. 

With this and a glass of tasty vanilla shake, my trip to Coorg came to an end. Beautiful memories and I would surely visit this place again when the season is right! 
  1. I visited Coorg in 2009, during my good old traveling frenzy days. I have the same photo in front of Abbey falls. Didn't visit the Elephant camp though, looks nice. Honestly, Coorg was okayish, a bit less compared to other hills stations in South India.
    That Tibetian monastery was absolutely fantastic, the gigantic figures inside are breathtaking. It is still fresh in my memory even though 8 years have passed.

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