HOLIDay Coorg’s a perfect place to chill out this summer

You might leave Coorg, but Coorg will not leave you. Such is its timeless charm, that it will haunt you long after you leave the place and return to mundane life. Situated in the dense Western Ghats of Karnataka, Coorg or Kodagu, is a perfect getaway for those who wish to laze around in the lap of Nature. The capital of Coorg is Madikeri, a charming little town nestled amid lush greenery, coffee and cardamom plantations and mesmerising valleys.

This ‘coffee cup of India’ is home to some of the world’s best coffee. The two main varieties largely grown here are Arabica and Robusta. Walking through the coffee estates makes you love your cuppa more, as you learn so much about the divine beverage. Don’t expect the place to smell of coffee, though. That happens only after the beans are roasted.

It’s not just humans who love coffee, a feline goes gaga over coffee berries too. The Civet cat relishes select coffee berries. And, its droppings of undigested coffee berries is used to make the world’s most expensive and rare brew called Civet coffee.

Coorg is more than just coffee. The place is equally famous for its spices. The misty hills are carpeted with orange groves interspersed with pepper and cardamom plantations. Apart from coffee and spices, Coorg is blessed with picturesque locations. For instance, Abbey waterfalls, a five-km drive from Madikeri, offers a breathtaking view of various streams. Abbey in the local dialect (Kodava Thak — a mixture of Kannada, Tamil and Malayalam) means fall.

Religious touch

Among the religious places, the Omkareshwara Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is popular. Built in 1820, the temple reflects a blend of Islamic and Gothic styles of architecture. Located a few miles away in Bylakoppa is the Namdroling monastery, one of the biggest Tibetan settlements in India. It houses three majestic 60-foot tall gold-plated idols of Lord Buddha, Padmasambhava and Amitayush.

The serene ambience, smiling monks, energetic kids and fluttering prayer flags make you feel you are literally on the ‘roof of the world’. Coorg is also a perfect getaway for all those who wish to simply laze around and enjoy Nature. There’s also action galore for the adventurous. One of the places you must visit during your trip is the Dubare Elephant Camp. From a naughty, playful elephant calf to a 70-year-old adult, you get to see plenty of jumbos in close quarters. You could also bathe, scrub and feed the tuskers.

The best way to spend time in Coorg is to simply soak in the natural beauty. Wake up fresh each morning to the sweet chirping of birds. Or, take a stroll alongside the orange groves and cardamom plantations, watch the sun peep through the trees and hear the hornbill sing his morning ode.

And, go to bed listening to the creaking of crickets. No wonder, the British called it the Scotland of India.

How to go

Mangalore is 135 km away, Bangalore, 260 km away and Mysore, 55 km away.

What to buy

Coffee, honey, cardamom and pepper, and oranges.

You could pick some souvenirs near Namdroling Monastery, Bylakoppa.

Where to stay

There are some star-rated hotels and clubs, but if you want to experience local hospitality, Coorg offers a lot of home-stays and holiday homes that provide food and accommodation. Check out

http://www.homestaykodagu.com/home_stay.html for details.

N.V. PRIYANKA

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