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Coorg calling

The word ecotourism immediately brings to mind picturesque hill stations, riverside cottages, tree-top houses, hotels, resorts and guest houses in coffee estates, where one can spend time at leisure.

Compared to other popular hill stations in the South, Coorg is a calm place to relax. It is also a place where eco-tourism is not only preached but also practised, literally. It is difficult to see plastic items in this district, as the Karnataka government has banned their use.

Coorg also brings to mind the warmth of the local people, their unique culture, pleasant climate, festivals, food, honey and homemade wine. Here, it is made not only from grapes and gooseberries, but also from betel leaves, ginger, pineapple, passion fruit, rice and banana.

While there are options aplenty for accommodation, from home-stays to budget hotels on e-booking websites, we looked at places that would incorporate Nature, either at a jungle resort camp, coffee plantation or eco-friendly hill resort. Tamara Coorg Resort near Virajpet fit the bill. In all, there are 56 luxury cottages built inside 170 acres, where coffee, cardamom, pepper and honey are harvested. The management does not allow vehicles beyond the reception; instead, they have electric vehicles to move about. Our wooden cottage was surrounded by hills on one side and a not-so-deep valley on the other. Unnamed water falls provide a magnificent view. The cottages were built using wood; cement, concrete and sand were used minimally.

There are plenty of activities, such as Nature walks, bird watching, yoga and mediation, indoor and outdoor games, for guests to indulge in. A few of us took a plantation tour, where we were briefed about the history of coffee from blossom to brew. The resort also boasts a custom coffee section, in which one can pick any blend of coffee bean and roast it to create the perfect cuppa and call it his/her signature flavour.

The resort has a proper system in place to handle organic and inorganic waste, sewage and water. Water is treated and reused for plantation purposes.

Solar panels have been installed to light the restaurant area.

You can also visit nearby tourist spots such as Bhagamandala, Talakaveri (the birth place of Cauvery), Dubare elephant camp, Bylekuppe, Nagarhole (Rajiv Gandhi) National Park or Chelavara falls.


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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 3:27:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Coorg-calling/article14428081.ece

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