Trip to Coorg With Friends (2020)
When it comes to visiting a hill station in South India, Coorg always tops the list. Known as the Scotland of India, Coorg which is officially known as Kodagu is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Me and my friends decided to visit Coorg during the month of December last year and it was one of the best trips we have ever had! We were a group of five couples and we planned a three-day trip to Coorg from Hyderabad.
Since there is no direct flight from Hyderabad, we booked a flight to Mangalore and then took a taxi to reach our accommodation in Coorg. It took us about 3-4 hours to reach our destination from the Mangalore Airport. En route we did stop for some delicious breakfast and tea/coffee breaks which added to our travel time. Though the journey was slightly tiring, we did enjoy the beautiful sights on the way.
Since we planned to visit Coorg during the Christmas break, we decided to book our accommodation well in advance. We stayed at Novawoods, a beautiful homestay located in Somwarpet. The homestay was perfect for us as they have just five rooms in the entire estate and we were able to book the entire place for ourselves. The caretakers were extremely helpful and humble, and they really took good care of us from arranging a travel vehicle for us to cooking lip smacking breakfast, lunch, and dinner items.
The entire homestay is spread over 10 acres of land and has a small lake around which we could take leisure walks and a walking trail as well within the estate. The best part about our Coorg trip was definitely our stay where we used to wake up in the morning and simply spend our time chatting with each other over hot cups of tea and coffee. The nights were spent sitting around a bonfire playing games, listening to music, and just having a good time! The homestay also had ample space for us to play outdoor games such as cricket, badminton, etc.
One of the main reasons why we decided to visit Coorg during the last week of December was because we wanted to experience its winter climate. Unfortunately, the weather did not work in our favor and in fact, it was quite hot during daytime which made it difficult for us to truly enjoy the sightseeing spots. Nonetheless, we did visit some of the spots, such as:
- Abbey Falls – The Abbey Falls is one of the most popular tourist spots in Coorg. The white foaming water gushing down from a height of about 70 feet was truly a spectacular sight. Earlier there was an over-bridge hanging opposite to the falls; however, it was damaged when we visited. Also, the place was extremely crowded with tourists, which made it all the more difficult for us to enjoy the falls. Image Source
- Dubare Elephant Camp – The Dubare Elephant Camp was one of the most exciting sightseeing attractions that we visited in Coorg. The actual camp is situated across a river and there were two ways to cross the river – via the boat service or by foot. Since the queue for the boat service was too long, we decided to be daredevils and cross the river on foot. This was truly one of the most memorable experiences for us as it was not an easy task. With water gushing rapidly in some areas and slippery rocks all over the river, it was nothing short of an achievement for us when we reached the other side of the river where we were able to interact with and admire some majestic elephants and cute baby elephants. The camp area is quite huge and well-maintained. Of course, our return journey by foot was also quite daunting, but we all reached back safe and sound.
- Namdroling Monastery – This monastery is popularly known as the Golden Temple and it is the largest school where Tibetan Buddhism is taught. This tourist attraction located 34 kms away from Coorg was a visual experience for us with its beautiful and unique architecture. This monastery is also home to thousands of monks, refugees, and nuns. The temple is located within a huge complex with a number of shops as well. We spent quite some time exploring these shops run by the Buddhist monks and we purchased souvenirs as well to take back home.
- Mandalpatti Jeep Safari – This was undoubtedly the highlight of our entire Coorg trip! If you wish to get your adrenaline pumping and heart racing, then you must go on the Mandalpatti Jeep Safari! We first reached the Mandalpatti Jeep Safari starting point which was located about 25-30 km from the main town. From here we had to hire the jeeps which we would take us on our adventure ride. We hired two jeeps for INR 1,500 each. There are truly no words to describe the safari which took us on the bumpiest, narrowest, craziest, and probably scariest roads that we have ever been on! Once we reached the end point, we trekked up a small hill and were treated to some spectacular views. This Mandalpatti viewpoint is the best place if you wish to capture a panoramic view of sunrise or sunset. After spending 30-45 minutes and clicking pictures in all the poses possible, we made our way down the hill, got into our jeeps, and made our way back to the starting point. To give our rattling bones a chance to rest and quench our thirst, we spent some time at a small shop nearby, relishing delicious lemon sodas and tea.
Shopping in Coorg
Apart from our shopping expedition outside the Golden Temple, we also visited the local market to pick up some of the must-buys in Coorg. The main market has a number of shops selling items such as spices, coffee powders, handmade and local chocolates, homemade wines, coconut shell artefacts, etc. There are couple of places to shop at in Coorg, and we were able to make all our purchases at the Kushalnagar Market. If you have time, you must also check out the Tibetan Flea Market.
Though our homestay did provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner at an additional cost, we also tried out some of the restaurants and we must say the food is simply delicious in Coorg!
Getting Around in Coorg
Since our homestay was away from the main town, we decided to hire a mini traveler which could accommodate all 10 of us. This was perfect for us to visit all the sightseeing attractions and we also travelled back in it from Coorg to Bangalore.
The only disappointment that we had throughout our trip was the weather as it was quite hot during the days and not very cold even during the nights which was definitely unexpected. In fact, we also experienced rains while shopping at the Kushalnagar Market. But overall, the trip was fantastic and quite a memorable one for all of us.