Coorg is an administrative district located in the southern state of Karnataka. It is also known as Kodagu and covers an area of 4,102 sq km in the region covered by the Western Ghats.
To its north-west lies Dakshina Kannada, in the north is Hassan district, to its east is Mysore, and Kannur district of Kerala is located at its south-western border. The headquarters of Coorg district is Madikeri.
History of Coorg
The northern part of Coorg district was under the reign of Kadambas between the 2nd and 6th century. However, after a war between the Kadambas and the Gangas in the 11th century, the Cholas were the sole rulers of this province. After the 12th century, the Hoysalas, who were ruling Hassan district, defeated the Cholas and in the 14th century, the Vijayanagara kings took over and ruled the province.
After their downfall, the local Nayaks took over different parts of Coorg. The war between different rulers of the province and the Haleri kings made the latter the new rulers of Coorg from the year 1600 to 1834, and after their reign ended, the region of Coorg was under colonial rule.
Coorg was declared as an independent state in the year 1950 by the Indian Constitution and when many Indian states were reorganised in the year 1956, Coorg was merged with the state of Karnataka and declared a district. Coorg has three taluks which include Madikeri, Somavarapete and Veerajapete.
People & Culture of Coorg
Some of the popular festivals feted here include the festival of Arms-Keilpoldu celebrated in the month of June. As part of the celebrations of this ancient festival, weapons are polished and worshipped before using them again. The festival celebrated around the Cauvery River is known as Cauvery Shankaramana. In the months of November and December, the harvest festival Puthar is celebrated by singing to folk songs and performing traditional dance forms.
Things to do in Coorg
Popular places in Coorg include Kakkabe, which is also the largest producer of honey in south Asia. One of the main religious sites here is the ancient Omkareshwara Temple. Nagarhole National Park is another popular tourist attraction that is home to a variety of wildlife such as elephants and panthers.
With its economy dependent on agriculture, plantations and forestry, Coorg is considered to be one of the most prosperous districts in Karnataka. Known as the Coffee Bowl of India, Coorg contributes 30% to the total coffee production in India.
Besides coffee and pepper, cardamom and oranges are the other mainstays of Coorgs economy. Set amidst verdant valleys, misty hills and acres of coffee plantations, Coorg is a perfect getaway for travellers.
Coorg is also a paradise for adventure junkies. Its hills are a perfect for adventure activities like trekking, rock climbing, biking and white water rafting.
December to May is the best time to trek in Coorg. Tourists can contact local organizations like the Coorg Adventure Club, which organises regular trekking expeditions for interested travellers to prominent peaks like Brahmagiri, Pushpagiri, Mandalpatti and Tadiandamol. For white water rafting, holidaymakers can visit Barapole in Coorg.
Food & Shopping in Coorg
Coorgi cuisine is also as distinct as its coffee. It is spicy and meat along with rice is the staple diet of locals. Coorgis are predominantly non-vegetarians and use pork, chicken and fish extensively in their food, in addition to ingredients like coconut, chillies and pepper. Mushrooms are also grown in abundance across Coorg and they too are used in local food. Tourists can try popular delicacies like pork pepper fry, idamane hittu, kolli saaru, pandi curry and pathrode at local restaurants.
Coorg shopping can include freshly ground coffee found easily in the local markets of Coorg and different species like Cardamom and pepper.
Travelling to Coorg
Coorg does not have a railway station but is well connected to Mysore (120 km) and Mangalore (135 km), the nearest cities to the destination. Tourists can take a flight to Mangalore, the nearest airport to reach Coorg, and then head to Madikeri by bus or taxi. Mysore is the nearest railhead and is just a two-and-a-half-hour drive away from Coorg.
The best time to visit Coorg is from September to March as the destination enjoys a pleasant climate during this season.
Accommodation Options in Coorg
Coorg offers numerous accommodation options suiting the budget of all kinds of travellers. Hotels in Coorg are located away from the hustle and bustle of the city life.There are home stays in coorg which cater to the needs of all types of visitors.