Roads and Trails of Coorg

Two girls exploring the roads of Coorg – This is how we kick started our Coorg trip. The very next day of our arrival at Coorg, we picked pre-booked rented Scooty (Access)from Royal Brothers at Madikeri and rode around the city and hill in rain and cold. Cold breeze gushing through the hill, carrying the scent of wet mud and few showers here and there, kept the temperature windy and wild. We were prepared for the weather (read Heavy Rain), but cold climate took us for surprise. Nevertheless, like true travelers we never stopped, but braced the course of nature as it came.

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A little information about Coorg: Kodagu aka Coorg located on eastern slopes of Western Ghats, is an administrative district in Karnataka. Coorg is known for its Coffee. It’s a hilly region where main source of income is cultivation of Coffee. Hence, you can find umpteen coffee plantation estates in Coorg.

We started off with Abbi Falls which is around 7 Km from Madikeri. The roads were long and smooth, no doubt about it and the view they had was absolutely mesmerizing. As you ride away from main city Madikeri, you get to see small paddy fields and occasional grasslands with grazing cows. The roads were windy and had quick surprise turns to say the least. Speed check was priority for us and Mausami had a good control over it. I sat behind her, happily holding my selfie stick, recording the beauty of the roads. Did I mention that I fell in love with Coorg roads?
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After Abbi Falls, we headed to main town Madikeri. Let me tell you – driving in Madikeri is also one hell of a task. Wide slopes and long elevations are the real challenges to talk about. Rain and Fog together adds more to your challenge. After a fulfilling lunch at Tiger Tiger restaurant at Madikeri and little bit of Spices and Chocolate shopping, we called it a day. We were tired, but little did we know that a serious off-roading was waiting for us.
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Special mention about Tiger Tiger restaurant near by Raja seat. Authentic Kodagu Food, Delicious preparing.

Ok, so I admit that we got lost. Our plantation stay at Suntikoppa was 1km from NH 275 and we took a wrong turn. Wrong turn and we were in midst of coffee plantation with no proper roads but wet mud and rocks. Before we admitted this loud, we had rode 2km inside the plantation. At one point, we decided to turn around and get us out of this scary setup as soon as possible. It was cloudy with no sunlight to guide us and crickets (or more night insects) added eerie sounds to our experience. Just when we decided to turn around a jeep appeared behind us and the driver gave us puzzled look. He barely knew Hindi and English but still he managed to guide us out and towards our plantation stay cottage. This is what I feel is beauty of travelling in Karnataka – People are kind and helpful, and regardless of language barrier they still do their best to help you out.

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Next day was the best day of our Road Trip. It was windy, but sunny. It rained hardly for a minute or so, but overall the ride was smooth and breezy. We started from NH 275, towards KushalNagar. Dubare Elephant Camp was the first thing on our mind. NH 275 was the real deal. Long and smooth roads with beautiful turns, these roads gave us the best experience of Road Trip in Coorg. This beautiful highway continued for 15 km until we had to take a right turn.
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Way to Dubare Elephant Camp is 7 km right from NH 275 and this is where the real fun begins. A little rough and narrow, this road is long and straight. Did I mention that Cows in Coorg are fearless? They walk in groups, they turn whenever they please and they sometimes decide to rest right in middle of the road. Dodging the daring cows, dodging the potholes, we managed to reach Dubare Elephant Camp by 10:30 am.
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After Dubare Elephant Camp, our next destination was Namdroling Monastry(also called as Golden Temple) at Bylakuppe. We were excited to visit this small Tibetian village which was near KushalNagar. Picturesque and serene, Bylakuppe took us to the different world. The huge board read – Welcome to the Tibetian Settlement, Bylakuppe. . Villagers in Bylakuppe were simple and welcoming. We lost track of time and kept driving until we saw a small market. My stomach growled when I saw small roadside restaurant serving Momos. We got tempted and stopped to have our lunch. Delicious Momos and Thukpa satiated our hunger and filled our heart.
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After satisfying lunch, we headed towards the Golden Temple. 3km away from the market place, the road to Golden Temple is no less than the road to Heaven. Flanked by lush green mountains, colorful prayer flags, yellow corn field and gushing wind, our journey was more interesting than the destination. Golden Temple was closed for renovation purpose so we only got to explore the surroundings. Nevertheless, we enjoyed every moment of our ride in Bylakuppe.
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We picked more Momos and Chowmein to take it back to our cottage with dinner in mind and bid our goodbye to Bylakuppe. Road to Suntikoppa(our cottage) was again pleasing. It rained for a while, but most part of it remained dry. Mausami couldn’t get enough of driving on NH 275, so we decided to skip the cottage and ride towards Madikeri. On the highway, a café called as Big Cup grabbed our attention and we decided to relax over a coffee. By then, it was 6 pm and the wind become cold and wild. It was then we decided to head back to the cottage and call it a day.

Third day was last day of our exploration. We decided to keep it simple – a drive to Madikeri, lunch, some shopping and drop the scooty at Royal Brothers. Coorg did offer more places – Irrupu Falls and Talacauvery, but they were 70+km and driving this far wasn’t our agenda. So, the last day was plain but relaxing. Madikeri greeted us with fog coupled with rain. Imagine riding on sloppy- foggy road while it rained. Nevertheless, the best part of Coorg is enjoying picturesque Karnataka roads.
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Tip:
1. While we were doing our research on Coorg, we came across a website called as Royal Brothers who rents Scooty and Bikes in Madikeri. We knew this will be the most economical option taking our Travel budget into consideration. So, the booking was made online and pickup was done from Madikeri. For 3 days of renting, we were charged INR 1500(petrol excluded) by Royal Brothers. We had a good experience with Royal Brother’s service and it is recommended for my readers.
2.If you want to drive a car, opt for Zoom Car which has pickup from main cities like Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore.

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