See Coorg like a Traveler, Not a Tourist

I won’t lie to you. I had lot of expectations from Coorg for what I had read on the internet, but my expectations were crushed to good extend. This is how I learnt my travelling lesson – Do not build much expectations before you actually reach your destination. Keep room for surprises and you will thank yourself later. When I say that my expectations were crushed, it doesn’t mean I was let down. In fact, Coorg surprised me in different way – something which my research over Internet didn’t mention. At one point after repeated disappointment by “To Visit” places in Coorg, I decided to take it easy and not be such a Tourist. I decided to put on my Traveler glasses on and experience Coorg like a Traveler would do. This is when I really started enjoying my Coorg Trip.

1. Tourist says – Stay in Hotels at Madikeri.
Main town where you get ample of stay options in Hotels and Homestays. Madikeri has lot of eating options – restaurants and fine dining Hotels. You will get rickshaws easily on Madikeri roads.

Traveler says – Stay at Coffee Plantation HomeStay.
If you really want to enjoy Coorg, then you should opt for Coffee Plantation stays. Most of the Coffee plantation stays are 4-5 km away from main town Madikeri. Suntikoppa, Virajpet and KushalNagar are better options to choose from. Trust me, you will love relaxing in Homestays at Coffee Plantation – waking up to the chirping of birds and lush green setup, while you sip a cup of piping hot filter coffee. Missy Traveler suggest “Natura Vista” at Suntikoppa.
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Natura Vista – Plantation Stay, Suntikoppa.

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2. Tourist says – Visit Abbi Falls.
Biggest attraction in Madikeri. A decent and nearest place to go watch a waterfall.

Traveler says – Skip this Tourist attraction if you value your travel time.
You need to climb down lot of CEMENTED steps before you see the waterfall. You cannot take a dip or even go in water. The way to waterfall is full of garbage and littering from notorious Tourists. Be a responsible Traveler – Do not litter and respect the beauty of the nature.
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3. Tourist says – Dubare Elephant Camp is must visit.
There are around 20-30 Elephants in natural surroundings. You get to click photos with them, bath them and feed them.

Traveler says – If you are visiting this Camp, respect the Elephants.
It was good to see an Elephant behind a wooden log, but I didn’t miss the chains in his legs. He was chained and was continuously made to pose for Tourist. He was taken for bath and I could see bliss in his eyes. Then comes another Tourist, with his toddler, who pays money to bath the elephant. The moment for the Elephant was ruined as he was asked to sit in various positions just to get the photos right while the toddler bathed him. All I could analyze that the Elephant needed a relaxed bath time. I would rather like to watch group of Elephants roaming in woods, happy and settled.
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4. Tourist says – Visit Golden Temple at Bylakuppe.
Impressive Monastery with huge statues and beautiful paintings.

Traveler says – Enjoy the journey to Golden Temple, as well.
Roads to Golden Temple are roads to Heaven. While you are on your way to Golden Temple, look around those lush green mountains, golden corn fields and beautiful Tibetan homes built in village. Eat Tibetan food at Local Market and support the villagers. They are happy and welcoming. On peak hours, Golden Temple is full of tourists who fail to maintain the discipline and sanctity inside the Monastery. Be a responsible Traveler and respect the Monks and set up at the Monastery. Do not litter on the beautiful roads of Bylakuppe.
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5. Tourist says – Book a cab for sightseeing in Coorg.
Coorg have long roads and sightseeing are few kilometers away from each other. Cab and Rickshaw is the best option to go around in Coorg.

Traveler says – Coorg roads are best explored on Bikes.
Driving on NH 275 is a blessed experience. Long and smooth roads, picturesque views, trails of coffee plantations, dramatic turns and fresh breeze. You should not miss driving on these beautiful roads. Ditch the cab services – they insist on taking you to Tourist places and fails to show you real beauty of Coorg.
Read more about my Road Trip on Coorg roads.
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Things to do in Coorg: Traveler Version

– Eat delicious Kodagu food (Pandhi(Pork) Curry, Rice Dumplings, Ghee Rice and Bamboo shoot curry) at authentic Coorg restaurants. Missy Traveler suggest you Tiger Tiger restaurant near Raja Seat.
– Go on the most memorable RoadTrip with your gang on Coorg Roads.
– Shop for Homemade Chocolates and Fruit Wines from local shops. Promote Karnataka Tourism and help local businesses.
– Go on Coffee and Spice Plantation guided tour.
– Opt for Homestays only and preferably a plantation Homestay.
– Explore local market at Madikeri, KushalNagar and Bylakuppe.
– If you love waterfall, visit Iruppu Falls.
– Visit Nagarhole National Park
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Homemade Fruit Wine.

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Rice dumplings

How to Reach Coorg?
* By Flight – The nearest Airport is Mangalore (180km from Madikeri). From Mangalore you can hire a cab or book KSRTC Air-conditioned bus. Cab service charges you appx INR 3000 from Mangalore to Madikeri, while KSRTC bus service cost you INR 374 for the same.

*By Train – The nearest station is Mysore (95km) away.

*By Road – NH 275 which runs through Coorg, extends from Bangalore to Bantwal.

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