A guide to the Scotland of India - Coorg

Green mountains, whole spices, expansive Coffee estates make Coorg one of the most beautiful hill stations in Karnataka. The starting point of Coorg begins at Madikeri. Here is what to look out for in Coorg.

Abbey waterfalls 

This beautiful waterfall is located 10 kilometres from Coorg and 1 km from Madikeri. It was previously known as Jesse falls and is surrounded by coffee plantations and spice estates. The waterfalls over the rocks and flows into the pond and its sound can be heard from the road. The flow gets higher during the rainy season and another attraction is the hanging bridge. It is a tourist favourite and a photographer’s delight. 

Thalakaveri Temple and waterfalls

Situated amidst Brahmagiri, Agnigiri, Vayugiri and Gajarajagiri hill, it is nearly 48 kilometres from Madikeri and is a tourist favourite. You cannot miss the Tirtha Kundike or Brahma Kundike which is a tiny spring which flows from Cauvery river. It is more noticeable during the monsoon and it is believed that spring flows underground and emerges after a short distance.

There is a lovely temple located quite close to the Kundike, with a huge tank where devotees take a dip before offering prayers. There are two other temples dedicated to Shiva and Ganesh. Another attraction is the Holy Ashvattha tree or the sacred fig tree where sage Agastya is said to have spotted Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh as well as where Lord Buddha found enlightenment. 

During the festival of Sankramana, the well swells up signalling the appearance of Goddess Cauvery. 

Brahmagiri wildlife sanctuary 

About 60 kilometres from Coorg, Brahmagiri wildlife sanctuary is filled with evergreen and semi-evergreen forest and bamboo. If you are planning to trek from Kerala, the starting point will be Tirunelveli and from Coorg, it will be from Iruppu waterfalls (with special permission from forest officials). Filled with elaichi and coffee plantations this wildlife sanctuary was built in 1974. You can spot lion-tailed macaque, Indian elephant, gaur, tiger, jungle cat, leopard cat, wild dog, sloth bear, Nilgiri langur, Malabar giant squirrel, giant flying squirrel, Nilgiri marten, porcupine, and pangolin along with a variety of reptiles and birds. 

Namdroling Monastery Golden Temple 

The largest teaching centre of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in the world, the monastery is home to a sangha community of over five thousand lamas (both monks and nuns), a junior high school named Yeshe Wodsal Sherab Raldri Ling, a religious college and hospital. It is famous for its ornamented temple doors, walls, and wall paintings. A new temple, the "Padmasambhava Buddhist Vihara" (known by locals as the "Golden Temple") was inaugurated on 24 September 1999. The temple has space for several thousand monks.

Dubare Elephant Camp 

A popular tourist spot, this Elephant Camp situated on the banks of River Kaveri in Coorg allows tourists to be near elephants and engage in various activities with them, besides getting a view of nature. A project undertaken by the forest department and jungle lodges and resorts, it used to be a training ground for elephants before the Mysore Dussehra but now they are mostly used for jungle rides and other purposes. Tourists are detailed about Elephant history, ecology, and biology. Some of the activities include a 45-minute bath where tourists can give baths to elephants in River Cauvery, feed them ragi, jaggery, sugarcane, banana and coconuts and later go for a 45-minute elephant ride into the jungle. 

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