Kodagu: Land with spectacular misty landscapes

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Kodagu, what Coorg, got its name from an ancient native tribe of Kodavas, meaning indigenous people, who now do agriculture but were known as warriors. Some legends state they are Alexander the Great’s descendants, while others say a broad-headed race inhabited Kodagu in the Mohanjodaro period. Exciting facts and much folklore do add a mystery to this town apart from the scenic beauty.

Kodagu: Land with spectacular misty landscapes

Last night fell asleep to the sound of the rain rattling against the thatched roof. But I woke up slightly before dawn by chattery green-blue Malabar parrots. The sky was like a game of chess, with black and white clouds making their moves. The monsoon foliage hung like a painting. Betel nuts stood tall, and plants glistened with dew. This is incredible, Kodagu!

Kodagu: Land with spectacular misty landscapes
Lush Greenery

I couldn’t see the Kodagu coffee estate at night as it had already sunk into darkness. Hence I took a walk in the estate full of red and ripe coffee beans adorning coffee plants. At the same time, green peppercorns hung on the pepper creepers like a bunch of grapes, in and around coconuts, betel nuts, palm, germaniums, and jasmine, smiling brightly. I was just mesmerized by the beauty of nature. The tranquillity was soul soothing. Later I got dressed and had a quick breakfast since I had to leave for the Tadiandamol trek from Kodagu.

Kodagu: Land with spectacular misty landscapes
Coffee Plantation

Standing at 1748 meters, Tadiandamol is Karnataka’s 3rd highest peak. It’s a 12km trek; hence I started the hike at 7.00 am. Trek begins at the base of the hill at Nalkanad Palace, and the terrains are pretty steep right from the beginning. Hence so, brace yourself to take on the challenge. After a 3km trek, I reached the Shola forest checkpoint. They charge 165 INR as an entry fee. 

Kodagu: Land with spectacular misty landscapes
Tadiandamol Trek

Along the walk, the weather kept changing drastically. At one point, it was raining, while at others, it was all sunny. I was overwhelmed, but I suggest taking a travel water bottle, a lot of snickers and other quick bites to keep yourself charged. Also carry a cap, sunglasses and a raincoat. I reached the around 9.30 am and descended at 10.20 am. Though the trek was slightly challenging to post entering the forest, nonetheless, it compensated for all the pain. After reaching the top, I found myself walking through the clouds, mist passing through me and breathtaking views of the hills surrounded by the Shola forest. It was just spectacular!

Kodagu: Land with spectacular misty landscapes
Walking between the clouds

Later I drove back to Nalkanad Palace, from where our trek started. This place has Nalknad Aramane Palace, built in 1792 by Dodda Virarajendra, a Haleri ruler. Dodda Virarajendra even married Mahadev Ammaji in this palace in 1796. The castle is an impressive structure, and I was proud that google showed this place.

Kodagu: Land with spectacular misty landscapes
Nalkanad Palace

The gateway is gigantic, with multiple paintings & carvings adorned on the walls & roofs of the palace. The Dubar has a beautiful rustic charm. At the same time, the castle’s basement has two ‘dark rooms’, a hiding place for the king. Interestingly, the palace in an underground tunnel inside the court originates from here and ends at Madikeri.

Kodagu: Land with spectacular misty landscapes
The Durbar

And Dodda Virarajendra used this tunnel to escape from the Tippu sultan’s troops. Moreover, this palace has different stories about various historical events. Chikkaveera Rajendra, the last emperor of the Haleri family, also took shelter here during the British invasion of the Coorg district. 

Kodagu: Land with spectacular misty landscapes
Front view of the Palace

Later we drove to Padi Igguthappa Temple, a 10 min drive from the palace. On the way, I took a pit stop at a South Indian restaurant to have lunch as my hunger pangs were hitting hard. Our driver suggested this temple suggested visiting. In 1810 Lingarajendra built this temple in the Igguthappadevara Betta in the Aiyengeri forest. The temple is dedicated to Lord Iguthappa, also known as Lord Subramanya. And the architecture resembles the Keralite temple’s design. This temple also plays a vital role in Kodavas’s culture and traditional practices- like the harvesting festival, Puthari.

Kodagu: Land with spectacular misty landscapes
Padi Igguthappa Temple

I was mesmerized by the simplicity & ancient beauty of Kodagu. I offered my prayers & walked around the temple to look closely at the architecture. A tributary of Cauvery is right in front of the temple; devotees take a dip before entering the temple. I was surprised at the unique way of offering at the temple- the devotees weigh themselves against fruits, sugar, coconuts, rice, etc. 

Kodagu: Land with spectacular misty landscapes
Cauvery Tiburatery

I was exhausted post-trek and needed some relaxation for my foot. Hence we drove to Dubare elephant camp. It was a 1 hr 30 min drive, approximately 52 km from the temple. I slept all my way to the centre. This camp is located on the bank of River Kaveri and provides an opportunity to engage with elephants closely. Upon reaching, I was lucky as few people were waiting for the ferry. I, too, bought my tickets & was all set to visit the camp and experience the life of elephants. The forest department, jungle lodges, and resorts undertook Elephant Camp at Dubare project. Initially, Elephants used to be trained for Mysore Dussehra when the government banned woodcutting and logging operations. 

Kodagu: Land with spectacular misty landscapes
Dubare elephant Camp

While crossing the Kaveri river to reach the camp, I saw a few elephants bathing. It was heartwarming to see these happy animals in mesmerizing natural settings consisting of lush greenery and a refreshing environment. The elephants are trained under naturalists who assist tourists with Elephant history, ecology and biology. 

Kodagu: Land with spectacular misty landscapes
Crossing Laveri river

This camp is unique because tourists can participate in various activities with elephants, which is three-hour elephant interaction, like indulging in activities like a 45-minute bath and feeding them with bananas, ragi, jaggery, sugarcane, and coconuts. One can opt for a 45-minute elephant ride into the jungle. It was a memorable experience.

Kodagu: Land with spectacular misty landscapes
Baby Elephant

I finally drove to my final destination Honnamana Kere the largest lake in the region. It was an hour’s drive from Dubare. It is located in Daddamalthe, inSomwarpet town, one of the taluks of Coorg. The lake is named after Goddess Honnamma, who is believed to have sacrificed her life for the well-being of the people. I was awestruck by the captivating scenic beauty of the lake upon my arrival.

Kodagu: Land with spectacular misty landscapes
Honnamana Kere

It is surrounded by mountains, cliffs and a massive expanse of coffee plantations, along with two hills named Gavi Betta and Mori Betta. The silence of the place was intriguing yet peaceful. I even visited the temple dedicated to Goddess Honnamma near the lake. After spending some quality time, I drove back to my homestay.

Kodagu: Land with spectacular misty landscapes

But my driver suggested visiting, a 50 min drive from the lake. It was already 4.30 pm, but I took a risk and drove to the falls Located at the foot of Pushpagiri Hill Ranges. Mallalli Falls are created when River Kumaradhara drips down from the peak of Pushpagiri Peak, over a height of approximately 200 feet.

Kodagu: Land with spectacular misty landscapes
Mallalli Falls

This fall can trek from the foot of Pushpagiri peak until the peak. But this route has many leeches on the trails; however, the path is attractive with beautiful surrounding. But I was running out of time; hence I just clicked pictures before driving back to Madikeri. It’s never enough of an enchantingly beautiful place like Kodagu. But we needed to return; hence after a hearty dinner, I slept early as I had to drive back to Bangalore the next day.

How to Reach

By Air:

The nearest airports are Bangalore and Mangalore International Airports. However, Mysore is a domestic but limited flight. Either avail of bus or cab services till Coorg.

By Train: 

The nearest one is Mysore and Mangalore, as Coorg needs railheads. Outside the railway station, opt for bus or cab services to reach Coorg.

By Road:

Roads are the easiest & convenient way to reach Coorg. Many private & state-run buses ply from Bangalore, Mangalore & Mysore regularly. Once also book cabs or self-drive to the destination.


2 thoughts on “Kodagu: Land with spectacular misty landscapes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »
error: Content is protected !!