For the love of this overwhelming trip, a travel journal to Coorg! This September, I made an amazing trip to the breathtaking Coorg. Kodagu district or Coorg is indeed a visual treat! The fresh air flushes the lungs soon after one is out there on the Bengaluru-Mangaluru (or Bangalore-Mangalore) highway. It felt like an instant resurrection from the extreme pollution of the city (which btw is deeply missed when I am back in Delhi and smog is nearly about suffocate us all).
With endless discussions on WhatsApp group and chai meet-ups, and so many futile plans to so many places (virtually), my friends and I were finally able to put this plan in action (It mattered so very deeply to us because this might be our last group trip, as you know, people are getting married or moving cities and what not). So, we reached Bengaluru to meet up with the rest of the group at the Majestic Bus station (that’s where you can board for the intercity buses if only you successfully avoid the killing Bengaluru traffic, we got stuck. Wasn’t particularly a great start).
One of our friend (Vidya) has his own place in Coorg (luxury indeed slow clap) so we set ourselves to his place. As we boarded the bus and settled ourselves, slowly leaving the city life far behind, nature finally took over. With green fields and typical thatched-roof houses built up in the fields, the coconut trees in the backdrop and the clear blue sky with white cottony soft clouds (just the way it’s supposed to appear) we couldn’t resist the excitement!
Now, start of every such road-trippish journey often has immense amount of enthusiasm to begin with which soon converts to a restless, sleepy, and again restless anticipation to reach the destination (Coorg, why don’t you just appear already. And, of course with Vidya pacifying us ‘with just half an hour and we’re there’… btw he did that several times and it was not just half an hour).
As soon as you enter the Kodagu district you’ll be welcomed with dense coffee plantations on either sides of the road. Dark green, light green, lemony green, green, green and green prepare your eyes for that as that’s the only color of nature here, interspersed with the brown of the tree bark. I always imagined to come to Coorg and stay in those awesome homestays lined by coffee plantations but our stay was at an even better place. Our friend’s endearing home with his supremely sweet family.
Houses with a garden space as large as the house, coconut tree, multitude of flowers, flowers and flowers and flowers which were directly used from the garden to serve for the traditional pooja in the morning, dreamy stuff! Oh, and how can I forget the amazing food. Now, rice is a staple to any south Indian household so you have to be prepared to have rice, well in almost everything, in roti, curd, snack and well cooked rice again. But then this was the luxury we got to witness as we had the privilege of staying with Vidya’s family and having to gorge upon some super sumptuous dishes like akki rotti, chittranna, kadubu, sambhar and shavige upittu, our apetites had tears of pure joy if I can put it that way.
Now with our stomachs being well-fed we started our first visit. You can start your journey with a tour of coffee plantations. Like, we left for one such personalized tour and along the way had this super mini trek to a hill beside Honamma lake. The entrance to the hill is in the following picture.
As the sun had already started to set while we were still climbing, the sky started playing with colors too. The pink hues in the dark blue background and slowly appearing twinkling stars made the moment utterly beautiful.
After spending a good hour or so (with intermittent gazillion pictures being clicked) we finally headed for the coffee plantations. We didn’t imagine that a night coffee tour would be so very fun. Now you’ve got to be super careful of the spider webs and of course the spiders while traversing through the plantation as they are known to protect the coffee plant and are a must in the plantation but other than that the coffee plants with newly formed berries makes it an enticing visit.
Next, quite early in the morning we left for the Mallalli falls also hoping to catch the sunrise. Well since the sun had already risen while on our way, the astounding view all along was such a treat to the eyes. There are many falls in the district so you can plan to visit any of them. Do try to reach there as early because they soon get all lined up by tourists and gets a bit packed. Luckily we didn’t have anyone when we visited the falls so we enjoyed a good amount of time chilling in the water (with a slight episode of the loss of one of my friends glasses into the falls other than that everything else went spectacularly well.
As I mentioned before, two of our friends belonged to the place they tried for us to live all these experiences like they used to when they used to come there as kids (awesome childhood indeed). These falls were pretty amazing and the spot we chose to have our breakfast was right before the stream becomes the fall. The view presented us with the massive and lusciously green Western Ghats (Okay yeah, at this point, I didn’t wanted to return, effectively.)
The trek that wasn’t and the paddy fields!!
We started off with a foresty trail to the top of Malambi hills, but few minutes into it we were torn between either to finish it or go back to the paddy fields (if only I could capture the brainstorming session we had in the middle of the trail, as this also was our last day and we had to drive back to Bengaluru hence we cut short the trek) Few minutes into the discussion…yep we were back to our jeep heading for the paddy fields.
Since we had a slightly packed schedule, we tried making the trip as optimal as possible but Vidya really made sure we experience whatever he used to enjoy while growing up at that place. But still this short and concise trip is one of the best I have taken. And I am still not over it as yet as I keep rambling out this experience to my friends as and when I get the opportunity (which is like all the time).
There are many other places like a Buddhist Monastery at Bylakuppe, Abbey falls and numerous treks that you can fit into your trip but plan to make it a longer one. Try to experience it like the locals do, I’m sure it’ll turn out to be one of the best experiences as nothing is better than absorbing the place like a slow and refreshing walk. Coorg is just that! It indeed is a very special place. So, do plan to head to this visual retreat if you still haven’t, it’s totally a must visit and is rightly placed in the top 30 must visit places in India. I hope this helps in planning up of some travel story somewhere!
(All images by Agrima Sharma)