“Its December! Which means time for my customary “Goa with the Gals” trip!” December 2019 was different though, having just turned 40 and freshly divorced, I wanted to do something different…yeah quite cliched isn’t it!! contemplating on the meaning of life..my purpose on this planet..blah blah…lol…well it was none of that! I genuinely wanted a break from been-there-done-that, and when my sister suggested Coorg as an option for “less traveled/less explored destinations” I jumped to the idea, because who wouldn’t want to visit “The Scotland of India” without having to spend a fortune on the actual Scotland trip!! Plus I have already been to Scotland:-).
Coorg is a cozy little district in Karnataka, about 30 kms north of Bengaluru Airport, that sits in the western ghats and promises views that will leave you spellbound. This tiny destination, officially known as Kodagu, has some interesting things-to-do, places to visit and beautiful 5 star homestays and resorts that boast of breathtaking rainforest views! But you can truly experience all of this only if you plan ahead in time and choose a better time of the year. Even though ours was an impromptu plan, we managed to pack-in A LOT in our short 3 day trip. Based on personal experience, I can confirm that most of the places we visited (some based on the suggestions by other bloggers) were overrated…they were crowded and too touristy.
Our Stay: We stayed at Purple Palm Resort & Spa (The only 4 star+ available last minute). We wanted to stay at one of the Homestays, however everything was booked. Though Purple Palm is a very beautiful resort with lush green flora, it’s in a very poor location, Kushalnagar, which is right at the outskirts of Madikeri, the main hub of the district. Though it’s closer to two of the main attractions, Dubare Elephant Camp and The Monastery.
Before I tell you where to go, I must tell you where NOT to go!
Avoid Dubare Elephant Camp (poor elephants are being forced to put up a show). I am sure there’s more than meets the eye, but for a short trip, it wasn’t worth. Long queues, and charging tourists to see a bunch of elephants is something that you may later regret. Instead try hanging around the river, there are rafts available to explore the area further or best try crossing the river by foot…FREE and FUN!
Namdroling Monastery (leave the monks alone, that’s the whole point of a monastery!!!). Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of monasteries and perhaps will make special trips just to visit them, but to me immersed in their culture in the truest sense, not hanging around like you would in a public garden! which is what I felt there.
Abbey falls, I can never understand the concept of viewing a Waterfall from a gated distance and rubbing shoulders with 20,000 other tourists! Well we managed to pack some interesting pictures though. Check them out here!
Once we had covered all these touristy spots in a day, we decided to head to Taj Madikeri Resort & Spa for lunch. We actually wanted to stay there but, it was fully booked. We hung around the resort for a bit, enjoying Taj hospitality and gorgeous views…it’s lobby view is the best I have ever seen!! For those who don’t know me, which is majority of you reading this..lol, I started my career with Taj Hotels in Delhi…just a piece of information that is useless to you!
While we were enjoying exploring touristy places, we were spending a sh*t load on taxis, 5000 rupees per day…!!! Luckily my sister knew someone who lived in Coorg and they were happy to share their car for one day which allowed us to explore the area on our own, for less (evil smile). We drove over a 100 kilometers that day, vrooming through lush tea/coffee estates, drooling over how majestic they looked nestled in the woods and feeling frustrated how we couldn’t experience that in this trip. Even though we couldn’t stay in one, we were fortunate enough to visit another friend’s coffee estate. She showed us around her lovely estate nicely perched on a hill, cocooned in the warmth of bamboo trees, a large pond and gorgeous water stream running through it. I had never seen a more beautiful residence in my entire life up until now. Not sharing any photos and address of the residence due to privacy*.
Our friend took us on a nice short hike to a place called Kabbe Hill. The views left us absolutely spellbound. We were now witnessing what we actually went there for…”Scotland views”!
It was short and unplanned but, one of the most beautiful & memorable trips of my life. You should try one of those:-)
And that’s a wrap….ME happy & satiated as always!
Thank you so much for reading my blog:-)