South Indian heroine Suhasini wearing coorgi style saree and crooning the song “Madikeri sepoyi…” (Madikeri soldier) on mist covered hills of Madikeri / Coorg in the Kannada movie Muththina Hara is what reminds you when you land in Coorg. Another Kannada song you would love to sing would be G.P. Rajataram’s “Madikeri Mele Manju” meaning mist on Madikeri / Coorg. Many lyricists have been inspired by the land of the Kodavas / Madikeri and the home sick British called this place as “Scotland of India”.
Coorg is nestled at 4,000 feet above sea level in the comfort of green lush hills 120 Km from Mysore, 180 Km from Mangalore and 260 Km from Bangalore. The culture of Coorg is unique in many ways. Their costume is distinct and so is the coffee flavor of this region. Joining army and excelling in sports are Kodava’s second nature. Field Marshall K.M. Cariappa hailed from the land of warriors “Coorg”.
The Kodagu men wear elegant knee-length half-sleeved coats called kupyas, over a full-sleeved white shirt. Bound at the waist is a maroon and gold sash known as “Chale”, into which is tucked an ornate silver dagger, known as a “Peechekath”. Another knife called “Odikathi” is tucked into the sash at the back, and a chain with a miniature gun and dagger dangling completes their soldierly look. Women wear their saris pleated at the back and the pallu is also draped in a very unique way and fixed with a brooch. The blouse worn is either full-sleeved or three-quarter sleeved. The head is covered with a scarf. A gold bead necklace called kokkethathi jomale is worn by the women. This necklace is becoming a favorite accessory in wardrobes outside Coorg.
There are many tribal / folk dances of Coorg / Madikeri region.
Madikeri is a small town in Coorg district with narrow winding roads. The street bazaar shops sell vegetables, fruits, coffee and clothes. Houses are built with sloped tiled roof as the region gets heavy rainfall throughout the year.
The cuisine of Kodavas mainly comprises of Pandhi Curry (Pork), Rotis made of Rice flour, Kamdambuttu, which are steamed rice balls, Payasa / Pudding and Vegetable curries. A swig of alcohol is a luxury that the Kodava men and women enjoy.
Apart from coffee Coorg is also a land of Honey, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Pepper, Oranges, Areca nut, ferns, Orchids and Anthuriums. Many horticulturists grow Anthuriums and export it to many countries. Huge bright butterflies and many species of birds are found here.
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The hills covered in thick forests comprises of many types of trees like teak, acacia, sandal, bamboo, gulmohar etc., The hills also has vast spaces covered by meadows with dew shining like diamonds clinging on to the grass blades. Because of this abundant availability of food many animals like Elephants, Tigers, Deer, Sambar, Gaur roam this region making it one of the most attractive ecosystems in the world.
Places of Interest in Coorg are:
- Raja Seat
- Omkareshwara Temple
- Madikeri Fort
- Raja’s Tomb / Gaddige
- Abbey Falls
- Namdroling Monastery
- Cauvery Nisargadhama
- Harangi Dam
- Irappu Falls (Brahmagiri hills)
- Thadiyandamol Hills
- Igguthappa Temple
- Nagarhole National Park
- Dubare Elephant Camp
Type of Place: Hill Station
Distance: 120 Km from Mysore, 180 Km from Mangalore, 260 Km from Bangalore
Transport: Well connected by road. Nearest railhead is Mysore and nearest airport is Mangalore
Facilities: Resorts, Hotels, Home Stays are plenty