Need a break from the scorching heat, the daily hustle and bustle, and everything in between? Well, buckle up and clear your schedule, because we are going to the ‘Scotland of India’! Yes, we are talking about Coorg, also known as Kodagu. Located amid the Western Ghats, this beautiful hill station is the best place for your summer break. So, here are some of the best places to visit in Coorg in summer.
A hill station without a waterfall is like an incomplete puzzle, and Abbey Falls truly completes Coorg. Be it the multiple streams cascading down collectively or the surrounding nature, these waterfalls will not fail to capture your hearts. Although the height is 70 feet, the waterfalls cover a much wider area, which creates an amazing view.
Located between the coffee and spice plantations, the streams of this waterfall combine to pool in and later merge with the Kaveri River. You can get the best view of the waterfall from the hanging bridge opposite it. Enjoy the view while you get wrapped up in the aroma of coffee and spices. This is also an ideal spot for you to have a picnic with your family, especially during summer.
Since Abbey Falls lies in close proximity to Madikeri City (6 km), which is the main district of Coorg, it is easily accessible. It’s just at a distance of 13 minutes via Abbey Falls Road. You can hire a taxi or cab to reach here. To reach Madikeri, the nearest airport is the Kannur International Airport in Kerala, which is located at a distance of 90 km (2hr 39 mins).
Also Read: Coorg Travel Guide
Declared an independent tiger reserve in 2007, Nagarhole National Park is a popular tiger reserve. This park is a must-visit for nature lovers since it boasts a wide range of fauna. Apart from tigers, it also houses other carnivores like leopards, jungle cats, striped hyenas, sloth bears, and European otters. There’s also a wide variety of bird species that occupy the park so make sure you carry your binoculars!
While trees like rosewood, sandalwood, and teak make up most of the forest here, the reserve’s beauty is also credited to the flowering trees that grow here in numbers. Other than its beauty, the park offers a lot of activities you can engage yourself in. Along with the safari rides that let you spot the animals, you can go trekking and birdwatching. It is also a great place for photography, with its beautiful landscape and colorful forest.
From Madikeri, the park is at a distance of 74.6 km via the Madikeri - Virajpet Road (1 hour 53 minutes). You can easily hire a cab or taxi from the city to reach Nagarhole.
Built by Mudduraja, (the ruler of the Kodagu kingdom from 1633 to 1687) towards the end of the 17th century, Madikeri Fort witnessed a lot of battles. The fort has also been renovated many times and several additions have been made to it over the years. There was also a palace built here, which was rebuilt by Tipu Sultan into a fort of stone and bricks. The fort was then later renovated by the British.
At the entrance, you’ll see two elephants made of mortar. There was a temple dedicated to Vidarbha within the inner fort, which was replaced with a church by the British. Now it has been converted into a museum, where you can find antiques of Coorg. Make sure you also visit the other buildings in the fort like the Mahatma Gandhi Public Library, the district prison, and the Kote Maha Ganapathi temple.
Madikeri Fort is just 4 minutes away from the main town by cab, but if you choose to go walking, it’ll take you about 11 minutes to get here.
Located in Madikeri town, Raja’s Seat literally means the “Seat of the Kings”. The place gets its name because it was a favorite recreational spot for the kings of Coorg. Built on an elevated platform, this brick-and-mortar structure was used by the kings and queens of Coorg to enjoy sunsets and sunrises. You’ll get the most mesmerizing views of the nearby hills, valleys, and paddy fields from this spot.
The seat is inside a beautiful garden with musical fountains and colorful seasonal flowers. Dancing to the rhythm of the music, the fountains also change colors. The blooming flowers fill the gardens with colors and make the spot all the more beautiful. It was developed by the Karnataka government owing to the popularity of the place. If you’re visiting with kids, they’ll love a ride on the toy train here. And as it takes you through the garden, you can enjoy the lovely view of the mountains.
The best time to visit Raja’s Seat is early mornings and evenings. The opening hours are from 5:30 am to 8 pm. But the musical fountain timings are from 7:00 pm onwards on weekdays and 6:45 am to 7:20 pm on weekends. The entry fee is INR 5, and you can get the toy train ride for INR 20. Since it's just 1 kilometer away from the Madikeri bus stand, you can hire a cab or auto to get here.
One of the biggest historic attractions in Coorg, Nalknad Aramane Palace was built by the Haleri ruler Dodda Veerarajendra in 1792 after he escaped the clutches of Tipu Sultan’s army. He also built an underground secret passage connecting the palace to Madikeri as an escape route. Local legends also say that the palace was also a hideout for the last king of the Haleri dynasty, Chikkavera Rajendra after the British took over Kodagu.
It’s now owned by the Archeology Department of Karnataka and its main attractions are the beautiful paintings and carvings on the roofs and walls. Its huge gateway and kalyana mandapa (a platform to hold marriage ceremonies) are all crafted very artistically. The palace also has a durbar, where the king held his meetings and watched performances to entertain himself. As you go down the basement, you’ll get to see two rooms called the ‘dark rooms’ which were used by the kings to hide. While you are here, you can also visit Thadiyandamol, the highest peak in Coorg which is just 16 minutes away from the palace.
Located at a distance of 45 km (1 hour 2 minutes) from Madikeri, the palace can be reached via SH 90 and Madikeri - Bhagamandala Rd. Alternatively, you can also go via Madikeri - Virajpet Rd, Madikeri - Bhagamandala Rd, and SH 90 (1 hour 6 minutes) or the Madikeri - Virajpet Rd (1 hour 15 minutes).
Surrounded by the Kaveri River, Nisargadhama is an island that houses a forest park maintained by the forest department of Karnataka. This forest park, spreading across 64 acres of land, was established in 1989. It has since been attracting tourists from all over.
With the Kaveri River flowing through the forest and the beautiful nature surrounding the place, it makes for a great picnic spot. The breathtaking view of the river from the New Hanging Bridge should not be missed. While there, visit the different parks here and grab a snack from the food court when you get hungry. You can also enjoy activities like boating, zip-lining, and nature walks amidst the beauty of nature during your stay.
Nisargadhama is located at a distance of 27.4 km from Madikeri via NH 275. You can easily get there by taxi or private car. There’s also a riverside guest house and treetop cottages made up of bamboo managed by the forest department for overnight stays.
Situated in the Hattihole locality, Kotebetta Peak is the third-highest peak in Coorg at 1,620 meters above sea level. The name literally means ‘fort hill’ in the local language. According to local legends, it is believed that the Pandavas resided here for a considerable period of time during their exile. It is believed that they had built several stone houses in this area, which you can still find here.
Being a peak, it is majorly famous for trekking. While on your way up, you’ll be greeted by the beautiful scenes of spice plantations, coffee estates, and jackfruit gardens. It’s better to have a guide with you for the trek because as you go deeper, you’ll be lost in the beauty of the Western Ghats. Make sure you visit the ancient Shiva temple located on top of the hill. There are also two ponds a few feet from the temple, and one of them is used for performing rites during festivals. Apart from trekking, the peak also supports camping.
Since Madikeri is located just 30 km (55 minutes) away from the peak, buses are easily available. Taking the SH27 is the shortest distance but you can also go via NH 275 and SH 8 which will take you about an hour to reach.
Also Read: Best Homestays In Coorg
Being the biggest lake in Coorg, your trip to the hill station will be incomplete without visiting Honnamana Kere Lake. The lake has been named after the Goddess Honnamana and is religiously important.
According to the legend attached to the lake, the goddess sacrificed her life for the well-being of the people here. So, there’s a temple dedicated to the goddess just adjacent to the lake. Many newly wedded couples also visit here to pay their respects during the festival of Gowri Puja. Apart from its religious importance, the lake is also known for its scenic beauty. Surrounded by majestic hills, and coffee plantations, it presents you with a beautiful natural environment to just enjoy some peace and quiet. The hills of Gavi Betta and Mori Betta can also be seen from here.
Although the entry is free, the opening hours of the lake are from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. Honnamana Lake is about 45 km (1 hour 4 minutes) from the Madikeri Bus station. You can also easily hire a cab or taxi from here via SH27 to reach your destination.
Whether you’re backpacking by yourself or with friends, or even if you’re traveling with family, Coorg has something for everyone. The list above must have already presented you with enough reasons for you to fall in love with the place. What are you waiting for? Grab your backpacks and leave your worries at the foot of the hill station, because this summer, Coorg is calling you!
Is It Good To Visit Coorg In Summer?
Summer is a great time to visit Coorg since the weather is quite pleasant here. The temperature usually ranges from 15°C to 35°C. The views get clearer during this time which is why summer is the peak season for Coorg.
What Is Famous Or Special In Coorg?
Coorg is mainly famous for its coffee plantations. It is also famous for attractions like Abbey Falls, Raja’s Seat, and Nagarhole National Park.
Which Month Is Best To Visit Coorg?
If you’re into activities like trekking, then October to March is the best time to visit Coorg. Since the summer season offers pleasant weather, this is also the perfect time to witness the valleys bloom with flowers.
What Is The Famous Food In Coorg?
The valleys of Coorg grow rice in abundance. So, you’ll find that most native dishes here use rice as their main ingredient. But, boiled rice and rice gruel are a staple here and a must-try.
Is 1 Day Enough For Coorg?
If well planned, you can make a 1-day trip to Coorg. On a 1-day trip, you can visit places like Abbey Falls, Madikeri Fort, Raja’s Seat, and Omkareshwara temple.
How Far Is Madikeri From Coorg?
Madikeri is at a distance of 17 km (31 min) from Coorg via Madikeri - Virajpet Road. If you are starting your journey from Bangalore, make sure you hit the road as early as 5 in the morning. Or you might get stuck in the traffic, even though the roads are good.
Is It Better To Stay In Coorg Or Madikeri?
Madikeri is the main town in Coorg, so, there’s really no difference. Since Madikeri is the main headquarters of Coorg and is well connected to all the main attractions in the district, it's better to stay here while you visit the hill station.