Traveling To Coorg During Covid

Last updated on 21 June 2021

What To Keep In Mind When Traveling To Coorg During Covid

Pure air, lush greenery, mist-shrouded hillsides, it’s no surprise Coorg is known as the ‘Scotland of India’. And truly, the scenery splayed out across the terrain is one that contests those of the Scottish isles. Coffee plantations stretch as far as the eye can see, and streams ripple across the land. Officially known as Kodagu, Coorg has a little bit of something for the peace-lovers and adventure-seekers alike; you can go river rafting on one day, and take a stroll through a plantation estate on the next.

Traveling To Coorg During Covid

With so much to offer, this hill station sounds like the best escape from the mundane madness of everyday life. We’ve chalked up a guide on traveling to Coorg during Covid; while it will indeed be a rejuvenating trip, the onus of responsible travel and following Covid regulations is entirely on you.

How To Get To Coorg

Located in Karnataka along the Western Ghats, Coorg is nestled among the hills yet is fairly well connected. However, remember that Covid-related travel regulations will have to be followed when getting to Coorg.

Traveling To Coorg During Covid

Getting To Coorg By Air

Coorg doesn’t have its own airport. The closest international airport is Mangaluru International Airport, around 140 km away. You can easily get a cab to take you to Coorg once you land at the airport. Domestic travelers can also fly to Mysore Airport, 120 km away.

Domestic travelers arriving in Karnataka will be thermally screened and not be quarantined. To add to it, you won’t be obliged to carry a negative RT-PCR test, but only if you’re asymptomatic.

All international passengers landing in Karnataka who test negative will have to undergo mandatory 14-day home quarantine. All passengers (international or domestic) who test positive will be isolated in single-room facilities and treated for COVID-19 by the government.

Getting To Coorg By Train

Similar to flights, Coorg doesn’t have its own railway station. The nearest stations are Mysore and Bangalore, both of which are very well connected to the rest of India by rail. From the stations, you can take a taxi or a state-run or private bus to reach the hilly abode of Coorg.

Thanks to the pandemic, train services are yet to come back to normal but you can avail of the Covid special trains.

Getting To Coorg By Road

Getting to Coorg is definitely a possibility, and in fact, it is a popular destination for road trips. The drive to Coorg is nothing short of spectacular with rolling hills and trees around you. Just make sure to avoid a road trip to Coorg from the months of June to September. These are the monsoonal months, and due to its location and altitude, Coorg receives heavy downpours of rain. Not only is this a bad time to go sightseeing, but the low visibility and slippery roads make it hazardous for anyone navigating the bends and curves of the way to Coorg.

As of 21 June 2021, interstate bus services haven’t been resumed but interdistrict services have been resumed with 50% seating capacity.

Places To Visit In Coorg

Most things to do in Coorg involve an element of nature, whether it is trekking along a hill, walking through a coffee plantation, or enjoying a deafening waterfall. But considering that social distancing is the new norm, skip the popular tourist destinations and take a gander at some offbeat locations instead.

Honnamana Kere Lake

The Honnamana Kere Lake is said to be the biggest lake in Coorg and is perfect for a socially distanced picnic. It is surrounded by hills and coffee plantations, and also has religious significance as it is home to a temple dedicated to the Goddess Honnamana. The lake is around a 90-minute drive away from Coorg proper, winding through the hills and ghats. Just make sure to be respectful of your surroundings and not to litter when you do decide to visit.

Alternatively, you can also head to the Chiklihole Reservoir, a large, scenic body of water that is sure to give you some sense of tranquility. Chiklihole is located 45 minutes from Coorg, towards the north.

Also read: What To Do If You Get Sick When On Your Holiday?

Namdroling Monastery

Sure, Coorg has its popular spots like Raja’s Seat or the Madikeri Fort. But one of its lesser-known facts is that it is home to the second-largest Tibetan settlement in India! Head to the Bylakuppe village, home to the Tibetans, and take a look at the gorgeous Namdroling Monastery. Popularly known as the Golden Temple, the Monastery is a wonderful display of Tibetan spirituality and architecture. Though it is temporarily closed due to Covid, visitors can still admire the architecture and surrounding location from the outside.

The Namdroling Monastery is the most popular monastery in the region and has recently been gaining more and more attention. If you’d like to venture deeper into the less-popular and experience something even further off the beaten path, head to the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery nearby, that is just as gorgeous and much quieter. (P.S., make sure you eat some delicious, piping hot momos!)

Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary

Traveling To Coorg During Covid

The best way to make sure you’re away from crowds of people is to surround yourself with nature! The Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary was founded in 1974 and is home to a range of plants, animals, and birds. When there, look out for tigers, leopards, elephants, sloth bears, and Nilgiri langurs. Stretching across 181 square km, the Brahmagiri Sanctuary is sprawling and makes social distancing easier than ever before.

Simply stroll through the park looking out for birds and small animals, or go on a trek on one of its trekking routes. The sanctuary also contains the magnificent Iruppu and Chelavara waterfalls. Ensure you avoid the water if you see other tourists there, and continue to maintain a safe distance from them. The best time to visit is from December to February.

Traveling To Coorg During Covid

Covid Precautions When Traveling

  • Interstate travel regulations can change overnight. Make sure you are constantly updated with the latest rules and regulations.
  • Constantly keep sanitizing your hands, wearing a mask, and follow the social distancing norms. Be respectful of your surroundings and abide by the Covid-regulations no matter where you are. 
  • Download payment apps on your phone and try to avoid exchanging currency as much as possible. This will help reduce the spread of the virus and keep you as well as those around you safe. 
  • Always have a filled Self-Health Declaration form on you, even though it is not a compulsion. 
  • When going out for the day, try to make it back to your hotel or homestay before 8 in the night, and definitely before 10 pm. You don’t want to be stuck far from the comfort of your room when a night curfew is suddenly announced by the local or state government. 
  • Avoid using public transportation as much as possible, and use a private vehicle instead. If you’re renting a car, make sure you sanitize it, especially the steering wheel, windows, seat belt buckles, and door handles.

FAQs

Is There Lockdown In Karnataka?

As of 21 June 2021, Karnataka is under lockdown until 5 July but with the exception of Mysuru District, the regulations for the movement of people are being relaxed. However, there will still be a night curfew every day from 7 pm to 5 am.

Is Coorg Open For Visitors?

While Coorg is open for visitors, the tourist spots of this hill station are closed. Meaning you can stay in hotels and resorts while following all the Covid safety precautions.

How Safe Is Coorg?

Coorg is quite a safe place for travelers, including women. But all the same, make sure that you follow all the necessary basic precautions and stay away from shady areas.

Which Is Better Coorg Or Ooty?

Coorg and Ooty both have their own unique charms. Ooty in comparison is a bit more commercialized, meaning it has more amenities but also a bit more crowded. On the other hand, places of interest in Coorg are a bit more spread out, so you’ll need a bit more time to explore the area to its fullest.

Which Is The Best Month To Visit Coorg?

The beauty of Coorg is that you can visit it any time of the year and it would still be beautiful. Being a hill station, you can experience cool weather during the winters and in the summers, it’ll still be pleasant. The monsoon months make the winding roads a bit more dangerous to traverse, but the greenery can be quite a feast for the eyes.

Is Coorg Worth Visiting?

If your idea of an ideal vacation is either strolling along coffee plantations, green hills with streams and waterfalls cutting through them, or traversing through the forests and the rivers, Coorg might just be the holiday destination for you!

Should You Meet With Other People During The Covid-19 Pandemic?

The rule of thumb when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic is that the more people you meet, the greater the risk of infection. So social distancing and self-isolation are the two things that you must live by.

What Are Some Of The Precautions Should I Take While Staying At A Hotel During The Covid-19 Pandemic?

Opt For A Covid-ready Hotel: Most hotel websites now explain the processes in which they’re keeping their premises sanitized. Only opt for such hotels and ensure that the safety norms are adhered to.

Wash Your Hands: Irrespective of where you are, the mask and sanitizer rule applies. Use a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content and wash your hands thoroughly.

Avoid Contact: As far as possible, opt for cashless transactions and avoid contact with common touchpoints like elevator buttons, doorknobs, faucets, etc. If you do, wash your hands before touching your face.

Dine In: Instead of eating at the hotel’s restaurant, opt to dine in as it reduces your exposure to other guests.

How Can One Stay Physically Active During Covid-19 Self-quarantine?

Staying at home during quarantine might tempt you to just do nothing, but a bit of physical activity can work wonders. Here’s what you can do:

Walk: Even if you’re within the confines of your house, you can still walk around the house. Just the act of standing up every 30 minutes or so can help your body.

Plan Activities With Friends/Family: Perhaps doing an activity with loved ones can make it more exciting for you. It’ll keep you healthy and also spend quality time!

Stick To A Routine: It’s easier to fall back into doing nothing, so make sure you fit exercise into your routine. You could join an online class or have reminders. Set goals for yourself and maybe treat yourself if you reach them.

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    A Guide To Traveling To Coorg During Covid Traveling To Coorg During The Coronavirus Pandemic

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