Mist shrouds the mountains surrounding Coorg, a cool-climate hill station in the Karnataka region famed for its coffee. Set among the sky-scraping Western Ghats, its slopes are furrowed with coffee bushes, spice farms and orange groves, all fed by crystalline streams that trickle down the hillsides. It’s not hard to see why Coorg has been crowned the Scotland of India. A mecca for trekkers, you can spend days here criss-crossing the hills and forests, passing waterfalls and plantation workers busy picking ruby coffee cherries – Coorg is India’s leading producer of the brew. Hike far enough and you’ll encounter the Tibetan Buddhist monastery of Namdroling with its golden temple, chanting monks and 18-metre-high Buddha statues.
Coorg is the domain of the ancient Kodava people, who are known for their generous hospitality and now offer homestays in their ancestral houses. The Kodavas have a mysterious history, thought perhaps to have migrated from Kurdistan or even Greece – although no-one knows for sure. Skilled in martial arts, some say they were once part of Alexander the Great’s invading army. Visit Coorg in November and December and you’ll witness the Kodava’s colourful Puthari rice harvest festival, filled with traditional music, dance and costume. For the most spectacular snapshot of Coorg, head to the Raja seat where Kodava rulers once admired views of the never-ending emerald hills.
To enjoy Coorg’s hill-station charm, let our India experts arrange the best treks, homestays and coffee tours with the locals.
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