Sometimes you need a vacation that is all about simply doing nothing…Sitting at a place where even the phone signal is not that great…good, no more pestering calls from office on your vacation that ‘something urgent has come up’.
How to Get There
You need to reach Bangalore (Capital city of state Karnataka in India), first. Bangalore, now a days, called Bengaluru, is accessible from all parts of the country via road, train and airports.
From Bangalore, if you really need to enjoy, you should go to Madikeri via road. Either hire a taxi for the weekend, or, if you are like me and want to drive, you can rent ZoomCar. I was very happy with the ZoomCar service (and I’m not getting paid to write this, your experience might be different). The drive from Bangalore is about 250 Kms.
Where to Stay
If you want to really enjoy your stay at Coorg, you must stay at “homestays”. You can book from Coorg HomeStays Website. I stayed at “Mystical Homestay“. The place is great and more than that, the owner, Harish, is a great host. My next trip to Coorg, I’m once again going to stay at the same place.
What to do at the Homestay
We wanted a lazy weekend, so our plan to just sit and do nothing ! You should ideally have a few friends, or if you are travelling with family, go with one more family. There aren’t too many rooms at Mystical Homestay. So, just two families with about 6-7 heads should be fine. At the homestay, we went around looking at Harish’s coffee plantations and since we had kids, we showed them various different plans (e.g. pepper, vanilla, cardamom). At night, I found only two great activities – eat around bonfire and or have a nice drink in the middle of heavy plantation. Remember, you must get the drinks from outside, or you can sometimes ask someone else to get it for you. Homestays cannot serve you liquor by law. Still, you must get them from the market, ideally, before sunset.
While I could not find anything special as far as Coorg food is concerned, the food in general, was home-cooked and was sumptuous. The only new surprise was Kadmbuttu – Steamed rice dumplings. New, not that great, but I had it for the first time.
Nearby Places I Visited
Since we were not much into seeing places and more interested in a relaxed vacation, we just went to only four places. Two for kids and two for the religious ones in the group.
1. Vintage Car Museum
Well, visit this place only if you are a car buff or if you have kids. The place is more like a junkyard with cars parked inside a shed. The only good part is that there are indeed some good old cars in the shed.
It is said, that Talakaveri is the source of the river Kaveri. From Madikeri, it is about 80 Kms and a temple is built around that. I’m not that religious person and would have skipped that, but then, in our group, rest everyone was, so we decided to drive. What I enjoyed was the scenic drive. It can take about 2.5 hrs.
3. The Dubare Elephant Camp
This trip is worth your time. Dubare is a nice place where Elephants are kept and trained for the Mysore Dussera. I suppose you will like this place irrespective of your age. You can see the elephants up and close, being bathed by mahouts. You need to cross the rive using a boat (no life jackets). The river does not seem too deep. The view is gorgeous.
4. The Buddhist Golden Temple
Until I visited Coorg, I used to think that the buddhist from tibet were only settled in Dharmshala, India. My friends told me, that another settlement happened in the Madikeri district. The Golden Temple is a must visit, even for non-religious folks like me. A grand view and a treat to the eyes.
Enjoy your stay at the great weekend getaway at Coorg, Madikeri.