When I got to know this place is called the "Scotland of east" I was eager to holiday there once again. Considering Scotland is one of my favorite spots, Coorg had lot to keep up to. Coorg is a district in Karnataka and you can either stay in the plains by the river Cauvery or in a coffee plantation high up in the hills. Considering it is summer, I choose to go up into the hills as high as possible.
The place I wanted to unwind in was situated at foothills of the highest peak in the region - Thadiyandamol about 5700 feet above sea level. The palace estate got its name from the nearby 17th-century Nalnad Palace and is one amazing home stay in the Kakabe area of Coorg. The quaint little wooden structured rooms with the balcony overlooking the valley are a perfect place to rejuvenate. The friendly hosts, the amazing local food for breakfast, simple home cooked food for lunch and dinner made the trip to this place worthwhile.
To the dismay of most and if my work permits it, I generally cut off from the city, its people and my daily routine on my holidays. Most cannot live without their cellphones, TV, electricity and other luxuries they consider necessities. Also many require a drink or two to unwind and relax. For me it is just the opposite. The time out from cell phones and other gadgets except my camera is what I look forward in my breaks. The clean air, the peaceful atmosphere is what relaxes my soul. The small walks that I take, the indoor games that I play, the appetizing food that I eat and the snooze that I take helps me unwind and lets me get back to the grind with a smile. To each his own. This is my way to deal with the stressful life. I would love to know what is yours.
One of the highlights of my holiday was when we realized that the big butterfly that was hanging around our room was real. We had a bit of back and forth if it was a butterfly or a moth. On returning i figured it was the Atlas Moth, the largest in the world with respect to its wing span. It was one beautiful creature.
Also amazing thing was the Coorgi food. Yes , i am a vegetarian and though coorg is well know for its meat dishes, i loved the variety of puttus.(steam-cooked dishes) for breakfast. You can have Kadambuttu (ball shaped puttus), Thaliya puttu (flat puttus steamed in plates), Paaputtu (cooked with milk and shredded coconut), Nooputtu (thread puttu, pressed into noodle like threads with a mould), Od puttu (baked on a flat mud pan), Nuch puttu (made of broken rice), Madd puttu (made of a medicinal leaf called Madd Thopp) among other things. And palace estate had the best of these puttus. I tried each of them on different days for breakfast. Lip smacking most delicious breakfast!
What is more interesting than the coorgi food is the coorgi attire. Even though i had seen the coorgi saree work before, it was never this close and personal.It was only this time i realized that the pleats which are traditionally in front in the conventional saree,are at the back in a coorgi saree. The kodavas are one handsome and pretty lot!
After a relaxing stay at Palace estate we headed back to Madikeri. For the shopaholics, this is a good place to buy spices, coffee and home made fruit wines like jack fruit wine, passion fruit wine. Among all the sights to see in coorg, we narrowed upon two- Nisarghadham - miss it! and Golden temple - don't miss it! Nisarghadham was certainly not heaven but for the antics of the residing monkeys. As long as you cooperate and give in to their demands, they put up a lovely show for you!. I didn't know till then that monkeys could swim!!
Kushalnagar is the second largest settlement for Tibetans after Dharmasala. It houses their golden temple - a mesmerizing sight, not to be missed. It is also a good place to pick up their artifacts and eat momos! The momos we had were a little disappointing but the chowmein and fried rice was certainly not indianised and tasted very good. There are no established eateries around this place. So one has to make do with the road side eateries. For the less adventurous, there is always CCD about 15-20 minutes away from kushalnagar on way back to Bangalore.
So did Coorg keep its reputation as Scotland of east? It came close but nothing can beat Scotland!!
Location: Kakabe, Coorg
Date of travel: April 2011
Tip: Go for the less traveled option
Must do: Do nothing!
First: Spot something that is largest of its kind!
The Travel Connection: Coorgi Cuisine
The Travel Connection: Coorgi Cuisine