TABLE OF CONTENTS
Evergreen County Coorg Tour - 1st Impressions
They say change is the essence of life and it was time for us to embrace new experiences and do things we don’t usually do! We were headed to Coorg and to spruce things up a bit, we decided to find an accommodation that generally doesn’t fit into our kind of travel. Coorg has always been a romanticized destination with its elegant planter’s homes, stunning estates, and abundance of natural beauty. And the crowded yet alluring hill station is best enjoyed in quaint homestays located in absolute seclusion or luxury resorts with breathtaking views. But as an experiment, we decided to be different this time and booked our a Coorg tour with Evergreen County Coorg.
The first look will not have you falling in head over heels with it. The resort prioritizes functionality over form as everything here is built for a reason. For those looking for luxuries, this isn’t the place for you. But if you are looking for all basic creature comforts, then this is a good place to spend a weekend. What works for Evergreen County is not the infrastructure but its softer elements like the vibes of the place, the service and the overall experience it delivers.
Evergreen County Coorg is located 240 kms from Bangalore and just 40 kms from Madikeri town. The drive from Bangalore is very relaxing provided you leave early in the morning and avoid the rush hour towards Mysore. The resorts is located in the tiny village of Nangala, 3 kms from the Virajpet highway. The stretch is a bit patchy but you should get to the property without much trouble.
As we approached the main entrance, what welcomed us was a sight of 10-15 middle-aged people running around throwing water balloons at each other. And the first thought that came to us was, “There goes a peaceful weekend.” Evergreen County Coorg is an immensely popular corporate getaway location and perfect for those looking to spend a weekend full of adventures and activities. Weekends are generally a busy affair for them as corporates and large families embark upon the resort looking to indulge in fun games.
Bajan, the owner of Evergreen County Coorg was at the reception waiting to check us in. The paperwork started and our eyes wandered towards the corporates running around like kids solving puzzles to win a treasure hunt. At first, the crowd seemed to bother us but just in a few moments, the energy got to us. Looking at them having a good time, laughing, our spirits soared and we started enjoying passive fun!
As Bajan escorted us into the room, we glanced around the property. There were a lot of activities there – Zip lining, treasure hunt, balloon fights, karaoke, boating, swimming, jumaring, indoor games and many outdoor sports activities as well. The resort is located amidst a large coffee estate with cottages spread around the property and even with the large groups around, we didn’t seem to feel their presence near the cottage. The cottages are constructed with all-natural elements, made by the locals of Coorg using material from their plantations. For those, who like staying in eco camps or rustic elements, this is a great place to enjoy the simple yet comfortable setting. The room inside the cottage is quite large and we had an attic with a small sit out as well. We were told that it could accommodate around 10 people!
Over the next two days, we stayed busy with activities as we tried air gun shooting, camping, night plantation walks, and a few indoor games. But our favorite was the night plantation walk. Around 9pm, Bajan took us into a small forest-like area location inside their plantation. The lantern-lit landscape looked even more beautiful at night with shimmering stars and towering trees. As we trotted into the vegetation, Bajan educated us about the flora and fauna and a little bit about the history of the property. Now I won’t share more details but you must try the night walk as there are certain elements to it which you’ll love!
The next activity we decided to try was their camping experience in paddy fields located opposite the plantation. And this turned out to be a great decision. After spending the day enjoying activities in the retreat, we headed to the campsite and pitched our tents. The setting sun cast shades of dark orange and crimson in the sky and watching it go down while pitching our tents was a sublime experience. We were the only ones camping, so a bonfire was set up right outside our tent.
The Food at Evergreen County Coorg
And this is when things got even better. As a surprise, Bajan had arranged for us to try grilled pork made with local spices. Along with this, was a large helping of tandoori chicken! With the tandoori chicken lapped up in minutes, we turned out attention to the pork. The staff took raw pieces of pork and put them on skewers directly over the fire. It surprised us that they hadn’t marinated the pieces. In a few minutes, the pieces started cooking, giving off a heavenly aroma as oil started dripping from the pork. It was cooking. 20 minutes later, the cooked pieces were taken off the skewers and mixed with bird’s eye chili, salt and a pinch of salt. Nothing had tasted better than that! The juicy pork melted in our mouth as we experienced an explosion of flavors in our mouth. It was a carnival for our taste buds and we thanked the staff for that simple, yet unbelievable dish!
Food is an essential part of any travel experience and Evergreen County Coorg trumps when it comes to serving delicious food. Every meal we had, was something we had eaten before. Yet the way it was prepared felt like we were eating something different. The buffet spread is elaborate enough to keep you interested and has enough for both veggies and non-veggies. What we loved the most was the grilled pork, akki roti, tandoori chicken, idlis, sambar, chutney and fish gravy cooked by Bajan’s mom! No Coorg tour is complete without you tasting the famous pork, pepper and coffee of the region!
Evergreen Country Coorg wasn’t our typical choice for a weekend retreat but the everlasting impression it has created will keep us going back to them! And the next time we do, we’ll take a few of our friends along as we really want to experience every single activity there!
Best places to visit in Coorg
Located in the lush green environs of Coorg, is one of the most popular sites of the region, Abbey Falls. The waterfall is located in rugged terrain and drops from a height of almost 70 feet. To get to the falls, you will have to walk around 200 steps from the main entrance, through coffee, pepper and cardamom estates.
This is an immensely popular destination and often quite crowded during the weekends. It is the origin of the Cauvery river located in the Brahmagiri Hill range near Bhagamandala. On Cauvery changrandi, thousands of people visit the stream to witness the rise of the spring’s fountainhead, when the river water gushes up. From there, you can climb 400 steps to a hillock that provides panoramic views of the surrounding regions.
This monastery is the largest teaching center of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in the world and also is one of the largest Tibetan settlements in the world. The monastery is located in Bylacuppe village which is 40 kms from Madikeri town. It is called the Golden Temple due to the golden work that adorns the gompas and the paintings found everywhere in the monastery.
For adventure seekers and off-road enthusiasts, there is an excellent track located in Mandalpatti hills. To reach the hills, you will need to travel at least an hour from Madikeri town. From the main entrance of Mandalpatti, you will either need to travel on motorcycles or in an off-road capable vehicle to reach the viewpoint. If you don’t have a vehicle, you can hire a jeep from Madikeri to visit the hill.
Nagarhole National Park
It is estimated that this national park houses the maximum population of leopards in India and a safari here can bring you close to these elusive cats. The reserve is home to several species of tigers, jackals, elephants, panthers, gaur, sambhar deer, and spotted deer. The place is a paradise for nature lovers and those seeking solitude. For stay options, you can look up resorts in Kabini.
Built in the 17th century, this mud fort was commissioned by the ruler Muddu Raja, who then declared Madikeri as the capital of the Coorg region. The fort is located in the center of the town and is an important part of Kodava heritage. Presently, the Madikeri Fort houses the office of Madikeri’s Deputy Commissioner, as well as other objects of interest to the visitors.
Best time to plan a Coorg tour
Thanks to its location in the Western Ghats, Coorg doesn’t experience any extreme weather all throughout the year. The temperatures range from 15 degrees to 30 degrees for the most part of the year and that’s why Coorg is a year-round destination.
However, if you are looking to enjoy outdoor activities, October to May is the best time to go there as during the rains you won’t be able to venture out much. The monsoons last from June to September and there are chances of heavy rainfall. However, the beauty of Coorg is certainly enhanced during this period!
How to reach Coorg
By Air :
The nearest airport to Coorg lies at Mangalore, about 135 km away. The second nearest airport is in Bangalore about 250 km from Coorg.
By Rail :
The nearest railway station from Coorg is at Mysore, about 120 km away. Mysore is well connected to major cities in India by an extensive rail network. The rail stations in Mangalore and Hassan can also be conveniently used for reaching Coorg.
By Road :
Coorg is well connected by road with all major cities in Karnataka. Cities like Mysore (120 km), Mangalore (135 km), Bangalore (260 km), and Hassan (115 km) are linked by excellent roadways with Coorg.