The property was brand new and not yet opened to the public. Nonetheless, we contacted them and they agreed to host us for 3 nights. Tusker Trail Coorg is a boutique homestay located just before Madikeri town and inside a 100-acre coffee plantation. When you think of staying in Coorg, always book a stay inside a plantation.
The drive to Madikeri from Bangalore
At the time of our road trip in December 2020, the Bangalore-Mysore road was undergoing construction so do expect to face many deviations. Due to flyover work in the towns, traffic movement will slow down and you can expect traffic roadblocks during the weekends. We would recommend you to leave early morning from Bangalore to avoid the weekend rush. Otherwise, the drive to Coorg can take up to 6-7 hours in heavy traffic.
However, there is an alternative route as well. You can take the Bangalore-Mangalore highway (NH-75) till CR Patna and then head towards Holenarasipur-Arakalagud-Kushalnagar before you reach Madikeri. Even though this route is 20 km longer than the Mysore route, it can get you to Madikeri faster. And without much traffic. The roads are fantastic but you might get some broken tarmac from Holenarasipur till Kushalnagar. The google maps location for Tusker Trail Coorg should get you to the homestay without any hiccups.
The rooms at Tusker Trail Coorg
There are two buildings in the homestay – one independent structure with 3 rooms and the lounge area and another building with 2 rooms is the kitchen with dining space. We got our room booked in the independent building since there weren’t any other guests there.
Even though this is a homestay, the rooms are as good as the ones in luxury resorts! The bedroom is quite spacious and comes with a sit-out as well. Comfy beds, lots of charging points – but the highlight is the complimentary Netflix connection and high-speed internet! The facilities here are suited to corporates looking to work from exotic locations with uninterrupted connectivity.
Tusker Trail Coorg Cuisine
Traveling to Coorg often involves indulging in local delicacies of which the Pork preparations are the most popular. However, this time around we decided not to have the cliched cuisine and go for something more local. Or dishes that the chef was adept at making.
Chef Nadeem at Tusker Trail Coorg worked for quite some time in a few restaurants in Bangalore so we knew he would treat us to yummy food. His ghee rice, daal, Cowpea sabzi, mutton curry, and kebabs are a must-have. His cooking consists of simple yet tasty local delicacies that hardly have oil or masalas and is easy on the stomach.
The main building houses 2 rooms, the kitchen, dining area and is located right next to the other rooms. Go for the local breakfast items like dosas, idlis, Pongal, etc to enjoy the best of the chef’s talent.
Things to do at Tusker Trail Coorg
Hands down this is the most exciting thing to do in Tusker Trail Coorg. Slip on your helmet, get on the ATV, and ride through the gorgeous coffee plantation every single day you stay there. The estates have numerous narrow off-road trails that are perfect for an ATV ride and you can go deep into the plantation, near the watering holes. The ATV isn’t very powerful or revvy so even if you are an amateur, it’s safe to ride it.
If you are looking for something less adventurous, then walk through the plantations in the mornings or the evening. During the coffee season, you will be able to observe the workers plucking the ripe coffee beans from the bushes and photograph the many birds on the plantation.
Phew, this is a long list. Tusker Trail Coorg has a massive entertainment zone on the first floor with many options for indoor games. They have carrom, chess, board games, card games, Table Tennis, UNO, and a lounge area with a big-screen TV and complimentary Netflix subscription. They also have a poker table and if you have a group with you, then it’s the funnest game to play!
All though we didn’t get to try this, Tusker Trail Coorg does offer tractor rides to its guests. The ride will take you inside the plantation and it’s a fun way to explore the natural surroundings of the plantation.
Netflix Binge Watching
Now we need to mention this separately, as we haven’t seen anyone offering this service. Not even the luxury resorts offer paid or complimentary Netflix services. Tusker Trail Coorg is a great spot for workcations as part of their offering Netflix is available in all rooms and the lounge on the first floor. With high-speed internet connectivity, you should be able to work from here and binge-watch your favorite Netflix shows.
Verdict - Should you stay at Tusker Trail Coorg?
If you want the authentic experience of staying in a homestay and indulging in local delicacies along with the views of coffee plantations, then Tusker Trail Coorg is a great choice. With 3 rooms in the independent bungalow and 2 more in the main bungalow, it makes a perfect weekend spot for families and big groups. There is enough privacy, comfort, and things to do on offer for most travelers.
If you are still riding the trend of workcations, then Tusker Trail Coorg has multiple 60 Mbps connections, high-speed wi-fi, desks and chairs in the rooms, lounge area, 24/7 power backup, and an unlimited supply of tasty beverages. Set right next to the Madikeri highway, the homestay offers all creature comforts you’d require on your holiday.
Coorg is the former name of Kodagu, a district in the state of Karnataka. Prior to 1956, it was an independent state but was merged into the state of Mysore soon after. The locals are known as Kodavas and are traditionally land-owning agriculturists with martial customs. It is interesting to note that the Kodavas are the only people in India permitted to carry firearms without a license!!
Coorg is now a popular tourist getaway destination that is dotted with massive coffee and spice plantations, the Western Ghats, and beautiful homestays in scenic settings. The most popular part of Coorg is the Madikeri town that sees the most amount of tourist footfalls owing to the numerous accommodation options available there. If you like visiting tourist spots, then book a stay close to Madikeri. However, if you want to avoid the crowds, we would recommend you book a stay in locations like Kutta, Brahmagiri, Somwarpet, Suntikoppa, and Nagarhole National Park.
For many decades Coorg was quite inaccessible – a landlocked hilly region, making it almost essential for the locals to make the best use of local ingredients and spices, that spawned a cuisine like no other. Coorgi food is rich in flavors and the usage of local spices makes it even more appealing. Some of the must-have dishes in Coorg are Coorg Pandi (Pork) Curry, Kadambuttu, Baimbale curry, Akki Roti, Koli Curry, Kummu Curry, Maange Curry etc.
Places to visit near Tusker Trail 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.
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’s heritage. Presently, the Madikeri Fort houses the office of Madikeri’s Deputy Commissioner, as well as other objects of interest to the visitors.
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.
Best time to visit Coorg
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 monsoons 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!