Coorg is adorned with the stunning greenery of the coffee plantations that seem nothing less than resplendent. The lovely waterfalls, undiluted landscapes, forts and temples reflecting the rich past and the assortment of fauna and flora has a lot to offer to the visitors of Coorg. The misty mountains of this place exude an alluring charm that people seek out. The historical buildings represent the royal magnificence that once adorned the region. The age-old centres of faith and divinity attract individuals who seek spiritual indulgence. There is something for everything in this quaint hilly town. Here is a list of 20 places to visit in Coorg with some prime attractions and other a bit offbeat. Feel free to select your preferred places to visit in Coorg from this list.
Please note, this list includes more of religious, spritual and historical attractions. I have also included some viewpoints and landscapes in this list. But, if you are looking for experience based indulgence, you can visit my other blog post: Experience in Coorg to indulge in.
- Visit the Golden Temple of the South
The Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery situated in Bylakuppe is regarded as one of the top ten Buddhist monasteries of India which is home to over 5000 monks. You can calm your mind amidst the enormous gold-coated idols of Buddha in this serene environment. Do visit the handicraft shops selling costumes, artifacts, and shawls dotting the monastery. Although the temple does not seem to be vast from the outside, it is quite spacious within. The temple complex houses three statues of Lord Buddha which are 40 feet in height and are referred to as Padmasambhava, Amitayus and Buddha. People are permitted to burn incense sticks by remaining seated on carpets covering the marble floor – this enhances the spiritual environment in the temple. The walls of the temples feature paintings that depict the phases of the life of Buddha. Some paintings as well feature the demons and gods described in Tibetan culture. The temple comprise of horns, sacred texts, trumpets, drums, player flags, prayer wheels, prayer beads, bells and incense stick. All these combine to offer an enchanting environment to the visitors. If you appreciate great architectural marval with a flavor of spirituality, this attraction should definitely be on your list of places to visit in Coorg and around.
- Omkareshwara Temple
This majestic temple was constructed during the year 1820. The architectural design reflects styles that were prominent during the Muhammadan period. The corners of the temple are flanked by turrets and the central structure is dominated by a dome. The temple is devoted to the Hindu god, Lord Shiva, and was built by Lingarajendra II. The temple incorporates both Islamic and gothic styles; the temple appears like a Muslim Dargah. As per a legend, there is an interesting story behind the construction of this temple. The king killed a Brahmin and built this temple for consoling the spirit of the Brahmin. A linga was installed in the temple for banishing the spirit and was brought specially from Kashi. You can read the copper plate installed at the front of the temple for knowing more about the history of the temple as it carries the chronological history of the temple. The Shivalinga is worshiped in the temple fervently. This temple is a good addition in the recommended places to visit in Coorg.
- Witness the magnificence of the temples of Talacauvery
The temples of Talacauvery are present in Bhagamandala. There are several sites of heritage and culture in the region. Talacauvery is situated at 1,200 meters above the sea level and offers panoramic scenery of its surroundings. It is quite popular amongst the locals and tourists alike. The temples of Talacauvery are most frequented in Coorg as they belong to the glorious era when Coorg was ruled by the kings. Pilgrims take a dip in the holy river as it is believed that the river here possesses mystical powers. Taking a dip in this holy water helps one in getting rid of physical and mental afflictions. The Triveni Sangam is as well located at Bhagamandala. This is the place of confluence of three rivers; talacauvery is the starting point of river Cauvery. The locals pray to Cauveramma who is believed to possess healing powers. Get a taste of this temple by adding this to the places to visit in Coorg.
- Madikeri Fort
The Madikeri Fort was restructured by Tipu Sultan during the 17th century. The fort was augmented with granite during the second reconstruction. It is situated on top of a hill. It has been administered by prominent administrators and kings throughout its illustrious history. The palace within the fort has been built employing European architecture. The palace houses clandestine underground routes and is one of the intriguing places in Coorg. Visiting this palace offers the feeling as if you are visiting a European palace. The entrance is flanked by horse statues. This fort can be a good addition to the places to visit in Coorg.
The tomb of Raja Gaddige is a massive historical structure which has been built in Indo-Sarcenic style. This site is immensely popular with history buffs who love visiting places with historical connotations. The Gaddige tomb houses the remains of the royal members of the region. There are tombs of well-known historical personalities; some of them are Tipu Sultan’s warrior Biddanda Bopu, priest Rudrappa and Lingarajendra. These tombs are administered and protected by the Karnataka Ancient and Historical Monuments law. The tombs are reminiscences of the Mohammedan style of architecture. The area around the structure is verdant and vast and outdoor sporting activities are conducted in some open fields. An interesting observation made is that though the kings were Hindus, their tombs have been built in Muhammadan style. If you are a fan of historical artifacts, you should definitely include this on your list of places to visit in India.
- Shri Shringeri Shankar Math
Coorg is not just about lush green forests and misty hills. It invokes a sense of relaxation and peace in the minds of its visitors. Visit the Shri Shringeri Shankar Math if you wish to experience more peace and serenity. The math is a temple complex that is located in Siddapur. It houses three main deities: Lord Ganesha, Shri Sharadamba and Sri Shankara. There is a temple dedicated to all the three deities within this math. There is as well a school and library present within the Shankar math. Do not forget to visit the gardens within the math after your prayers. Visiting Narasimha Vana and Sharada Vana will have a soothing effect on your mind. It will help you feel relaxed once you are done with your prayers. You can attend a conference, workshop or seminar if you are lucky to come across one during your visit. For spiritual indulgence, this is a good option to include in places to visit in Coorg.
- Veerabhoomi Tourist Village
This village is based on a historical theme and is spread over 12 acres of land. This village is lined with bullock carts, canvas tents and concrete cannons. A visit to this place offers the experience of visiting a medieval war camp. The visitors can stay at well-furnished cottages in this place which have been named after Karnataka’s dynasties: Ganga, Haleri, Kadamba, Rashtrakuta, Vijaynagar, Hoysala, Chalukya, Bijapur and Mysore. This place boasts an indoor pool and offers ample of outdoor and indoor activities for the visitors to indulge in. A troupe of folk dancers and other artists entertain the visitors at dusk. If rural indulgence attracts you, including this in your places to visit in Coorg is recommended
The landscape surrounding Bylakuppe is speckled with stupas, monasteries, prayers and flags. Several monasteries of Vajrayana, Yellow-Hat Gelugpa, Nyingmapa, Kagyu and Sakya Buddhism sects adorn this region. The Namdroling Monastery is also nestled in this region. Carloads of families holidaying in this region during weekends flock to witness the magnificence of the Golden temple and the 40 feet statues of the deities within. The best time to visit this place is during the festivals. This is when the main courtyard transforms into an open stage for masked dancers who twirl in their colorful costumes over the sounds of the gongs. The best view is offered by the most picturesque monastery, Kagyu as it is located on an elevation. Large concentrations of Buddhists can be found in the region of Bylakuppe. The region has impressive monasteries and the teachings of Buddhism can be learned from these monasteries. The region offers you a feeling of being in Sikkim. Plenty of multi-coloured Tibetan flags can be noted adorning this region, hence it would not be hard to experience Tibetan settings in the region. There are several restaurants around the Golden Temple that serve delicious Tibetan cuisine. There are numerous shops that sell Tibetan items in the region. All the above-mentioned factors make visiting Bylakuppe a delightful experience. A bit far from Coorg, a quick road trip here will make your list of places to visit in Coorg a good one.
To read my detailed experience about Bylakuppe, the monasteries here and Tibetian colony, read my other blog post: Bylakuppe – A Quaint Town in Karnataka near Coorg
This is a small town located in between Madikeri and Kushalnagar. This region is famous for its grand celebration of Ayudha Puja which is a Hindu festival. The annual dance competition which is referred to as the Dance Mela is another prime attraction of this place. The region is famous for its football fad and this is the reason why it has been nicknamed as the Kolkata of Coorg. A lot of football teams from India visit this place for participating in the annual D Shivappa Memorial Football Gold Cup Tournament. The tournament is held during the month of April and is usually held at the football club or the Government School Sports Ground. There are a lot of tourist spots around Suntikoppa with Hattihole and Hardoor Bridge being some of the popular tourist spots in this region. To indulge in some celebrations and experiences, you can visit here by including it in your preferred places to visit in Coorg.
- Fort St. Angelo
This fort was built by the first Portuguese, Viceroy Dom Francisco De Almeida during the year 1505. This fort is located in Kannur town and is popularly referred to as the Kannur Fort. The fort faces the Arabian Sea and lies in the Cantonment region. During the year 1663, this fort had been captured by the Dutch Rulers which was later purchased by Ali Raja of Kannur during 1663. Hollandia, Frieslandia and Zeelandia are the various attractions of this fort and were built by the Dutch rulers. The fort was renovated and ruled during the British Rule. The fort houses numerous cells and each one comprise of a single hole. This hole was used for passing food to the prisoners. This fort houses a gravestone which belongs to a Dutch Commander. The fort also has a chapel and a stable. This historical site is managed presently by the Archaeological Survey of India. To enjoy the historical indulgence, do include this in your places to visit in Coorg.
- Padi Igguthappa
Located just 40 kilometers from Coorg, this is a famous temple which was built by Linga Rajendra during the year 1810 and is located in Kakkabe. This temple is situated on the hammock and has a long stretch of steep stairs connecting the base to the main temple. This temple is adorned with balpeetha on the ceiling and the entrance ground. Panipeetha houses the idol of Lord Igguthappa. A special procession of the deity is held after Holi each year. The best time to visit this temple is during the festival of Kaliyarchi. Another recommended inclusion in places to visit in Coorg if you appreciate temples and it’s aura.
- Nalknad Palace
This palace is located in the foothills of Tadiyandamol Hills which is the highest peak situated in Madikeri. This palace was built during 1792 by Dodda Virarajendra. This palace originally belonged to Lingaraja, a Hindu King. This double storied palace was used by the Kodava Kings as a hunting lodge. The palace features intricate wood carvings, crested dome, pillared façade and low slung conical roof. It would not be wrong to describe this palace as an architectural wonder. The courtyard is adorned with statues of four bulls and the entire palace features mesmerizing ancient paintings. This palace can be reached through cabs, jeeps and buses from Virajpet in Coorg and Madikeri. You need to include this attraction in your places to visit in Coorg if you wish to be teleported back in history.
- The Clock Tower
This is located in the Virajpet town, The Clock Tower is another attraction of Coorg. It was built during the time of King George V’s visit to India and was built by Mukkatira Aiyyappa. The foundation stone to this tower was laid on 5th February 1914 by Sir Huch Daly, the then Chief Commissioner of Coorg during the period. The tower serves as a major landmark of the town. I wouldn’t recommend traveling to Virajet just for this attraction. But, if you are passing through Virajpet, do keep an eye out for the clock tower as it is one of the recommended places to visit in Coorg especially in the Virajpet area.
- Nehru Mantap
This region serves as a picnic spot and is situated near Raja’s seat and oversees the Madikeri Radio Station. It offers the viewpoint of the entire town of Madikeri. Tourists flock to this place for viewing the splendid sunrise and sunset which can be savored from the Mantap. For the alluring views at sunset, include this in your places to visit in Coorg.
- Anne’s Church
This church was built during the year 1792 and has been constructed in Gothic architectural style. This was the year in which the town of Virajpet was founded by Raja Veerarajendra Wodeyar. Father Gullivan constructed this church which was completely destroyed during 1811. This was again rebuilt during 1868 and features a copper roof. The interiors have mesmerizing statutes mentioned in the Holy Bible. There is a 180 feet high steeple in this church which looks like a candle. A quick visit here would be recommended if you are passing through Virajpet. There is no need to include this church in your places to visit in Coorg if you are not passing through Virajpet. I am not sure it would be worth traveling for just this one attraction.
- Dargah Sharif of Yemmemadu
This is the holy tomb of Sayyed Hassan Sakaf Halramir and Hazrath Sufi Shaeed. This tomb is one of the sacred shrines of the Muslims located in the Coorg district. Urs are organized for 8 days every year in the remembrance of these saints. This shrine is visited by lakhs of devotees from Kerala and Karnataka during Urs. On the last day, food is served to all the devotees visiting this shrine. Separate arrangements are made for women as they are denied entry into the Dargah. This dargah can be accessed by government buses and tour taxis from Madikeri. This attraction is a good addition to places to visit in Coorg if you have religious preferences in attractions.
Situated on River Kaveri, Bhagamandala is a pilgrimage place for the Hindus. This place is popularly referred to as the Triveni Sangam as it is located on the banks of three rivers: Sujyoti, Kannike and Cauvery. The temple complex houses a region called the Bhagandeshwara Kshetra which houses temples of Hindu deities Ganapati, Mahavishnu, Subramanian and Bhagandeshwara. The pilgrims take a dip in the holy water and perform rituals for their ancestors before proceeding to visit the temple of Talacauvery. Pilgrims visit this place in large groups during October on the occasion of Tula Sankramana. If you are visiting Coorg during the time of Tula Sankramana, you should include this temple in your places to visit in Coorg in order to indulge in the celebrations.
- The Gundert Bungalow
This bungalow is located 100 kilometers from Coorg and served as a residence of the renowned German missionary and scholar Dr. Herman Gundert. This is also the place where the first newspaper in Malayalam language was published. This building is built in the shape of a watchtower and is known for its mesmerizing architectural work. This building was as well used by the Judicial Magistrate Thomas. For its architectural marvel, I am including this in the places to visit in Coorg.
This popular hill offers mesmerizing views of the nearby regions. You must visit this hill for witnessing the breath-taking view of the rising sun. It is the highest peak in Coorg and is covered with lush green dense forests. This place is ideal for bird watching and for indulging in nature walks. This place is adored by photography lovers and trekking enthusiasts. This hill offers a glimpse of the majestic Arabian Sea. The Nalknad Palace is situated at the base of this hill and serves as a camping spot for the trekkers visiting this hill. The best time to visit this place is just after the rainy season, which is from October to February. This is because the beauty of the surroundings is enhanced due to rains. If you are a nature lover, you should definitely include this on your list of places to visit in Coorg.
This town is located to the north-east of the district of Kodagu. The major attraction of the town is the Beelur Golf Club which is the oldest one in the region. Visitors flock the Malemalleshwara Betta during Maha Shivaratri when a grand celebration is organized in the town. Kotebetta can be visited while in the town which is the third highest peak in Kodagu District.
If you have been to Coorg and have suggestions for me to add to this list, do let me know. If you are planning a trip to Coorg, do let me know if I can be of any help. Feel free to share this list with your friends and family.