Coorg or Kodagu (originally called Kodaimalenadu) means 'dense forest on a steep hill'. It was referred to as the Scotland of India during the British rein of India due to its weather and terrain.
Receiving an annual rainfall of 160 inches & average temperatures ranging between 11 to 28 degrees the area is dominated by coffee plantation varieties of Arabica & Robusta, distinguishable by the size of their leaves and flowers
The natives of Coorg are traditionally called the Kodavas, the Kodava people are tall, fair skinned people. Every family has at least one person serving in the armed forces even today. Besides the mandatory dagger, every Kodava family also owns a pistol and they are exempt from the Indian Arms Act.
One explanation of the origin of the Kodavas traces their ancestry to the Arabs. This is because the traditional costume worn by the men of Coorg, the long black coat or kuppia, bears a striking resemblance to the kuffia worn by Arabs. Another story credits the Greek mercenaries, who came to India with Alexander the Great, with having founded the racewith coffee plantation as the main occupation.
The main river in Kodagu is the Kaveri (Cauvery), which originates at Talakaveri, located on the eastern side of the Western Ghats, and with its tributaries, drains the greater part of Kodagu.
Kodagu is well known in the world for coffee and its "brave warriors", like Field Marshal K. M. Cariappa the first Indian Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army, he led the Indian forces on the Western Front during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1947.
Coorg still retains the old world charm thanks to the huge coffee estates ranging from a few acres to thousands of acres, this has kept commercialization at a constant check.
Places of interest
Abbey Falls is 8 kms away from Madekiri. This is a much visited spot in Coorg and a preferred destination for picnic. Abbey falls is located inside a private coffee plantation. So apart from the waterfall one can also visit the coffee and cardamom plantations around.
The gushing water from a rocky ravine produces a heavy sound that can be heard from a distance. The waterfall is at its best during the rainy season when there is lot of water in the fall.
Iruppu Fall is located 50 kms from Madekiri. The water falls from a height of 170 ft. The waterfall originates from the peak of Brahmgiri and the water merges with the Lakshmana Teertha River in the plains.
Raja's Seat (Seat of the King) is a seasonal garden of flowers and artificial fountains. It is one of the most important tourist spots in Coorg District. A pleasant spectacle of refreshing layers of greenery, chain of high and low-rise-mountains attired with mist, the Raja Garden is one-time-favourites of Kings of Kodagu who used to watch the setting sun, and spend time with their queens here. The structure is small square in brick and mortar of four pillars bridged by arches, enhanced by beautiful surroundings. It is built on a high level ground with a commanding view of the cliffs and valleys to the west. Early in the morning as the sun is just rising in the east, the mist shrouded valley below offers a rare sight. There is also an attraction of the Toy Train for children.
Talakaveri is the place that is generally considered to be the source of the river Kaveri. It is located by Brahmagiri hill near Bhagamandala. However, there is not a permanent visible flow from this place to the main rivercourse except during the rainy season.
Nagarhole National Park, also known as "Rajiv Gandhi National Park", is a national park.
This park was declared the thirty seventh Project Tiger tiger reserve in 1999. It is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The Western Ghats Nilgiri Sub-Cluster of 6,000 km2 (2,300 sq mi), including all of Nagarhole National Park, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.
Dubare is known for its elephant camp, and is a forest camp on the banks of the river Kaveri. It is an important base for the Karnataka Forest Department's elephants.
The elephants for the Mysore Dussehra were trained at Dubare elephant, At present, after logging operations have ceased, the elephants have been practically retired except for giving some rides to tourists.
In addition to elephant training camp, Nisargadhama and Veerabhoomi are the other main attractions of the forest area.
The Forest Department also conducts some treks along well-defined routes.