Coorg also known as Kodagu is the southern district of Karnataka, bordering Kerala towards the west. The Western Ghat mountain range runs through the district. It is 4102.3 sq kms in area with a population roughly around 5.5 lakhs. This makes it one of the least populated districts in the state of Karnataka. The district capital of Coorg is Madikeri or as was known earlier –Mercara. The topography of Coorg is enchanting hills and lush verdant valleys with coffee, pepper and cardamom plantations covering the hills. Coorg has plenty of cascading waterfalls, which can be seen in their glory during the abundant monsoon. There are plenty of rivers and rivulets, which make the district rich in vegetation and beauty.
This is birthplace of the mighty river Cauvery, which begins her 760kms sojourn towards the southeast of the country into the Bay of Bengal. The Nagarahole national park is the home of the elephants, the gaur or the Indian bison, the tigers, panthers and the chital deer. The natives of Coorg are known as Kodavas or Coorgs.
Coorg was christened the 'Scotland of India' by the then British who were the ones to introduce coffee in the region and for the partial resemblence it has to the English countryside. Every season in Coorg is a unique experience. Misty mornings at the start of the day, crimson sunsets towards the end of the day with hues of colors splashed leaving one spell bounded. Not to forget the clear nights where twinkling stars have their own story to tell. Coorg is a place whether its cool summer, wet monsoon or the chilly winter makes one feel serene and fulfilled.
Summer is from February to May with temperatures hovering around 21º C to 32º C. Monsoon sets in from the month of June lasting up till the end of September with average rainfall of around 270 cm depending on the place. Winter is from November to January with temperature around 19º C but during the night can go down to 7º C. The altitude of Coorg is around 1200ft-3000ft above sea level.
The Coorgs are famous for their scrumptious cuisine especially their pandi kari (pork curry) and kadumputte (steamed rice dumplings), the mouth watering spicy kolicurry (chicken curry) and nuleputte (threaded rice dumplings) keeps one asking for more. The other cuisines are best kept as secrets for they are bound to add the element of surprise to your palate. And not to forget rich aroma of homegrown coffee.
Last but not the least people of this land of chivalry and pride are known for their warm hospitality.
Festivals of Coorg
The traditional festivals of Coorg are associated with either the agricultural or the military nature of its people.
- Keilpoldu/ Keilmurta (September) - Keilpoldu, or the festival of arms, is the day when all the weapons and arms are removed, polished, worshipped and taken up once again, since the agricultural season is over and people have time for fun and games. The occasion is marked by festivities that include a great feast followed by a gathering in the village for sports and games. Races are conducted and competitions of marksmanship held.
- Kaveri Sankaramana (October) - This festival is a celebration of the River Kaveri, the lifeline of the Kodavas. It is believed that on this auspicious day, at a predetermined time, Kaveri springs like a fountain in a small tank in Talacauvery, fills a bigger holy tank, grows from a trickle to a torrent and flows down the hills to the plains. People throng to Talacauvery on this holy day take a dip in the tank.
- Puthari also called Huthari (November/December) - This is the traditional harvest festival of Kodagu and famous for the folk songs and dances that are displayed. Each village puts on show the best of its sportsmanship and dances, and annual fairs are held at the temples.