8 Peaceful Experiences In Coorg For Some Of Life’s Purest Pleasures

A visit to Coorg—charmingly christened the ʻCoffee Cup of Indiaʼ—compels you to get up close with nature. Try these eight experiences to relish the aromatic flavours of this verdant destination.


As I sipped coconut water at a countryside shack, my chauffeur recommended I make any calls I may need to as the cell phone network would weaken the further we drove into the lush forests of Karnataka. We were on our way to Coorg from Kannur International Airport in Kerala—all set to be stimulated by the pleasures of coffee. And he was right. The closer we got to our plantation-resort, my phone stopped beeping with notifications. I knew then: the next few days would be all about uninterrupted delights in the heart of nature. With much to see and savour here, I picked my top favourite activities to make the most of the outdoors in Coorg.

Make coffee from scratch

A scenic sunrise coffee session at a plantation-resort.

When in coffee country, it’s only befitting you learn to make your own cuppa. Most plantations offer coffee workshops and ‘bean to cup’ sessions, which includes insights about the two main varieties of coffee plants—Arabica (a delicate-flavoured, premium variant growing at altitudes higher than 1,200 metres above sea level) and Robusta (a slightly bitter-tasting, smaller-berried variant that grows between 900 to 1,200 metres above sea level). You will probably even get the chance to roast and crush the beans yourself in a vintage, manual grinder. And as you sip the delicious result of your hard work, gain fresh insights as you learn about the harvesting process from an expert. The region’s climate, soil, and vegetation also add their distinct flavour to the crop. An experience like this is guaranteed to give you a newfound appreciation for your delicious morning brew!

Embark on an immersive botanical tour

A duo takes a walk through the dense
foliage and diverse ecosystem of Coorg.

Imagine walking amongst fragrant coffee bushes through meandering pathways, leisurely picking a bean or two along the way. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? That’s exactly what you will be able to revel in here. And if you love your spices, this little paradise will offer you everything from fresh black pepper to cardamom, vanilla, and cinnamon. A tour with a naturalist will also reveal the region’s amazing biodiversity, including how native trees like the Indian coral, white dammar, bishop wood, and pink cedar are a rich source of manure for the plantations. The indigenous trees also lend a unique flavour to the coffee produced here. These nature trails will ensure you return home with a
green thumb!

Indulge in an authentic wellness experience

A woman enjoys a relaxing Ayurveda spa treatment.

No visit to Coorg is complete without enjoying the region’s own unique set of Ayurvedic offerings. Local, medicinal plants are often incorporated in the treatments available here—for instance, eucalyptus (not indigenous but found abundantly in Coorg) is frequently added to massage oils to ease joint pains. Similarly, local herbs like blue snake weed, kokum (local mangosteen), and dhavanam (aromatic herb colloquially known as gali soppu) are known to address issues like cold, cough, fever, and body aches. Also, there’s something to be said for a blissful spa session amidst the sights and sounds of the forest—a bucket list-worthy experience to be enjoyed at least
once in life!

Sample the absolutely scrumptious local cuisine

Delicious Coorgi pandi (pork) curry prepared with local spices.

The abundant variety of native spices have played a substantial role in shaping Kodava fare that largely relies on traditional cooking methods and local produce. Non-vegetarian curry preparations of chicken, mutton, and the iconic pandi or pork curry dominate menus here. There are ample options for vegetarians, as well, with lip-smacking dishes made with ingredients like bamboo shoot, pumpkin, jackfruit, and local mushrooms, known as kummu. These flavourful curries are typically paired with a variety of rice flour-based flatbreads like neer dosa and akki roti or the local sannakki variety of rice. Dive into this melange of tastes with an array of chutneys that are served with almost every meal!

Explore celestial wonders

Even an ordinary night under twinkling skies is magical. Add to that some ‘heavenly’ arrangements up above and you have yourself a downright celestial experience! For instance, have you ever seen Saturn’s rings or the moons of Jupiter? Or taken a closer look at craters on Earth’s moon? Well, now you may be able to tick off these items on your must-see list in Coorg, considering it’s a hub for a session of star gazing in South India. The season from December to April is best suited for this activity, and you’re likely to spot several planets along with constellations like Orion and Taurus and stars like Sirius. Just settle into the tranquil surroundings and absorb the exquisiteness of the night sky while being bewitched by its beauty.

Set an early alarm for a trek and yoga session

The lush landscape of a coffee plantation against a cloudy sky
creates a dreamy ambience in Coorg.

The lush coffee estates of Coorg offer a sensorial experience best enjoyed early in the morning when a soft mist hangs over the hills and the coffee bushes are glistening with dew drops. An early start will also give you a chance to encounter some of the local wildlife, including multiple species of deer, langur, and monkeys. Birding is yet another popular activity here as the region is home to vibrant creatures like the yellow-browed bulbul, Indian white-eye, black drongo, and Malabar parakeets, among others. Following this, sign up for a yoga class—the serene surroundings and fresh air will be all the motivation you need for a super stretching session!

Sample the Kodava culture

Woman dressed in traditional Kodava
attire sets up a table of delicious treats.

Some resorts offer specialised trails to experience the local culture through a visit to a traditional Kodava home known as ainmaneeain means ‘ancestral’ and manee means ‘home’. Traditionally made of wood, they had sloping roofs and ample community spaces like verandahs and central courtyards. Some hotels also house heritage buildings once home to the original owners of the plantation. A walk into these spaces is akin to stepping back in time into a world filled with palatial homes, unique clothing, and lovely architecture.

Discover local shopping delights and finds

A young monk sells religious items
at a market in Coorg.

Buying coffee is a must while you’re at its source! It’s also a great idea to replenish your spice cabinet when in Coorg. Black pepper, cardamom, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg should be on your list. Apart from these, the area also has a tradition of making home-made wines and chocolates using the different regional fruits and spices. That’s not all: your pantry will be incomplete without
the fresh, local, organic honey. Ride the retail therapy wave further with beautiful wood and brass handicrafts made by the local tribes. Stargazing means you’ll find vintage, hand-made telescopes that are great as a keepsake in your home to remind you of all the fun you
had here!


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