I’m so sorry for making you’ll wait for this long. Just been really tied up with a lot of things. But here it is finally:
MY FIRST CULINARY TRAVEL POST.
I hope you all enjoy it! 🙂
Travel has always been a part of my plan in life. It’s just that when you’re still at college, you don’t really have that opportunity to take off when you feel like it or even go to places you dream of because technically you’re still under your parents thumb.
But this is my final year of college and I decided I have to put my footprint somewhere to begin this whole new journey of mine.
For me, food will always come first but sometimes I have to really search for that great local food and that’s where travel comes into existence.
I will travel for my food any day!
So recently during my “study holidays” (don’t ask how much studying actually happened) I decided to take a short trip over the Dussehra long weekend to the Scotland Of India- Coorg.
The first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “Coorg” is nothing but coffee. But that’s not true. There is so much more this place has to offer. From the adventurous treks to playing with elephants and of course, binging on some authentic pandi curry, this has got to be in your list of “Must-Go-To Places”
It happens to be a quiet, relaxed place just to unwind and let your hair down. The beautiful landscapes, the coffee estates, the aromas of spices, the local food and people make it such an amazing experience especially if it’s your first time here.
I was completely mesmerized by the whole experience that I started making notes of a list of things that you cannot miss out on when planning your next trip to Coorg. Hopefully this will help you’ll out, making it much easier and a whole lot of fun!
Go on a road trip
There are different modes of transport that can get you to Coorg but I honestly feel driving down in your own vehicle makes so much more sense. We drove down from Bangalore which is about a 5 hour drive excluding the many stops in between.
There are lots of great places to eat at on the way but it’s also advisable to carry heaps of sandwiches, petrol for the body and junk to keep you going.
The first stop was for breakfast at a South Indian restaurant called _______ (Don’t ask me to pronounce that, my Kannada is pathetic =P)
I had my traditional Masala Benne Dosa although I wasn’t too impressed with it. It wasn’t crisp and came in quite cold so that was very disappointing but were back on the road and kept our hunger going till Bylacuppe.
We were actually thinking of stopping by at Kushalnagar for lunch but I’m so glad we didn’t cause I ate the most authentic Tibetan cuisine I’ve ever had before in India.
Lunched at this restaurant called Tashi Restaurant and my mouth watered as the Thukpa, Momos and Shabaley came onto the table.
We landed up having lunch at past 3 I think but it was so worth the wait!
The Shabaley was the hero for me. Crisp, loved the flakiness of the puff pastry and the meat mixture was so flavourful.
On our way back to Bangalore also, we had some amazing food at a Dhaba on the highway. This is one of the reasons I simply adore road trips!
Visit the Namdroling Monastery
On your way to the beautiful district of Kodagu, you have to make a quick stop here at the Namdroling Monastery that happens to be one of India’s largest Buddhist learning centres and a home to nearly 5000 monks and nuns. You will spot out Tibetan refugee monks, their families and the golden statues of Buddha all over the monastery.
I also got the opportunity to enter the prayer hall which is suc
h a solemn place and makes you feel so enriched. There are a series of paintings you will find on it’s walls that also adds to the amazing feeling.
Stay at a Homestay
The next biggest question is WHERE TO STAY IN COORG?
Now you have a number of fancy hotels as well as hospitable people who open their homes to you, so it finally comes down to where you would be most comfortable staying. I would choose homestays any day because you get the best of everything. From the local food to the hospitality, it all comes in a little lovely package.
I stayed at one at Madapur called Eden Gardens. The person who runs it doesn’t stay there but they kept a houseboy who gave us the best holiday we could have ever asked for.
The first night, my taste buds went wild with that delicious pandi curry (typical Coorg pork curry) he had cooked along with the Paputtu (a steamed rice cake). This was totally the life I asked for!
The next morning the guy surprised me with a very creative concept of bread omelette. Never had I eaten something like this before!
Apart from stuffing my face with all the delectable fare, I loved chilling on the verandah late in the evenings, taking midnight strolls around the home stay with torches because it was pitch dark. There was just so much to do around!
Trek at Kottebetta(Fort Hill)
Now all the adventure begins…
For those of you who have never heard of this word before, it happens to be the third highest peak in Coorg that measures around 5400ft and is situated in Madapur. The trek to the top is around 12 kms and is really not an easy one so get ready to be wild.
A great tip would be to hire a jeep for that day because you don’t want your car to get damaged while being dropped off to that particular point. The experience up there was absolutely breath-taking and this has to be done when in Coorg. I also spotted the Shiva temple and a small pond which has become more for sewage unfortunately.
We ended the beautiful trek with a small little picnic as we were all ravenous by the end of it all!
Spend a few minutes at Meenkolli
Also known as the stream of fishes, this is quite a different kind of experience where you throw in bits of Parle-G biscuits into the water and these huge fish grab to eat them. It is around 2 kms from Madapur.
Check out the view at Makkalagudibetta
Located in the Takeri village, this is a view point to be seen during sunset. You can spot out the green mountains and Haragi Dam Backwaters.
Lost in the estates!
While walking up here, we passed by the gorgeous coffee plantations on either side of the road and learnt so much about the whole process.
Dubare Elephant Camp
This was the most exciting experience of my whole trip to Coorg. I’m not really an animal lover but had so much fun bathing, feeding and then riding on the elephants.
We were taken on a boat to the other side of the camp where we could do all of this. It’s amazing how well trained these elephants are but something that really put me off was the whole show they put up for us. I felt that this was animal torture but it anyways seemed to gather the attention of a whole bunch of people.
After this, walked to the opposite side of the road to have a good dosa and this was really the kind I was craving for!
My half eaten dosa because I was too hungry and only realized to take a pic after
A trip to Madikeri
Your stay at Coorg cannot end without visiting the headquarters of Coorg. It is the hub of the city where all the action happens.
While in Madikeri, you’ve got to step into Coorg Cuisine for some authentic Coorg food. It’s the best you can get in the city.
Started off my meal with the Raja Pann Rasa Thain which was basically fresh passion fruit juice with coorg honey. How refreshing and delightful it was!
Then moved on to satisfy my tummy with the Kadambuttu, Noolputtu, Pandi Beev Barthadh, Koli Curry, Pandi Curry and Baimbale Barthadh(Bamboo shoot fry) . So rich in flavours and could get the lovely taste of their local spices in all of the dishes served. I was so glad that I finally got to have a full traditional Coorg meal!
On our way back to the homestay, spotted out a very cute store that sells all what you’d want to take home back with you.
Coorg is one of those places which is so peaceful and you find everything little thing you see beautiful. Even though, we were there for 4 days and 3 nights, I just felt it wasn’t enough. There was so much more I wanted to see.
But I came back home with so many beautiful memories that made this trip worthwhile and there’s always another time to go back to relive these and make some more memories!
You can like my Facebook page for all the latest updates: www.facebook.com/yummyinnsidemytummy
And follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @msyumtum