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Places to visit near Coorg

Discussion in 'Karnataka' started by Himal, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. Himal

    Himal New Member

    I am going to Coorg with my wife, and we have chosen a package which is for seven days. After visiting Coorg, we wish to travel elsewhere and would like to know what places to visit near Coorg.

    We don't mind to the kind of location, but would just like it to be a tourist area and a place worth visiting.

    We intend to stay at the second location for about 5 days.
     


  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Moderator Staff Member

    Hello, @Himal, welcome to the forum!

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    (Images from Soorajna, Mouthshut, Vinayaraj and Yjenith)

    Overview

    Coorg, also known as Kodagu, is one of Karnataka's most popular hill station destinations. Though a vast region, it doesn't take more than a week to fully explore the hill station's tourist attractions. Fortunately, Coorg is located at a prime area, making you easily access other destinations within it. You can choose from a variety of destination types, like religious ones, beaches, wildlife areas and even places filled with natural attractions. So don't restrict your trip to just Coorg, especially if you have many days at your disposal. With this guide, you can include a few more destinations that are under 4 hours away from the hill station.

    Places to Visit Near Coorg (Under 4 Hours Away)

    For your spirituality...

    1. Kasaragod (Kerala) - Under three hours away from Coorg is the little known town of Kasaragod, in the state of Kerala. Perhaps the most popular attraction of the town is the Bekal Fort, but beyond that, tourists don't venture into the religious sites of the place anymore. The religious attractions here are varied, from Hindu temples, to mosques and then to churches. Beginning with the Ananthapura Lake Temple, dedicated to the Lord Ananthapadmanabha and is believed to be the only lake temple of Kerala. The temple is set amidst the middle of a small lake and surrounded by hills. The temple has the typical Kerala traditional style of architecture and has a very simple design. It has gained popularity due to the guarding crocodile, Babiya, believed to be a vegetarian and hadn't harmed any individuals even those who venture near the lake. Another interesting temple here is the Madhur Temple, formerly known as the Sri Madanantheshwara Siddhi Vinayaka Temple. It is located just nearby the Madhuvahini River, which is why the temple becomes flooded by water during monsoons. Originally, the temple was dedicated to Lord Shiva, but after a mysterious event, wherein a small boy drew a Ganapathy image in one of the walls of the temple and since then, the image grew and grew. Until today, the statue is believed to be growing which is why the temple is revered sacred by many Ganapathy devotees. The architectural style of the temple is a typical Gajaprishta, a three-tiered design resembling the back of an elephant. Next is the Malik Deenar Mosque, which is a Muslim place of worship but features a largely Hindu style of architecture. It is believed to be one of the oldest mosques in India. It was established by Malik Deenar, one of the first persons to have spread the religion of Islam in the country. The last one is the quaint but charming Bela Church, also known as the Our Lady of Sorrows Church. The church has a pinkish yellowish facade and a Gothic style of architecture. The church is believed to have been built during the early 19th century and it still stands today as a testament of the bygone era.
    • Distance from Coorg - 122 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Bekal Fort, Ananthapura Lake Temple, Madhur Temple, Malik Deenar Mosque and Bela Church
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    Ananthapura Lake Temple (Image from Noel Joe)

    2. Hassan (Karnataka) - Located to the northeastern side of Coorg, about 130 kilometres away, is the city of Hassan. There are many temples in and around the city worth exploring. First of which is the Kedareswara Temple, located in the Halebidu town of the district. It is about 30 kilometres away from the city centre but certainly worth the trip. The temple's exact history is not known but it was built under the Hoysala rulers time. This star-shaped temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is little visited as compared to the more popular Hoysaleswara Temple. Though many parts of the temple are in ruins, due to Muslim invasions, you can still enjoy the intact panel and wall carvings depicting various scenes from Hindu mythology. Next is the Chennakeshava Temple, located in the town of Belur. This is yet another fine example of the artistry of the Hoysala rulers. This is one of the best preserved temples from the Hoysala dynasty. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and also boasts of magnificent carvings of scenes taken from epics like the Ramayana and Mahabharata. From its pillars, to its bases, to its ceilings, everything here has stunning artwork worth appreciating. And finally, there's the Shettihalli Church, a Catholic church in the southwestern region of Hassan. It is located nearby the Hemavathi River and was once a fully functional church. However, after the construction of a dam from the Hemavathi River, the surrounding villages were abandoned due to flooding and so the church was abandoned as well. During monsoons, you need to cross over the river by boat to reach the church, which you would find submerged in water by then. During the other seasons, you can enjoy the ruined beauty of the church, which is a favourite haunt amongst photography enthusiasts.
    • Distance from Coorg - 130 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Kedareswara Temple, Hoysaleswara Temple, Chennakeshava Temple and Shettihalli Church
    3. Subramanya (Karnataka) - Just two hours away to the southwestern side of Coorg is the town of Subramanya. The main temple of the town is the Kukke Subramanya Temple, which is dedicated to Subramanya, a form of Lord Kartikeya. The temple has a pure white gopuram filled with intricate carvings. The main sanctum has an image of Subramanya made from black stone, sitting on top of two snakes. Though crowded on rush days, the temple management has done well to organise darshans and poojas so that devotees won't need to queue so much. Nearby to the temple is the Kumardhara River, about a kilometre away, which is regarded sacred by devotees too. In fact, many devotees take a dip in this river prior to reaching the temple as it's supposed to cleanse them. You can also visit the nearby Adi Subramanya Temple, just under 300 metres away from the former temple. They say that a pilgrimage to Subramanya won't be complete without visiting this temple because this preceded the now famed temple of the town. Here, both Lord Vasuki and Lord Subramanya are worshipped in the form of ant hills. A snake nest also exists in the temple, which is again, regarded sacred by pilgrims. Serving as the backdrops of these temples is the Kumara Parvatha, a hill that serves as a favourite trekking trail for many tourists. After a blessed darshan, you can indulge in a moderate trek to this hill, provided that you're quite fit. The trek takes around a few hours, it's five kilometres long, but the reward of the views from the peak is all worth it.
    • Distance from Coorg - 87 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Kukke Subramanya Temple, Kumardhara River, Adi Subramanya Temple and Kumara Parvatha
    For the love of the sandy shores...

    4. Kannur (Kerala) - Kannur is three hours away from Coorg, located to its west, to the coastal state of Kerala. Kannur has a number of beautiful beaches that are worth exploring. For couples, a favourite is the Muzhappilangad Drive-In Beach, one of the few drive-in beaches in Asia. You can take your car and drive along the four-kilometre stretch of the coastline. The Payyambalam Beach is another must visit, especially if you like strolls around long stretches of golden shores. This is perhaps Kannur's most popular beach as it has an assortment of water sports to keep tourists occupied like parasailing and jet skiing. The Dharmadam Beach is known for its island, also known as the Dharmadam Island. During low tide, you can easily reach the island by walking but during high tide, you need a boat to reach it. The best part about the island? It has stunning views, being surrounded by the Anjarakandy River on three sides and the Arabian Sea on the other. White sand beaches? Kannur also has them although they're a bit more isolated. There's the Ezhara Beach, with its silky white sands, gentle waves and tranquility. There's the Meenkunnu Beach, one of the most virgin beaches of Kannur, boasting of palm-lined white shores. Kannur might not be as known as Kovalam or Alleppey but it deserves all the attention if only for its lovely beaches.
    • Distance from Coorg - 103 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Muzhappilangad Drive-In Beach, Payyambalam Beach, Dharmadam Beach, Dharmadam Island, Ezhara Beach and Meenkunnu Beach
    5. Mangalore (Karnataka) - Mangalore is barely three hours away from Coorg so yet another perfect beach destination for the certified beach bums. The best feature of Mangalore is that it is a city yet still not as crowded or polluted. The beaches here are quite enticing and still far from the states of other beaches located in cities. The main beach of the city is the Panambur Beach, also known as the Mangalore Beach. Since it is located right at the heart of the city, close to the railway station, it is quite crowded and noisy. There are plenty of water sports that one can enjoy here though, from surfing, to jet skiing, to motor boating and many more. There are tons of beach shacks, vendors and resorts around too so you can stay for a few nights here. If you want a place more serene, you can opt for the Tannirbhavi Beach. Accessible by both road and by boat, this is an underrated beach in the region. It has long stretches of white sands lined with unique pine trees on one side. The water is very clean and the waves are not that rough so even the little ones can enjoy swimming. The last one is the Sasihithlu Beach, another white sand beach with turquoise waters. What makes it interesting, aside from the less crowds, is the area where the rivers of Shambhave and Nandini meet with Arabian Sea. It's a bird watcher's paradise too as you can spot various species of birds lazing in the pristine shores of the beach.
    • Distance from Coorg - 138 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Panambur Beach, Tannirbhavi Beach and Sasihithlu Beach
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    Tannirbhavi Beach (Image from Karunakar Rayker)

    6. Ullal (Karnataka) - Under four hours of driving away from Coorg is the coastal town of Ullal. There are three main beaches in this town that remains under the radar of most tourists. First is the Ullal Beach, located at the heart of the town. The beach has a long stretch of golden sand shores that are quite silky to the feel. The line of coconut trees along the shores adds to the serene atmosphere of the beach. Make sure you bring your own snacks and beverages as there are not as many tourist provisions in this beach. To the south of the former beach is the Someshwara Beach, which is famed for the Lord Someshwara, a form of Lord Shiva, temple. The beach can be crowded due to the number of pilgrims but it still exudes a certain charm. The white sands has specks of golden which makes it sparkle in daylight. The water can be a bit deep so swim with care and caution. The last one is the Batapady Beach, another tranquil beach in the Ullal region. The beach has golden shores line with various seashells that you can play with. This is mainly a local beach, so it is still not as developed though the area is very much clean and pristine.
    • Distance from Coorg - 152 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Ullal Beach, Someshwara Beach and Batapady Beach
    Bountiful wildlife...

    7. Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala) - Located to the south of Coorg is the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary. It is around two to three hours of driving away from the hill station. This is, in fact, Kerala's most northernmost wildlife sanctuary. It is also one of the few wildlife reserves that allows private vehicles to venture into the forest area. However, the terrains are very rough here that you would need a four-wheeler to actually traverse them. If you don't have your own vehicle or you don't want to risk damaging yours, then you can also opt for a hired jeep safari in the wildlife sanctuary. The forests here are of dense teak and eucalyptus. They are so thick, that at times, it's quite hard to see the paths that you're taking. Rivers such as the Cheenkannipuzha and Urittipuzha flow throughout the sanctuary which is what the animals use as nourishment. It can be difficult to spot wild animals here though you can find butterflies and birds in abundance. If you're lucky, elusive animals such as elephants, tigers, bisons, leopards, sambars and sloth bears might show their appearance. The sanctuary is also home to a variety of monkey species such as Nilgiri langurs, grey langurs, common langurs and lion-tailed macaques. Smaller animals such as squirrels, chameleons, monitor lizards and snakes can be more easily spotted as well. You can also arrange for a trip to the nearby Meenmutty Waterfalls, which fall under the buffer areas of the sanctuary.
    • Distance from Coorg - 86 Kilometres
    • Must Spot Animals - Elephants, Tigers, Bisons, Leopards, Sambars, Sloth bears, Nilgiri Langurs, Grey Langurs, Common Langurs, Lion-Tailed Macaques, Squirrels, Chameleons, Monitor Lizards and Snakes
    8. Bandipur National Park (Karnataka) - The Bandipur National Park is about four hours away to the southeast of Coorg. This is Karnataka's pride when it comes to wildlife reserves. Dense dry deciduous forests cover the areas of the national park with a variety of trees like teak, sandalwood and bamboo. The rivers of Kabini and Moyar flank the northern and southern borders respectively. In a way, they give nourishment to the animals as their waters form rivulets and streams within the national park. Home to a number of large animals like tigers, Indian wild dogs, leopards, elephants, jackals and sloth bears, the fauna of the national park is quite extensive. Not to mention the carnivores that complete the food chain, like the gaurs, chitals, sambars, squirrels and langurs. You can choose between a canter safari or a jeep safari, although the latter is more recommended as you have higher chances of spotting animals from it. Even if you are not able to see the large mammals, the national park is home to a wide variety of bird species, you can hear their chirping and see them even from a distance.
    • Distance from Coorg - 188 Kilometres
    • Must Spot Animals - Tigers, Indian Wild Dogs, Leopards, Elephants, Jackals, Sloth Bears, Gaurs, Chitals, Sambars, Squirrels and Langurs
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    Jackal in Bandipur (Image from Vaidyanathan)

    Where nature dominates...


    9. Mandya (Karnataka) - Mandya is located to the eastern side of Coorg, about three hours of driving away. Despite its proximity to cities like Mysore and Bangalore, Mandya rarely gets into the limelight. It is also unique in that it has an assortment of attractions, from heritage sites to natural attractions. However, when it comes to the city's natural attractions, they're a bit underrated. If you happen to visit during the monsoon, there are a number of waterfalls here worth exploring. For instance, the twin waterfalls of Barachukki and Gaganachukki marvels in their full beauty during this time. The Barachukki Waterfalls, also known as the Shivanasamudra Waterfalls, is created after the Cauvery River falls in a plateau. When in full blast, the waters of the waterfalls fall into beautiful segmented areas. The Gaganachukki Waterfalls is a bit smaller and located a few kilometres away from the former. It falls at a steeper height though than the former which is such a sight to behold when the water is in full force. Finally, if you still have some time, do visit the Krishnaraja Sagar Dam as well. This is a huge dam created from the Cauvery River. It has some boating facilities and an enjoyable light & sound show at the end of the day.
    • Distance from Coorg - 141 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Barachukki Waterfalls, Gaganachukki Waterfalls and Krishnaraja Sagar Dam
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    Krishnaraja Sagar Dam (Image from Ashwin Kumar)

    10. Kalpetta (Kerala) - Last on this list is Kalpetta, a city located to the south of Coorg, in the state of Kerala. If you want a place that is filled with natural beauty, Kalpetta is the place to be. The Soochippara Waterfalls, is one of the prime attractions here, most especially if you visit during monsoon season. The waterfalls fall from a height of 200 metres and looks quite magnificent when in full force. However, to reach the base of the waterfalls, you need to trek for about two kilometres long on a slippery path. The smaller Kanthanpara Waterfalls might not look as enticing but it does provide for a wonderful getaway for couples. You also need to trek a bit to reach it although it's easier as you pass through coffee plantations. It is less crowded than the former waterfalls so you can have some privacy and tranquility here. Rivers like the Kabini River and Papanashini River are also worth visiting as they have quite clear waters that you can dip your feet in. If you want a bit of an activity, you can try boating at the Pookot Lake. You can opt for pedal boating or row boating, whichever seems more romantic to you. Last but definitely not the least is the Edakkal Caves, which combines a bit of nature and history. The caves seem more like rocky cliffs perched on top of one another and requires a bit of climbing. There are thousands of year old inscriptions and petroglyphs in some parts of the caves that are worth exploring. These carvings are believed to be from the Stone Age, which makes them a rare artefact in the region.
    • Distance from Coorg - 134 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Soochippara Waterfalls, Kanthanpara Waterfalls, Kabini River, Papanashini River, Pookot Lake and Edakkal Caves
    Conclusion

    Have you picked your top destination that you want to visit near Coorg? With your five days, you can even squeeze in two destinations into your journey. You can enjoy sightseeing or even enhancing your spiritual side. But you can also enjoy lazing around in the nearby beach destinations to Coorg. Lover of nature? Well, don't worry, you also have plenty of options for that in the guide above.

    I hope this helps you!:)
     

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