EcoTourism: Trekking in Coorg
October 4, 2009 1 Comment
Coorg is a hill station tucked away in the Western Ghats of Karnataka on Kerala outskirts. It has been addressed by different terms owing to its diversity in history, geography and its specialities. Originally it was known as Kodaimalenadu. It is still addressed as Kodagu by its inhabitant. But for tourists and others this place is widely popular as Coorg. It is also famous as “The Land of Warriors” as the kodavas(residents of coorg) were famous for their bravery.
The orange groves in this place give it yet another name which is “Orange Country”. Coorg’s capital Madikeri has been labeled as “The Scotland of India”. Coorg because of its varied and diverse geographical condition has something to offer to everyone. It offers adventure sports like golfing, trekking, angling etc. Each adventure sport has been discussed here.
Trekking in Coorg
There is no dearth of trekking routes in Coorg as most of the land area in Coorg is rugged. Several jungles and mountains in Coorg can be good trekking destinations. The Brahmagiri mountain range offers some good trekking routes; trek from Irpu Falls to the Brahmagiri Hill (at 1608 m) is one of them. The best time to do this trek would be in the months of November-December when the Irpu Falls are at their best. Another interesting trail would lead us to Pushpagiri (1712m), which is Kodagu’s second highest peak. It can be climbed via the village of Heggademane to the north of Madikeri.
A famous trekking route is through the heart of Nagarhole National Park and Abbi Falls. Another popular setting for trekking near the temples of Bhagamandala is where Cauvery blends with Sujyothi and Kanike rivers. Both these treks offer equally thrills to the travelers. For more trek routes, visitors can choose to trek right up to Tadeyendamol, probably the highest peak in the region.
Rafting in Coorg – Barapole River
Even though the actual length of this run is 4 km, the rapid grades are surprisingly 4-5. Rafters go through a compulsory training session and are first familiarized with rafting equipments. They are also taught paddling and safety rescue techniques. The entire session takes up 3 hours. They even perform dummy rescue mission where each rafter goes overboard and is rescued by his team mates. These sessions make the rafters comfortable with the waters and equipments used. This helps them overcome their fear and instills in them confidence. The exotically names rapids are challenging and worth trying out once you have been trained. The best time to go river rafting here is July to October.
Rafting at Dubare
Famous for an Elephant training camp, Dubare is a jungle on the banks of Cauveri. Dubare is located in between Kushalnagar and Siddapur where the Elephant training Camp is run by the Forest Department of Coorg. Immensely popular for the elephant camp, Dubare also offers rafting opportunities. The river Cauveri offers 1-2 grades of rapids. Rafting is on the River Cauvery as the river is wide and passes through dense forests. Dubare offers two rafting options for rafters; 1) 8.5 km run and 2) 12.0 km run. Even though the rafting grade goes to a maximum of class 1-2 rapids, it is more fun and best for amateurs. You get to enjoy the river, and the rafters can safely float down the river in the life jackets, enjoy the wildlife and relax. Rafting is generally carried out in the months of July, Aug and September.
Angling in Coorg
Cauvery is a boon for anglers and fishing enthusiasts. The Mahseer in Cauvery River lures several anglers from world. However before you go angling you need to consider a few things. You can go fishing only if you have fishing liscenses. The Coorg Wildlife Association, Madikeri, not only provides information on fishing license but also provides guidance for Mahseer fishing.
The fishing license is not issued in the months of monsoons as it is the breeding season for fishes. Even after you have acquired the licenses you have to be mindful of releasing the fishes back into the water after catching them. Also anglers need to keep in mind that they are restricted to a certain number of fishes everyday.
Lastly keep in mind that Angling is an activity that requires a lot of patience. So if you have angling gears and are ready to wait, you know where to go.
Popular for its lush green settings, Coorg also has rich wildlife. It boasts of three wildlife sanctuaries and a national park. They are Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Talakaveri Wildlife Sanctuary and Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, and Nagarahole or Rajiv Gandhi National Park. Out of these, Pushpagiri is situated in the northern part of Coorg and is known as one of the important bird areas in the world.
Nagarhole National park gets its name after combining two Kannada words; ‘Nagar,’ which means snake and ‘hole,’ which means streams. This park is famous for its large elephant and bison number and mind boggling 250 species of birds.
Talakaveri Wildlife Sanctuary lies in the Western Ghats. It has been named after Talakaveri which happens to be the origin of Cauveri River. The best times to visit this sanctuary are from November to March.
Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is spread across in approximately 181 sq km of region. Due to pleasant weather, nature camps are possible in the region. Surrounded by lush green and shola grasslands the best time to visit the sanctuary is from October to May.From Yuliyanti