Tucked away in the Western Ghats, Coorg is a quaint hill station in Karnataka blessed with hypnotic natural beauty. With a misty landscape, imposing mountains, gurgling waterfalls, dense forests, verdant valleys, cool climatic conditions, spectacular coffee plantations, aromatic spice gardens, amazing wildlife, and of course, mind-blowing food, the land of Kodavas is as awesome as it can get. No wonder, the place is called the Scotland of India and rightly so.

So why wait? Book your room in one of the best hotels in Coorg, preferably in Madikeri as it is the district headquarters, and get ready for a memorable travel experience. And if you need some help to prepare your itinerary, here’s a list of top 18 things to do in Coorg on a holiday.

1. Visit the Golden Temple or the Namdroling Monastery

Namdroling Monastery, Coorg

#1 of 18 Best Things to Do in Coorg

Home to over 5000 lamas, the Namdroling Monastery also called the Golden Temple is the largest teaching center for the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery, built in 1963, features Tibetan art and architecture and exudes tranquility. While here, you can take part in or witness the prayer rituals, turn the prayer wheels or just walk around the place soaking in the spiritual vibes.

  • Timings: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Entry Fee: Free
  • Distance from Madikeri Town: 35 km approx.

2. Experience the Surreal Beauty of Abbey Falls

Abbey Falls, Coorg

#2 of 18 Best Things to Do in Coorg

A visit to the scenic Abby Falls counts among the top things to do in Coorg, especially if you are a nature lover or shutterbug. Located amidst private coffee and spice plantations, the waterfall gushes down from a height of 70 feet. There is a hanging bridge opposite the falls which is a great spot to capture some amazing shots.

  • Timings: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Entry Fee*:
    ₹ 15 per person
    ₹ 15 to ₹ 50 for vehicle parking depending on the vehicle
  • Distance from Madikeri Town: 7 km approx.

3. Spend Some Time with Elephants at Dubare Elephant Camp

Dubare Elephant Camp, Coorg

#3 of 18 Best Things to Do in Coorg

Located on the banks of Cauvery, Dubare Elephant Camp is home to several elephants and offers you the opportunity to watch, bathe, feed, and spend some time with these majestic creatures. If you are planning to stay overnight, there are cottages within the camp. You can also enjoy nature walks, jeep safaris, wildlife film shows, and campfires during your stay. Those who are a little short on time can also opt for a day visit.

  • Timings: 8:30 am to 11:00 am and 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
  • Entry Fee: ₹ 690 to ₹ 1330 for Indians; ₹ 1467 to ₹ 2270 for foreigners 
  • Cottage Tariff: Starts at ₹ 5000 (approx.)
  • Distance from Madikeri Town: 37 km approx.

4. Take a Trip to Talacauvery

Talacauvery, Coorg

#4 of 18 Best Things to Do in Coorg

Nestled on Brahmagiri Hills, Talacauvery is famous as the source of origin of Cauvery River.  A shrine dedicated to Goddess Kaveriamma and a tank fed by a spring (which is believed to be the point of origin of the river) are the key attractions of the place. Besides offering prayers, you can enjoy scenic vistas from the hilltop, which can be reached by climbing a flight of over 400 steps. 

  • Timings: 6:00 am to 8:30 pm
  • Entry Fee: Free
  • Distance from Madikeri Town: 43 km approx.

5. Watch the Sunset at Raja’s Seat

Raja’s Seat, Coorg

#5 of 18 Best Things to Do in Coorg

Once served as the favorite spot of recreation for the Rajas of the region, Raja’s Seat is a beautiful garden with flowers, lush greenery, and artificial fountains. The place offers commanding views of the mountains and valleys surrounding it. Make sure that you visit the place in the evenings to watch the sunset, just like the erstwhile Rajas did. The garden also has a toy train to keep your little ones engaged.

  • Location: Stuart Hill
  • Timings: 5:30 am to 8:00 pm
  • Entry Fee: ₹ 5 for garden entry; ₹ 20 for the toy train ride
  • Distance from Madikeri Town: 1.5 km approx.

6. Indulge in a Session of Whitewater Rafting in Barapole

Rafting in Barapole, Coorg

#6 of 18 Best Things to Do in Coorg

Looking for something adventurous to do in Coorg? Make your way to Barapole River, one of the top whitewater rafting destinations in the region. Flanked by scenic landscape on both sides, the river has excellent rapids for rafting. The difficulty level is easy to moderate, so you can try it even if you are a newbie to the world of rafting.

  • Timings: 9:30 am to 3:00 pm
  • Duration: 90 minutes (approx.)
  • Best Time: July and August
  • Cost: ₹ 1200 per head (approx.)
  • Distance from Madikeri Town: 70 km approx.

7. Go Wildlife Spotting at Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary

Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Coorg

#7 of 18 Best Things to Do in Coorg

Whether you are a nature lover, birdwatcher or trekker, a trip to Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary must be on your list of things to do in Coorg. Enveloped by Kukke Subramanya Forest Range and Bisle Forest Range, the sanctuary is home to some rare and endangered bird species. The trails of Kote Betta and Pushpagiri Peak make it a favorite among trekkers too.

  • Location: Somwarpet taluk
  • Timings: 7:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Entry Fee: ₹ 10 per head
  • Distance from Madikeri Town: 67 km approx.

8. Have a Tryst with History at Madikeri Fort

Madikeri Fort, Coorg

#8 of 18 Best Things to Do in Coorg

Want to take a trip back in time and explore the glorious past of the Kodava region? Head off to Madikeri Fort (or Mercara Fort), a top tourist attraction for history buffs visiting Coorg. Built in the 17th century by Mudduraja and reconstructed later by Tipu Sultan, the fort houses a church and a museum which exhibits weaponry used during Tipu Sultan’s era and other artifacts.

  • Location: Stuart Hill
  • Timings: 10:00 am to 5:30 pm; Closed on Mondays
  • Entry Fee: Free
  • Distance from Madikeri Town: 1 km approx.

9. Enjoy Authentic Kodava Food

Kodava Food, Coorg

#9 of 18 Best Things to Do in Coorg

When in Coorg, you should eat like the Kodavas. And this means you will be treating yourself to a wide range of mouthwatering dishes including their signature Pandi Curry (pork), Kadamuttu (rice ball), and Akki Roti (rice roti), Bamboo Shoot Curry, Noolputtu (string hoppers), and Kommu Curry (mushroom curry). And don’t forget to top it all with a cup of authentic and aromatic home-grown coffee.

Some of the best restaurants in Coorg include:

  • Coorg Cuisine (Stuart Hill)
  • Taste of Coorg (Stuart Hill)
  • Beans and Brews Café (KSRTC Bus Stand Road)
  • Raintree (Behind Town Hall)
  • Coffee Cup (Mysore-Madikeri Road)

10. Spend a Few Hours at Cauvery Nisargadhama

Cauvery Nisargadhama, Coorg

#10 of 18 Best Things to Do in Coorg

A beautiful island located on Cauvery River, Nisargadhama is an ideal place for enjoying a day out with your family and friends. The key attractions here include a hanging bridge, boat rides, elephant rides, dense bamboo groves, an ecological park, riverside cottages, and tree houses. The island is located close to the Golden Temple, so you can combine these two attractions in one day.

  • Timings: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Entry Fee: ₹ 10 for adults; ₹ 5 for children
  • Boating Charges: ₹ 100 per head
  • Elephant Ride Charges: ₹ 25 per head
  • Cottage Tariff: ₹ 700 to ₹ 1000 per night
  • Distance from Madikeri Town: 40 km approx.

11. Offer Your Prayers at the Omkareshwara Temple

The Omkareshwara Temple, Coorg

#11 of 18 Best Things to Do in Coorg

A 19th-century shrine located in the heart of Madikeri town, the Omkareshwara Temple is a famous religious attraction in Coorg. The presiding deity here is Lord Shiva, and the unique architecture of the shrine shows elements of Islamic and Gothic styles.

  • Location: Stuart Hill
  • Timings: 6:30 am to 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
  • Distance from Madikeri Town: 1 km approx.

12. Take a Trip to Nagarhole National Park

Nagarhole National Park, Coorg

#12 of 18 Best Things to Do in Coorg

How about taking a short trip to one of the top tiger reserves in the country? Make your way to the Nagarhole National Park and Tiger Reserve where you can spot the majestic tiger along with Asian elephants, leopards, and several other wildlife species. The abundance of avifauna here makes it a popular spot for birdwatching too. The national park is a popular pit-stop for people taking a road trip to Coorg from Bangalore.

  • Location: Mysore-Madikeri Road
  • Timings: 6:00 am to 9:00 am and 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm
  • Entry Fee*:
    ₹ 250 for Indians; ₹ 1500 for foreigners
    *Exclusive of safari and camera charges
  • Distance from Madikeri Town: 90 km approx.

13. Plan A Picnic to Iruppu Falls

Iruppu Falls, Coorg

#13 of 18 Best Things to Do in Coorg

Located on the way to Nagarhole, the scenic Iruppu Falls also called Lakshmana Thirtha Falls is an ideal picnic spot for backpackers and holidaymakers. This freshwater cascade is surrounded by scenic forest trails, and there is also a Shiva Temple in its vicinity.

  • Location: Kurchi
  • Timings: 6:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Entry Fee: ₹ 50 per person
  • Distance from Madikeri Town: 80 km approx.

14. Enjoy the Beauty of Honnamana Kere Lake

Honnamana Kere Lake, Coorg

#14 of 18 Best Things to Do in Coorg

Touted as the largest lake in Coorg, Honnamana Kere is where history, spirituality, and scenic beauty meet. The lake is surrounded by coffee plantations and lush green cliffs, making it a great spot for nature lovers and photo fanatics. There is also a temple next to the lake which is dedicated to Goddess Honnamana.

  • Location: Somwarpet taluk
  • Timings: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Entry Fee: Free
  • Distance from Madikeri Town: 50 km approx.

15. Go for Plantation Walks

Plantation Walks, Coorg

#15 of 18 Best Things to Do in Coorg

Plantation walks are among the most interesting things to do in Coorg as the region is best known for its coffee and spice production. Many coffee and spice estate owners and private resorts and homestays offer guided tours through their plantations. These tours give you an insight into how these spices and coffee reach your home from the farms and the processes and techniques involved in it.

  • Best Plantation Walks in Coorg: Tata Coffee, Orange County, Bombay Burmah, Old Kent Estates, Tamara Resort

16. Shop Like a Local

Shop Like a Local, Coorg

#16 of 18 Best Things to Do in Coorg

What is a trip to Coorg if you don’t fill your shopping bags with some authentic Kodava items? From aromatic coffee powder, coffee beans, and exotic spices to homemade wines, organic honey, Tibetan artifacts, dry fruits, homemade chocolates, jewelry, and silk saris, there is a lot you can take home.

Some of the top shopping places in Coorg include:

  • Kushalnagar Market
  • Tibetan Flea Market
  • Virajpet Market
  • Friday Market at Madikeri
  • Supermarkets such as Stop n Shop, Coorg Avenue, and Spice Palace

17. Go for Trekking

Trekking, Coorg

#17 of 18 Best Things to Do in Coorg

As a hill station nurtured by the Western Ghats, Coorg boasts of many scenic trekking trails. Whether you are a pro trekker or just a beginner, exploring these beautiful trails winding through hills and valleys is among the most exciting things to do in Coorg.

Our suggestions include:

  • Tadiandamol Trek (Easy)
  • Iruppu Falls Trek (Easy to Moderate)
  • Galibeedu – Subramanya Trek (Moderate)
  • Pushpagiri Trek (Easy to Moderate)
  • Kotebetta Trek (Moderate)
  • Brahmagiri Hills Trek (Moderate)
  • Kopatty Trek (Moderate)

18. Camp Under the Stars

Camp Under the Stars, Coorg

#18 of 18 Best Things to Do in Coorg

Fancy spending a night in a tent, right under the shining stars, with rolling valleys and dense forests to keep you company? If yes, include camping in your list of things to do in Coorg. The region has some of the best camping sites in South India. From fishing camps and coffee farm camps to riverside camps and nature camps, there is a diverse range of options for you to choose from.

  • Locations: Kutta, Kushalnagar, Madikeri, and Gopikoppa

This is only a hand-picked list of things to do in Coorg. Of course, there is a lot more to experience in this misty terrain blessed with natural beauty. From angling at the fishing camps in Valnoor and pampering yourself with an Ayurvedic spa session to beekeeping and honey tours and microlight flying, the list is diverse and exciting. So go ahead and prepare your Coorg itinerary by including all your favorite activities. You will come back rich with memories.
Read also – Places to visit in Coorg