What to See and Do in Coorg - Treks, Safaris, and Water Sports

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A popular weekend escape, the hills of Coorg are packed with adventures and cultural experiences. On treks and safaris, you can spot wildlife and admire the splendor of vast forests. The rivers that criss-cross the district are hotspots for rafting, angling, and kayaking, while travelers looking for a more spiritual experience can meditate at a Buddhist monastery.

Treks and safaris


Coorg's mountainous landscape offers plentiful trekking options and many visitors choose to climb Kotebetta. An hour from Madikeri, it's the district's third highest peak and the trek to its summit affords scenic views of forested mountains cloaked in mist. In South Coorg, Nagarhole National Park is famous for its diverse wildlife. Surrounding Kabini Lake, Nagarhole offers safaris during the summer and winter. As you drive through the park, you might see herds of spotted deer, elephants ambling by, and bison chewing on their grassy lunch.


  • Kotebetta, 32 km north of Madikeri, Coorg, Karnataka; Website: Kotebetta

  • Nagarhole National Park, 93 km south of Madikeri, Coorg, Karnataka; Website: Nagarhole National Park

Dubare Elephant Camp


You can catch a ferry across the knee-deep waters of Cauvery River to reach Dubare Elephant Camp. This sanctuary near Kushalnagar is run by the local forest department. You can listen to naturalists speak about the evolution of the Asiatic elephant, splash in the river while giving a tusker a scrub-down, or simply take a ride around the park. Along the river, you can often see peacocks and deer arriving for a drink, and, if you’re lucky, a crocodile might make an appearance too.


  • Dubare Elephant Camp, Near Kushalnagar, Somwarpet Taluk, Madikeri, Karnataka 571234; Tel: +91 94495 97876; Website: Dubare Elephant Camp


Sacred sights at Bylakuppe


Bylakuppe, around 5 km from Kushalnagar, is home to a large settlement of Tibetans. In the town, Namdroling Monastery is a leading teaching center for Tibetan Buddhism's oldest form - Nyingma. Tourists come here to spend admire the ornate Golden Temple. Its blue and gold pagoda-style façade is covered with carvings, figurines of mythical creatures, and prayer wheels. When you walk through the bright-orange doors, you’ll see the colorful, decorative altar where a gold-plated Buddha sits, flanked by Padmasambhava and Amitayus - 2 key figures in Buddhism.


  • Namdroling Monastery, Bylakuppe, Mysore, Karnataka 571104; Tel: +91 8223 254318; Website: Namdroling Monastery


Rafting and fishing


The Lower Barapole River, which snakes through the thick forests of Brahmagiri Wildife Sanctuary, offers visitors an adrenaline-charged rafting experience. After onsite training, you can navigate thrilling rapids as you paddle between the rocks dotting the river. If you prefer less nerve-wracking pastimes, then Honnamana Lake, 6 km from Somwarpet, is perfect for boat rides or peaceful fishing trips.



Gardens and tombs


Built by the Kings of Kodava, Raja’s Seat is a sprawling garden studded with fountains and known for spectacular sunsets. At the dedicated viewing area, you can take in the beauty of the lush, green valley below. History buffs can also check out Raja's Tomb near Madikeri, where members of the Kodava dynasty were buried in the 19th century. Constructed in Indo-Saracenic style, the mausoleum has a huge central dome surrounded by turrets. It offers a rare insight into Coorg’s pre-colonial history.


  • Raja's Seat, Madikeri, Coorg, Karnataka 571201; Website: Raja's Seat

  • Raja's Tomb, Mahadevpet, Coorg, Karnataka; Website: Raja's Tomb