Kashmir of the South
|Type of Tourism||: Hill Station|
|Area||: 4,102 square kilometers|
|Population||: 548,561 (As per Indian census- 2001)|
|Altitude||: From 900 meters to 1,750 meters|
|Best Tourist Season||: April to November|
|Clothing recommended||: Kodava, Are Bhashe, Kannada, Tamil, English, Hindi|
|Languages spoken||: Rajasthani, Mewari, Hindi, English|
|Telephone Code||: India (08272), International (+91)|
|Pin Code||: 571201|
|What to buy||: Cardamom, pepper, coffee, oranges, nutmeg, star anise, honey, Tibetan artifacts, silk saris, tea, and bamboo handicrafts|
|Food Specialties||: Sannakki Rice, Kadambuttu, Nooputtu, otti, Mudrakani, Coorg Kadabu, Pandi Curry, Coorg Bamboo Shoots Palya, Idamane Hittu, Koogalet, Coorg Chicken Curry, Kolli Saaru, Pathrode, Puttu, Atti Payasa, Koogalet, Kahihuli Chutney, Maange Pajji, Coorg Pineapple stew, Homemade Wines, Toddy, Kudi, coffee|
|Local transportation||: Auto Rickshaws, Cabs, Buses, Rented Cycles, Walking|
Nested on the eastern slopes of the picturesque Western Ghats and also popularly known by its Kannada name ‘Kodagu’, Coorg; a legislative district in the state of Karnataka is hailed for its incomparable scenic pulchritude and fascinating natural splendor. Bordered by Dakshina Kannada, Hassan, Mysore, Kannur and Wayanad districts, Coorg, perched at the elevation ranging from 900 meters to 1750 meters above the sea level covers the total area of about 4102 square kilometers. Glorified by the title ‘Kashmir of the South’, Coorg is also bestowed upon with the moniker, ‘The Scotland of India’.
The term Kodagu (formerly called ‘Kodaimalenadu’), which means ‘the dense forest on the steep hill’ is believed to have several origins. As stated in the Puranas, this terrain was originally inhabited by ‘Kodava Tribes’ wherein the word ‘Kodava’ has derived from ‘Krodhadesa’ meaning ‘the Land of Anger’. As the other notion goes, the district Kodagu has been named after the Cauveri River where ‘Kod’ means ‘to give’ and ‘Ava’ means ‘mother’. According to yet another explanation, Kodagu has been coined from the term ‘Kannada Kudu’ meaning ‘dense forest’.
Coorg, the land of misty mountains, flourishing valleys, meandering streams, surging waterfalls, thick tropical forests, teak woods, miles of terra firma carpeted with spices, coffee, cashew and paddy plantations and orange groves is indeed the ‘Promised Land’ descended on the earth. The vivid scenery, woody slopes, rolling landscapes, undulating mountain ranges and the old-world villages of Coorg intrigue its visitors to no limit. Visited by thousands of travelers, nature lovers and vacationers every year, Coorg; endowed with exotic beauty, majestic artistry and agreeable ambience offers luxurious holidays and perfect summer retreats to its guests.
Apart from relaxing in the panoramic lap of nature and relishing the infinite banquet of exquisite allure, Coorg also tenders various exciting activities such as Bird Watching, White Water Rafting and Trekking. Pushpagiri, Brahmagiri and Tadiandamol peaks of Coorg are particularly exalted for the challenging and at the same time pictorial trekking trails they proffer. Besides, Kodagu; the land of ‘Brave Warriors’ has also acquired fame in the area of military services. The Field Marshal ‘K. M. Cariappa’, who was the first Indian Chief of Army Staff and headed the Indian forces on the Western Front during the Indo-Pak War of 1947 belonged to Kodagu.
History Of Coorg
The earliest inhabitants of Coorg or Kodagu were the ‘Kodavas’ who populated this terrain for centuries and were ruled by Nayakas and Palegaras like Chengalvas and Kongalvas. Over the centenaries, a number of South Indian dynasties viz. Kadambas, Gangas, Cholas, Chalukyas, Rastrakutas, Hoysalas, and Vijaynagar Kings held the reigns of Kodagu. During the governance of ‘Pemma Veerappa’, the word ‘Kodagaru’ was carved on the stone shasanas for the first time and the region came to be known by the name ‘Kodagu’. Some of the noteworthy leaders of Coorg were Achunayaka of Anjikerinad, Kaliyatanda Ponnappa of Nalknad, Karnayya Bavu of Bhagamandala and Uttanayaka of Armeri.
In ancient times Coorgs were allies of the Arakkal and Kolathiri kingdoms of Kannur. A prince of the Ikkri (Bednur Family) brought Kodagu under his control and his descendants retained the throne as the ‘Rajas of Kodagu’ till 1834 AD. During these years Kodagu rebelled against the Mysore Sovereignty several times and formed animosity with them. Colonel Fraser; the political agent of British East India co. defeated the Raja of Kodagu in 1834 and on 7th May 1834 Kodagu was formally annexed to the British Empire as Coorg Province. After the Independence, Coorg was made a state in the year 1950 and later in 1956 it was made a district of the Mysore State. Presently, the Mysore State has become the modern Karnataka State and the district Coorg has been renamed as Kodagu.