Coorg has a variety of homestays—plantations, heritage villas, riverside locales and next to golf courses—where you can sample an earthy, serene lifestyle in the lap of nature.
Paradise is a picnic chair laid out under the trees, next to a small waterfall in the backyard, with commanding views of a coffee plantation, and home-brewed wine and pork chops in attendance. Coorg (Mercara) boasts the serenity
associated with life in the hills and seals it with rich history and richer food (quite different from anything you have ever tasted!). For a slice of this heaven, drop the stay at a high-falutin hotel in favour of a family-run homestay…because, when in Coorg, do as the Kodavas do—lose the frills, revel in the basics.
The Kodavas are a rustic, martial hill clan fiercely protective of their culture, land and food. Coffee estates can be found in abundance in this undulating district in the south of Karnataka. The intermingled histories of the plantations and the owners are dotted with colourful stories that can be part of your tea-time chatter—invite the estate owners over for a chat to hear the tale from one who’s inherited it! The trend of opening up the family home and its legacy to travellers is fairly recent, says Arjun Belliappa, the owner of the heritage homestay, The Lodge. Besides providing visitors an insight into the culture, “It helps supplement the income of the agriculturists who are otherwise solely dependent on the rains for their income,” he says. That, “And to get over the solitude of the plantation life,” adds Somshekar, the owner of Eco Habitat, a nature friendly homestay.
The best time to visit Coorg is during the monsoon when rolling clouds take over the green hills and mist becomes a physical presence enveloping the senses. Look forward to a lot of reading, dips in the waterfalls, cycling, the Thadiyandamol peak trek (Coorg’s highest peak), and lots of wine-making and wine-imbibing. There are many tourist hotspots in Coorg— Abbey Falls, Dubare Elephant Camp, Chelevara Falls, Raja’s Seat, Harangi Dam and Backwaters, Nalknad Palace and Tala Cauvery. However, they suffer from the affl iction of mass tourism! Go if you want to check all the tourist boxes. Here’s a curated list of Coorg homestays that you can look forward to.