The British brought in coffee cultivation on a large scale and left behind a legacy of a colonial lifestyle that is still followed.
Orange County Resort
When you step into the portals of Orange County, Coorg, you leave one world behind, and step seamlessly into another: the bygone era of the Gentleman Planter. Ensconced in the cocooned comforts of a lush 300-acre plantation paradise, the resort is perfumed with the subtly intoxicating aroma of coffee and spice. Come, allow the Spirit of the land to infuse your very being, and coax you gently on a personal voyage of discovery.
In 1670, Baba Budan, a Muslim pilgrim, smuggled 7 coffee seeds out of Mecca and planted them in the Chikmagalur region near Coorg in Karnataka, thus introducing coffee to India. The 300 acre working coffee and spice plantation is fondly referred to as the 'Coffee Cup of India'. Some of the world's best coffee is grown here, and the slopes are redolent with the aroma of fine Arabicas and Robustas. This heartland of Indian coffee is renowned for its 'monsoon-fed coffee', shade-grown under giant Rose Wood, Wild Fig and Jack Fruit trees. While nurturing and instilling the beans with exotic flavours and aromas, these fruit laden trees are a unique eco-system by themselves providing home to thousands of birds and animals including the Great Indian Pied Hornbill and the Giant Malabar Squirrel.
While coffee was the cup that cheered, the hills of Coorg were the supply depot for the famous spice coast of Malabar. Pepper, Cloves, Cardamom, Kokum (Garcinia cambogia), Cinchona, and other stars of the fabled 'spice route' are residents of these hills. Coorg Pepper is simply considered the world's best and since ancient times, traders have landed on the neighbouring Malabar Coast of Kerala to pick up loads of this black treasure. The pepper vines are allowed to climb around the towering shade trees, creating 'green pillars' that look like they support the sky.
Coracle ride on River Cauvery
Coracles are local fishing crafts that are circular and ideal for navigating these waters. The coracle ride on the river not only helps you to gauge the myriad moods of the river, but also gives you a fish-eye view of the surrounding forest and the habitation.
Bylekuppe Tibetan Settlement
Discover Bylekuppe, the second largest Tibetan settlement outside Tibet, complete with a Tibetan monastery with 7,000 monks, a Golden temple, a Tibetan village and a flea market.
Experience rebirth at the Vaidyasala, the Ayurveda Village that harnesses the ancient secrets of the world's oldest healing system, to rejuvenate, regenerate and revitalize you. Expert masseurs and masseuses infuse your body with new vigour. Experienced physicians prescribe a customized regimen to suit your constitution. With herbal baths, oil massages, age retardation therapies...all amidst a soothing, tranquil natural environment that promotes wellness of body, mind and spirit. Coorg presents the perfect weather and opportunity to discover the naturalist in you.
Go trekking in the adjoining Dubare Reserve Forest with a guide. Learn all about the birds and the beasts, and understand how each tree has a story to tell. Listen to jungle lore under a canopy of multi-hued green, and come back with a greater knowledge of the forest system and a higher sensitivity to the eco system.