Mist-enclosed valleys, gushing rivers and tinkling streams, colonial style houses, forests teaming with wildlife, a cool and bracing climate that offers relief from the heat of the plains, a warm hospitable people– Karnataka’s hills, mountains and hill stations will make you want to stay on…and on.
Take Coorg, for instance, the ‘Scotland of India’, the land of legend, coffee and spices, verdant rolling hills and sublime weather. A land of a fiercely independent people who are also, paradoxically, famous for their hospitality and mouth watering cuisine. With opportunities galore for fishing, trekking, white river rafting and other outdoor activities see rare wild animals and birds up close in their natural habitats at two of India’s major wildlife sanctuaries. Camping facilities, resorts and home stays – the possibilities for a great holiday in Coorg are endless….
Or Chikmagalur, coffee country, literally meaning ‘Land of the Youngest Daughter’ for it was reputedly given as dowry for the young daughter of a legendary chieftain of yore. Strike out from the quaint, laid back town of Chikmagallur (3,400 feet high) into the forest covered slopes of the high mountains. Where cataracts fall like sheer silk in remote jungle vastnesses. Here are three of Karnataka’s highest peaks – Mullayanagiri, at 6, 317 feet one of the best trekking regions of South India; Baba Budangiri (5,865 feet) and Kudremukh, a scenicrange of mountains climbing up to 5,676 at the highest point, one of which does indeed resemble a ‘horse’s face’, as the name translates into. Wildlife sanctuaries, tiger reserves, a large, grand and ancient 12th century Hoysala temple – again, like Coorg and others, the delights of Chikmagalur are hard to list!