The Tamara Coorg: A bounty of history and nature

The Tamara Coorg in Karnataka is a byword for sustainability, which boasts a magical landscape that melds an ancient forest with tales of a martial race.

Published: 16th February 2020 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th February 2020 04:47 PM   |  A+A-

The Tamara Coorg is ringed by nature in all its bounty

The Tamara Coorg is ringed by nature in all its bounty

As the veil of mist lifts over the Western Ghats of Karnataka, a panorama unfolds. Rows on rows of coffee bushes, their leaves a lush velvet green, the ruby-red orbs produced here yield the heady Arabica brew.

The Tamara Coorg is ringed by a capillary of streams, creepers of perfumed spices, pepper vines and tropical fruit trees.

Blending into this forested landscape are the unique cottage-style villas built on stilts propped up on the plantation’s terraced rows.

A byword for sustainability, the cottages are forest and land continuum. Crafted out of roughly finished logs of wood, they are an extension of the wilderness.

Calm, meditative and a bit rough around the edges, the private sundecks with a 180-degree view of the valley allow you to seamlessly connect with nature and its rhythms even as the cloud-cloaked hills form grey specks in the horizon.

It’s a magical landscape, one that melds an ancient forest with the history of a martial race, the Kodavas.

Inside The Tamara, expect a visceral avian experience of the Western Ghats, featuring the Malabar Grey Hornbill, the Scarlet Minivet, the Grey Wagtail and their other feathered friends.

This lush haven of fauna can be punctuated with tranquil coffee drinking sessions, where the perfect cuppa is miles away from jostling cafes and their prohibitively expensive caffeine fixes.

Instead, Blossom to Brew is a customised coffee brewing session organised by the resort, where enthusiasts can sort their favourite coffee beans, make the desired blend, roast it to specifications and grind them manually. 

Coorg is, however, not all plantation terrain with a soundtrack of crickets and rainfall. History buffs will get their fix at the Nalknad Palace, which was built between 1792 and 1794 AD, and is hemmed in by the tiny hamlet of Yavakapadi.

The history of Nalknad is, at its heart, a narrative of political intrigue between diverse Indian states and empires in colonial India. The palace itself was the final shelter of the last of the Haleri kings of Kodagu, Chikka Veerarajendra, who was exiled to Varanasi by the British.

The two-storeyed palace, built by the exiled king’s ancestor Dodda Veerarajendra, is a fantasy of highly decorated wooden pillars, windows and doorjambs.

Steps to the main door of the palace come appointed with elephant balustrades, while the Durbar Hall offers a royal welcome by way of 18th and 19th-century paintings. 

Coorg effortlessly manages to bundle the twin experiences of history and nature. With the caressing sound of raindrops on coffee bushes, the past lurks in the nooks and corners of this lush landscape.

The Madikeri Fort, right in the heart of its namesake town, is such a portal to history. Some of its elevated structures help you see the city skyline in new and interesting ways.

Built in the later part of the 17th century by Muddu Raja, the then king of Coorg, the fort, though crumbling and overrun with creepers now, boasts of a unique character.

Once believed to be made of mud during the reign of the Kodagu Rajas, it was later re-constructed using granite masonry and laterite blocks after being captured by Tipu Sultan.

Today, the fort premises are home to the Madikeri Deputy Commissioner’s Office. Below the fort ramparts Madikeri hums along, with its chaotic traffic, independent businesses and throngs of spice and chocolate shops.

Even everyday Coorg is a balm to the restless soul. 

India Matters


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