You may remember a time when holidays meant being with your extended family. You might have climbed trees, or played in open fields, or listened wide-eyed to grandparents as they told you stories of bygone times. Of course, things are now very different, but you can still create memorable experiences for yourself and your family.
Nature has the knack to take us places where stillness overpowers cacophony. Where calm prevails and time slows down. Still regarded as one of India’s hidden treasures, Coorg or Kodagu is just the place. Situated on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats in southern Karnataka, it’s famous for coffee plantations, forests, food, and for being the source of the 800km long river Kaveri.
1. From routine to relaxation
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better,” observed Albert Einstein. With two luxury resorts to choose from – Club Mahindra Madikeri and Club Mahindra Virajpet – the first thing that will greet your eyes are countless shades of green, as the dusty browns of the plains give way to mountainsides thick with verdant forests, coffee, pepper, and cardamom plantations, and orchards. As you wend your way down the eastern slopes of the ghats, little streams and the occasional waterfall provide a clue to the presence of the great life-giver – the revered Kaveri.
2. Walk on the wild side
Coorg has a rich wildlife history, with the Brahmagiri, Talakaveri and Pushpagiri wildlife sanctuaries, and the Nagarhole National Park located within. A simple walk amidst the greenery can get your adrenaline pumping just as much as bungee jumping in the Himalayas. The best way to experience it is to stop, breathe easy, and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you. Not by looking at a screen or reading about it in a book, but by doing it yourself.
Many tourists love to simply walk, explore, listen, and watch. So whether it’s a nature trail, a visit to a local village, a tour of a coffee plantation, experiencing the local culture and understanding the heritage, or bird-watching, a change of pace is perhaps just what the doctor ordered. With expert nature guides who share myths, fables and science along the way in equal measure, we invite our guests to explore the wild side, within and without. The only thing we ask is that we respect what nature provides, and partake of her beauty with minimal disruption.
The Virajpet resort, for example, is situated in the midst of a coffee plantation. So a long walk serves as rejuvenation as much as absorbing the heady aromas of coffee, pepper, cardamom and other spices. And where there’s greenery, you’ll always find birds going about their daily lives. Wouldn’t you agree it beats life in a concrete jungle?
3. Spiritual awakening
Coorg is studded with numerous sacred and religious sites. And no trip to Coorg is complete without a visit to the birthplace of the Kaveri at Talacauvery. In addition to the spectacular views of the Western Ghats, the Bhagandeshwara temple in Bhagamandala, where three rivers considered holy for Hindus meet, is also worth a visit.
Given its religious significance, Talacauvery does get crowded, but faith overrides all else for visitors. Other holy sites worthy a visit include the Namdroling monastery, also known as the Golden Temple, which is the largest teaching centre of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in the world, and the Omkareshwara temple.
4. For the more adventurous
There are many who can’t do without an occasional adrenaline rush. Few things can be as exhilarating as river rafting as you traverse rapids and follow the contours of the Kaveri. You may get soaked, but isn’t that the point?
If you’re of a more mechanical disposition, the Virajpet Resort has All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) on which guests can explore the hilly terrain and plantations. They’re fun, easy to drive, and give you a flush of excitement every time you open the throttle.
At the Madikeri Resort, you can challenge yourself and walk across rope bridges suspended above the forest floor.
5. (Not) child’s play
Children are a key reason why Club Mahindra exists. It’s all about the family, and especially for kids to play, make new friends, and enjoy themselves safely. Parents can rest assured that safety is of paramount importance; there’s adult supervision by trained staff at all times.
While children enjoy outdoor activities (there’s a bowling machine for cricket-mad ‘kids’ of all ages at our Madikeri resort) and swimming, we also have a Fun Zone where indoor activities can be enjoyed by one and all. Where board games compete with video games, a game of pool provides a sedate alternative to table tennis, and air hockey keeps you on your toes.
Feeling lazy? Simply lounge around and read a book. And if you’d like some quiet time with your spouse, our staff will be happy to keep the kids occupied and out of trouble so you can also enjoy your holiday.
6. Eat and make merry
The Coorg region is renowned for its cuisine, and both our resorts serve local vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies. Club Mahindra Madikeri has three restaurants for you to choose from, while Club Mahindra Virajpet has two. Guests should make it a point to sample some of the local cuisine, as they are very different from what’s available in the rest of the country. Yes, we do offer a range of Jain dishes too.
After a hard day of doing things (or perhaps doing nothing at all) there’s no better way to unwind in the evening than with a drink. Looking forward to chat, or perhaps make new friends while listening to music? You’ve earned it!
Both our Coorg resorts have one-bedroom (sleeps 4) and studio apartments (sleeps 3). Light, airy and spacious, they are designed to be a ‘home away from home’ for our guests.
There are two pools at Club Mahindra Madikeri, while the one at Club Mahindra Virajpet is large enough to row a boat across! So while the kids spend all day in the water under the watchful eye of Club Mahindra staff, adults can lounge by the pool or engage in other activities that may tickle their fancy.
Sometimes, you just need to be pampered. The Svaastha Spa in both resorts is a great way to have the stress and tension of city life massaged out of you. So relax, rejuvenate, and revitalise your senses, courtesy of our trained staff.