We go to Coorg to trace the origination of the river Kaveri. We come back blown away by its beauty, its calm and serenity. Not to mention the colour of the skies in Coorg.

Tales of the Kaveri are numerous and wonderful. But one has to see it in person to truly appreciate its beauty. That’s what took us to Coorg, very close to the birth place of the river Kaveri. Bangalore has been base city for quite a few of my recent trips, and it was no different this time around.

As always, we decided to leave the city early in the morning. Coorg is about 250km from Bangalore. The drive takes about 5-6 hours. We left the city at 5:30am and made quick progress towards Mysore. On our way to Mysore, we stopped at this restaurant called Organic Mandya and enjoyed a sumptuous South Indian breakfast.

The road to Coorg takes you right up to Mysore – turning away from the highway just before the palace city. Onwards from there, the traffic thins out and the road becomes more twisty. It’s a beautiful drive – one that is best taken at leisure to soak in the green of the hills as you approach Coorg.

Coorg is also one of the few hill stations in this part of town that are cool during the summer. While Bangalore is simmering at 35-37 degrees Celsius, maximum temperatures in Coorg are around the 22 degree mark. Pleasant would be an understatement. During the night and early in the morning, that figure drops to about 13 degrees. It’s the quintessential summer get-away.

After a 6 hour drive, we reached our hotel. We had decided to stay at the Orange County property in Coorg. The reason we chose this hotel was its location. It’s right next to the Kaveri river – the subject of this article. How close you ask? About 300m away. You step out of Orange County’s gorgeous property, and boom! – The Kaveri will be on your right.

Tired from the drive, we disembarked from our vehicle and were greeted by extremely friendly faces at the hotel reception. Friendly and hospitable are two words that describe Orange County to its core. Set amidst a 300 acre coffee plantation, the Orange County resort blends raw nature and high living seamlessly. Each Villa comes with a private pool and Jacuzzi, and each Villa is detached from the other – meaning you get complete privacy. It’s a honeymooners paradise. The rooms are gorgeous – lots of high quality wood – designed and finished with a very local aesthetic. Within the rooms, the roofs converge to allow rain water to fall into a designated catchment area – allowing you to feel one with the elements, while enveloped in luxury.

What we especially liked about Orange County was their warmth and humility. The entire staff is committed to ensuring you have the best stay you’ve ever had. They’re interested in knowing not only how your stay is proceeding, but also how you’re liking Coorg as a place and how your day is shaping up. They’re more than happy to suggest and recommend places of interest around – and have a genuine discussion about their pros and cons. it’s a very humane approach to hospitality, one we could get used to.

After a brief afternoon nap, I headed out to shoot the sunset. Sunsets in Coorg, at this time of the year, are a special experience. The sky turns deep orange for about 15 minutes – leaving you in awe. Just look at how pretty those photos have turned out to be. I think each trip is composed of a few highlights that make the trip worth your time. Coorg had not one, but many of those highlights. Starting with the sunset on the first day.

I think each trip is composed of a few highlights that make the trip worth your time. Coorg had not one, but many of those highlights. Starting with the sunset on the first day.

The second highlight was dinner that night. Set amidst paddy fields, under a blanket of stars with the sweet sound of a flute for company, the absolutely delicious food seemed a li’l more wholesome. The occasion was overwhelmingly special. I also manage to capture a star trail to capture the moment in all its glory.

Set amidst paddy fields, under a blanket of stars with the sweet sound of a flute for company, the absolutely delicious food seemed a li’l more wholesome.

The next day, we spent some time relaxing in the pool at the Villa. The Jacuzzi felt great on a mildly warm day – relaxing our bodies, relieving the stress. In the afternoon, we decided to drive to Tala Cauvery – the birth place of the river Kaveri – one of the 7 sacred rivers of India. The river is named after the goddess Cauvery.

Legend has it that on a certain day in September each year, the goddess manifests herself, at the source of the Kaveri river, as a sudden upsurge of water in a small tank. Thousands of devotees get together to mark the occasion and worship the goddess. A temple has now been created in her name. While photographing the temple is not allowed, we were able to take some gorgeous shots of the sunset from Tala Cauvery. Second sunset in two days in Coorg. Second time that it left me in awe. If the first one was magnificent because of the way it reflected in the water, this one was magnificent because of the carpet of green that it over shadowed with its bright orange horizon and deep blue skies. Third highlight in two days time.

On any other trip, a sunset this beautiful would’ve taken the honours on the highlights board for the trip. But this was no ordinary road trip. The very next day, I got up early enough to catch the sunrise at Orange County. After a chilly morning, I decided to take a coracle ride.

A coracle is a circular boat made of wicker and protected by water proof material. Our boat was made of metal, for added robustness. A coracle is like a boat ride, but not like one either. It’s similar to a boat in the sense that it’s manoeuvred using a paddle. But it’s a very different experience as compared to a boat. Being circular means it’s pretty difficult to manoeuvre a Coracle without making it rotate about its centre. You realise very soon that it takes considerable practice and technique to be able to man a Coracle. Yes, I tried. Yes, I failed pretty miserably.

But that’s not the point here. With the mist curling up on the Kaveri, and a chill in the air at seven in the morning, the coracle ride was undoubtedly, the highlight of the trip. Soft sunshine shone across the surface of the river, making it look like gold. Birds chirped about the arrival of a new day. It was calm, it was serene, it was magical. Barely 50km from Tala Cauvery, the river’s originating point, the Kaveri had cast a spell on us that morning. The ride lasted for about 45 minutes – but that memory will last for a lifetime.

My first ever encounter with the Kaveri blew me away. I will be back, very soon, to see it in all its glory. I know it won’t disappoint me.