Archive | May, 2014

Orange County – Coorg

27 May

Orange County Coorg , Located at Siddapura about 235 Km from Bangalore ( 6 Hrs Drive) is a lovely resort embedded in the midst of nature. Along the river Cauvery in the midst of dense greenery Orange County is a 300 acre Coffee / Spice Plantation – the resort in the middle of this is spread over 35 acres.

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Coorg is often called the Scotland of India because of the uncanny similiarirty – both were cold , misty mountainous regions. On my last visit 5 years back I was happy to see that Coorg was still not exploited. Club Mahindra and Orange County were the only 2 large resorts. But this time I found many many more – Windflower, Amana, Tamara, Taj and a second Club Mahindra. Some of these are at the beginning opt Coorg while others are deep down. Windflower and Amana come first and Tamara is the farthest away. It took us 6 Hrs to Reach Orange County on a long weekend that included a 30 min breakfast stop and we were in time for the 2 PM lunch Buffet. The good thing is there is no hill drive and Pin bends – so works fine for people with funny stomach. The Bangalore Mysore Road is jammed on long weekends and the road from Mysore to Coorg Via Hunsur is also getting busy. Roads are in great condition

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The Resort is a Villa only property ( 60 of them) and come in different shapes and sizes. We had the Lily Pool which is a Villa with its own small private pool. Large hall , dining space , very large bedroom and bath and a portico facing the pool. Its a 20 year old property but very well maintained and the quality of service is impeccable. The property is well spread across 35 Acres has multiple water bodies , pools and 3 restaurants. Its nestled in the midst of greenery and in the morning it took me 20 minutes to make a relaxed walk in the misty green ambience. It had rained the previous day and you can smell the mud, hear the dew drops falling on the leave , the birds chirping and smell the fresh mountain air packed with spices and medicated leaves.

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The place is meditative and you can sit down below a tree or next to the lake or even climb the tree house. You just need to close your eyes and peace and tranquility creeps in immediately. The 1 hr of peace and solitude in the morning makes up for the expensive luxury ( 25K / night for all inclusive family package – Room , + all meals + activities)

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The resort has many activities that start at 7 in the morning and continue thru the day. You need to make advance reservations. Of the different ones we loved the Plantation Trail – which is a ride in a Tractor all through the plantation and the Mountain bike ride in the morning.

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The place has 3 lovely Restaurants – Granary ( Multi-cuisine) , Pepper Corn ( Continental) and Plantation Leaf ( Veg S indian) – food quality is great and the variety in the buffet for breakfast and lunch is impressive. Pepper Corn is a candle light dinner place. Dinner reservations are needed at both Pepper Corn and Plantation Leaf. There is a kids activity centre and a well stocked reading lounge – a well maintained Ayuverda Spa that offers great rejuvenating massage, and every evening they put up some show with local artistes.

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River Cauvery runs along the Resort – 5 min walk and the Dubare elephant campus close by ( 15 min drive) . Other things to see in Coorg are the Abbey falls , Talacauvery ( Source of Cauvery – good 2 hr drive) and the Tibetan Monastery. A small park called Nisarga Dham is close to the Monastery and has a deer park. The public spaces are not well maintained , crowded in peak season – I would rather you stay away from them.

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The resort is relaxing and peaceful for a 3 night stay and if your objective is to de-stress and relax just stay in the resort and don’t venture out. Long walks , good food, fresh air , sleep in the afternoon , family time – its as good as it can get.

The service is excellent and we had nothing to complaint about at the end of the trip. Mobile phones work , TV connection is good , Bathrooms are well equipped , room service a tad slow but works. They provide accommodation and food for drivers.

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Having visited Orange County we are looking forward to the next trip to Orange County Kabini – and the best time to visit that place is after the rains maybe in Oct.

Directions

Bangalore (235 Kms) – Mysore Highway – Ramnagaram – Maddur – Mandya – Srirangapatna (4 Kms from town turn Right towards Elivala) – Elivala – Hunsur – Piriyapatna (1/2 km after town turn left towards Siddapura) – 3 Kms before Siddapura town, turn right for Orange County, Coorg