Coorg is the homestay capital of this part of the country. In fact the second best highlight of a Coorg tour, after Nature, is its much talked about home says.
Why Coorg homesays are so popular ? And what to expect ?
This is a plantation country set on the gentle slops of the Western Ghats.
A large part of mountainous region is forest. The rest are plantations, mostly growing cash crops like coffee,pepper,cardamom, vanilla and a host of other spices.
Of course the valleys among the rolling hills are all filled with contiguous swatches of paddy fields or meadows. Sprinkled around this green land are many smaller towns, generally known to the outside world as ‘Coorg’.
That's a very general topography of the Coorg region.
However the picture is not complete till one understand a few more vital components that makes Coorg a unique place.
This place is know for its martial tradition,culinary tastes, distinct culture, hospitality and language.
The large houses marooned in the thick of the plantations were opened to the tourists, who otherwise would have to find accommodation in hotels and lodges. Being a plantation country, Coorg has many such homestays scattered all round.
Some of them are cottages and outhouses in the plantations, while the rest are larger homes. In any case they are typically spacious homes, with characteristic terracotta tiled angled roofs, often with a large porch and a sprawling courtyard.
Most of the home stays are managed by the households with assistance of domestic help.To that extent, the homestays are neither hotel like nor resort like in its setup.
Along with the standard selection criteria like price and popularity, select your homesaty based on its location too. Some are relatively easy to reach while the rest are deep in the countryside.
The coffee plantations are generally concentrated around the western and southern parts of Coorg. Though there are exceptions, homesatys set amid the plantations are located in this part of Coorg.
You’ll find many homestays in places north of Kutta town ( Srimangala, Ponnampet, Gonikoppal etc) , that tentatively encircles the Nagarhole forest ranges. You are now well into the traditional coffee country heartland.
Go for what suits your taste the best.
Another point to consider is you group size.
There are some homesatsys who can accommodate large batches (like a school or company outings). Keep this factor in mind while searching for a suitable homestay.
So how do one book for home stays?
There are many websites that books homestay accommodation, while the rest gives info like contact details are reviews. Some homestays have there own websites too.You have a reasonably long list of homestays to chose from. Do some internet search and finalize.
One last point on homestay. Come the holidays and long weekends, it all get over booked. Though there are many popular homestays, they all are typically with limited accommodations (unlike hotels with many rooms).
Plan for booking many weeks before your Coorg trip. Off season that’s not a problem, you'll even get great discounted rates.
That’s about homestays in Coorg. Enjoy your holidays at Coorg!!
And finally when you make it to Coorg, you find everything changed in one stroke. The air is cold and misty. The smell is predominantly of coffee, but still with a hint of dried ginger, cardamom and orange in that order.