The Coorg road-trip is a Bangalore special, as the folks of the city love to head off to the misty ranges of Karnataka’s tiger country. A five to six hour trip, it entails a drastic change of scenery, with rocky plateau giving way to the lush Western Ghats.

All you need to do is plan a trip with friends or family is head from Bangalore to Coorg cabs.

There are many stops on the route with their own distinctive identities. From the obvious to the more offbeat, here are some recommendations to add more experiences to this amazing trip.

Channapatna

Channapatna is one of the most offbeat destinations in Karnataka and an ideal stop on your way to the hills of Coorg. The town is known for the manufacturing of traditional wooden toys and you can always explore the local markets and pick up some of these charming handmade toys as a souvenir.

While on this shopping trip, you can also check out some of the lacquerware, another famous export of Channapatna. If you’re looking for a food stop, step into the Heritage Winery on the Mysore highway, very close to Channapatna town. Explore the vineyard and get insights into the wine making process.

Mysore

Karnataka’s cultural capital will take several days to thoroughly explore, but if you just want to skim the surface of this royal town, then a palace visit is a must. A picture of grandiose and splendour, the Mysore palace features a blend of many architectural styles. It boasts a sprawling acreage and well-maintained grounds and is the seat of the Wodeyar dynasty, the royal patrons of the city.

A more eclectic and unique Mysore stop would be the open-air railway museum. While you’re there, you can also try some speciality delicacies such as Mysore Mylaridosa and Mysore pak.

Namdroling Monastery

A serene stop awaits road-trippers at the Namdroling Monastery, one of the most important centres of Tibetan Buddhist philosophies in Southern India. The pagoda and oriental style of architecture stands out in the verdant scenery of Bylakuppe in Mysore district. One of the attractions at the monastery includes the recently built ZangdogPalri Temple.

While at Bylakuppe, you can tuck into some delicious Tibetan cuisines – including their original take on the ubiquitous momo.

Nisargadhama Island

30 kilometres away from Madikeri, Nisargadhama is an island formed on the Cauvery River and a picturesque stop that gives visitors a taste of the natural beauty that Coorg is famous for. Some of the attractions here include a hanging rope bridge to access the island, a greenhouse featuring precious and endemic orchids and a thickly wooded area of sandalwood, teak and bamboo.

Animals that live on this 64 acre island include peacocks and deer. There are also provisions in place if you fancy a short elephant ride or some boating. You can avail of one of the many outstation cabs from Bangalore that will help you discover the side attractions of the Coorg route.

When measured strictly, the trip from Bangalore to Madikeri is just a 270-km drive along the NH75. However, it is a journey that spans civilizations and centuries as the royal cities and the Kannada heartland gives way to the rugged beauty of Kodava culture. Find a car rental in Bangalore that allows you to turn the pages slowly and soak in the diversity of Karnataka on this memorable route.