Kodagu (Coorg), the thickly wooded grandeur on the Western Ghats, is the most beautiful hill station of Karnataka. It occupies an area of 4,102 square kilometres (1,584 sq mi) in the Western Ghats of southwestern Karnataka.
As of 2001, the population was 548,561, 13.74% of which resided in the district's urban centres, making it the least populous of the 30 districts in Karnataka. Kodagu is well known in the world for coffee and its "brave warriors". Madikeri is the headquarters of Kodagu. Kodagu is home to the native speakers of Kodava language.
Much of Kodagu is used for agriculture. Characteristically and historically, paddy fields are found on the valley floors, with Coffee and pepper agroforestry in the surrounding hills mainly near Madikeri. The most common plantation crop is coffee, especially Coffea robusta variety. Kodagu is the second coffee production region in India, after the Baba Budangiri hills in Chikkamagaluru district. Coffee revenue helped Kodagu to become one the richest districts in India.
Kodagu is considered rich with wildlife and has three wildlife sanctuaries and one national park: the Brahmagiri, Talakaveri, and Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuaries, and the Nagarhole National Park, also known as the Rajiv Gandhi National Park.
Kodagu is located on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats. It has a geographical area of 4,102 km2 (1,584 sq mi). The district is bordered by Dakshina Kannada district to the northwest, Hassan district to the north, Mysore district to the east, Kannur district of Kerala to the southwest, and Wayanad district of Kerala to the south.
It is a hilly district, the lowest elevation of which is 900 metres (3,000 ft) above sea-level. The highest peak, Tadiandamol, rises to 1,750 metres (5,740 ft), with Pushpagiri, the second highest, at 1,715 metres (5,627 ft).
The main river in Kodagu is the Kaveri (Cauvery), which originates at Talakaveri, located on the eastern side of the Western Ghats, and with its tributaries, drains the greater part of Kodagu.
In July and August, rainfall is intense, and there are often showers into November. Yearly rainfall may exceed 4,000 millimetres (160 in) in some areas. In dense jungle tracts, rainfall reaches 3,000 to 3,800 millimetres (120 to 150 in) and 1,500 to 2,500 millimetres (59 to 98 in) in the bamboo district to the west.
Kodagu has an average temperature of 15 °C (59 °F), ranging from 11 to 28 °C (52 to 82 °F), with the highest temperatures occurring in April and May.
The principal town, and district capital, is Madikeri, or Mercara, with a population of around 30,000. Other significant towns include Virajpet (Virarajendrapet), Kushalanagara, Somwarpet and Gonikoppal.
The district is divided into the three administrative talukas: Madikeri, Virajpet and Somwarpet.
Madikeri is well connected by road with Mangalore, Hassan, Mysore, Bangalore and Kannur, Thalassery, and Wayanad of neighbouring state Kerala.
There are three Ghat roads for reaching Kodagu from coastal regions of Kerala and Karnataka:
Sampaje - Madikeri Ghat road from Mangalore, Panathur - Bhagamandala Ghat road from Kasaragod, Kanhangad, Malom and chittarikkal and Makutta - Perumbadi/Virajpet Ghat road from Kannur and Thalassery.
The nearest railway stations are Thalassery and Kannur in Kerala and Mangalore, Mysore and Hassan are the nearest in Karnataka.
The nearest airports are at Mysore and Mangalore. Mysore Airport is at a distance of 130 km from Madikeri and 115 kilometres (71 mi) from Virajpet. Mangalore International Airport is located 140 kilometres (87 mi) from Madikeri and 172 kilometres (107 mi) from Virajpet.
The nearest seaport for Kodagu is New Mangalore Port at Panambur in Mangalore, 145 kilometres (90 mi) from Madikeri.