When you think of Coorg, you’ll invariably think of lush green meadows, waterfalls, temples, monuments, and culture. There’s something for everyone. This means as a photographer you have a variety of choices in front of you.
So, here’s a Coorg guide from a photographer’s perspective that might help you immensely in planning your trip around photography. Except for the waterfalls shot, you can take similar or even better photographs with any camera. So, don’t restrict yourself because of your camera, just unleash your imagination. Let’s dive right in.
One of the most visited sites in Coorg is Raja’s seat. It’s usually bustling with tourists because of the panoramic view of the rolling mountains which Coorg is famous for. This place is famous for sunset.
While early morning will yield some misty feel, the evening can yield best results. You can plan to visit both these times as it’s in the Madikeri town. Instead of shooting only the panoramic view, try including the Raja’s tomb to set the context and people to give a sense of scale and emotion as seen in the below photo. The drizzle during the monsoon gave it a mystical feel, which is the best time to visit the Coorg if you truly want to witness the magic.
Instead of sticking to clichéd shot, I’d recommend you to photograph some close-ups as there’re plenty of colorful flowers. Also, include people in your sceneries to show the scale.
Abbey (or Abbi) Falls
The most obvious place to visit in Coorg is Abbey (also known as Abbi) waterfalls. It’s a photographer’s delight. The lush green surroundings and a higher view-point make it a unique setting as you can photograph the complete waterfalls. There are not many options to capture this beauty, other than from the viewpoint. But, that’s okay.
It’s best to visit this place early in the morning, just before the sunrise. The reason for going early is to avoid the crowd. Not because you get the golden glow, unfortunately, you don’t. The waterfalls will be in shade which is indeed better as you need an evenly distributed light for waterfall photography. Don’t forget to take your tripod to shoot in slow shutter speeds so that you can get that silky water effect as shown below.
It gets crowded after 8 or 9 am and it becomes almost impossible to get good viewpoints. And also you got to be careful as the crowd might topple the tripod, in which case, it’s pretty much going to fall off in to the water.
Don’t forget to use a telephoto lens to photograph some close-ups of the mini-waterfalls and the stream. It can be fun and might give you some good and unique photos too.
Omkareshwara temple is colorful, symmetrical, and has the unique Coorg charm to it. This is an amazing place that offers unique perspective for the photographers. After offering your prayers to the deity, you can spend considerable time here at the temple as it offers spectacular photos. Check the Temple timings before you head out there. I think evening time gives you better photo opportunities.
You can get variety of perspective from different vantage point. Walk around this place a bit to get different perspectives. The one that’ll give you the best photo options is from the door to the temple. As you come out of the temple, you’d get a high vantage point which gives you a symmetrical form, the reflection, and surrounding buildings. If you can include the culture there by including people, you get the best of both worlds as shown below.
Try various combinations to see which one suits your taste. Don’t forget to take few close-ups highlighting some intricate details in the temple. And of course, you should concentrate on working with saturated colours that are present in this temple.
Raja’s tomb is a serene place with beautiful tombs and garden. Though it does not seem to attract a lot of tourists for some reason, I think there’s a huge potential for a photographer. It’s also a place to have a relaxed walk in the garden and breathe some fresh air.
Raja’s tomb is the place to be during the Dusk. Right after the sunset, the entire place turns into a palette of subtle colours. As the place is not crowded, you get to go around and get the viewpoint that you desire. Rich greenery sets an excellent mood to the subdued colour of the tomb, its symmetrical form, and starkly contrasted steps. Together they give a painterly feeling against the subtle hues in the sky.
You can comfortably cover all these places in a matter of a day and still have enough time to shop around during the day. Also, don’t forget to try out Coorg’s mouth-watering dishes. We’ll come back with more places to photograph in Coorg in the next article.