GUDDEHOSUR POST, KODAGU
USP: Green and quiet
What is it about Madikeri and rain? Somehow, each time I have ventured in that direction, there has been a downpour: the kind that soaks body and soul. Madikeri rain reminds you of Malnad and its incessant, steady soaker. This time as well, on my way to Eco Habitat, a Mahindra Homestay on the road to Dubare, the rains welcomed. The lovely rain, the lush green environs of Eco Habitat promised a treat.
The biggest advantage of Eco Habitat is its location. Every place worth a visit is easily accessible. If you don't want to do the usual touristy visits, then you can just cross the road and head towards the river rafting and fishing camp that is hardly five minutes away. Somshekar, who knows the place well, takes you to undiscovered locations. Early in the morning, he drove us into the forests, and in its still silence, the occasional cry of peacocks was exhilarating. If you are lucky, you may even spot elephants crossing the road. You can go trekking in the Brahmagiri ranges, visit the Chiklihole reservoir, the Harangi dam, the backwaters of Harangi and excellent bird-watching locations.
Feel like a microlite tour and paragliding; it can be arranged. The Golden Temple in Bylukuppe is a half-an-hour drive and at the Dubare Elephant camp you can bathe the elephants, watch them being fed or go on a jungle safari.
The cottages are comfortable and come with private pools. All meals (of your choice) are served in your room. There is the essential Kannadiga fare, mild and comfortable, and Chinese food; however, if you are looking for a typical Kodava spread, you may not find it here.
Eco Habitat's work extends to visiting nearby villages and spreading information on preserving bio-diversity. Eco Habitat is not merely a slogan, but a way of life.
As I left, wondering when I could go back, it started pouring…
How to get there
Take the Mysore Road. After Srirangapatna, take a right towards Hunsur. Cross Hunsur town and at the Y junction, take the road that leads you to Kushalnagar. Gudde Hosur junction is three km from here. Take the left and travel another three km; Eco Habitat is located on the right.
There are two cottages available, at Rs. 4,500 for a couple. The package includes breakfast. An extra bed costs Rs. 900, a vegetarian meal, Rs. 125 and a non-vegetarian meal, Rs. 175. For details, call 1800-4252737 (toll-free, Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.) or visit www.mahindrahomestays.com
Things to do
The renowned Golden temple of the Tibetan settlement of Bylakuppe is a half-an-hour drive away and a must-see. Step out of the temple and indulge in piping hot momos and tea.
Walk down to the Tibetan shopping complex opposite the temple for lovely silver jewellery, curios, woollen shawls and other knickknacks.
Go for long languorous walks around the vanilla and coconut plantations.
Source: The Hindu