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A Weekend Getaway In Coorg-An Indian Homestay At A Coffee Estate
Coorg Homestay-In a Coffee Estate
Picturesque Coorg, Scotland of India
Coorg or Kodagu as it is known is a lesser known tourist destination with a difference. Situated in Karnataka, the southern state of India, it is referred to as the Scotland of the East by the Scots of the British Army, who had occupied the area from the 1830s until the Indian independence in 1947.
Surrounded by the hills, which come alive during the monsoon, offer many enchantic views of the woodlands and mountains.
Coorg is about 260 kilometers from Bengaluru centre and is 1,525 meters above sea level.
Coorg covers an area of 4,102 square kilometers, and its friendly inhabitants form the Kodava community. The river Cauvery originates here at Talacauvery and is worshipped as the main diety by the Kodavas. The Kodava people enjoy a rich heritage, culture and history, that can be experienced while at a homestay.
Getting There : The only way to get here is by cars and buses from Bengaluru and Mysuru. Roads are good and private taxis can be hired. It takes anywhere between five and six hours to reach Madikeri or Virajpet, the two principal towns in the hilly district of Coorg.
Take Home Souvenirs : Coffee powders, pork masala, pepper, oranges, spices such as cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves,etc.wines made from various fruits,ginger, rice, betel leaf,etc.
Homestay vs Hotel
A hotel comes with amenities and several facilities according to the type of hotel one is willing to pay for. Most of us check into a hotel for a holiday experience. Coorg in South India is known for its ecotourism and so, homestays are being encouraged in a big way. The hilly countryside is home to many estate owners who open up their home amid the coffee and pepper estates to anyone who wish to savour the nature at its best.
Benefit of choosing a homestay with a Coorgi family
Experience the everyday life of a Coorgi family. You get to savor the traditional local cuisine of Coorg. Guests are served authentic home cooked meals and treated as members of the family. The local favorite is a must have-little rice balls called kadambuttu along with pandi curry(pork curry made with a Coorgi masala made from freshly ground spices all grown here). The masalas used are unique to the region, for fish, chicken and pork. Served grilled, fried or roasted. Coorgis are predominantly non vegetarian, but do have a vegetarian fare as well.
Coorg is a nature lover’s paradise. Known as the Scotland of India, you will see Mother Nature at her best anytime of the year. Your hosts will also be happy to tell you about Coorg and can arrange an early morning trek through the surrounding hills. A trip to the town of Mercara , Bylakuppe, Abby Falls, Bagamandala, the source of the river Cauvery can be arranged. If you are in luck, you might get to attend a local wedding or a festival, when the whole community of Coorgis come together.
If you love to go birding, you must take long walks through the coffee estates early morning and at dusk to hear sweet sounds and see magnificent birds not commonly seen. Carry your camera at all times for you will have many “AHA” moments to capture.
Most homestays are part of an association and adhere to strict rules of conduct and safety. Your holiday will be pleasant if you book early, notify your host about your food preferences and whether you would like a room or a cottage to stay in. Not to worry about the bathrooms-spacious, clean, with modern fittings and running hot water. Most provide you with a guide or the host himself accompanies you on day outings.
The hosts generally provide you with a campfire for dinner on weekends.
Getting To PN Heritage
Between Mysuru and Madikeri (Mercara), you will pass Kushalnagar. Just before Kushalnagar, take a right turn, and after a distance, you will see signboards of PN Heritage that lead you upto the estate gate. It is about 23 kms from Kushalnagar. And the roads are good. It will take about 2 to 2 1/2 hours from Mysuru. If you leave early in the morning from Bengaluru, about 4 AM, you can reach PN Heritage by about 9.30 AM. You can make a breakfast stop at a Cafe Coorg restaurant at Hunsur. If you wish to have your breakfast at PN Heritage on arrival, let the host know beforehand.
Bangalore to PN Heritage HomeStay
PN Heritage-Coorg Homestay
PN Heritage Homestay Review
Last weekend, we arranged to stay at the PN Heritage, a homestay provided on the 22 acre coffee estate. Host Solomon welcomed us warmly and made sure we had a comfortable stay. There were other guests at the homestay as well, but each group was being personally welcomed and made to feel at home.
All buildings on the property have the typical Kodava architecture, with the sloped tile roofs. Rooms are spacious and moderately furnished. Just comfortable! TV only in the common living room and not in any guest room. Thankfully!
The main home has 8 rooms of which 6 are let out to guests. Another large building houses the 2 dormitories which can house upto 8 people each.
We were put up in a room in a smaller cottage away from the main home, with the remaining 2 rooms being occupied by members of another tourist family. The room was spacious, clean and well ventilated. The attached bath had running hot water and was super clean with modern bath fixtures. The bed was comfortable with warm razai (an Indian cotton blanket) provided as the nights are very cold.
Pets are not allowed on the property normally, but since we had informed earlier, we were allowed to house our dog, Jerry, in one of the 3 spacious and clean kennels. We had taken our doggy bowl, so we just had to ask for some milk and rice for our doggy dinner which was provided. They have their own dog, so she gets a bit jealous.
There is also ample parking space.
If you are expecting Indian restaurant food, you can forget it. This is a genuine Coorgi home serving authentic Kodava cuisine. Vegetarian meals are served everyday, and upon request, nonvegetarian fare is provided. Since it is a home, you are to make your food preferences known in advance, preferably at the time of booking, so that you will have a pleasant stay. Be aware though that the Kodavas are predominantly rice eaters.
The day we arrived, for lunch, we were served pandi curry,an aromatic spicy pork curry with kadambuttu (pasty rice balls), fish curry, an extremely tasty curry that went well with the home grown rice. A variant of chicken chilly was also served. Vermicelli payasam was the dessert that was made refreshingly different. All freshly ground spices used in the meal were from the area.
Dinner was a treat. Campfires were lit separately for each group of guests and special chicken biriyani was served as the main dish.
Hot Tip : Carry your own liquor as liquor is not served at any homestay. Let the host know, and he will happily make arrangements for some delicious fried chicken items to go with it.
For breakfast next morning, we had hot rice rottis (a type of chapatthi made from cooked rice and rice flour) with a vegetable curry and coffee.
All meals were served in the dining room. We were allowed into the kitchen to see food being prepared by the courteous staff. It was fun to see the rottis puffing up over the hot embers of an ancient stove. And the Biriyani being made by the host himself.
Filtered drinking water was provided which was the first thing I noticed.
PN Heritage Homestay
Outdoor Fun Activities
Fun Activities For You and the Kids
Both indoor and outdoor activities are available for all age groups.
Indoor : Carrom, table tennis
Outdoor : Air gun shooting, basketball, badminton, trekking through the picturesque hills. The large swimming pool beckons you the minute you set your foot on the property. Long early morning walks through the estate with a guide is sure to mesmerize you as you marvel at Mother Nature. Coffee berries in the coffee bushes, the tall trees with pepper vines full of green pepper, and the different chirps of birds never heard or seen before!
Campfire dinner is an added attraction.
PN Heritage Contact Details
Hot tip : Book early to avoid disappointment.
Solomon Sadhu : 9845207276
You can also email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address : Gundicoppa Estate, Belur Post, Somwarpet, Coorg-571 236