Wednesday July 23rd 2014

Green Holidays in Coorg

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We corporate mortals are far from achieving the affluence that allows plantation bungalows for holiday homes. Nevertheless, there is the option of renting one for a few days of total relaxation. Which is what we did.

In Bangalore on some work, what better way to end the trip than to squeeze in a plantation vacation?

Coorg is one of the few places in India where the concept of Bed&Breakfast is popular. Many plantation owners rent out rooms to guests.

One of the most recommended ones in the area is The Palace Estate. Spread over acres of land, the estate has multiple rooms available at a very affordable range of Rs 2000 to 5000 per night. Unfortunately, the estate is quite a distance from Bangalore and in the interiors of Coorg.

We corporate mortals are far from achieving the affluence that allows plantation bungalows for holiday homes. Nevertheless, there is the option of renting one for a few days of total relaxation. Which is what we did.

In Bangalore on some work, what better way to end the trip than to squeeze in a plantation vacation?

Coorg is one of the few places in India where the concept of Bed&Breakfast is popular. Many plantation owners rent out rooms to guests.

One of the most recommended ones in the area is The Palace Estate. Spread over acres of land, the estate has multiple rooms available at a very affordable range of Rs 2000 to 5000 per night. Unfortunately, the estate is quite a distance from Bangalore and in the interiors of Coorg.

Plantation Trails as it is called, has numerous bungalows in this region. We shortlisted the Woshully Bungalow and in retrospect can confirm that this is the most beautiful of their properties in this area. Getting there was painful though, as the last 30 km were so terrible that it took us 2 hours. The total drive of 230 km (from Bangalore) took 7 hours.

Located in the heart of Tata’s 2000 acre coffee estate, this 110 year old bungalow is something like a movie set. With a grand formal drawing room, a very ‘proper’ dining room, a cozy TV room and 3 guest rooms, I could only wish that I owned the place and lived there forever.

The bungalow came with its own butler who would ask us what we would like for every meal and then serve us as if we were royalty.

The food deserves special mention. Each meal had 2 non vegetarian and 2 vegetarian dishes, daal, curd, papad and rice. And on our insistence, the cook prepared authentic Coorgy cuisine only. Each preparation was so yummy that our entire vacation revolved around the next meal!

Which was just as well. If sight seeing is your thing, a one-hour drive will take you to the Dubare Elephant Camp, the Buddhist Golden Temple and a few waterfalls.

But as our sole purpose was to relax, we barely left the plantation. A lovely one hour plantation walk and a 45 minute plantation jeep tour broke the routine of sitting in our verandah and listening to the trees whisper.

The one day we did venture out, we booked a game of golf at the adjacent 9 hole Tata Golf Course. The chilly weather, green expanse and a lazy game of golf. C’est la vie.

A few things that I now know that I didn’t know before:

1) Pepper plant is a creeper and grows on the Silver Oak trees in coffee plantations.

2) Coffee as a plant needs shade unlike tea. Thus, the plantation has tall trees to help the plant grow.

3) Coffee only grows once a year unlike tea.

4) The smell of coffee that is we associate the beans with only come once the beans have been dried and roasted. Till then, its almost fruity.

All in all, a fabulous vacation at a plantation. Living the high life can get contagious! Find more info on India travel packages and south India tour also India holidays

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