A few kilometers drive through rutted path inside a forest – the little road towards ShanthiKunj homestay snakes left and right through an arena of coffee plantation on either side. To be precise, not just coffee, it is an oasis of spices. The strong smell of black pepper, vanilla and cardamom in the air oozes a strong aroma like that of incense when lit. I figured what they were from a close observation gawking over my slightly raised mist window.
The route to ShanthiKunnj homestay is a learning experience at the same time adventurous. Infact, you could call it the countryside of Chikmagalur. The stay is located deep inside a plantation. We followed the homestay direction boards hung on the trees. It was 4.pm, but the grey clouds had begun to cover the sky already.
Lovely Bindu invites us with a metal Puja tray that holds a lit diva lamp and waves it clockwise. To top it, she dabs Kumkum (holy red pigment) on our forehead. The interior of the reception office has a peculiar characteristic to it. The roof is thatched and plaited high up which makes you wonder the efforts that has been put into the making of something different. Independent cottages are built amidst the lush greenery and incredibly tall trees. The cottages essences lie in its making as they are made of locally grown timber. I have always had a charisma for eco-friendly aspects.
While we spread our stay at the Tent House and Glass House, we relished the best of both the vista. Here, the layout is more like one walks pass the entrance; pass by the bedside and bathroom and onto the balcony to myriad of serenity . We spent our evening, reading on our hammock and reveled in each sip of hot coffee, as this is not the kind of luxury one finds every day.
The setting is similar to staying in a rainforest. Our balcony faced the very famous Bhadra River and beyond the river are the dense hills of the Western Ghats. The areca house, Glass house and Tent house faces the river. The glass house is a cottage with wider glass windows and a combination of wood. So when the curtains are drawn, you feel like you are literally delved in a forest.
There is uniqueness even in the restaurant .The audio speaker is secured inside a flat – plate like thatch plugged onto the higher end of the pole. Breakfast and dinner buffet is included in the package, also one can chit and chat around the campfire next to the restaurant.
At 7.30 a.m next morning, we woke up to the melodious whisper of the waves, for a trekking through the plantation (Included in the package). One of the boys, guide you through the plantation and while you wander, you get to see Bhadra River up close.
True to its name “Shanthi”( silence ), there is an absolute tranquility for nature lovers as well as adventurers. It proves that nature can truly while away your time before you begin to realize that you are at a paradise by the riverside. The place has the service of a hotel at the same time there is an unconditional sense of homeliness.
- Shanthikunnj is away from the hustle and bustle of the city and a vehicle is a must to commute.
- The staff is great and quite helpful in any case. They wouldn’t mind sparing some time to talk to their guests.
- The homestay has different layout for each of their cottages, and all have attached bathrooms. Their cottages are classified by Tent house, Glass house, Log House, Mud House, Den House, Areca House.
- Prices are budget friendly starting from INR 2750/- per person inclusive of breakfast, lunch and dinner.
*I did not receive any compensation for a stay or for this post. The views and opinions expressed are purely my own.