Our last vacation of 2013 was spent in one of the most fragrant and charming places I’ve ever been to! The smell of fresh air with a whiff of freshly brewed coffee got us incredibly relaxed! We visited the coffee cultivating district of Coorg in Karnataka, and homestayed with a lovely coffee farming family. We had been planning a road trip in South India for quite some time, and especially a trip to Coorg for the last 2 years. Finally, we managed to make it!
Coorg is one of the chief coffee cultivating regions of India and almost the whole land is covered with coffee plantations, with some part of it used for cultivating other spices, fruits and vegetables. Its headquarter Madikeri, is a nice little town that has not yet been fully commercialized such as Ooty or Darjeeling. The charm of the place though, really lies in the smaller towns and far flung coffee estates nested deep into the valleys. We spent 2 days at one such estate – Bel Home homestay, run by the awesome couple Vijai and Ramolla Deviah at their 80 acres of coffee plantation. The place is lovely. The owners even nicer!
The accommodation we got was quite cozy. It was a wooden cottage right beside their own. A lot of people who go to Coorg, end up spending most of their time driving up and down the hills to visit familiar tourist spots in the district. We however wanted to make the trip to relax, and spent the entire 2 days and nights at the estate. We were served with the perfect things during our entire stay – great Coorgi food, freshly brewed aromatic Arabica coffee and wonderful conversations with the owners and other guests! Never once did we feel that we were staying in a commercial establishment. This was the truest form of home stay we’ve experienced. On our last day, Vijai even took us in his own car to a scenic view point to capture a vista of the valley.
The owners have two dogs who are pretty awesome. While Sheeba the Alsatian is spoilt for pranks, the older one (Tigger) would always accompany us on our walking trails and guide us back to our cottages. He would keep coming back to us to be pampered and taken for a walk. Now I am typically quite scared of dogs, but these two changed my opinion of dogs! I do miss them as much as I miss the place!
We bought some awesome Coorgi chocolates from Madikeri to last us the rest of the journey and enough fresh coffee powder from the estate to last us a while. In fact, the coffee smells and tastes so good that we’ve simply stopped using instant coffee and started brewing filter coffee at home each day! It just grows on you. If you are a South Indian you would know, but if you haven’t been using filter coffee yet, you are losing much in life!
As soon as we reached back home, we felt that we should have extended our stay by a couple more days. Nevertheless, it is a place I wouldn’t mind visiting again, and soon! And if anyone of you are planning to visit Coorg – make sure you stay at the Bel Home homestay at Madapur, Coorg.
Oh, and btw, if you do drive up to Coorg, do not forget to visit the beautiful Bylakuppe Tibetan monastery just a few kms before Madikeri!
I think, it was the perfect way to end an otherwise not so happy 2013!