Chikmagalur – The Coffee Land of India. Located at about 260 Kms from Bangalore, this town is known to be the first to grow Coffee in India. If you are looking for a weekend trip from Bangalore, then a 5 hour drive takes you to this town, located on the foothills of Bababudangiri Range of Western Ghats. There are plenty of resorts to stay within & near the town & many more home-stay resorts strewn on the hills around.
This travelogue /trip report is about Greendale Homestay, a private coffee estate residence, unlike the many other commercial homestay ventures . As a traveller, the place where I stay is as important as the destination I visit. So I felt like sharing some information on this place to help fellow travellers.
Note: This is not a paid report nor am I associated with Greendale Homestay in any way.
Destination: Greendale Estate, Pandravalli, Chikmagalur District
Accommodation Type: Homestay /Private Residence
Location Type: Hill Station /Nature /Calm /Peaceful
Activities: Relaxation /Trekking /Off Roading (SUV) /Coffee Tours
The estate is owned & run by Mr. Arvind. One hell of an energetic young chap. If you love cars or are into rally/offroading, you will gel with him instantly. Not that you wont gel with him otherwise, but he respects your privacy and will not disturb you through your stay. But if you have some interesting stuff to talk about cars, you are in for a ride.
Talking about rides, he owns a Tata Safari, couple of Jeeps & a modified Gypsy which he uses for his off roading trips. If you are nice enough, he just might take you on an off roading drive along the Western Ghats.
Accommodation options are two huge rooms on the first floor of Arvind’s private residence, coupled with a large sit-out balcony with sweeping views of the vast valley below. Or you can chose between five cozy cottage rooms in the outhouse, a few minutes walk from his residence. There is a small kitchen & dining room that can seat about 40 folks. Food is simple homecooked fare, which is the same for guests as well as Arvind & his wife & staff.
Like I mentioned earlier, this is not a commercial homestay. So Arvind does not always entertain every guest. Before arriving, you need to call him, check availability of rooms & he will ask about how you heard about the place etc.
Rooms are cozy, with a double bed that can be split into two single beds. Warm blankets, pillows, towels, a bar of soap is provided. Clean bathrooms with Western toilet, a gas ‘geyser’ to ensure hot water whenever you want. Food is not served inside the rooms to prevent insects. You can munch on some starters outside in the portico though. For dinner, you need to walk to the dining hall. Standard tariff is Rs.1800 per head including accommodation, tea/coffee whenever you want, breakfast, lunch, evening snacks & dinner. You can ask for jeep ride to nearby destinations. And if you are nice, maybe you get to ride in the Gypsy.
I do not recommend places of accommodation easily. But when I do, it is places like these. A must visit destination for the freshest air you can breathe.
Do mention my name when you contact Arvind!
Some photos /videos of my various visits:
The house – Owner Arvind & his Wife stay on the ground floor. Select guests are accommodated on the 1st floor.
Portico infront of the two rooms on the first floor of the house. Notice road behind,winds down ahead down to the ground floor
The road from pic above winds down this way. Further take a U turn to drive along winding roads downhill, through the 100 acre estate.
The drive to the estate itself is a fantastic experience. Some asphalt roads..
And some gravel roads.
Once you reach, this is the view, as seen from the portico. Here, the fog has engulfed what would otherwise be a panoramic view of a forest valley that extends to the horizon.
The homestay, as seen from the road inside the estate downhill
Clouds play hide & seek throughout the day. A bit of sunshine, then fog. Continuous. Bottom left you can see roof of the dining hall, further, on the lawns is the bonfire pit. 5 guest room outhouse is past the lawn.
The turbo charged Gypsy of Arvind. You need to go on a drive with him to understand how amazing it is.
If you are lucky enough to be taken on a ride by Arvind, one of the many roads you will be driving through. 6500 ft above sea level.
Arvind does off roading. And how!
King of the hills!
It has a growl to match its demeanour.
Want to drive the Gypsy down hillocks & park it at the edge of a cliff? Easy!
A sample video of the drive in the Gypsy. Watch with the audio ON.
Video of Arvind demonstrating the fireblade turbo (apologies for video quality)