Saturday, November 12, 2011

Chikmagalur





Chikmagalur is the place which I like most among the places which are in weekends drive from Bangalore. I have been there 5 years before just after my marriage and really loved the hill surrounded Coffey producing state. Rima, my wife was asking me to revisit the place for a long time. This time Nemo, my almost 2 years old son was also with us, so we were looking for a resort which would be close to the nature. I wanted Nemo should feel the pure nature as this generation is really unfortunate in this.
After lots of Google search I found one place which I really liked by seeing the images posted in the web. Hunkal Woods, an eco friendly resort 20 KM far from Chikmagalur is midst of a 1000 acre lush green Coffey estate. This time my best buddy Probal Sen who himself is a nature lover has also decided to visit this place with us.
After making a reservation over phone, we started our journey on Saturday very early morning. Nemo was so energized that he woke up at 3 AM while we started. The road was beautiful for first 100 KM but after that the road was narrow. However I enjoyed the drive and after having a five hours drive we reached Chikmagalur. Hunkal Woods is approximate 25 KM from the Chikmagalur town and it took another 20 minutes to reach the first signboard of the resort on the main road. The road was very scenic, through the lush green hills and Coffey plantation. But the last 3.2 KM stretch from the main road to the resort gate is pathetic. A true 4WD vehicle is required. It was a litmus test for my TATA Indica which is built for the Indian road. It took me 25 minutes to cross that 3 KM stretch and to reach the main gate of the resort. Everybody in the car was praising TATA Indica but nobody mentioned my driving skill.
As soon as we reached the main gate of Hunkal Woods our tiredness of driving such a long distance disappeared. The resort is surrounded by hills and big trees. Barbets were calling from the trees and a cool breeze from the hill side was touching our body and soul. As soon as we parked our vehicle the guest in-charge Mr. Nizam welcome us. The resort has one main British style Bungalow good for a group of 6/7 people and 3 more cottage type rooms. We have been given the cottage type rooms. The rooms were decent and clean. We dropped our luggage inside the room and sat outside to feel the nature. We were greeted by warm Coffey. After spending some time inside the campus of Hunkal Woods we decided to have an early lunch and to take a small nap. The vegetarian lunch was fantastic. The dining area is built a little far from the main building and surrounded by thick jungle. It was just like we were having our lunch midst of the nature. There is a “Machan” built inside the campus on a tree top. After lunch we relaxed for some time on the Machan, literally top of a big tree. Then we decided for a quick nap to get more energy for the evening.




Machan - Ideal to relax in the lap of the nature


Hunkal Woods Property. Main Bungalow and the Machan is in left side


 
In evening, Nijam took us to the view point, a quite good 1 hour trek to the top of the hill. The trek was deep inside the forest. We could spot lots of birds while we were trekking to the hill top. While we reached the top it was almost dark. The sun set some times back leaving the last red light in the sky. The cool breeze and the last light of the day in the horizon were creating a heavenly atmosphere on the top of the hill. We were at the top for some time to feel the nature and then started to get down. It was almost dark at that time and we found ourselves in complete darkness while we were in the mid of the way. Due to the darkness we took the main road while coming down and it proved very fortunate to us. There was a vehicle coming down in that road and we were picked up by them and dropped in-front of the resort gate. It saved an hour in that evening. 

Last light of the day from the top of the view point
 
We have ordered some non-veg dishes for our dinner and those foods were taken from the nearby town by Nijam. He was such a fantastic guy to provide all kind of help in time. We enjoyed the evening in the dining area with some snacks and drinks. The area was tastefully illuminated with dim light inside the darkness of the woods. We met Mr. Ananth, the manager of the resort and his family at dinner. We chatted a long time with them. We bid good night at around 10:30 at night and went to the bed. It was cold outside and the continuous breeze from the hill side was making it more pleasant.
The next day started for me and Probal very early. We got the Coffey at 4:30 in the morning and were ready by 5:30 to visit a nearby lake. We observed a beautiful sunrise on our way to the lake. The sun came out behind the hills and the first ray of the sun was playing with the mist and was creating a golden atmosphere all around. After witnessing the magic of the sunrise we headed towards the lake and reached soon.  A big lake in the foot of the hills and lots of water lilies were making the place out of the world. The calmness of the vast lake and the warm of the morning sun were soaking all the pollution we have taken from the city from our body and mind. We were there for some time and enjoyed the bliss of the nature in full. Then we started heading back towards the resort. On our way back, the hills of Chikmagalur were coming out from the layer of the mist and the landscape was fantastic.

Sunrise in a misty morning at Chikmagalur


Early Morning at Lake

Early morning at Lake
 
After reaching to Hunkal Woods we spent some time exploring the big area of the resort. We also observed the coffey plantation and the coffey producing units. We found lots of birds inside the campus. Time was approaching fast to have lunch and bid a good bye to Hunkal Woods. It was the final hour of our 2 days stay in nature’s lap. Soon we finished our lunch and took a little rest and were ready for another 5 and half hours drive towards the hectic city life.
It was 4 in the afternoon when we said good bye to the Hunkal Woods and the Coffey estate finally and started towards our city life with a promise that we will come back again for a longer stay to rejuvenate our soul.

Hunkal Woods

Hunkal Woods main Bungalow


18 comments:

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wow.........
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chikmagalur said...

Your photos deserve to be in our facebook fan page.Some of the unearthed place in chikmaglur is charmudi ghat section. next time please plan your travel towards mudigere. I bet you wont get disappointing.

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Nick said...

Hey,
Looking at these beautiful pictures, have made me want to spend some time at this Chikmagalur homestay you have gotten a chance to stay. The beautiful surroundings you have captured truly add the serenity you need in a trip like this. After having tiresome days trekking and doing all sorts of activities, it must’ve felt like a blessing being able to crash at the Chikmagalur homestay .

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