They say great ideas start with coffee. I say a great vacation also starts with coffee. But what if you start your vacation in the heart of the coffee land of the country? Waking up amidst the fresh, warm, aroma of Arabica plants and the dewy weather, is sure to drive incredible, creative thoughts and welcome you to a great vacation ahead. Just like it did to me, on the very first day when I arrived here, at my friend’s homestay, tucked within a small plantation.
Unable to resist the temptation of spending a weekend in luxurious natural surroundings, I packed for a few days, booked a reliable and licensed cab in Bangalore, and five hours and 245 Km later, I landed here. This would be my first tryst with the Coffee land of Karnataka and I came with no expectations. Perhaps, that’s why everything came as a pleasant surprise. The road leading to the plantation stay, where I would be staying for the next few days, was flanked by mist-laden valleys and rolling hills, with the mountains of Kudremukh peeping out occasionally, behind the floating clouds. It was a sheer treat for my sore urban eyes, which got more generous as I landed at the homestay.
The best part about living within a plantation is that along with fresh, organic coffee every day, you also get to indulge in farm-grown food, home-cooked meals, and coffee-based desserts. It couldn’t have been more appropriate of a vacation for a coffeephile like me!
Next morning, I accompanied my friend at work at the plantation. Chikmagalur grows at least 80 varieties of coffee. I took a walk through the shaded trails through thick shrubs, bearing red and white fruits. They were well guarded by the foliage of tall trees, which kept the sunlight and rain away. Some shrubs were even partnered with a spice shrub that lends its flavor to the coffee. Farmers were busy trimming, plucking, and tending to the plants, while I walked past them. It was after the rainy season, and the musty smell of the damp soil, mixed with the smoky aroma of the raw beans and spices.
As my friend got busy with her morning chores, I carried on with my walk and found myself at the end of the groves and at the beginning of a trail that led uphill somewhere. I ended up at a mountain ridge which opened up to a panorama of the hills against the endless horizon.
The best of Chikmagalur in a day
With the idea of making the most of this exquisite locale, I planned to explore the wonders of Chikmagalur. While the town is surrounded by imposing mountains, its real charm lies in the valleys, where one can discover the most scenic waterfalls, sparkling lakes, and quaint villages, clustered around the plantations and foothills. Also, since I had the car rental with me, it made exploring much easier. The Bangalore to Chikmagalur taxi fare was reasonable enough to use for the entire weekend and also do local tours.
My cabbie was well-versed with the town, and knew some interesting places around. I first stopped at the Kemmanagundi Hills, at about an hour drive from my homestay. The rolling, green hills of Kemmanagundi against the blue horizon and the golden sunshine, will remind you of a piece of work by any classic artist. I had no words for the perfection of beauty rendered by the verdure of the grassy hills and azure sky, with patches of white clouds filling up the valleys below. It was not just soothing for the eyes, but all my senses, as I felt the soft grass on my feet, smelled the air, while the morning breeze whistled past my ears. I spend almost half the day, walking around, soaking the atmosphere, writing, and reading.
Later in the day, on my way back, I stopped by the Hebbe Falls, around the edges of a valley. Chikmagalur boasts some of the most beautiful cascades one can ever find, and Hebbe Falls is one of them. It was a two-layered cascade, separated by a rocky landing. It says deep inside a forested area and I had to take a long walk through a narrow trail to reach the falls. The spring water was as clear and sparkling as crystal, wanting me to take a plunge. But its craggy base and steep edges said otherwise. However, the stunning views of the falls, enveloped by plantations and forests, were more than overwhelming.
The two days of the weekend went by like a dream, although I would wake up and smell the coffee, every day, in the literal sense! Today, as I bid adieu to this heavenly place, I promise myself to come back soon and discover more of this paradise and treat my mind, body, and soul.
As submitted by a user