Friday, May 14, 2010

Exotic Ghatikallu Trip




Well,
It had been quite a long time since I came back with an exotic story/experience to tell you all....
I was very frustrated deep within for the reason that we the college frenz had broken our own pattern of going to trip every year.
With the god smiling on us, somehow managed to lure couple of frenz in to finalizing on a trip and once the dates were frozen, we started hunting for a good place.There was another group in my office who were also planning something on similar lines and luckily got to know about this place called Ghatikallu.It was okayed by all  of us and we spoke to Mr.Manjunath regarding our bookings off we went for a 2 day gala time.
We set off on Friday night with lots of twists and twirls with lots of last minute dropouts which let our mood a lil down. It was a cool 6 hours drive to the place and since there were no sign borads to the place we were lost initially and I was feeling that we were delayed in reaching the place. But it was just for 10 mins and we were in the estate soon.

The first best thing about the place is it promises you complete natural retreat and yes..... No network follows you there and I was the happiest for I didnt have to touch my mobile phone.
Day1:
Since Praveen worked in Mangalore, he had come there the previous night and was very well received and
treated well. We played and clicked some pics till everyone got ready and set off to Ghatikallu trekking.Our guide/owner of the place Manju took us in a Jeep for the trekking adn on the way stpped in a view point from where we could see the mist laying its feather touch on the high hills and welcoming us with cool breeze....He showed us the point as to how the place was named as "Ghatikallu" and about Ballalaraya whose ruined fort(supposedly ruined by tippu Sultan) exist even to date...
Our trek started from this point and it was a very tiring trek towards the fort. I have been on couple of treks and I would say this was the best for the reason that it had a mix of both the forest and the plain plateau with grass and some shrubs which made the whole scene look like a curvy  green bed.There were couple of places where leeches were there and it helped us to run and complete our trek at a faster pace ;)
Once we reached the top, we were tempted to keep moving from one hill to the other for the greed to conquer more and enjoy more lay within all of us....
By the time we finsihed our trek it was 3 -3.30 in the noon and we were left with thirst for water.As soon as we reached the estate, we were welcomed by a cool juice offered by the cook and it showed their sincerity in the servie and the "we care" attitude.

After our lunch and a little resting gurudev, the estate owner took us to the sunset point from where you could see the western ghats beautiful strethc spread across the area.One can see the beautiful change in colors at sunset,the charmadi ghat and Kudremukh range of hills.
They offer camping/ tenting at this place and we made a mistake of not opting for camping for the serenity it composed.... I have promised myself to stay in tents the next time i visit the place.

Day2:
They have a waterfalls called "Rani Jhari" within their estate and we we were again carried by the mighty jeep to the location where we were left to enjoy floating,diving and playing in the water.To ensure safety, we were all provided with life jackets which helped people like me to float as I dont know to swim.Though Souji adn Shilpa r were very scared to float/reach the point wehre water falls, we made a pledge to drag them there as we didnt want them to miss out on the fun it gave away.Anil was all delighted and was diving from probably a height more than 10 ft(am not quite very sure).Myself and Shilpa BK also tried our best and dived from second level of height.
As the next batch came in after a very long time, we had to leave the place to move on to next place of the day.They dont let your happiness be spoilt by mixing two different groups in one place and this was one more thing which made me like the servicing.
We were taken to Tea estate in the evening where we took couple of pics and then purchased some spices at a cheaper rate in kelaguru Tea estate.
This blog ends with this itenrary here but the happiness,peace and joy found over there is unexplainable and I am short of words for the place,simplicity and the hospitality of the people.Not to forget the cute dogs in the estate which are friendly with all,the cook who served us the malnad food and the service boys who were never tired of attending to our needs every now and then.
If you are looking for a place to hide away from teh daily tensions/pressure or worries adn would like to rejoice without having to go to any spa or meditation, here is one home away from home(I mean it!) where you can find everything you need.
Though we wanted to extend our stay for one more day where we found everything and a add on of the rain which showered in the evening, we had to leave as few of my friends had office the next day.
This place is run by Gurudev and Manjunath in Partnership and you can book the place by contacting them over phone. The phone number and routemap detail is provided in the site.
The site link is : http://www.ghatikallu.com/ and contact is either Manju or Gurudev who are equally friendly.
Hope my blog was helpful and one final request is to avoid usage of plastic and to let the place as beautiful as it was! :)

24 comments:

Praveen said...

QUICK write-up ;-)

I am still struggling with my baraha document... :-(

GOOD JOB MAAAN!

Rest of the readers....
visit www.ghatikallu.com and
www.inwesternghat.com for more details!!!

rashmi said...

I know how much I missed:( Thanks for detail blog SO. Atleast i could imagine myself with u all there.....

Kris said...

wow ur blog is so super and reflects ur good command our language. I have one new place to add in the list.Thanks for sharing experience and help other to enjoy the happiness.

Anonymous said...

Amiable brief and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you as your information.

Loving Heart said...

just fabulous, mindblowing
great PICs.
lucky to visit ur blog....

Anup Bharadwaj said...

wow.... great place... hey dude... we r plannin to visit this place on 18th jan... i need more details abt this place... we r startin 4m mys early morn to reach this place.... wat are the places to see?? we plan to halt in chikmaglur dat night and we are comin by bike to that place....

So.....me said...

Hi Anup,
Please visit www.ghatikallu.com and
www.inwesternghat.com for more details!!!

Naarya said...

nice one soumya. I will follow your blog to tour around karnataka when i come back. really good travelogue.

Shanky99 said...

Wow...Thanks for writing about it..We were having the same thought but i was still in dilemma to go or not..after reading i am sure that i dont wanna miss it..!!!

Naresh Antham said...

The place and all is fine... but organizing the trip by the home stay guys is worst.. the bed rooms are so dirty. they didn't even wash the bed sheets. they were having all sorts of stains on them. the bathrooms are very bad. you get only mud water in the bath rooms.. and the food and service is very bad. the staff is not polite and indecent. we were a group of 8 from hyderabad and we thought of returning as soon as we reached there. we were charged 2800 per head + 1000 for rafting(mud water rafting not white water) where as some bangalore guys were charged 1900 + 1000 per head. when we asked the owner of the home stay Mr.Gurudev, he threatened us to pay the money and then only allowed us to leave the place.. Their website is a total shit.. don't go by their website.

So.....me said...

Hi Naresh,
Thanks for sharing your experience. But I am not sure as to why it was like that as none of my friends who visited the place ever had any complaints.....
I dont want to comment about food cos they were particular about providing the local delicacy and I would appreciate it that way. We dont know if the things have changed off late.Was there only Mr. Gurudev or Manjunath as well?

Karthik said...

thanks it was nice written, informative.

Karthik said...

very informative, and nicely described. We are yet to explore this part of the westrenghat.

Anonymous said...

Deepak -
Hey Sowmya, this is cool and very informative.....keep updating anything new that u explore.

Harsha S said...

Hey folks,wat Naresh Antham posted is true as per my experience.As we went in Dec 25th,2011 for celebrating my close frien's b'day.The food was the worst part and also charged extra for transportation....a cranky and horrible place....
simply dont waste money on this homestay....

Anonymous said...

ghatikallu is heavn on earth its a homestay not a hotel every thing is good nice

Anonymous said...

hi this is anush 4m Bangalore...
I hd been to GHATIKALLU on feb 2nd 2013.... i jus saw dis blog before going 2 Ghatikallu but i already booked by agent manjunath but he forced to go to coffeegudda but we rejected tat n wen 2 ghatikallu....
and the best thing is Mr Gurudev's hospitality who is the owner of the homestay... n the places r vry nice n awesome... n food was so yummy like malnad style... over all the service from Ghatikallu team was very very nice......
der was nothing bad as mentioned in above blog...
Every one hav der own perspect of viewin things but to my perspect ders nothing wrong in any sort of things...

my last words Ghatikallu is awesome n do visit der if u r plannin for memorable trip...

So.....me said...

Hi Anush,
Thank you for your comment and the feedback about the current status.
Just a small correction - the blog has all good words and I believe you meant the comments on this blog :)

Rahul said...

Mr.Anush, I totally agree with you about ghatikallu.Its a wonderful place which has to be visited atleast once. As rightly said by Soumya, I think you meant by comments as there is nothing wrong in the above blog... (thanks soumya for such a wonderful writeup - the place deserves it)

One small clarification, Mr.Manjunath is not an agent and he is very much associated with Ghatikallu rite from the beginning and is a very good person with great photography skills (Hope Soumya will agree with this). We still look at the photographs that he clicked of our team and cherish those wonderful moments.No idea from where you got this info about him being an agent.

For your kind information an agent's contact number will not be posted in the official website and also an agent will not be able to send you mails from their official email-id.... Hope common sense prevails...

As far as CoffeeGudda is concerned, if you liked Ghatikallu then I am pretty sure you would not want to miss this place. I have been to Ghatikallu, CoffeeGudda, ByneKaadu (all explored and set up by Manunath) and each one is a unique getaway with awesome water falls and trekking location. Which one is better is a hard choice as you cant choose among nature. Mr. Majunath if you are reading this, then please come up with your next new place as our team is eagerly waiting for it:)

Anonymous said...

Hi Sowmya Had read your blog sometime ago and really wanted to visit this place. Was really hard to accept that such a place indeed existed and that to so near to our concrete jungle, Bangalore (no offences - we are the reason for it). The problem with our group from accenture is that we cant decide till Thursday about our weekend plan. Hence we had got the usual replies of booking not available for this weekend when ever we planned (can understand the rush to visit such a place). So I started to search for options and found GiriSiri homestay just facing the Ballalaraya fort. Its a homestay in every sense with three rooms available for the guests. The people were very warm and they showed us all the places that I was so desperate to see. The water falls, the fort and the majestic ghatikallu view point and also the valley view point. it was a welcome change as against our hectic city life. For last minute planners like me here it is www.girisiri.com .

Anonymous said...

Hi ghatikallu thanks fr making us a memorable trip thanks fr ur amazing hospitality thank u gurudev

Surekha said...

We visited Ghatikallu this weekend to spend a day out from our regular schedule. Nature was at its best and hospitality in the home stay was bad. One of my friends visited this place and gave a very good feedback and we were tempted to go.

My friend had told we had to go a little beyond Kottigehara and park our vehicle there for the next 2 days as all the travel will be taken care by the home stay organizers. They will only be taking us in an open jeep to the home stay location and all sight seeing points too. Also a huge dance floor with open kitchen and good food with very friendly people around. With the same expectations we also started our trip after having it booked a week before.

I was a little confused coz we were taken to the home stay in our own vehicle only. Actually we were asked to stay in the cottage shown in the movie Pancharangi. We were not taken to the location which my friend had told us. So from there we were in for surprises. We even informed the organizer and asked him to shift us to that location my friend had told us. But this guy just told us that that place was unfit for families coz there were many people drinking. We still asked the organizer to shift us there but he said the same facilities also are there in the Pancharangi house where we stayed too. He used his marketing skills to convinced us to stay in the Pancharangi house which lacked all facilities. Men drinking openly were seen here also and it was not only families which stayed here. No outdoor and indoor games. No dance floor. We had to use our mobile phones which weren't loud enough with the generators making noise in the background due to frequent power cuts. Unfriendly attendants. Food was pathetic. Specially vegetarians had to suffer. When we asked for curds, papad, pakodas, egg burji, jeera rice..was a straight no from the team there. No proper sweets or starters provided. We were even charged for evening snacks which were a part of the travel when my friend visited and unlimited too. However we had an opportunity to use their kitchen with the help of which I was able to manage my kids food.

We were asked to come to a location which was around 20km in ghats to reach a location where they stuffed all men in a sheep van like vehicle. However we ladies were taken in a Bolero. The staff who took us to the falls were very helpful. They carried the kids across and also helped all of us reach and enjoy the falls happily. The tea estate visit was an utter waste which was done on the second day morning.

Our main concern was that the home stay organiser did not provide the facilities what he had promised. When we spoke to him about this at the time of departure, he was very rude. He was not open to take our feedback. Instead of apologising for what was not provided as promised he was very arrogant. Anyways my people felt we shouldn't argue with bastards like him and shouldn't spoil our mood. So we paid the money we had agreed. He will bare the fruits coz he cheated us for sure.

We loved the location but strongly felt we had to choose some other home stay. We payed him 2300/- per person but we felt it was not worth the money.

My suggestion to people who want to go to this location is that make sure you get to stay in the location which has all facilities and not go to the Pancharangi house. Or better choose another home stay which is not provided by Gurudev. Again I totally agree the comment on the cleanliness

So.....me said...

I see people running to some place called Girisiri, after reading my Blog.
PLEASE SEE I NEVER VISITED THAT PLACE, NOR DO I KNOW OF SUCH PLACE!
I do not write blogs for the purpose of marketing( I don't get any shares from any places I visit!)
I have shared the experience we friends had when we visited and would suggest to ask all the questions to the owner, before you visit!

Gurudev bn said...

Hi gurudev proprietor ghatikallu homestay now a days agents of Bangalore are booking For other homestay in our name and spoiling our name so be careful check when u booking from ghatikallu. Homestay. Pls go through. Website www.gatikalluhomestay.com. Or call to these number 08263277528. 9480420428. 9482421777. Thank u