I was on a search for a good location to celebrate New Year ( any other place other than home!!). Last year was a wonderful trip to Kodagu and I wanted a repeat of such lovely serene location , which could echo our laughter and fill our lungs with fresh air. Luckily, I saw a post by Ghatikallu Manjunath (of the Ghatikallu Homestay fame), which was about 4 homestays under him.
I reached out to him and knowing the group we are, he suggested I pick Bynekaadu for this year and I blindly booked the place. The reason I mention it blindly is for the reason that we had a very warm treatment in Ghatikallu, in his presence.
After a lot of last minute confusion( which is common with us), we finally left Bangalore and spent some time in Belur clicking the pics of beautiful models aka sculptures. Our photographer friends Charan and Raj had a feast for their camera, with so much to click and capture, yet with less time. This was the closest picnic spot during my school days and I have been to this place many a times, yet it never fails to amaze me. The symmetry with which each and every sculpture is carved in the days, where you didnt have a mould or any sophisticated tools is astonishing. One can hire a guide here, to actually know the beauty and the hardwork behind this place.Each and every pillar, jewelleries for the dancers, hairstyles etc here is different and you can spend hours together looking at their beauty.Since it was a sunday, the crowd was overwhelming and we decided to continue our journey to reach Kalasa before dusk.
After a curvy gutsy drive, we reached Kalasa, from where the homestay was just a 2 km drive.Anil, the plantation owner came to receive us and as soon as we got in, were greeted by all his partners and shown our place of stay.It was like returning home from hostel, to be received by waiting family members, who immediately arranged for our fresh up and took our coffee tea preferences and started arrangement for our dinner. There was no moment during our stay were we waiting for the food/drinks to be supllied. Talking about food, we enjoyed all the local delicacies they served and a special mention of the rice shavige bath, kotte idli/kadubu and the kokum juice.
|The Dining Area which opens up to a beautiful view of the river below|
|Simple local delicacy for breakfast|
Day 1: After a wonderful breakfast, we climbed down the plantation and crossed the river, took the boats and started off kayaking. Well, we gals swayed our hands as the boys struggled with the oars :) The staff there made no compromise with our safety and provided us with life jackets and watched us through out and made sure we had a good time enjoying the rides, floating, and being in water like the hippos. If you can stay in a place without doing much, you can get a fish spa , once in a while!The place is so calm that it echoes out what ever you connverse or make some noise. I took a little time out for myself by lying down in the boat and staring at the sky. Prem sagar one of the partners was silently following my boat, without disturbing my lonely time and yet making sure my boat never got stuck!
We stopped our play, photography and everything only when our tummy started sending out cries for food.
After yet another yummy meal and a game of carrom, we set off to a hill station,Kyatanamakki. This is the same place, which got its name as Mugilpete in the movie GaaLipata. It was hills, hills and hills, where the clouds played with the sun and finally won over. We had to return from that place without getting a chance to see the sunset. I promised myself to visit this place again as I could not get soaked in its serenity and its beauty, which for some reason, it shyed away from displaying.
It was New year eve and we were full tothe brim with the variety of evening snacks we were served and we hardly had our dinner. We were provided with a cake for our group to celebrate New year in our own way and joined us and wished and celebrated the party.
The next day, we were taken through a bumpy drive to the water falls where Gopi one of the partners secured us with life jackets and waited patiently until we packed up. Nature has its own way of teaching life to us and yes, as I mentioned in one of my comment on a social site "nature embraced me,cuddled me, sang her song through the birds, touched me through the cool breeze, wiped off tiredness with the showers, made me feel blessed with a child's sleep. But, here I am back, still wondering, questioning about so many things, as a reality check.... questioning the very purpose of existence.... The Trip - was fun, was ,memorable and yet educative!!"
We returned from there with couple of us getting greeted by the bites of leeches, which hardly mattered !
I leave the photos to speak the rest as, Somethings are better experienced than said!
PS:This is a place for people who love to spend time amidst nature with simplicity. Do not expect region based cuisines here. Enjoy the place as it is, rather than expecting your city here and I bet you will have a story to tell, just like I did!
Wish you all a Very Happy New Year! May this year be full of wonderful travels :D !!
Photos courtesy: Charan
Link to Bynekadu website : http://www.bynekaadu.com/
near by homestays:http://www.escape2ghats.com/