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Old 18th April 2012, 19:40   #1
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Default Cool Kolavara !!

What do you do when you are faced with the situation wherein your kids have finished their exams and are into their vacation are demanding that they be taken somewhere on a holiday.

In my case, my daughter and my co-brother’s two kids with the support of their grandparents and my wife started a tirade for going on a vacation. Generally, I do not like to travel during the hot climes of summer, but I had to just bow down and say ‘YES’ to their demands.

We had a short block of time within 10th & 20th of April for going out for vacation as we will be busy with both official and personal engagements after 20th.

GO WHERE ???

In view of the above situation, we weighed the options. It had to be a 3 day affair with a drive of around 300 km distance from Bangalore. Now, that means you are looking at Coorg, Wayanad & Chikmagalur. I was particular that we do Wayanad after the rains, so only Coorg and Chikmagalur were the main contenders. Chikmagalur won the battle this time, and we reserved coorg for next outing.

We started by looking at couple of Homestays and resorts around Chikmagalur and were impressed with Bananki Homestay, Thippenahalli Homestay & Eagle Eye Resorts. Also, I stumbled upon a homestay called ‘Kolavara Heritage’ near Kuppalli.

Kolavara Heritage Homestay

DECISION :
So, we had a look at the websites of all the above accommodations and decided to go with Kolavara Heritage, due to the fact that this was a ‘Chowki / Thotti Mane’ and was a old house converted into a homestay. This house is located in the middle of a Arecanut plantation. We called up the homestay expecting an answer of ‘Not Available’. But, to our surprise we were offered confirmed accommodation for 3 days ie 12-15th April. So, just went ahead and booked the same.

ACTION :
We planned to drive down to this place in my Wagon-R and my co-brother’s Getz 1.3. My co-brother is averse to driving long distances and does not share the same passion which is evident in we T-bhpians. So, we left Bangalore on Thursday evening and stayed in Hassan for the night. Next morning, we left Hassan around 7 AM and reached Chikmagalur around 8 am and headed straight to Town Canteen for the usual round of the famed Dosa breakfast. After breakfast, we started towards Koppa and reached the homestay around 11.30 AM with a couple of breaks and slow driving by my co-brother.

TIME OUT @ Kolavara Heritage :

Day-1

We were welcomed with a glass of watermelon juice and after the introductions and hellos, we were shown to our rooms. They have converted the old house into two different parts, one part housing the owners and the other part being let out for the homestay. The rooms are typical to the Malnad type of houses and we were very happy to be housed in such an accommodation.

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We just explored the homestay, chatted with the owners and also with a couple of other guests until lunch. Lunch was a superb affair with typical Malnad Vegetarian cuisine on offer . Needless to say, it was gobbled in double quick time. It became cloudy and suddenly we had a burst of rain for about an hour or so cooling the climate. We relaxed for some time and went to Kuppalli to pay a visit to the residence of great Kannada poet & Jnanapeeth award winner Kuvempu (K.V.Puttappa). His residence has been converted into a small museum. This place is around 5 kms from the homestay. We also witnessed the sun setting from a small hillock behind his residence and returned back to the homestay by around 7 pm. The hosts had a bonfire going and all the guests got around the same with some entertainment in the form of singing and dancing. We had a fabulous dinner and retired for the night.

Some photos of Kuppalli, Kavishyla & sunset :

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Day-2 :

The hosts had arranged for a trek to a small hill in the forest called ‘Jamaale Gudda’ which is near the homestay. At 7 Am after having coffee, our party of around 15 people started the trek and after some steep and difficult climbing we reached the top from where we could see the valley floor and an overwhelming expanse of greenery in different shades. Took a breather of 30-45 mts on the top and started the descent. The descent turned out to be more tough than we thought and after some slow and careful moments we returned back to the homestay by around 9 Am.

The trek & view from the top of the hill :

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After breakfast , we were taken by the host to the Tunga river which is around 2 kms from their property. Being summer, the water level in the river at that spot is very low and even kids of 3-5 years played joyously in the water. After spending couple of hours at the river, we came back and after freshening up, we had a sumptuous lunch spread out by the hosts.
Needless to say, we were all very tired with the physical activity in the hot sun and just dozed off in the hammocks underneath the trees and just spent quality time at the homestay .

River Tunga :

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On Sunday, our host took us for a plantation walk. This was for about 30-45 mts and we were given some 'gyan' on the activities, trials & tribulations of the plantation owners.

Some photos of the plantation:

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we had breakfast, then checked out and left Kolavara Homestay around 12 noon. We drove again through Koppa, Balehonnur Chikmagalur and reached Hassan around 4 PM with a couple of breaks. The roads between Aldur and Vastaare were broken with lot of potholes & 'plateholes'.

Cool Kolavara !!-dsc04632.jpg

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Had a late lunch in Hassan and relaxed for couple of hours and reached Bangalore by around 12 midnight.

Some more snaps of the Homestay & its environs. The resolution has been reduced and some snaps are from the mobile phone. Please excuse the quality of the same.

Hope you enjoyed !!!

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Old 18th April 2012, 20:44   #2
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Default Re: Cool Kolavara !!

looks like our house , beautiful malnad home with the original red oxide floor ...a real treat to see it from so far. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 18th April 2012, 23:19   #3
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Default Re: Cool Kolavara !!

Very nice indeed. I personally love homestays, especially if the food is good and the hosts inviting. Going by the tariff published on the website, it isn't very expensive either!

One question. The website says its 338 kms from Bangalore. What would be the condition of the roads, and the approximate time taken?
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Old 19th April 2012, 11:00   #4
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Default Re: Cool Kolavara !!

Thanks Rajesh for posting this TL on Tirthahalli and Kolavara. I had read about Kolavara but never stayed there. I love these old houses with vernacular architecture with courtyards. It is a lovely experience to sit on the aisles and see te rain splashing the courtyard. Next time around, we will make sure to visit this place. Along with Bananki ( Bananki Homestay in Shimoga, Bananki Homestay in Thirthahalli, Book Bananki Homestay.) we have another place to stay in Tirthahalli!!

Tirthahalli is still unexplored and fantastic place for spending few days to explore Malnad region. It is best during rain - if one wants to feel what indian monsonns are - and immeditely after monsoon. I heard it had rained for some days last week whch should have brought down temperatures and made the surroundings greener. Tunga river possibly has largest sand banks which almost looks like beach - like Bheemnakatte. Just check out on Google earth and see for youeself!!

Since Tirthahalli is centrally located and if you have your own vehicle, then one can spend a week exploring the surroundings. One can take a look at this thread of mine.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ve-malnad.html (Monsoon is here, why not drive to Malnad?)

Some of my own experinces of the region is captured in the following TLs

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-monsoons.html (Malnad In Monsoons)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...d-monsoon.html (Fauji's Drivolgues - Mesmerised in Malnad in Monsoon!!)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ad-malnad.html (Fauji’s Drivologues – Chasing Mango showers in WAYANAD and MALNAD!)


Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
Very nice indeed. I personally love homestays, especially if the food is good and the hosts inviting. Going by the tariff published on the website, it isn't very expensive either!

One question. The website says its 338 kms from Bangalore. What would be the condition of the roads, and the approximate time taken?
Yes, Tirthahalli is 338 KMs from Bangalore - almost the same distance like going to Chennai or Pondicherry. The road condition is fantastic. I normally cover Bangalore - Tirthahalli via Tumkur - Arsikere - Birur - Tarikere - Shimoga in 5.30 hours with half hour break for breakfast. If you leave in the morning say 6 AM which is advisable, you will be ther by 12 with relaxed driving.

Last edited by Fauji : 19th April 2012 at 11:02.
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Old 19th April 2012, 12:54   #5
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Default Re: Cool Kolavara !!

Thank you all for your replies & feedback :

@mazda4life : Thanks. Which place in Malnad are you from? It was refreshing to sit in the greenery and enjoy the total silence. This place is with very limited Mobile & Internet connectivity.

@predatorwheelz:
We took the longer route via Hassan and for us it was 370 Kms each way from BLR. ( We had some social engagements in Hassan)

@Fauji :
Captain : Please do visit this place next time you are passing through Thirthahalli and i am sure you will not be disappointed with either the place or the hosts.
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Old 19th April 2012, 18:47   #6
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Default Re: Cool Kolavara !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
Next time around, we will make sure to visit this place. Along with Bananki ( Bananki Homestay in Shimoga, Bananki Homestay in Thirthahalli, Book Bananki Homestay.) we have another place to stay in Tirthahalli!!
How do these places compare against Vihangam?


Vihangama Holiday Retreat| Holidays Resort India|Shimoga Homestay
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Old 19th April 2012, 19:46   #7
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Default Re: Cool Kolavara !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
How do these places compare against Vihangam?


Vihangama Holiday Retreat| Holidays Resort India|Shimoga Homestay
Ampere,

these places - Kolavara and Bananki - provides you real Malnad experience whereas Vihangama is just like any other resort. I have visited Vihangama - not stayed there - and felt the place is commercial and lacks personal touch. It's location is great - next to river - and they have boating etc. If you want a resort kind of experience then it is Vihangama. I persoanlly feel it is no VFM.

You can see the reviews on Trip Advisor for all the three and it will give you some insight.

Kolavara

Search results: kolavara heritage - TripAdvisor__

Bananki

Bananki Homestay (Shimoga, India) - Guest house Reviews - TripAdvisor

Vihangama

Vihangama Holiday Retreat (Shimoga, India) - Guest house Reviews - TripAdvisor
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Old 20th April 2012, 12:13   #8
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Default Re: Cool Kolavara !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
Ampere,

these places - Kolavara and Bananki - provides you real Malnad experience whereas Vihangama is just like any other resort. I have visited Vihangama - not stayed there - and felt the place is commercial and lacks personal touch. It's location is great - next to river - and they have boating etc. If you want a resort kind of experience then it is Vihangama. I persoanlly feel it is no VFM.

You can see the reviews on Trip Advisor for all the three and it will give you some insight.

Kolavara

Search results: kolavara heritage - TripAdvisor__

Bananki

Bananki Homestay (Shimoga, India) - Guest house Reviews - TripAdvisor

Vihangama

Vihangama Holiday Retreat (Shimoga, India) - Guest house Reviews - TripAdvisor
@Fauji sir : Thank you for clarifying ampere.

@ampere :
As Fauji has mentioned, i feel it is at these homestays you get to feel the real taste of Malnad. The food was authentic malnad cuisine and we did not see any chappatis/pooris/idli/dosa/north indian stuff for 3 days. Even the sweets were items which were unheard of. Fab stuff !!
To top it, the hosts were very warm and friendly. Suggest, you should give this place a try !!
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Old 20th April 2012, 12:17   #9
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Default Re: Cool Kolavara !!

Lovely writeup of a perfect weekend getaway. ~300 kms makes it ideal for a break from the hustle of the city worth giving a try.

Question on the roads, on the picture it does not look too bad, was this the worse of the lot, or were there even worse roads than this? Asking as these days i check these things before starting on a journey to anywhere in my Civic .

Also Vihangam looks very close to Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, would it be good for some animal spotting?

Last edited by mayankjha1806 : 20th April 2012 at 12:22.
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Old 20th April 2012, 13:54   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
Lovely writeup of a perfect weekend getaway. ~300 kms makes it ideal for a break from the hustle of the city worth giving a try.

Question on the roads, on the picture it does not look too bad, was this the worse of the lot, or were there even worse roads than this? Asking as these days i check these things before starting on a journey to anywhere in my Civic .

Also Vihangam looks very close to Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, would it be good for some animal spotting?
@mayankjha1806:
We took a longer route due to some social obligations enroute. Even then about 15-18 kms was bad. Rest all roads were super, even for my humble Wagon-R. Your civic can glide over them like butter.

You can always go to this place like this :

BLR-Chitradurga-Shimoga-Thirthahalli - Kolavara or
BLR-Arsikere-Shimoga-Thirthahalli-Kolavara

As per Fauji, super roads from BLR - Shimoga - Thirthahalli. No issues.

As regards animal spotting, we were informed by our hosts that some tigers, bisons and wild hogs were spotted by their workers in the forest & hills behind the plantations.
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Old 26th April 2012, 17:00   #11
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Default Re: Cool Kolavara !!

Thanks for putting up this travelogue. This reminds me a lot of my time at the same place last year in february. My travelogue
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ll-2-days.html (Of Beaches, Waterfalls, Rivers, Forests - All in 2 days)

The hosts were excellent and food was great all at a reasonable price. The swim in the river was a highlight for us.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:52   #12
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Originally Posted by himavanth_m View Post
Thanks for putting up this travelogue. This reminds me a lot of my time at the same place last year in february. My travelogue
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ll-2-days.html (Of Beaches, Waterfalls, Rivers, Forests - All in 2 days)

The hosts were excellent and food was great all at a reasonable price. The swim in the river was a highlight for us.

@ Himavanth : What a co-incidence man !! It is the second time i am visiting a resort/homestay after you. We went to Palace Estate in Coorg after you guys visited and now Kolavara. Where next Himavanth?

Very nice place with good hosts and yes, excellent food. We had an excellent 2 days stay at this homestay.
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Old 30th April 2012, 17:28   #13
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Default Re: Cool Kolavara !!

Malnad has to be one of the most enticing place. I guess this place would look much better around Aug/Sep. Thanks Rajesh, for sharing this wonderful travelogue. 5 Stars.
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Old 30th April 2012, 20:15   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aviorp View Post
Malnad has to be one of the most enticing place. I guess this place would look much better around Aug/Sep. Thanks Rajesh, for sharing this wonderful travelogue. 5 Stars.
Thanks Avinash for the kind words. Personally i wanted to visit this place during Sept or Oct just after the rainy season. But i had to make a trip owing to the pressure from kids who have holidays now.

Will surely plan for a trip to Malnad at the fag end of the rainy season or just after it.
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Old 1st May 2012, 00:18   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajesh K R View Post
@ Himavanth : What a co-incidence man !! It is the second time i am visiting a resort/homestay after you. We went to Palace Estate in Coorg after you guys visited and now Kolavara. Where next Himavanth?

Very nice place with good hosts and yes, excellent food. We had an excellent 2 days stay at this homestay.
I am shocked by such coincidence. In order to avoid such shocks, below are the three trips i visited recentely.
April 2012.
I have been to Valparai yesterday. I did not take homestay and preferred a budget option to stay. Travelogue will be coming in the next couple of weeks.
Valparai is a place worth visiting. It was simply stunning. To fully experience the surroundings of Valparai, one would need atleast 3 full days at this place.

March 2012.
Apart from this, I have been to Munnar Last month and stayed at Aranyaka Homestays( The same place where I stayed 1.5 years back). It is a bit expensive (Around 4500 Rs for a cottage which can take 4 people ( 2 bedrooms). However, if one visits this place during rainy or winter season, I will recommend this place. My travelogue to Munnar which I have been in Oct 2010. But in March 2011, munnar was dry and sunny and it is not worth visiting.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...r-vagamon.html (A trip through the lesser known roads of Munnar and Vagamon)

Feb 2012
My travelogue through the jungles of Maredumilli
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...raksharam.html (Trip to the Thick Jungles of Maredumilli and Lord Shiva temple of Draksharam)
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