Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Pollibetta, Coorg

We take less than a minute to decide upon our next travel. The destination that we choose this time around was Pollibetta, Coorg. Though we have visited Coorg several times, we knew for sure that this trip would be awesome. Reason? Well, just a great feeling!

From Bangalore, we drove to Hunsur, taking the Bidadi-Mandya route. From Hunsur, we drove towards Periyapatana, and then deviated to the Siddapur-Gonikoppa road. The K. R. S road and the road leading to Pollibetta were pathetic. But our Scorpio loved the roads! We followed the Plantation Trails/Orange Country hoardings. Yes, we stopped at several places to stretch our legs and to absorb the greenery.

The cottage staff were kind to call us to find out if we needed assistance during our drive. When we arrived at Pollibetta, we loved it! Quiet little place covered with trees and coffee plants. Peaceful and healthy faces that greeted even the strangers with a smile. Yes, yes, these were the indication of a lovely holiday!

The Cottabetta bungalow is gorgeous. It's an old British bungalow that has been renovated, and what a beautiful job Tata staff has done! When we arrived, the staff greeted us with kumkum and turmeric, introduced themselves and the facilities, and then took us to our room. We loved the room! Our stomaches were growling, and we blindly followed our nose towards the dining hall. The hall's main attraction was something unimaginable - the splendid one-piece dining table made from teak wood!

The cottages have a veranda that leads to the bedroom (with attached bathroom). The bedroom either has two single beds or a single queen-sized bed. The cots and other furniture are again old teak ones. The windows are fun; one can bend and exit out through the window. Well, the staff knows people may do such stupid stuff, and therefore, they have covered the area with nets that act as security screens. The food was delicious; mostly, simple Coorg cuisine. The freshness of the produce adds a delicate flavor to all the dishes. The fruits taste delicious. Oh, everything feels awesome! :-)

We had almost the entire bungalow for ourselves, to explore and to admire. The garden flaunted pretty and colorful flowers. The neatly maintained lawn stole our attention. The array of trees surrounding the bungalow resembled armed soldiers. The staff told us that elephants could be spotted a few meters away from the bungalow. Ta da... That's not fun, they warned. The elephants are wild and can be notorious. We were advised not to venture alone at odd hours - early mornings and late nights without informing staff or seeking their assistance.

Oh, the next morning was amazing! At 4.30 am, we stood outside, waiting for the dawn to break. We did this task on all the days that we stayed. The first ray of the Sun peeps through the darkness, and then several hundreds of rays follow. Within seconds, the sky had several mesmerizing hues. The first birds to wake up and to sing were the bulbuls; oh, were they restless! Waves of birds took turns to sing and to greet the Sun. My words can't describe our experience. One must be at that place to experience the sunrise.

One can drive to nearby tourist spots - Madikeri, Naraghole, Dubare, and other places - or try the 'Within the gates' activities:
  • Lazy Daisies - Bonfire & BBQ, Stroll through aromatic coffee estates
  • Nature Lovers - Guided bird watching tour, plantation jeep drive, coffee picking experience, and tea picking experience
  • Sporty Types - Golf, A game of badminton or tennis, cycling
In the morning, a walk through the Golf course is refreshing. Walking on the morning dews that are settled on the lawn is soothing. If one maintains silence, one can also observe birds. When we went for the walk, we experienced rain for a brief while. We saw birds too. We extended our walk with our dear guide, Mr. Uday, and then saw the hornbill. Was a rare sighting! The list of birds that we spotted and photographed are available at Our Nature Friends blogsite. (Total of 35+ birds spotted during our journey from Bangalore to Pollibetta.)

Next time you are planning for a vacation, please consider Pollibetta. Have fun! Oh, and do buy the honey and other products that the estate sells.

Couple of things to remember:
  • When residing at the bungalow, respect privacy of other guests, and respect heritage of the place.
  • When going on a walk, please maintain silence; you may spot a bird or an animal. Please don't play music or allow your mobile phones to ring their crazy lengthy tunes. The wild isn't interested in those tunes; they play better ones. Just listen.
  • Some plants may be protected, don't pick them.
  • Don't venture away without seeking advice from the staff or informing them.
  • Wild animals are unpredictable; follow the guide's instructions.
  • If you are unable to spot all listed birds/animals of the place, please don't pester the guide/staff. According to seasons, birds and animals visit the place.
On way - paddy fields
Cottabetta Bungalow Photos
Shades of dawn :)
Coffee beans, and old temples at Golf course
Food spread!