Malnad Homestay: Perfect Rural Holiday in Karnataka - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!
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Friday, August 31, 2018

Malnad Homestay: Perfect Rural Holiday in Karnataka

Enjoyng a monsoon holiday at Athihally village, Malnad, Karnataka

While luxury holidays and staying in five star hotels have their own charm, I think I connect more with who I am when I go on rural holidays and become one with the authenticity of local traditions and nature.



Last week, while going on a monsoon holiday to the Malanadu region of Karnataka, I opted for one such lesser known location for my rustic holiday. The place was totally remote, but it was endowed with rich nature and super friendly people. There was no phone coverage except that of BSNL, which meant my Airtel connection stayed dormant for 3 days, a real luxury in today’s time and era. The place was surrounded with traditional homes, beautiful spice farms interspersed with coffee estates, dense tropical forests, misty mountain tops, fast flowing streams and a total laidback environment.

The motorcycles and the rural homestay at Athihally

Located at an elevation of 3500 feet above MSL, this village of Athihally is one that you would normally give a miss and I am so happy that I discovered it. Located somewhere between Somwarpet in North Coorg and Sakleshpur in Malnad, this village is tucked right between the Bisle State Forest and the Kaginahare Reserve Forest, two gorgeous tracts of tropical rainforests.

Monsoon Motorcycle Rural holiday to Athihally, Karnataka

As my visit happened to be during the peak rains, I was treated to heavy rains almost always during my 3 day stay. While it did take a few hours to getting used to, the monsoons ensure that the environment is fresh and clean, the greens are as vibrant as possible and the rivers and waterfalls are as full as they can be. Athihally was no different. And boy did I enjoy riding in the rains!   
   
Traditional Lip Smacking Malnad Breakfast at Athihally village, Karnataka

My base at Athihally was the home of Mr Mallesh Gowda and his family, who manages a family run homestay called Malnad Homestay. In his own words, the specialty of this homestay is personalized experience, which means that he doesn’t entertain more than one group at any given time. Set in his 2 acre home and next to his 10 acre plantation, Malnad Homestay offers a traditional home like setting right next to the home of the Gowda family.

Traditional breakfast at Malnad Homestay, Athihally

He offers all the modern day luxuries like gas heater based hot water (which doesn’t depend on electricity), power backup (to charge all those gadgets), super delicious and organic home cooked food and a total noise free environment. The reason I opted for Malnad Homestay is because his property is where he himself lives with his family and he doesn’t run it like a resort or guest house like the other ones in the region.

Fresh green colors seen during the monsoons in Malnad, Karnataka

There is no loud tour groups or drunken sessions. All there is pristine nature, a traditional Malnad family, their warm hearts and oodles of good ‘ol relaxation through good food, good environment and pleasant nature walks. Mr. Mallesh himself is a jovial person and will keep you entertained at many times. If you like pets, you will enjoy the company of Gundu and Kulla, their two dogs, who are as adorable as they come.

Malnad Home Stay, Athihally, Karnataka

Mr. Mallesh’s wife is a seriously good cook and dishes out all traditional vegetarian and non vegetarian fares. Be it spicy pandi curry, pepper chicken, egg masala, beans with coconut, bamboo salad, Kadubu, Akki Roti, Kessa greens with local tamarinds or biryani, her food is bound to cause your mouth to water and make one happy place.

Yummy Malanadu Breakfast at Athihally, Karnataka

And after you have a happy stomach, you could potentially go on a plantation walk, take a bath at the Mookana Mane waterfalls nearby, trek to the Kaginhare Fort, soak in the stunning views of Bisle beauty spot, explore the famous Manjarabad Fort and visit Malalli falls, Coorg’s tallest waterfall. Most of these places are just a short drive away and the drive in itself is a stunning experience during the rains. During my visit, I could not see Malalli falls due to landslides and Mookane Mane falls due to heavy floods, but I got a chance to experience everything else.

Heavy rains in August 2018, Malnad, Karnataka

Apart from the modern day luxuries that I mention above, the accommodation is basic, but it is comfortable. With a private sit out, a hard bed, 24 hours running water, backup power, hot water and a supremely green and quiet environment, Malnad homestay offers more than expected in a rustic holiday. Usual prices per person are 1800 rupees, but Mr. Mallesh is known to offer discounts depending on group size, week days or lean season. Personally, I paid INR 1500 for the 1st night and INR 1000 for the other.



For bookings, you can contact Mr. Mallesh at 94827 24214 or 94489 28393. Hope you enjoy your rural holiday in Karnataka’s Malnad as much as I did!



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