Aham Anubhava: Traditional Plantation Home in Rural Wayanad, Kerala - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Aham Anubhava: Traditional Plantation Home in Rural Wayanad, Kerala

Drone shot of Aham Anubhava, Mylambady, Wayanad, Kerala

It is here that you wake up to the chirping of birds. It is here that you are fed delicious home-cooked organic food. It is here that you can learn how to be a farm hand. It is here that you learn to enjoy the simple joys of life. It is here that you become one with nature. It is here that you recharge your physical and mental batteries and rediscover your ‘joie de vivre’. ‘Here’ is a traditional plantation home in a quiet village of Wayanad in northern Kerala. It is a combination of a lovely Brahmin household, their plantation and farm land and their new hospitality offering called ‘Aham Anubhava’ or "’I Experience”.

Above Photo Credit:  Pradeep H Gowda

A Motorcycle holiday to Aham Anubhava, Wayanad, Kerala

They are not your typical homestay and certainly not a resort or a hotel. They are simply a traditional plantation home and if you opt to stay here, you become part of this home. You become one in the family. You stay in their home, albeit in your own private room in the first floor. You eat with the family. And if you wish you can work with them in their home garden, farm and plantation. And you share lots of lots of interesting conversations amidst pristine nature with a hot cup of home grown coffee or tea. Sounds sweet right? This is exactly how I spent my festival holiday with them a couple of weeks back on a motorcycle trip to Wayanad. And did I say that I hated leaving this place and returning to Bangalore. Such was the simplistic, yet nurturing and nourishing charm of this place.

Vishu Kani - Aham Anubhava, Wayanad, Kerala

Aham Anubhava is that perfect place where you can unwind and yet pick up new skills, learn about new subjects or simply indulge in good food. It doesn’t matter whether you are single, a couple or traveling with your family, Aham Anubhava will appeal to everyone. And it certainly doesn’t matter whether you are here for a few days or for a much longer duration, you will still yearn to stay here longer.

Delicious traditional home cooked lunch at Aham Anubhava, Wayanad, Kerala

Following are the key highlights and benefits of living in this traditional plantation home environment:

Banana Plantations of Aham Anubhava, Wayanad, Kerala

1) An absolutely quiet village surrounded by greenery

Benefits: Better sleep, digital detox, relaxed body and mind, rejuvenation, off beat holiday, pure air, lots of Vitamin D

Everyone knows Wayanad, a popular hill getaway in Kerala. Its easy and fast access from Bangalore has made it a hot weekend getaway from Bangalore. Now, have you heard of Mylambady? I didn’t think so. It is a small village located in Wayanad and most of the people living here have farms or plantations. There should be not more than a hundred homes and less than a thousand people living in this village. Aham Anubhava is one such home tucked in a corner of this village. So, not only are you located in a remote village in Wayanad, you are located in a remote part of the village too. This means that the bulk of the sounds that you hear during the day are sounds of nature. Vehicle sounds are a rarity. And nights are eerily quiet. Apart from BSNL, connectivity is a bit poor. So, if you are looking for digital detox, then this might be the perfect place for you. If you wish to stay connected, Aham Anubhava has free in-house wi-fi that you can use to stay connected with the outside world.

Rubber plantations of Aham Anubhava, Mylambady, Wayanad, Kerala

This is the kind of place where you sleep early and wake up early to the chirping of birds (nature’s alarm call). This is the kind of place where you can switch off from the humdrum of regular life and enjoy the simple pleasures of life, like a walk in the morning sun towards the nearby stream or watch the sunbirds jump from flower to flower while you sip on your morning cup of coffee or stretch out your legs on the balcony with a book in your hand.

A plantation jeep track - Wayanad, Kerala

You can get plenty of Vitamin D here, either by sun bathing right in your balcony or you could go on those short or long village walks. Greenery is all around, either in the form of plantations, native trees or farms. So, you are sure to be relaxed at all times. And the air is so pure that it feels so good and refreshing when you fill your lungs to the brim with it. It is indeed a far cry from the foul air we breathe in our cities and certainly one of the top perks for me.

During the night, you can request the property to switch off all lights and stare at the star studded sky while sipping on some hot herbal tea or may be a stiff drink (the choice is entirely yours).

Delicious Jackfruits getting ready for harvest at Mylambady, Wayanad

2) Birdwatching right from the balcony

Benefits: Bird lover, Bird photography

Every morning and late evening, I would simply stand on my balcony with a hot cup of coffee in hand and see purple sunbirds, greater flame-backed woodpeckers, common mynas, jungle mynas, hill mynas, greater coucals, swallows, barbets, wagtails, flowerpeckers, red vented bulbuls, red whiskered bulbuls, Malabar whistling thrushes, black drongos, racket tailed drongos, jungle babblers, large billed leaf warblers, parakeets and so many other species of birds. And all this without any binoculars or big zoom lenses. I could simply spot all of them with my naked eye. Which means that if you have a good pair of binoculars, zoom lenses and tripods, you can not only see and study their behavior from close quarters, but you can also end up taking some amazing bird photographs.

Green jungles and plantations of Wayanad from the sky
Above Photo Credit:  Pradeep H Gowda

3) Being in the wild

Benefits: Wild animal sightings, wildlife photography, an adrenaline rush

Aham Anubhava and the entire village of Mylambady is surrounded by national parks, tiger reserves, wildlife sanctuaries and reserve forests. To one side there is Bandipur Tiger Reserve and Muthanga forest and to the other is Wayanad and Tholpetty wildlife sanctuary and somewhere in the middle is Nagarhole and Kabini Tiger Reserve. This means that you can almost always come across a wildlife crossing in this village as it falls in various animal corridor zones. While wild boars and peacocks are common here, elephants are known to pay a visit almost every week. You can sense this by seeing the elephant dung lying on the various plantation trails. The Malabar giant squirrel is also commonly seen here. So are many types of macaques and langurs. Tigers and leopards are also seen here from time to time, though it is rare to catch a view of these stealthy animals. In principle, it is almost the same experience as a wildlife safari, but you are not inside a forest jeep but on foot and there are no armed forest guards, which makes this so much more thrilling.

Blooming flowers galore at Aham Anubhava, Wayanad, Kerala

4) Learn how to be a farm hand

Benefits: Lots of sunshine, good exercise, pick up a thing or two about farming, pick up a thing or two about plants, may be plant a few plants to do your bit for mother nature

It is not often that you get to learn how to be a plantation owner, a farmer or an agriculturist. At Aham Anubhava, you can join the family while they go back their daily work in their farms and plantation. Not only will this give you good Vitamin D and exercise, but this will also make you learn a thing or do about farming, plants, fruits, vegetables, spices, irrigation, composting, recycling, etc. Depending on the season when you are visiting, you could even plant a coffee or other sapling. This is one unique attribute of staying with Aham Anubhava.

If you have a lot of time at hand, you could also explore the possibility of volunteering or teaching at the village school nearby.

A tranquil riverside - Mylambady, Wayanad, Kerala

5) Indulge in traditional Tamil and Kerala cuisine

Benefits: Sattvic food, organic food, happy gut, pick up some traditional recipes for home

Most of Aham Anubhava’s daily fruits and vegetables are home grown. Whatever is not home grown comes from nearby farms. So basically, all the raw ingredients are fresh, organic and full of rich nutrients. Add to it a brilliant cook, also the lady of the house, and you have a gastronomy extravaganza. Traditional recipes cooked using ancient techniques ensures that you get the best taste possible. Raw jackfruit vegetable, green pepper pickle, sweet mango sauce, fried okra in yoghurt sauce and many other traditional, yet super delicious dishes are on offer here.

If you are interested, you can help with the vegetable picking from the garden, assist with the cooking or even learn some recipes and take it back home. Whatever you do, the smell of fresh firewood, the vapors of coconut oil floating in the air and the smiling conversations are bound to linger in your mind forever. Such is the charm of the kitchen atmosphere here.

And even if you haven’t stepped into the kitchen, the meals in itself are good enough to create an everlasting memory of tastes, flavors and smells. I would simply return to this place in a heart beat just for its food. It is vegetarian food only, but it spans a diverse menu. I think all foodies will fall in love with this place.

Lush nature of Mylambady, Wayanad, Kerala
Above Photo Credit:  Pradeep H Gowda

6) Go on long nature, farm and plantation walks

Benefits: Lots of Vitamin D, good exercise, pure air and quality de-cluttering time

The delicious food and the guilty pleasures that you enjoy in the dining room give you an incentive to explore the nearby village, nature, farm and plantation trails by foot. Not only do these walks allow you to burn all those calories, it somehow makes you ready for more of that amazingly yummy food. Lots of sunshine, good exercise, pure air and plenty of nature are some other excuses to go on those village walks. One of my favorite things to do here is to go to the village center, order a cup of hot lemon tea, buy a small piece of cake, feed the family of house sparrows and watch the village life go by while listening to the happy chirps of the birds. Definitely a far cry from our mad city life.

The yellow flower that is taking over the hedge at Aham Anubhava, Wayanad, Kerala

By now you would have realized the rustic charm of this place. I am sure there are ton more things to do, experience and discover here, but I guess I would need many more trips for that. For the time being, I can tell you that this traditional plantation home in rural Wayanad is truly a slice of god’s own country, without any of the frills of modern tourist infrastructure. If relaxation and rejuvenation in pristine nature is your thing, head to Aham Anubhava. If good food and family is what you are looking for, head to Aham Anubhava. If a rural holiday experience is what you are seeking, head to Aham Anubhava.

To know more about Aham Anubhava, look up their website. If you need any additional information or if you are interested in booking this place, contact Menaka Ramanan (menaka at ahamanubhava dot com).

Drone Shot of mountain stream flowing through Mylambady, Wayanad, Kerala
Above Photo Credit:  Pradeep H Gowda

How to get here:

By air: The nearest airport is Kozhikode, about 2 hours away. But, if you are looking for an airport with a wider connectivity, Bangalore airport, at 300 kms away, is your best bet.

By rail: Mysore, Bangalore or Kozhikode would be 3 train stations with good pan India coverage.

By road: Mylambady is somewhere between 260 and 300 kms away from Bangalore depending on which route you opt for. The Bangalore –> Mysore –> Gundlupet –> Muthanga Forest –> Sultan Bathery –> Mylambady is possibly the fastest and the road in the best condition. There is an alternate route via Hunsur and Mananthavady that passes through Nagarhole Tiger Reserve. Only four wheelers are allowed on that route. Both routes are open only from sunrise to sunset.

A festival rural holiday to Aham Anubhava, Wayanad, Kerala

Nearby Hidden Tourist Attractions:

1) Karapuzha Dam

2) Wayanad cricket stadium at Krishnagiri, a scenic cricket stadium surrounded by jungles and mountains

3) A small mountain stream completely cut off from outside view and that is surrounded by lush greenery

Drone shot of Mylambady, Wayanad - forests, plantations and farms
Above Photo Credit:  Pradeep H Gowda

Nearby Mainstream Tourist Attractions:

1) Kuruva Island, a lovely island on the Kabini river

2) Edakkal Caves, known for its cave paintings from the Neolithic era

3) Banasura Sagar Dam, one of the largest earthen dams in the region

4) Chembra Peak, the tallest peak in the region and a stunning trekking location

5) Soochipara Falls, a beautiful waterfall accessible to all

6) Meenmutty Falls, a gorgeous forest waterfall that requires a decent trek

7) Pookote Lake, a beautiful lake known for its lilies, lotus flowers and boat rides

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