During our 2017 summer trip to the western ghats, for the first time, instead of hotels, we started looking for home stays. We never had pervious experiences of staying in a home stay but with our just new born, we decided to explore the unchartered territory of staying at a different place. When we started exploring the home stays, forest home stay properties at Gowdahalli and Maradi stood out. Through email, got in touch with the support team and got the quotations. We transferred the advance amount via net banking and booked ourselves in Gowdahalli stay.
After our Belur temple visit, we left for our home stay at Gowdahalli. We turned on our GPS early so as to not lose our track in the area of low network connectivity. We reached our rooms little past two and lunch was awaiting us. The care taker Dileep looked after our stay and food. A big thumbs up to this guy.
They have badminton rackets, shuttle, cricket bats etc. One basically comes here to unwind and laze around. The network connectivity is poor with only airtel and BSNL working at a few places but its a blessing in disguise given that people come here only to switch themselves off from the outside world. We had an amazing time. They had couple of kids’ ride-ons as well. In addition, they have rifle shooting, carom, chess and cards.
Our home-stay in the middle of forest. It reminded me of my days in Mettur.
From the top
A simple and a neat cottage.
A cooler and a TV (which we never switched on)
And a very basic roof
Parking is just in front of the stay
Car’s ramp, a bit risky but nevertheless drivable
Post lunch, we slept for a while. We were served our evening snacks consisting of bhajji, pakoda and hot coffee. Again food was delicious. Post that , we spent the evening playing badminton and my brother did a bit of rifle shooting. After our dinner we retired for the day, but because of terrible power cuts and a lack of in-house UPS, we had a disturbed sleep.
My brother and dad went for a guided trek next day morning (organised by the home stay guy) to a nearby bull shaped mountain called Ethirbujha. It took them close to an hour to climb up. First three fourths of the trek didn’t require much efforts but the rest was literally an uphill task with close to 90 degrees inclination. But if rain gods decide to shower, the first half can become equally treacherous with leeches and the entire place can become slushy and soft. At some places, you had pebbles and the trek was slippery.
A glimpse of the summit. The near 90 degree trek !!
View from the top !! Worth the effort
We were also taken to nearby Devarmane hills. The backdrop of sun setting, heavy winds and a light drizzle made our stay at the top of the hills very pleasant.
View from the top
Sun setting. How many shades of orange and pink?
After spending close to fifteen minutes at the top, we descended and visited the Kalabhairava temple. This temple was built by Hoysalas prior to Belur and Halabeedu. It was built in 900 AD.
We woke up to the tunes of birds chirping on the last day of our trip. We went for a short cycling around the estate. We saw peacocks at a distance. But before we could reach them, they disappeared.
We had idly and kesari for breakfast. We also packed water melon juice for our onward journey and bid good bye to our memorable stay.