Sakleshpur – Over the weekend

Sakleshpur is a small town, nestled in the Western Ghats of Karnataka. In its mountain terrains are the vast spreads of coffee estates. During all my earlier trips to Mangalore from Bangalore, I have passed by Sakleshpur without ever stopping over. I have always seen the beautiful landscapes whiz by, sometimes fog filled and almost always, very dreamy. So, this time when a long weekend was around the corner, and I was thinking of a place to go away to, I zeroed in on Sakleshpur for a visit. So, off we went, the kids, my mom, husband and I to Sakleshpur. The road itself wasn’t too good after all the monsoon rains. As expected, everywhere along the countryside from Bangalore to Sakleshpur there was water; all lakes and rivuletsin the countryside were brimming with water. Everything was lush green because of the monsoons. What should have taken us 5 hrs took us 6 hrs with a stop-over for breakfast coz of the bad roads.But the views compensated for all the bad roads.

The Western Ghats are beautiful this time of the year – not a little earth to be seen; just greenery. Home-stays are by far the only places of stay in these parts. When I was looking up the internet for a home-stay, I read some good reviews about Devagiri Retreat. It is run as a home-stay by the husband and wife who own the estate. It is right on the Bangalore-Mangalore highway and is about 12 kms after Sakleshpur town. I had booked us into it. We almost passed it by coz the entrance is right at one of the road bends. The property has a new house and an old house. The hosts house people in both the houses. The old house is converted to a place of stay. It used to be their house and reflects the local architecture. We took the older place; it has a lot more character and we liked its more human scale – cozy.

After freshening up, we headed out to lunch at the main house. The hostess, Mrs. Vijaya, exudes genuine warmth and made us feel right at home. She served us authentic, very homely Malenadu cuisine during our entire stay. When she realised that we were vegetarians, she took extra care to make sure the food was to our satisfaction. The house has 2 kitchens; 1 is exclusively for vegetarian food.

What you see in the pic below are the 2 buildings – the one at the back is the newer house and the one at the left is the older one. This was shot in the morning, when the fog was dense.

Devagiri retreat

Exercising

Here, you see my daughter at the far left exercising with the other visitors who started out their morning actively with all their little ones. :) This family was nice to interact with; 3 sisters with their parents and all their little ones were here for the long weekend.

Daughter on scooter

We carried the kids’ scooters and some board games to keep them occupied. Here’s my daughter going for a spin on her scooter.

Loads of opportunity to do macro photography – loads of  dewdrops, insects, wildflowers, and other cute precious nature things to be shot. I spent my time shooting some; both my kids use the p&s camera and do a fair bit of shooting themselves along with me. :) Here’s some of the macro photography I did while I was there.

Cobweb Macro

Dew drop macro

Sitting in the estate, the home-stay, like most estate home-stays is surrounded just by the estate greenery; the estate itself isn’t very pretty, nor does it offer too many activities to do. But that is compensated by the activities you get to do in the neighborhood. We did a little trek on the railway track full of tunnels, took a walk in the clouds, went to a 100 year old tea processing factory, spent some time by the side of a little rivulet, and visited a lovely fort near here. (An extra post about a little incident at the fort.) I will cover all of these in subsequent posts.

All of us took a little walk in the morning along the little path that runs next to the estate, where we ran into this cute little boy and his family.

A little boy

It was a lovely walk along the rustic countryside in this little Ghat village. My mom who was raised in Kerala, connected with the landscape a lot. The kids had a blast too – clicking pics, chasing butterflies, peering into bushes, playing in little brooks, etc. :)


22 Responses to “Sakleshpur – Over the weekend”

  1. Thanks to your great pictures I dont have to go 😀

  2. Nice wirteup Chitra. TFS

  3. Pictures make me want to go and experience it myself.

  4. Thank you Vijay, Arvind, Bryan. :) Glad you all liked the post. :)

    Bryan, welcome to my blog. :)

  5. […] from the previous post …. After lunch on arrival, we decided to go check the tunneled railway track nearby. This is […]

  6. Sakleshpur has been my fav too …… been there to an estate two years back, still fresh in my mind …… you’ve just rekindled the desire to go again …..

  7. Sounds and looks lovely! Especially the fog!

  8. Once again, your photographs are amazing! Thanks for sharing your trip.

  9. greaaaaaaaaaaaaat pic that dew drop one

  10. beautiful! first time on your blog. I love your flickr photos – a fellow flickrian I am too – well, indigotree is my account – very lowkey and a beginner in photography. Have always enjoyed your photos – along with arch’s, comd’s and a host of you that inspire me on flickr!! we took my girls to coorg this summer – stayed at a coffee plantation..organic farming and all…very nice experience! sakleshpur looks very pretty! LOVE the western ghats!! :-)

  11. Thanks Ram. Yeah, do go back. It is the right season now after the monsoons. :)

    Yes, it was lovely, Shalini. I am sure you will like it there. :)

    Thanks Lufie, Rajesh.

    Thanks Indigotree. I am glad you are taking on to photography. I am familiar with your stream. You have lovely pics there. :)
    I am also glad that you all had a lovely trip.

  12. Cool pictures – esp the cobweb :)

  13. […] far away from the immediate stark reality that surrounds us in the city. The weekend that we were away at Sakleshpur, the fog rolled in one afternoon right in front of our eyes and enveloped all of what we could see. […]

  14. …nice blog. Our first trip to sakleshpur instigated us to buy a small property there on one of the peak lush green mountainous terrain. We realized later that during British regime they had built a small guest house there.

    The people at Devagiri Retreat are very hospitable. Nice place to stay.

    Thanks…

  15. Thanks Niranj.

    Thanks Umesh. It’s wonderful that you bought a piece of land there. It’s even more wonderful that you have a guest house there too. I hope you enjoy it for a long time to come. Is the guest house in a good shape? Do you let it out? :)

  16. there is another place on the back warers of hemavathy very close to the place where u stayed called swarga.
    its on the way to mercara after the manzarbad fort 19 km village called kumbarahalli estate.

  17. The last picture of the dew drops looks like the LED lights we get!!!

  18. Thanks Priya for the pointer. I am sure it will come handy. :)

    lol @ My3.

  19. […] is a long pending post from the Sakleshpur trip. One of the things to do, while you are in the neighborhood is to visit the Manjarabad ford, which […]

  20. I loved your writeup & superb pics!!! It feels like am almost there:):):) Was planning to go to Sakleshpur during 02nd week of June….i was juz searching on the net if was a right to go n then found your website. Itz awesome!!!!

  21. good photos. and very nice to hear some of us enjoying the western ghats .
    we have visited sakleshpur, virajpet , madikeri
    several times and hope to live there after retiring
    be and good luck for more travels

  22. Hi, Chitra I read your narration about Sakleshpur. I recalled my old memories, I used to visit our Cardmom estate in Hongadahalla, a tiny village under Sakleshpur dist territory.

    During my travel from Mangalore to Hongadahalla, Sakleshpur is the break point. We enjoy the beauty of Manjarabad fort, biriyani in Yadagar hotel, visit to my uncle Dr Ashraf (Bharat clinic) is our permanent itinerary.

    Keep doing good work of joining with nature, God bless you and your family.

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