TRANQUILITEA FARMSTAY PLANTATION

KOTAGIRI ROAD

USP: Plenty of outdoor activity

How do you spell ‘quiche'? It doesn't really matter, as long as you get to eat it. And, you just might, along with home-baked cookies, and reviving tea. When Sandeep Subramani had to move his tea lounge, Tranquilitea, out of its former location, he moved it back home. He converted part of his residence into a farm stay.

Cares drop away as you enter your private living room. Glass walls everywhere, the Coonoor valley unrolls on one side, and there is a green, green garden if you just turn your head. The view is so remarkable and the sofas so comfortable, that you are forgiven if you do not budge from there for the rest of your holiday.

Don't be taken aback. People here often start conversations with, “Sorry, we were held up by two bisons arguing on the road”, or, “The panther just leapt over the roof of our vehicle,” or, “Did you see the tiger?” Who knows, you could be participating too. Sandeep would be happy to organise tours for you (they range from rigorous treks to shorter and gentler meanderings), and you might get lucky. But, till then, even spotting hopping sparrows on the lawn brings joy.

Meet local artists, visit traditional homes of the Todas, enjoy the trees at Simms Park or, watch tea being manufactured. Sandeep calls it a holiday cum education. Of course, you needn't do any of the above — just kick off your shoes and soak yourself in the peace and quiet.

If only the silence could be bottled. For those whose lot it is to live with air horns, loud speakers and shrieking brakes, this place is a revelation. There is no television either. “No guest has complained yet,” smiles Sandeep. “You could write a book here,” he adds. Your may find your muse sunning herself on the park bench on the lawn. If that is too much like work, just do the crossword, or read.

There are just two rooms, and they are preferably let out to the same family or group of friends. This way, you are not one of the guests, you are the only guests. You are left well alone, or, if you enjoy company, someone from the plantation is happy to show you the sights.

(The writer was at Tranquilitea at the invitation of the resort.)

How to get there

The home stay is 2.5 km from Simms Park at Coonoor, on the Kotagiri Road. Pick up from Coimbatore/Mysore can be arranged on request.

For details contact 09443841572 or visit www.tranquilitea.in

Things to do

Plantation tours, walks and treks.

Personalised photography workshops conducted by professional photographers.

Trips to picturesque destinations, a ride on the Nilgiri Mountain Rail.

Shopping (Toda embroidery, kota pottery, home-made cheese, art works, antique furniture, teas and honey).

Guests at Tranquilitea also have access to sporting facilities including badminton, table tennis, tennis, golf and horse riding.

Tariff

The charges are Rs. 4,000 per room per night. This includes breakfast and a welcome tea/juice on arrival. Dinner is available on request.