What is it about Madikeri and rain? Somehow, each time I have ventured in that direction, there has been a downpour: the kind that soaks body and soul.

Eco habitat

Guddehosur Post, Kodagu

USP: Green and quiet

What is it about Madikeri and rain? Somehow, each time I have ventured in that direction, there has been a downpour: the kind that soaks body and soul. Madikeri rain reminds you of Malnad and its incessant, steady soaker. This time as well, on my way to Eco Habitat, a Mahindra Homestay on the road to Dubare, the rains welcomed. The lovely rain, the lush green environs of Eco Habitat promised a treat.

Somshekar, the young owner of the homestay, gave up his job in the BPO sector and decided to become an agriculturist. He now grows spices, bananas, vegetables among other things, and organically at that. There are cows and a pony, and a walk around his house will give you the complete farm experience. Eventually, as an extension of his back-to-Nature enterprise, Somshekar built two cottages to give the city-worn a home-stay experience.

The biggest advantage of Eco Habitat is its location. Every place worth a visit is easily accessible. If you don't want to do the usual touristy visits, then you can just cross the road and head towards the river rafting and fishing camp that is hardly five minutes away. Somshekar, who knows the place well, takes you to undiscovered locations. Early in the morning, he drove us into the forests, and in its still silence, the occasional cry of peacocks was exhilarating. If you are lucky, you may even spot elephants crossing the road. You can go trekking in the Brahmagiri ranges, visit the Chiklihole reservoir, the Harangi dam, the backwaters of Harangi and excellent bird-watching locations.

Feel like a microlite tour and paragliding; it can be arranged. The Golden Temple in Bylukuppe is a half-an-hour drive and at the Dubare Elephant camp you can bathe the elephants, watch them being fed or go on a jungle safari.

The cottages are comfortable and come with private pools. All meals (of your choice) are served in your room. There is the essential Kannadiga fare, mild and comfortable, and Chinese food; however, if you are looking for a typical Kodava spread, you may not find it here.

Eco Habitat's work extends to visiting nearby villages and spreading information on preserving bio-diversity. Eco Habitat is not merely a slogan, but a way of life.

As I left, wondering when I could go back, it started pouring…

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