OUR NATIVE VILLAGE: HESARAGHATTA, OFF TUMKUR ROAD, BANGALORE
USP: Village experience with holistic lifestyle
It almost seems a fantasy world of iridescent pink and purple dragonflies, orange and blue butterflies, kingfishers, little frogs in a reed-rimmed swimming pond, ducks, cats, dogs, and oxen.
Aren't these the very elements that once featured in your summer holiday back at your grandparents'? That's what Our Native Village started off with — the idea of an idyllic getaway not far from the city yet quite cut off from its humdrum.
Today, apart from being an eco-resort, it is into holistic therapies, a vegan (non-dairy) and vegetarian approach to food that is sugar and alcohol-free. It has largely done away with oil in cooking! Some surprises on the menu include brown rice akki rotti, peanut curd, besan chilas stuffed with tofu and mushroom, mango chunda, herb teas and more.
Kapila Ramakrishnan, resort manager, tells me how all the bricks that make up the resort were made onsite from clay dug up and sun-dried. The buildings are at angles that catch the rushing winds, so there's no AC in the rooms; just fans. Each of the rooms has wall murals done by traditional artists; much of the workforce in the organic farms is drawn from villages around.
The resort is also quite green in another sense — nearly 70 per cent of its electricity requirement is met by a lone windmill, and solar panels. Slow cooking happens over kitchen fires fed by biogas that it generates. All water is recycled for re-use. The resort provides organic soaps and shampoos so that you don't pollute the water with chemicals. It grows most of the greens and many of the vegetables and fruits in an organic farm that Kapila's mother oversees.
Walk with her as she introduces you to her patch of paalak, the carrot bed and guava trees. Whatever else is required the resort trades with organisations that network with other organic farmers. Evening rituals include smoking out your room with a mix of saambraani and neem leaves to keep mosquitoes away!