BASIC HALLI

BANGALORE (RURAL)

USP: A tryst with Nature

B asic Halli is not for the weak-hearted or for those who are accustomed to room service and horse-drawn carriages. Basic Halli is a call that takes you back to Nature. For all possible reasons, Basic Halli is an answer to the complaints of all those who are yet to come to terms with the indiscriminate expansion of urban Bangalore.

I am not really fussy about room service or not having network on my phone, but being guarded about anything outdoorsy is innate in me as a city slicker. But the all- encompassing principle of “Keep It Simple Stupid” automatically makes you leave the city brat at the border of the Kanakapura taluk. Basic Halli was born out of the passion of Anand Sankar, Lionel Prem Lobo, Srinidhi Raghavendra and Sandeep Komarla.

As I get accustomed to the unfamiliar silence and my personal tent, I see a fancy camera trying to capture a bird that my untrained eye could not see. Babblers, barbets, cormorants, ibises and hoopoes are some of the birds that can be found in the area.

Lunch is simple, delicious fare, with vegetable salad, vegetable curry, ragi balls, rice, rasam, sambhar and curd. Word of advice; eat it all, you will need the energy. These guys take their cycling really seriously. The cycle dash organised down the Bilkal Rangaswamy Hill will put the Tour De France to shame. The rutted track from the top of the hill all the way back to camp makes me wish I had not taken the drive in a tempo to the top of the hill for granted.

The campsite is centred around a 500 sq.ft. hammock. So what if you don't know your birds or how to cycle, I suggest you lie on the hammock. And, you just might end up staying on it all evening, through the night and till the following morning. The hammock is secured over a tank which doubles up as a pool. Dinner brings with it food, drink and merry-making with a bachelorette party thrown in.

Make sure you book your spot on the hammock for the night. Sleep under the stars and pretend you know your galaxies. Drop a Great Bear here and an Orion there and no one need know any better. Breakfast is the fluffiest of idlis and spicy sambar, and you can put out the flames with some hot filter coffee.

It is time to leave. The network bars reappear on my phone. But Basic Halli is not forgotten, the dull ache in my body — the result of having exercised my limbs after months, is refreshingly fresh.

CATHERINE RHEA ROY

(The writer was at Basic Halli at the invitation of the resort.)

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