The moment it was decided to head to Coorg, (yes, the Scotland of the south and the rest of it) we decided that lunch should be at Bylakuppe, the Tibetan settlement en route. Coorg is 230 km from Bangalore and Bylakuppe in Kushal Nagar would nicely work out to be a midpoint. The reason for lunch at Bylakuppe is because I had been told one gets absolutely heavenly momos there. T. Lhakyap Restaurant is a little place with lazy sleeping dogs sprawled about. The fine misty rain though pretty to look at from the car window settles into the bones with a nasty chill. I was more than ready for some hot food to warm me up and Khakyap didn’t disappoint. The simple fare — spicy noodles and momos were steaming, steamy parcels of joy.
Refreshed and rejuvenated we set out to be properly gobsmacked by the towering temples with the Buddha smiling serenely. The picture of the four friends fable was greeted with the familiar pleasure of meeting old friends.
After Bylakuppe there was a stop at the Dubare Elephant Camp. After the mandatory raft ride and dutifully looking at elephants, we headed for the main objective of the visit — Thaneerhulla Bungalow. The 100-year-old colonial bungalow has been recently renovated by Tata Coffee’s Plantation Trails.
The red sloping roof, the velvety green lawn, the profusion of trees and flowers all put up a warm and welcoming façade. Entering the bungalow, the warm wooden floors set an inviting tone. The fireplace definitely takes one back to the good old days of spices, coffee and proud warriors. The rooms are all generously proportioned with canopied beds and windows offering jolly views. The dressing room was quaint and looking at the bed in it one could think of someone curling up and falling asleep as memsahib decided what to wear for an evening out.
There is telly for those who cannot live without it and I must admit I watched bits of Karz (the Subhash Ghai one, not the Himesh Reshammiya abomination). I love the scene where Rishi Kapoor as Monty (a rock star shouldn’t be burdened by such names) confronts the wicked Kamini and her wig comes off to show her old and grey.
So after indulging in some retro chic, I was ready for dinner. And what a dinner it was! Soups, fluffy rotis, cutlets, rice… all sorts of delicacies appeared as if by magic on the polished table. Chef promised paputtu, the Coorgi delicacy for breakfast. That was after the nature walk where the tracker opened my towny eyes to spiders, brilliantly-coloured little birds and a majestic hawk as well. There was also a round of golf, a trek, a trip to catch the sights at Madikeri, rafting…
But all that was tomorrow. For tonight, as I sat by the window with my book, while Sir Judah played his dastardly tricks on mute, I was content with a day well spent.
The writer was at Thaneerhulla Bungalow at the invitation of Plantation Trails by Tata Coffee
Plantation Trails – Thaneerhulla Bungalow
Thaneerhulla Division, Woshully Estate,
Tata Coffee Ltd.,
Pollibetta – 571 215, Karnataka
For reservations, call: +91-80 2356 0761/+91-99002 12119 or
E-mail: reach.plantationtrails @tatacoffee.com
Tariff: Heritage rooms Rs. 8950 + taxes, Heritage suites Rs. 9950+ taxes