How excited it is to live in a nature’s womb? I know this feel is a valuable experience for most of us who have made this concrete jungles as our adobe for good. Yes, you must try placing yourself in the mid of nature, it is a serene and divine feeling. Mother Nature has gifted us a wonderful and reliable environment, but some of us are not fortunate to spend our lives closer to her.
It is a bliss for anybody like me to spend sometime with nature and will be waiting for such an opportunity to elope. So, I did same when I planned for a small getaway for a weekend to Club Mahindra, Madikeri. We arrived at Madikeri around 2 pm in the afternoon on Saturday. As soon as we landed the architecture of the property attracted me.
We stepped into the reception area, a lady standing with an aarathi thali greeted us and applied tilak and said “Welcome Home.” I was surprised to hear the phrase, I realized that she was right, when I was about to check out and started missing the place next day. Yes, indeed in true terms it was our home though for a short term.
The reception and lobby area is completely constructed in traditional kodava style aina mane, with a space in the middle allowing water inside and it will be stored right in the middle of the room. The floating pink flowers in the water enhanced the beauty of the place.
As we sat in the lobby area, the coffee based welcome drink was served. It was refreshing after a four and half hour journey.
Soon we were led into our suite through the courteous staff. Let me explain about the construction of Club Mahindra property. It is a huge property spread over 33 acres amidst rain forest. The construction is taken place in such a way that it does not disturb any of the natural habitation there. None of the trees were destructed while construction. The building is adapted to jungle. The accommodation is distributed among several blocks that are distant from each other. The staff provides transportation for the guests to reach their accommodation with their luggage to traverse through the curves amidst the nature.
The suite allocated for us was in the second block called Uchuva that was not very far from the reception. The staff escorted us to the suite. It consisted of living area, dining area, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and balcony. The place was equipped with kodava style antique furniture. The spacious suite had all the facilities including cutlery and basic utensils that were good enough for basic preparation.
After freshen up, we visited their restaurant Coffee Blossoms for lunch. Chef Debraj was all set to treat us with TDH Coorg menu. From the past 13 years, Chef Debraj being part of Club Mahindra group has been instrumental in setting up the restaurants for them. Before setting up the place, he has undertaken intense research to connect with the taste buds of people.
Though, the Coorgi cuisine is known for its non-veg varieties. Chef Debraj has never seen an obstacle when serving for vegetarians. A lot of variety with unique taste arrived at our lunch table, let me go through them:
Pukosu 65 – The Coorgi way of Cauliflower 65 – The Cauliflowers were soft, crispy and slightly oily. But, flavorful.
- Alugadde Pepper Fry – Spicy Pepper cooked soft potato – The dish was soft with dark texture because of the pepper infusion. High of flavors.
- Coorg Paneer Chilli Fry – A fusion south Indian chilly fry of cottage cheese. Though the taste was great, I wasn’t impressed with the Paneer. Since it was rubbery! I was told that, sourcing a paneer is the challenging part.
- Pepper Goli Bhaji – Vegetable dumplings dry tossed in spices. Being a South Indian, I love the Goli Bajji. It’s one of the popular snacks at most of the darshini’s in Bangalore and the origin in from Mangalore. Chef did an excellent job by tossing again with pepper and spices. The taste is outstanding and recommended dish.
- Putani Jola Masala – Baby corn cooked in Coorg spices and vinegar – As the description says, the dish is slightly sour with right amount of spices and has a very good texture.
- Kummu Varuval – Mushrooms in tangy coated masala – The dish was presented nicely and oily texture certainly appeals. The mushroom were blended perfectly with that tangy masala and garnished with a fried green chili. Another must try dish!
- Kachampuli Veg Shashlik – Fusion of skewered vegetables in corgi tradition Kachampuli souring – For some reason, I don’t like Veg Shashlik. However, I should probably change my opinion about this dish. A dish made by using Kachampuli, which has a distinct sourness with pepper flavor.
- Kadala Ghassi – Black Channa cooked in flavored coconut gravy
- Badne Palya – Brinjal corgi delicacy with fresh coconut
- Paneer Peas Kurma – Paneer and peas cooked in coconut and spices
- Coorgi Pacha Curry – Coorgi mixed vegetable curry
- Basala Belle – Coorg style dal palak
- Ghee Rice
- Nul Puttu – Steamed noodle like rice strands
- Akki Rotti – Traditional rice bread from Coorg
- Kadambuttu with Bemble – Steamed rice dumpling from Coorg
All the main course dishes I tried for the first time and totally loved it. All these were on non-spicy side. But the dishes have a unique flavor and taste. Also, these dishes taste more like a home food. I was told that, Chef personally visited few of the traditional Coorgi homes to learn and experiment before presenting to guests, which is something commendable. It was a fabulous experience to try these delicacies. Being a Vegetarian, I am feeling proud. Since, these dishes certainly don’t get at other places. Because Coorgi cuisine is more of a Non Veg Side! Meal doesn’t finish without desserts.
- Thambuttu – festive roasted rice, banana and dark rice – A traditional Coorgi dessert and prepare during the festivals. The dish is soft and just melts!
- Bhuu Kajjaya – Ground rice and Jaggery – A soulful dessert, one must definitely try without fail.
- Kodagu Coffee Mousse – A fusion mousse made with Traditional Coorg Coffee. The Mousse made out of Dark Coffee and tastes fabulous. This is strictly for dark coffee lovers.
After a heavy lunch, we were full and returned to our room to rest for some time before our dinner.
Dinner was all set for us at their barbeque restaurant “The Barbeque Bay”. The place had a different and impressive décor. All the hot barbeques were served at our dinner table. All of the starters were perfectly dipped and were well prepared to give the right taste and texture.
The buffet spread at Barbeque was comprehensive, it included everything. I tried the Veg Biryani, Dal Tadka, Paneer Butter Masala, Steamed Rice and Rasam on the spread and on the table grill; I tried Mushrooms, Pineapple, Paneer, Baby Potato along with Harabara Kebab, Kachori and Dahi Kebab. The dishes taste exceptionally good and way better than the Barbecue restaurants I visited so far in Bangalore.
Finally, the desserts Chocolate molten lava was amazing. The dessert was bought to the table and a sauce was poured on it and the chocolaty layer broke down with ice cream in it, we thoroughly enjoyed the dish. Soon after this, the kesar kulfi arrived, that was prepared in-house and was out of the world. With all this, our first day had come to an end in that beautiful resort.
Next day, we visited Green Cardamom for our breakfast. It is an all-day buffet restaurant, serving a lot of guest in-house and other people as well. The breakfast has a huge spread including north Indian and south Indian popular dishes. There were live counters for doughnuts and dosas. The breakfast here also will be theme based some time.
Beautifully decorated fruit platter had arrived at our breakfast table to kick start. Then we tried dosa, it was a perfect Karnataka style dosa. There were three variety of chutneys namely Coconut, Dal and Tomato Along with this there were idly and vada. To serve their health conscious guest, their breakfast included Ragi Ball, Poha, Muesli and Oats been placed of the breakfast spread. Also, there were Pan Cakes, Roasted Eggs, Omlette and so many other dishes.
Our breakfast was followed by the property visit, their staff Mr. Ajith accompanied us throughout the property to showcase and give us a glimpse of everything. We started from their reception, then we visited Svaastha, their spa center. It is situated amidst the greenery and the entrance bay is set on the water that gives a pleasant look. As the place intends to relieve guests from their stress and rejuvenate them, it has tranquility. There are about six rooms for the traditional Ayurveda massage and there is one section hosting western massage that can serves a couple guest at once. The décor of the place signifies relaxation and is apt for distressing yourself.
Then we visited their adventure valley, all of the sports activities are again built amidst the Western Ghats rain forests without disturbing the nature as well ensuring the safety. My wife tried couple of adventure activities namely zip drive and swinging bridge. She was excited to do that and enjoyed to the core. Mr. Das helped us with all these activities. There are a lot more adventure activities for all the adventure lovers out there.
After all these activities, one need refreshment, we barged into their Planters Club. I enjoyed their hot strong Kodava coffee. This place has a distinct interiors for their in house guests.
A shopping zone within the resort helps the guest to quickly pick some things required to enjoy their amenities such as swimming pool. There are two pools in the resort, one of them has a kid’s pool attached. Zombie is also available in the pool, my wife loved this playing.
The Fun Zone in the resort serves the kid’s interests and there would be classes arranged to teach magic and other things to kids every day. Each day it would be a different activity. Carnival also would be there in evenings. Conference rooms are also available at the resort. Ainmane, a shop that sells typical natural kodava products is present in the premises.
After all this we grabbed a quick lunch from Green Cardamom buffet.
With a heavy heart we left the place in grief as we were unprepared to enter this concrete jungle again from the nature’s heaven. Whatsoever with time we had to move on. But, yes on the way back, we enjoyed the magnificent view of Abbi falls and Raja seat, a view point of Madikeri city.
Madikeri a great gift of nature and people there are fortunate to make these their adobe. Thank you Club Mahindra and Chef Debraj Bhoumik for having us!
Address: Galibeedu Road, Kalakeri, Nidugane Village, Madikeri, Karnataka 571201
Phone: 082722 21114
For Club Mahindra Membership, visit http://www.clubmahindra.com/membership/overview