An eco-friendly cottage in Misty Woods
A cottage in Misty Woods in the heart of coffee country
IT was 3 pm when we zoomed into Misty Woods Resort in Kakkabe in Kodagu district of Karnataka. Set in the midst of 120 acres of coffee, cardamom, and pepper plantations, it is a private haven that caters to vacationers. Nestled within one of the most picturesque parts of the Western Ghats, these mountain ranges are known as Karadi Moole. Kakkabe was once the largest producer of honey, but its current attraction is its natural beauty.
We were taken to our cottages in a vehicle which later ferried us to the restaurant. Winding pathways lead to 40 cottages with names like Mansion House Cottage, Vernacular Cottage and Fairytale Cottage, sprinkled across the plantation property. The cottages are built aesthetically, using brick and wood, and have spacious rooms and large attached bathrooms. They have the feel and comfort of a luxury resort, the warmth of a home and are a step closer to the greens and browns of nature. But what sets the resort apart is the warmth and hospitality of its hosts, Viji John and his wife, Meena.
The cottages are enchanting, comprising a private balcony from where one can get an eyeful of the varying shades of this green landscape. You can sit for hours in the balcony sipping cups of steaming coffee in between nibbles of samosas and watch the clouds play hide-and-seek with the peaks. Or nurse a drink with your favourite book in hand, soaking in the heavenly aroma of the coffee plantation and withdraw from the maddening world.
Misty Woods is an excellent base from where to explore the delights of Coorg district. “The experiences here encompass a broad canvas — special species of birds, the drive up to the sights nearby, long invigorating walks across the plantation, nature trails, berry picking during the season, a dip in the rivulet, and a picnic by the stream. Or you can scale Kodagu’s highest peak, Thadiyendamol, visit the holiest Kodava shrine — Iguthappa Temple — or the ancient Nalkunad Palace or trek to the scenic Kabbe Pass and Chelvara Falls,” says Viji, managing director of Misty Woods.
A breathtaking view of the Western Ghats
Getting around the verdant property is itself a workout and can definitely whip up one’s appetite. There are activities galore to keep you occupied — cycling, badminton, swimming, campfires and indoor games. You can stroll through the property and follow plantation trails. The best way to unwind in this glorious outdoors is to amble around leisurely. The view from every angle is spectacular.
As we went on a guided tour of the sprawling plantation, we stumbled upon a sparkling waterfall hurtling down the rocks, gushing streams and rivulets all around and mossy nooks gurgling with crystal springs.
We were fortunate to be in Kodagu during the Kodava Hockey Festival in summer. We watched Kodavas battle with their sticks at this unique hockey tournament held on their home turf. With over 300 clans participating, the tournament is recognized as one of the largest field hockey tournaments in the world and finds mention in the Limca Book of Records.
Just a hop, skip and jump from Misty Woods is the Nalkunad Palace, situated in Yavakapadi village in the heart of the Tadiyendamol range. It was constructed by Dodda Raja Veerendra, the king of Kodagu, in 1792. The palace, with 12 magnificent pillars and walls adorned with beautiful carvings, is associated with many a tale of yore. It is sometimes used as a starting point by trekkers.
Nalkunad Palace was the royal hunting lodge and summer home of the Kodava kings. A double-storeyed structure with a conical roof, the decrepit building has intricate wooden friezes and wall murals. The local Kapala tribals were brought here by the king from Kerala to look after the palace. Located three and a half kilometres from Kakkabe, the palace is quite neglected, with just a caretaker to look after it.
For those who have a head for heights, Tadiyendamol is a trekkers’ paradise. The trek to Tadiyendamol peak (5,729 ft), the tallest peak in Kodagu, offers an enchanting view of green-topped hills and lush valleys. It is the second highest peak in Karnataka after Mullaiyanagiri in the Baba Budan Range. Kakkabe, a small town 35 km from Madikere, gives access to the highest peak in Kodagu. Though most of the trek is gentle, the last stretch is a steep climb. From the peak you can view the distant Arabian Sea on a clear day and the spellbinding beauty of Kodagu all around. The ideal time for trekking is immediately after the monsoon, from September to December.
From the resort, we went to the nearby Padi Igguthappa, the most important temple in Kodagu. Worshipped as ‘one who gives grain’ (iggu is Kodava for grain, thappa means to give), Igguthappa is the real rain god. Such are his powers that he can fulfil any wish — an engineering degree, a child, or the girl/boy of your dreams! Thousands congregate here for the Kaliyarchi Festival in March when the god is taken on a procession to the top of Mallama Betta and reinstalled in the temple, followed by ceremonial dances. The official date of the harvest festival, Huthri, is also determined here. Another interesting festival is the Tula-bhara, when devotees place themselves on gigantic scales and donate an equivalent weight of grains to the temple.
How to get to Kakkabe:
Bengaluru: 260 km | Mangaluru: 170 km | Nearest railhead: Mysuru - 127 km
For bookings: Misty Woods- 99023 54089