Off-beat Coorg: The Club Mahindra Virajpet experience
Words: Anoop Padate Photos: Vishal Sabharwal
The coffee plantation at Club Mahindra Virajpet
Green. Every time I’d look out the car window all I’d see was green. Nearly every inch of the landscape looked like it had been dipped in green, painted green and, just for good measure, sprayed with a little more green. I was in Virajpet, in the southern part of the Kodagu district or Coorg, as it’s popularly known, in Karnataka.
Virajpet at a glance:
As we drove along from the town of Madikeri, the scenery gradually changed. The distance between things got wider, the land, more pastoral. Unending coffee plantations lit by filtered shafts of sunlight under tall betel nut and rosewood trees filled the scenery. But I wondered, how different would this Club Mahindra destination be from the other resort which was just over an hour away?
For starters, this resort doesn’t give you the raw jungle feeling that you get at Kodagu Valley. While still being surrounded by nature, Club Mahindra Virajpet, even while being a work in progress, has a rather manicured feel to it. Here, it feels, you can enjoy and appreciate the beauty of nature, from a safe distance. But you do get a lot of opportunities, within and out of the resort, to get up close and personal with all that green.
Take for example the plantation walk within the resort boundaries. Mainly consisting of Robusta coffee, a walk up the gentle slope will also present jackfruit, rosewood, the powerful Kandari or bird’s eye chilli, some Arabica coffee shrubs, Jatropha (which is used in biodiesel production and the liquid of whose stem, if broken, can produce bubbles) a many other varieties of flora and if you get your timing right, fantastic views of the sunset. Keep your eyes peeled for some very pretty looking insects and flowers too!
The resort itself extends over a large area and walking around on the pathways that largely follow the contours of the land makes for a nice early morning or evening stroll. In case indoor activities are your thing, head to the activities centre and pick from a variety of board games and indoor sports on offer.
Clockwise: Walk around the property along the pathways; well appointed comfort at our studio apartment; the reception and lounge at Club Mahindra Virajpet
You could also hire a car, get out and check out all these places:
Clockwise: Lush paddy fields; the permanent mandap at the Nalknad Palace; cloud laden Chokamund; and the roaring Chelvara falls at Virajpet
Nagarhole National Park
Padi Igguthappa Temple
But what’s most interesting, intriguing and all around fascinating are the people. I won’t spoil the surprise. Get to Virajpet, find one of the locals and listen to the stories about their origins, customs and beliefs. Find out about their history, their lives and their love for hockey. Try to get yourself an invite to see their traditional home. Eat the delicious local food and drink as many local brews as you can find. It’s an experience that's totally worth the trip. Here’s a hint. You’ll find some of them at our brand new resort. Club Mahindra Virajpet might just be an hour away from Madikeri, but it’s in a slightly off beat world of its own.
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