Wayanad wanderings…..

Fancy living in a treehouse with an enchanting view of acres and acres of green, amidst verdant coffee plantations? Then Wayanad is definitely the place for you ..another off the beaten track destination in India to be one with nature! They don’t call Kerala ” God’s Own Country ” for nothing, you will discover.

Wake up to the sound of chirping birds, surrounded by a mesmerizing morning mist. The aroma of the fresh brew of coffee at your doorstep draws you into the balcony to enjoy the symphony of melodious birdsong, perfect for a soul soothing experience. Walk down the winding path to the restaurant for a Kerala style breakfast to linger over. Which would you rather have Malabar parathas with egg curry or Kadala curry or piping hot Appams with stew? How about all?

 

The misty views of the plantations from the restaurant are perfect for a digital detox as you can #chillax with a book and some more divine coffee. Or you can take a plantation tour and learn about coffee, pepper and cardamon cultivation process in the eighty acre plantation. Binoculars and cameras ahoy as this place is the abode of 32 different species of birds, and all you shutterbugs would be sure to capture some of them. I had heard many accounts of the beauty of Wayanad in Kerala, but wasn’t prepared for this immersion, to be bewildered by the beauty of this pristine place to this extent !

 

At lunch time, enrich your tastebuds with some more gems from the treasury of a Kerala culinary feast. Indulge in a traditional Sadya served on a plantain leaf of par boiled red rice, curries, side dishes, savories, pickles and desserts or some unique fish delicacies like Chemmeen Moilee – Prawn curry or Karimeen pollichathu – Pearlspot fish grilled in banana leaf. We do ensure these unique food experiences, no matter where we go. And for those who want to don an apron and get some hands on experience in whipping up these delicacies, we have cooking classes too !

 

You will witness and learn the secrets of Kerala cuisine here. The basic essence is rice and coconut and every dish here is derived from it. Traditional methods are used as the food is slow cooked in earthenware pots, spices are freshly ground using a stone mortar and pestle. The kitchens are equipped with their own idiyappam and puttu kuzhals (makers) to doll out the freshest for your breakfast!

A plethora of ayurvedic massages await you here to soothe those aching muscles and give relaxation a whole new meaning. A combination of ancient Abhyanga practices and massage oils prepared from the plants of the tropical forest work magic together and produce many beneficial effects. So just one may not be enough, have a massage every day when you are here.

The eye soothing greenery of the tea plantations around and rippling clear waters of the waterfalls and lakes make Wayanad the perfect place for a refreshing holiday. As the sun sets over the Chembra peak at the horizon, and you sip another cup of filter coffee sitting in your treehouse balcony, the sheer serenity of the place envelopes you. “Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax.”

The surreal taste of Punjab

Our getaways from Mumbai are truly experiences which teach us to live life, not by the ticking clock but by the magical  “compass”.Take a breather, and breathe in the beatitude travel has to offer, discover new destinations on every trip!

Punjab …the land that’s blessed with the waters of the five rivers of the Himalayas, the land of the farmers and fields and the land that’s carpeted with yellow mustard flowers in Winter. The tranquility of countryside and farm fresh air and food beckons you here to feel the stresses of city life ebb away.

Fancy hotels in Amritsar city really don’t compare to the off the grid farm stays that you should rather choose around in the countryside. Nature enthusiasts won’t ever move their gaze away from the vast expanse of greenery that surrounds as you relax in the patio of a mud cottage here. The rustic charm of country lifestyle is the flavour to savour here, each cottage and the common lounge area is so tastefully decorated.

Experience a world of a difference in the the taste of the food here. The garden-fresh vegetables, the pure milk and every morsel you sample is made using wholesome ingredients. There is an unmistakable taste of freshness in every mouthful. And when all that is served to you on a charpai in the verandah of the mud huts, the makke ki roti, sarson ka saag and rajma chawal is one glorious meal (Or “sone pe suhaga” as they say)

Each new day undoubtedly brings still more beautiful things ! The morning mist over the fields and the crisp air is invigorating. Take a stroll of cylce through the village. As the rays of the sun make their way through the clouds, turning the yellow flowers golden and the clucking hens welcome you to explore their domain. Watch the milkman milk the cows at the local dairy, the source of all the cream,butter and ghee that is the pièce de résistance of the food here. Head back for a heavenly breakfast of aloo methi parathas topped with blobs of butter, yoghurt and turnip carrot pickles ……with a view to kill !

These holidays are for you to relax, put your feet up and sip some chai from a kulhad…read a book, write a poem, play board games or cards,  do anything and everything that your heart fancies…

The only reason to leave this bliss would be to visit the peaceful  Golden temple. We also loved the foodie trail to the heart of Amritsar particularly around the Golden temple and Phulkari markets. The food in the communal kitchen or langar is simple yet pure ambrosia, especially the sheera that melts in your mouth, oozing ghee  The contenders for the “best Amritsari Kulcha” and Chole here are so many , its hard to make a choice. A bread that tingles all senses but it must crackle to perfection as well. Wash it down with a big glass of lassi. Don’t forget to pack  some desi ghee sweets to take back home and some authentic Chole masala too.