A Blissful Technology-Free Weekend: Gatikallu Homestay, Chikmaglur, Karnataka [#MondayBlogs]

Most of us love living in the city – we are used to the many conveniences it offers. But let’s face it, even the most hardcore city lovers among us sometimes want to run away. As a result, even the tourist destinations are so filled with (duh!) tourists that even those don’t feel like a real respite from the city! Just another crowded place, with some nice scenery!
It was in the midst of all this “There’s no place worth going!” dialogue that we discovered this hidden gem in Chikmagalur, Karnataka called Gatikallu. Chikmagalur in itself is beautiful. But this place is – I kid you not – breathtaking. I don’t generally do posts about where I’ve been; the only other one I’ve done was about Nandi Hills, and that was more about my super-awesome feat of climbing 7 km at a stretch (a first for me – please don’t rain on my parade). This also isn’t a conventional “travel” post, with technical details like the number of toll booths. Even the photographs were taken on a point-n-shoot cam, nothing fancy! I just thought some of you might consider it for your next trip or weekend getaway!
Gatikallu Homestay is a 290 km drive from Bangalore. As per their website, the route to be followed from Bangalore is: Bangalore > Nelamangala > Kunigal > Hassan > Belur > Mudigere > Balur > Kelagur > Aramane Thalagur (Sunkasale) > Gatikallu Homestay. Now the confusing part here is this – there is another homestay called Ghatikallu. I don’t quite know if they are both run by the same management, but Ghatikallu has a different website and is further up the (same) hill.
Gatikallu Homestay: Entrance

They have tents as well as cottages. When we called to make a booking, we requested for tents, but they were already booked. There were two cottages available. When the four of us reached there, they told us they weren’t expecting any more visitors that weekend; they offered both the cottages to us for the price of one! It was great during the bonfire (that they lit at dusk) to have the veranda of both the cottages to run around. They charge INR 2500 per person – this includes food (except starters) and activities.

View from our cottage. Top right: You can see the tents. Bottom Left: Our Cottage(s)

Gatikallu Homestay offers a variety of activities, including Rope activities, trekking, bonfire, music, etc. Apart from the rope activities, we tried everything. The group I went with still curses me for not letting them go for the ropes, but I didn’t stop them! I only said I wouldn’t do it, but they were free to! Oh, well. They took us in their vehicle to the trekking points, to the ancient temple and a lovely (pristine, heavenly, hidden-from-view) waterfall and the sunset point.

The ancient temple. Seriously, I wanted it to be haunted! But I don’t think it is. Sigh.

Here’s where we went trekking. Check out top right and bottom left – Makes you feel like you’re on the edge of the world!

Sunset point. Would you look at those clouds! Top left: Some kinda bunker used in movies.

If I may just take a moment here to talk about the scrumptious food: it’s not pretentious woohoohoo food. It’s homemade stuff. There is a slightly steep pathway that you have to go up (even going up to get the food is a mini adventure!) and the food is served in this big hall, kinda like a mess. There’s both veg and nonveg. Simple, yet delicious food. During dinner, they played some good music too. Before dinner we had ordered some starters – the quantity shocked us! They really know how to pamper foodies!

The weather was pleasant, with thick fog covering the mountains from dusk till dawn. When the chill sets, the bonfire does wonders! Our cottage did not have a TV, nor did our mobiles have network. It was so great to disconnect from technology like that. I don’t know if we could get used to that life, but a once-in-a-while cleanse like that is refreshing, and I feel, necessary!

Tea plantation

19 thoughts on “A Blissful Technology-Free Weekend: Gatikallu Homestay, Chikmaglur, Karnataka [#MondayBlogs]

  1. Sreesha Divakaran July 27, 2015 / 8:29 AM

    This place is just amazing! So pristine, so untouched, you know… It's pure bliss!


  2. Shilpa Garg July 27, 2015 / 3:00 PM

    Looks like a perfect getaway! Oh, you must have tried the rope activities. It is an exhilarating experience!


  3. Sreesha Divakaran July 28, 2015 / 5:15 AM

    Yeah, but I am a little nervous about rope activities. Or any activities for that matter!


  4. Anil Sawan July 28, 2015 / 10:17 AM

    Looks like you had a gala time 🙂 Ive also visited the mudigere forest range. A good experience indeed 🙂


  5. Sid @ iwrotethose.com July 29, 2015 / 6:39 AM

    Looks gorgeous..adding it to my list of places to visit. Ok to visit with a threenager, I suppose?


  6. Sreesha Divakaran July 29, 2015 / 7:29 AM

    Umm, Not so sure. The resort itself is child friendly, of course, but the activities, I'm not too sure.


  7. Anjali Sengar August 7, 2015 / 7:12 AM

    Lovely place Shreesha.. Completely agree with u, sometimes really feel like to run away from my city. You know my ancestor used to have some palaces but now they are standing all alone wish I can visit each of them..


  8. Anjana August 7, 2015 / 7:29 AM

    That temple looks, well what can I say but 'Divine' 🙂 !
    As you said, switching off completely is like coming up for air while swimming . That temple has me fascinated .


  9. Somali K Chakrabarti August 7, 2015 / 8:20 AM

    What a lovely place..feel like rushing there. You want the temple to be haunted.! That's how ancient places get our imagination running. 🙂


  10. Sreesha Divakaran August 7, 2015 / 4:33 PM

    At least they are still vacant. My ancestors' lands have all been converted to temples. And I don't even pray!!! :'(


  11. Sreesha Divakaran August 7, 2015 / 4:35 PM

    That temple is really old.. No one goes there – I like peaceful places like that. Normally I don't go to temples.


  12. Sreesha Divakaran August 7, 2015 / 4:36 PM

    Yes, you must visit it once!
    Haha, Somali, I want every place to be haunted – fodder for my stories!


  13. Whatsup Guy August 9, 2015 / 4:15 AM

    This sounds like a lovely place. I'm gonna check it out.


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