Beetles in the backyard

Beetles in the backyard

Weekend getaway

Beetles in the backyard

Our trip to Sakleshpur remains most memorable for me and my husband since we were expecting our baby and it was a babymoon of sorts. After months of hectic work pressure and the menacing traffic of Bengaluru, all we wanted was to break free from the mundane.

Accompanied by my mother and my husband, we set off on an early Friday morning. Since it was June last year, light drizzle made our journey even more beautiful. The drive to Sakleshpur is an absolute pleasure, one reason being the roads and the national highway are fantastically maintained and this helped us cover the distance without any hassle.

As we crossed Hassan and entered Sakleshpur, the very drive through the tree canvassed roads, gliding mountain sides and the wonderful coffee estates provided a treat in itself. Suddenly, life seemed to have slowed down. There are numerous fresh filter coffee and refreshments stopovers as we entered Sakleshpur.

The freshly ground coffee powder and some seasonal fruits sold on the waysides is a must buy. We chose to stay at Saalugudda Homestay, which is a short drive from Hanabala in Sakleshpur. We reached at noon and  simply went around the estate and enjoyed the lush greenery and the towering mountains around us.

The next morning my husband and mother set off for a trek to a nearby mountain and on reaching the peak, they were served hot coffee to beat the chill. After the trek, there were outdoor activities and a wonderful swing to enjoy the carefree mountain air.

The staff introduced us to different plant species and vibrant flowering plants. They also took us around and showed us different mushroom varieties, some edible and others strictly not. This was possible since we were there when the monsoon had just stepped in. Evening came alive with a blazing bonfire with hot tea and snacks.

The most mesmerising part was the heavy downpour all through the night and the sounds of the invisible beetles loudly cricketing as though they were conversing with the rain. The next morning we set off to Bhairaveshwara Temple accompanied by the homestay staffer who was our guide.

On the way to the temple, we got off and walked down a road to see the roaring Magajahalli waterfall in its full glory. Getting back, we had a hot delicious and wholesome lunch, ‘Akkirotti’, ‘Vathu shavige - kaayihaalu’, ‘nelabasale’ and sprouts ‘sambhar’ being the highlight. 

All this brought an end to our weekend and it was time to get back. Wishing it hadn't ended so soon and promising ourselves to be back again, we packed up and bid bye to Saalugudda and its friendly people.

 Fact file

Total distance: 270 km
Accommodation: Saalugudda Homestay (Rs 2,000 per night with all three meals, trekking charges extra)