A Few Good Things

"Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller." – Ibn Battuta

A Few Good Things

Month: September 2015

Primrose Villa – Luxury homestay in Chickamagalur

Tucked away amidst 500 acres of verdant greenery and surrounded by mystical hills shrouded in fog, in the Northern part of Chickamagalur is the wonderful new Home Stay – Primrose Villa.

The word home stay normally connotes basic and frugal – Primrose Villa is contrarian – its probably the only Home Stay which on luxury and service can put a 7 Star hotel to shame.

Home Stay - Primrose Villa

The property is spread across 5 Acres and is part of the 500 Acres Bagane Hedol Coffee Plantation. The Vision behind Primrose Villa is Sumitra who belongs to the 5th generation of the family running the plantation. And she has designed a place that is regal , ethnic and yet classy and contemporary. The family may well find its name in the Forbes list of Karnataka – but the ambience here is down to earth, humble, the level of service  is  very warm and customised and is personally led by Sumitra who has an immaculate eye for perfection. (The family has S Indian Iyengar roots – thats where the level of hospitality and simplicity comes from)

Primerose Villa

PS : Don’t miss the Raja Ravi Varma painting below which I sam sitting with the gracious and wonderful hostess Sumitra 

The property has 7 Villas and 5 rooms. The rooms are part of the main building but the Villas are spread out and designed in a manner that it provides 100% privacy. Each Villa is set on 1/2  Acre land , is very spacious and has its own sit out and private garden. The rooms are smaller and best suited for couples.

 Best Homestay in Chikmangalur

The food is delectable – and you can choose from a wide variety – Indian , Malnad ,    Veg , Non Veg , Continental …. and the highlight is its 24 by 7 availability. You can have breakfast at 11AM and Lunch at 5PM (My bengali friends make note – this suits your timing perfectly) – and its all served fresh and customised. The Rava Dosa is outstanding, so are the Paneer Tikkas, the Phulkas are fresh and fluffy and the Chocolate cake is delicious. My friends devoured the boneless chicken and Fish with gusto – on taste, aesthetics and prompt service its 10/10 on food  – this is one place where you should not plan to be on a diet. Most of the ingredients come from their family farm – and thats what makes it so fresh and tasty.

wide variety of lunch - Indian , Malnad ,Veg , Non Veg , Continental

The property is located at 4700 feet and grows some of the finest Arabica coffee in the country (Coffee grown above 3500 feet is considered Premium). This part of Chickamagalur receives over 100 inches of rain in the monsoon, thats what makes the greenery lush and thick. The Bhadra wild life sanctuary is just a 40 min drive away and the greenery from the estate melts into that of the sanctuary – so be prepared for the occasional wild boar or the rare pug marks of a tiger in your morning trek. The roof of the property is the perfect place to star gaze and immerse yourself in the hills and forests that surround you for miles. The air is fresh and nippy. In the morning the forests and hills are cloaked in mist, which very soon turn to a bright blue sky and by the time its dusk you see a riot of colors  blending in the skyline.

perfect place to star gaze and immerse yourself in the hills and forests.

Its calm and quiet and the perfect break for the common man or for celebrities and we were pleasantly surprised to meet S Janaki the legendary singer spending a few days at Primrose.

S Janaki

Activities in the Property are limited to treks, reading books from a well stocked library, watching TV, playing Carrom / Board Games in the common room. Horse riding is available from Oct and a pool room / entertainment room is coming up soon.  Thats a lot for a home stay.

The location of the property is excellent and there is a lot to see close by. Mullayangiri the tallest peak of Karnataka at 6300 feet is a mere 30 min drive away ( The last stretch of the drive is tough – so have a good powerful vechile)


Further away on the same route are the Buttermilk falls and Baba Budangiri Caves. The former is a must visit but you can skip the latter. The drive down this stretch is beautiful and will bring memories of the Scottish highlands and William Wordsworth.

Buttermilk falls

Lots of waterfalls, treks, lakes to see nearby. Belur, Halebidu, Shravanabelagola are best covered while driving from Bangalore or on the return. Most people miss out on the Belavadi temple – another must visit. If you have time you can visit Sringeri & Agumbe a 2 – 3 hrs drive on the picturesque W Ghat. A  2- 3 day trip is what you must plan for at Primrose.

Other Basic facts 

  • Drive time from Bangalore is 5 hrs (with a 30 min break) Roads are excellent
  • Connectivity is patchy and there are few corners where you can get good strong signal.
  • There are no TV’s in the individual villas & room , but there is a TV in the meeting / conference room which can house 8 – 10 people

Primriose Villa was recently featured on the Conde Nast as the 50 best new properties in the world. For more details visit them at


Bangalore Contact for Booking :  + 91 9880932423, kb@primrosevillas.com

We were here to celebrate  5 years in my current company with my team – we loved it . The highlight of the place is the quality of service and the warm touch of homeliness –  when we were leaving they packed us a sandwich bag and water – just like relatives do. We joked that the only thing missing was the customary  Coconut and Kumkum  – and maybe they will give that if the wives are in tow – thats why I am planning a return with my family very soon.

Thanks Sumitra and team for a memorable trip

Memorable trip


Walk Alone

Walk Alone……

“Jodi Tor Dak Shune Keu Na Ase Tobe Ekla Cholo Re” – If no one responds to your call, then go your own way alone”, commonly known as Ekla Chalo Re, is a Bengali  song written by Rabindranath Tagore in 1905 dedicated to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

This is one of the finest memories I carry back with me from the 18 years I spent in Bengal. (Shreya Ghosal singing the song – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPqdlR_X1Vk).  For some strange reason I loved the song and I still do – especially on a quiet night in soulitude.

Its enchanting when you listen to this song all by yourself in the midst of nature – sitting in a balcony on a cold wintery night with the mountains surrounding you and a gurgling brook flowing by. You can get different interpretations – it could mean A leader is always on his own alone and it could mean that every man needs to find his own way … eventually.

Every book you read on spirituality talks about the same thing ” search within”. But we get joy in a crowd , in a company of others. It feeds our Ego. They say man is a social animal – is it really so ? Which man the artificial man or the true man ? Once you start enjoying soulitude its addictive.

I was talking about this to a friend in Gurgaon today – telling him how boring it is to be sitting alone in a hotel room (I do that a lot when I am in Gurgaon) and he immediately shared this beautiful poem written by his sister.

A lovely touching poem by Dr Alka Marwaha


When life bogs you down,
And nothing seems your own;
Hold the hands of your mind;
And start walking alone.

When the self is tortured;
by thoughts awry and askew;
Leave the old beaten track,
and walk afresh and anew.

When the path ahead is hazy,
and truth seems obliterated;
Clear the dust off the soul,
and walk re-juvenated.

Happiness lies within,
only source of joy and bliss;
Muster courage to reach out,
and walk out of the abyss.

Observe the highs and the lows;
The ecstasies and the pain;
Watching it all pass by;
With neither love nor disdain.

Walk alone on your path;
With head held high;
Many may join in pursuit;
And many may bid good bye.


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