When I was telling a friend that I have travelled far and wide but was yet to explore Mysore, I was reminded of this beautiful poem by Rabindranath Tagore. Writing on Gitanjali its a nice coincidence that I quote from this great poet.
Ekti sishir bindu (the glistening dew drop)
I traveled miles, for many a year,
I spent a lot in lands afar,
I’ve gone to see the mountains,
The oceans I’ve been to view.
But I haven’t seen with these eyes
Just two steps from my home lies
On a corn of paddy grain,
A glistening drop of dew
For most Bangaloreans Mysore is a convenient lunch stopover on the way to Coorg / Ooty/ Kabini / Waynad etc. The Palace, Zoo and Brindavan gardens is probably all that we have seen. But there is a lot more to Mysore and one of these days I plan to spend some time and explore the bye-lanes of this beautiful and historic, traditional city.
When I do that I will be staying at the Gitanjali Home stay. We spent a night here on our way to Coorg and fell in love with the warm and cozy place. Nestled on the verdant green foothills of Chamundi Hills, it is just 4 kms from the heart of Mysore city. Gitanjali is a 10 Acre property that was owned by the family. They have now built their house in 1.5 acres and the rest have been sold as 1/4 acre plots – almost all of which are vacant.
The entire area is lush green and on a late Nov morning at 6 AM it was a refreshing sight as I went out for a stroll, to be greeted by numerous birds. I believe a birdwatcher who stayed here spotted 80 varieties of birds that come visiting. We met at least 10 of them in 10 minutes.
So what’s special about Gitanjali?
- Its a genuine homestay. The owners and their parents live here. You are welcomed by them, you socialise with them and they serve you the food they cook at home. It feels warm and nice and their hospitality is excellent.
- Food is fresh, tasty and homely. The spread was decent and included all that you needed and more. Mainly Veg but included one Non Veg Dish. We had dinner and breakfast and were treated to some Kodava specialities.
- There are 4 rooms – ideal to accommodate 2 people/room. So if you come as a group you can book the whole place. The rooms come with 2 single beds but are large enough to accommodate a third one.
- All the rooms share a large common verandah that has a hammock and a swing and comfortable chairs where you can sip coffee and admire the landscape
- Rooms have 24 hrs hot water (solar) and power backup. They are equipped with AC & fan and lots of hooks / storage.
- Rooms are clean , spacious and very comfortable. Bathroom is large and airy. Bedsheets and curtains are done up tastefully. There is an eye for detail and this is the only place I found a small scissor next to the tea bag/ milk sachet with the kettle.
- Being nature lovers they have done their bit for Eco Conservation and responsible tourism. The organic garden and zero pesticide usage has helped in fresher air and more birds and insects. They have implemented a well researched rain harvesting system that can harvest a million litres of water from the rooftop.
- They have been running this place efficiently for 16 years and the professionalism shows.
- Its the perfect place to stay for a few days and explore Mysore or make it a transit point when you are headed beyond Mysore
A Few more points
- Cell phone signal is good and the homestay provides you with free Wi Fi
- You can park your car but there are no driver rooms. Our driver easily found a clean affordable accommodation near the Mysore Zoo (Shradana Lodge)
- Not a place where you may want to drink / party and make noise – this is families home and they have Sr Citizens staying with them
- There is an excellent Spa close by which has a tie up with Gitanjali, you can book a session and visit them
- And they have two adorable dogs.
- Inspite of being. homestay its not cheap and many a Tim you may find the Radisson next door to be cheaper. Prices are inclusive of only breakfast
For more details reach out to Yamuna at +91 8212474646 or +91 9886117919 or visit https://www.gitanjalihomestay.com/