A few years back I had discovered Shreyas – a lovely nature / Yoga retreat at Neelmangala and called it Bangalore’s best kept secret. This week we discovered another gem ” Baevu Village” on Kanakpura Road – 2 hrs drive from Bangalore.
“Baevu” in Kannada means Neem Tree and this 30 acre property has over 1000 Neem Trees. Its a green eco spot with over 800 Mango Trees and a wide variety of vegetables, herbs, paddy & ragi grown in an organic farm. Set in a scenic landscape surrounded by hills and forests its an oasis of greenery and tranquility.
The property recently opened and is still undergoing expansion. Currently it has 10 cottages ( 12 more are planned shortly). A Cowshed is under construction which will provide fresh milk products with the farm produce. And a Spa + Conference rooms is also in the works.
Baevu Village is in the heart of rustic Kanakpura and designed to melt in with the local ambience. The Cottages are designed with a rustic look using materials that the locals use. The Taps and buckets are brass , switches are the old black round ones, the food is an excellent fare of a wide variety of S Indian dishes, the furniture is homely and blends in with the rustic look of the houses and the property.
The entire property is run on Solar power with 105 panels generating 30,000 KW. This is a unique property – and if you are a nature lover like me in the quest of quiet places don’t miss this one.
This property scores high on all counts and with a little bit of effort from the owners can make it to the coveted Relais & Châteaux list
- Design / Architecture / Landscape – 10 / 10
- Service – 10 / 10
- Value For Money – 10 /10
Its owned by the Avani group (Shashidhar a Builder and his wife a Landscape architect) – the property has been designed in consultation with a Swiss Architect.
As you walk around the property you can stand below the Neem Tress and hear the buzzing of the bees and numerous birds chirping and singing, watch the squirrel and the chameleon darting away and admire the massive Papiya’s and the freshly grown Bhindi’s & Tomatoes. You can see natures bounty without Urea and pesticides. That is reflected in the quality of the food – which is fresh and tasty.
The property is surrounded by the Karadi Gudda & Banantamari Reserve forests and there are nice short treks ( 2 hrs ). We did a morning trek starting at 7 AM and back by 9 AM. A short ride followed by a 30 min trek to a summit for a great view – we also spotted stones that looked like Menhirs from Asterix. The summit has a small rock cut image of Narasimha and local villagers pay their respects regularly here.
You also have activity in the retreat – TT , Volley Ball , Mud Volley Ball etc. The plunge pool is beautiful and the changing rooms are clean and awesome. Its perfect for a 1 night stay.
The rates are reasonable
- Couple Cottage – 6722
- Family Cottage – 8000
- Extra Adult – 2990
We stayed in a. family cottage – its very spacious and can easily accommodate a family of four. Comes with a nice sit out and a very large bathroom. Just be careful to not bang your head as the doors are low height like in olden days
Rates are inclusive of Taxes an all 3 meals (Breakfast , Lunch , Dinner , Tea , Coffee etc). If you want to order add ons they are not expensive (Veg Pakoda 90 , Masala Omlette 60 …. ) – the menu consists of Veg & Non Veg . There is no bar but you can carry liquor for consumption in the room.
We went in mid March on a full moon night ( Surprisingly all my travels happen around full moon nights – and I never plan it that way) – days were warm but it was very cool in the evenings. We will definitely plan a trip after the rains when the greenery will be all over and the water from the hills will flow and fill up the ponds.
But do add this place to your must visit weekend getaways in Bangalore.
PS – They also have a day visit program where you can leave Bangalore early have breakfast , lunch , roam around , spend time in the pool – all of this for Rs 905/ person
- Contact Details – Divya Kare – + 91 94482 86415
- Website – http://www.avanileisure.com/baevu-home.php
- Avani group has two other properties around Bangalore – Angana a 3 acre property near the Ravishanker ashram and Panchwati a wedding destination again on Kanakpura Road.
- Google Maps will locate the place – roads are excellent – budget 2 hrs
- Phone connection is decent you will get Edge connection – No Wi Fi
- No TV in the rooms , No AC
Suggestions for improvement
- Please provide Coffee Tea before 630 – for early risers like me waking up at 430 and waiting till 630 for a cup of coffee was a sore point (Or keep a coffee machine in the room)
- Keep Yoga Mats in the room
- You need to plan some more activities so that people can spend at least 2 days – else your traffic will be restricted to Bangalore locals
- Lunch and dinner was excellent – explore augmenting your breakfast menu with some more options ( the retreat was almost empty when we stayed – 3 / 10 rooms – and that may have been the reason for limited options at breakfast)
- Please improve your website – the current one is not doing justice to this amazing property