Sometimes one must make a snap decision to switch off the rat race of life and head into the soothing arms of mother nature, to relax. So when we heard about the brand new WildWoods Spa and resort in Kundapur , we jumped into the car on Friday evening and headed out. Besides getting away from the sweltering heat of Bangalore, we moved higher into the hills of Udipi district, to the resort which boasts of a spectacular view of two, not just one waterfall.
We arrived at night to a wonderful symphony set up by a variety of frogs croaking at different decibels, in the large number of water bodies, found across the property. A quick freshen up and we sat down to a piping hot dinner of delicious ghee roast chicken and coconut smothered beans, eaten along with phulkas (Indian bread) and masala fried brinjal (egg-plant). All of this we washed down with fresh coconut water. The plus point of the resort is that delicious local cuisine is on the menu, which makes the entire experience decidedly different. Finally we rounded up the meal with fresh slices of locally grown pineapple and bananas, just off the tree, which made for a marvelous dessert.
Lighting our way down the path to the cottages, one is immediately enveloped in a variety of floral scents. Shining his torch on an exquisite Moonflower, Mr Shetty the owner focussed the beam on a pristine white globular bloom, with a delicate perfume.
” The flower blooms only at night, and you are lucky to see it, as by morning it dies,” explained Shetty as we gazed in awe at the delicate flower.
Look no further if you are a lover of flora and fauna of the Western Ghats, the 22 acre property is a botanist’s delight. Added to the local varieties, Mr Shetty has spent years combing the world to bring in plants to make his the only property which has everything from a Rambutan growing alongside a plum from Nepal or a Soursop or Star fruit which are barely five years old and already fruiting in profusion.
Every detail has been finished with care in the cottages, including wonderfully fresh linen, wooden flooring which you can happily walk barefoot on and a granite finished bathroom. Leave the windows open and enjoy a dreamless sleep, minus the airconditioner which is not needed in the fresh flower scented air. Infact you might have a riotiously flowering Clematis or a Kanga Kuki from Kerala blooming just outside, tossing away all the unhealthy air freshners, out the window.
Your early morning wake up call which could normally be the jangling of your phone alarm, is replaced by the liquidy notes of a Red Whiskered Bulbul, hopping among the fruit trees, picking berries for its chicks.
Take your cup of hot coffee and pad down to the sit out overlooking the river. Let your eyes trail over the hills in the distance and marvel at the water fall which seems clear as crystal in the distance. As you sip your coffee you can watch the farmer across the river plough his fields the old fashioned way with a pair of oxen. “ Hoi! Hoi!” he calls, clicking his tongue moving the oxen along the rutted path. Below in the river one of the helpers has caught a pair of river fish which will make an excellent accompaniment to his rice and curry for lunch. By now your mind will have forgotten the hustle and bustle of city life and you relax in the soothing power of nature.
Take your camera after a rustic breakfast and head towards the butterfly garden area. The variety of butterflies found here is mind boggling, as Shetty has grown a selection of host plants, especially nectar bearing flowers, to attract these beauties. Don’t be surprised when suddenly you see a neon blue beauty almost plate sized sailing by your head. A lot of effort has gone into planting a variety of hibiscus flowers to also attract tiny glistening sunbirds, who also zip around at lightening speed for nectar.
Suddenly as you walk towards the green house, which houses a massive world class collection of orchids, the raucous call of the hornbill can be heard over head. It’s a wonderful sighting for the very first time. The huge ancient trees which have been allowed to remain on the property are home to a variety of arboreal animals as well as the giant Malabar Squirrel. Squawking among the branches of the heavily fruiting ficus are a family of plum headed parakeets, all gorging on the ripe orange fruit in the massive tree.
We took two days to relax at Wild Woods Spa and came back rejuvenated and raring to go. There is nothing quite like going back to nature, to refresh your mind, to get back into the rat race of living.So hurry, call and book at least two romantic days at the resort, you will soon be planning a trip back for sure!
For details contact: Athens Leisure Resort (P) Ltd., 402, Prestige Kada, #22, Richmond Road, Bengaluru - 560025, INDIA Ph :+91 80 4411 0000
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