Only once in a while do we come across a place that has something to offer to everyone; and only rarely do you find the perfect place to stay there. DMVilla in Chikmagalur is just that – the perfect place for you to discover a different kind of a holiday in Chikmagalur.
Chikmagalur is a fine confluence of natural beauty, vibrant history and a rich culture and is situated in south western Karnataka. The salubrious climate enjoyed in Chikmagalur and especially the city is due to its location in the Western Ghats. In fact the city is situated in the foothills of Mullayangiri range – the highest range located between the Himalayas and the Nilgiris; it consists of Mullayangiri, the highest peak in Karnataka located at a height of 1930 metres.
Due to its location in the Western ghats, Chikmagalur is a beautiful display of verdant valleys crisscrossed by sparkling rivers, beautiful mountains and gushing waterfalls. It is also a treasure house of a great variety of plants, birds and animals and is considered to be an ecological hotspot. In fact a great part of the district falls under the Malnad region characterized by heavy rainfall and dense forest area. So nature lovers, get your trekking shoes, binoculars and cameras and get going. It’s Chikmagalur calling!
Chikmagalur in Kannada means “younger daughter’s town” and history notes that the city got its name because the chief of Sakrepatna (a village located in Kadur taluk of Chikmagalur district) Rukmangada Raya gave the place as dowry to his younger daughter. The name of Chikmagalur has been given as late as 1947 before which the district was known as Kadur.
If you are a history enthusiast and take pleasure in digging up details from the past there is more on offer for you. And especially if you are looking for a brush with royalty then look no further. Chikmagalur is the place of origin of the powerful Hoysala rulers who were the dynasty to rule over united Karnataka. They were patrons of the arts and the architecture and remnants of their creations are still standing today in Belur, Halebid and Tarikere.
For coffee lovers, Chikmagalur is a must visit, in fact Chikmagalur was the first place in India where coffee was grown. Legend has it that Baba Budan, a 17th century Sufi Saint first introduced coffee in the mountains of Chikmagalur which came to be christened as Baba Budan hills. It is said that on a holy pilgrimage to Mecca, Baba Budan came across coffee in the port of Mocha in Yemen. He then brought seven coffee beans wrapped around his stomach back to India and planted them in Chikmagalur.
For a small place like Chikmagalur legends and folklores abound!
DMVilla Homestay – your home in Chikmagalur
It is true, Chikmagalur cannot be discovered in a day and it cannot be found in a hurry. You need to leave the city in you behind to truly savour the wealth of experience it has to offer. If there was a place where you could unburden all your concerns and really relax then DMVilla would definitely stand out hands down amongst all the other Chikmagalur resorts. Take a few days off and let the hosts of DMVilla give you a taste of their famed hospitality and mouthwatering food.
This family run guest house gives you the best of location, space and facilities. Located just 10 min away from the city centre; a stay at DMVilla means that you are in the midst of nature yet not too far from the urban area. If you have always read about holidaying in bungalows and villas and wondered how you could experience it too then you will certainly enjoy the luxury of space offered at DMVilla. Spread over a huge area the villa has space to boast of both inside the house and outside. There is a front yard, a back yard, and a beautiful garden and lots of parking space all within a secured compound.
The villa itself comes with 2 huge living halls, 4 spacious bedrooms with attached bathrooms and a newly fitted Italian kitchen. And that means you can spend all day lazing around and indulging in the smorgasbord of delicious Malnad cuisine being dished out for every meal. Our suggestion would be to soak in the lovely sun on our terrace. But if you are weary of putting on kilos during your vacation (which you are guaranteed at DMVilla) then sweat it out at the tennis or the gym. Families with children can have a wonderful time here with a dedicated play area and a library for the children so that their time is well spent.
The evenings are usually chiily in Chikmagalur and if you take our suggestion then head straight for the bonfire pit, nothing beats a nice fire out in the open when it comes to some good fun. The bonfires are arranged on advanced request by guests.
Discover the experience that is Chikmagalur
If you are a restless soul and sitting around pottering about is not your idea of fun during a vacation then hire a jeep and drive off, because Chikmagalur has a lot to offer you. Allow your hosts to plan a detailed itinerary for you so that you get to see the best places in Chikmagalur. From arranging a vehicle with a trusted and knowledgeable driver to giving detailed information you’re your hosts at DMVilla will take care of all details.
Ideally you should divide your sightseeing into 4 broad categories, namely, the mountains, nature parks and wildlife sanctuaries, waterfalls and lakes and temples/places of historical importance. But keep in mind that many of them share a common location, for eg. if you visit Kemmangundi then you can also see Hebbe falls and Kalhatti falls so you need to plan accordingly.
There are quite a few mountains ranges and hill stations in and around Chikmagalur namely Kavikalgundi, Kemmangundi, Mullayanagiri, Seethalayanagiri and Bababudangiri. They offer magnificent views and unparalleled scenic beauty. However take care because roads are not often good and you need proper vehicles to reach these places.
The mountains have a lot to offer when it comes to natural beauty and diversity. There are valleys and forests and there are also beautiful rivers and streams that form magnificent waterfalls. The ones you should definitely see are Manikyadhara, Kalathigiri, Hebbe, Shanthi, Hanumanagundi and Kodomb. If you don’t have time to see all of them, just try visiting Hebbe, it will be worth your effort. There are quite a few lakes in and around Chikmagalur that offer boating facilities which would be a great way to spend your afternoons, some of them are Hirekolale lake, Yagachi Dam and Ayyanakere Lake.
The best part about sightseeing in Chikmagalur is that it offers a wide variety of experiences for different moods. If the mountains are not for you and you want to experience in first hand the rich natural life that the Western Ghats are famous for then definitely try out the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kudremukh National Park.
It is hard to believe now but at one time Chikamagalur and its surrounding areas like Hassan was a hotbed of politics. Because the great dynasty of the Hoysalas have their origin in Chikmagalur and had their capital in the surrounding locality and if you would like to see some of their remnant works of art and architecture then make it a point to visit Belur and Halebid.
DMVilla – bringing you the exquisite taste of Chikmagalur
Chikmagalur has a unique cuisine to offer and trust the experienced and well seasoned chefs of DM Villa to acquaint you with the tastes. The best part about staying in and eating in a Chikmagalur resorts is that the taste remains authentic yet the quality of the food is maintained. Known as Malnad cuisine, the food that is served here has unique characteristics. For one steaming is the preferred method of cooking with minimal use of oil. That’s certainly a good find for health freaks, but foodies need not worry because the taste of the food is only increases!
The word Malnad means “land in the mountains”, and true to its name, the cuisine is derived from the variety of fruits and vegetables that are available in the forests of the mountains. Colocasia, raw jackfruit, tender bamboo shoots that grow in abundance in the mountains are an integral part of the food. The variety of food this region has to offer is amazing and some of the popular dishes include a variety of saarus to be eaten as side dishes with rice or cereals. Main dishes include include rice, steamed stir fried noodles, akki roti, stuffed Colocasia, Jackfruit dosa etc. Bamboo shoot pickle and even bamboo shoot curry are definitely the surprise offering of the region. Dessert dishes are aplenty and include a huge variety of milk puddings, coconut and jaggery desserts.
For non vegetarians a variety of Chicken and mutton preparations are available and if spicy food is what you crave for then you will be truly satisfied.
Ii is almost a cardinal sin if you do not drink coffee in Chikmagalur even if you are not a coffee enthusiast. Known as Kaapi it is a local drink of the region and 5/6 cups a day is a staple in most homes.
It seems a lot to do when you are vacationing in DMVilla in Chikmagalur, but as the saying goes – time that is well spent flies and a few days spent in DMVilla will leave you craving for more.
Dwarkamai, A-59 2nd Stage CDA Layout
Kalyananagar, Chikmagalur, Karnataka 577102
Phone: +91 77606-08584, +91 90084-43660
Article & photos contributed by Nisarg Naik