My Stay At The Best Home Stay in India : Victorian Verandaz.
Just before finalizing my trip to Karnataka I had a very brief chat with one of my fellow Travel blogger Anuradha Shankar of A wandering mind. She was the one who had suggested me to stay in a Coffee Estate if I am visiting Madikeri, to put it in exact words I am adding her suggestion “If u havent settled on a place to stay in coorg, stay at a plantation its beautiful and u can take some nice walks. lots of trails adn stuff.. less crowded too “. It was her suggestion which altogether changed my whole trip, in a very best-est of sense. Next thing for me was to search for a Coffee Estate who offers Home Stay as well. After reading lot of Articles I ended up deciding for Victorian Verandaz. Though still confirmation for them was required which I got later on after one or two calls.
On the 13th of December I was going to reach Madikeri at Victorian Verandaz, all things were set, Mr.Kamal the driver who is going to pick us from bus stand, what we would like to eat, veg or non veg or if we are egg eating Vegetarians? Mr Thimaiah Coluvanda Cariapa aka “Tim” and I had a brief chats on phone and some messages exchanged with Diana Mam, his wife and they had inquired all about my trip, my eating preferences and my tour plan was set, only thing left to me was to reach there, rest was done by them. This was the start of there hospitality and more was waiting for me.
The time Mr. Kamal our driver for both the days in Madikeri, met us on bus stand his first words were “Sir, you have chosen the best place to stay, after two days when you will leave from Madikeri , you will have the sweet memories of Madikeri in which maximum would be of staying with Thimaiah Family”. Any review can never surpass a review coming directly from mouth “word from mouth is always better”, trust me, and to my lovely readers consider my every blog as a Word from mouth suggestion only, which comes from the bottom of heart.
I was going to stay 10km away from the town, market area, though this was making my wife a bit annoyed (I still don’t understand why wives always insist in hotels near to market? :-P) but I knew she is going to love it and as soon as we entered the gates of Victorian Verandaz, she had started giggling, don’t know why I didn’t asked her may be she had proven me right or may be it was the smell of Coffee beans, whatever? both were good for me. At last my decision to come here was proving to be wisely chosen decision, I was going to stay at a place which has been featured in National Geographic adventure series and Nagesh Kukunoor came here for stay with Thimaiah Family and Coffee Estate tour.
Though when we reached, Mr & Mrs Thimaiah were not there to receive us, they had gone to town for shopping and I guess may be it was for our stay only, may be it was because as I had planned to go for sight seeing straight away from the bus stand only which I changed later on and I went to Victorian Verandaz first to freshen up. But all necessary things were done for us, their maid was ready with room keys, geyser was kept on in the bathroom for us.
My cottages were exactly the same as I had seen on their website and Tripadvisor pictures. But scene was much better which no picture could give, rooms were neat and clean, well maintained, not a single spot of dust though being in a forest of Coffee’s. Sadly I was going to spent only two nights there, as my schedule was too tight and for anybody who goes to Madikeri, 3 days is a must, keeping one day for Victorian Verandaz and their estate tour.
This is the scene from inside, but heaven was waiting outside for me .
Right in front of my room, best of view I had seen till now in all my stays in any part of the country. Miles long valley almost touching the pocket from which next day sun would come out, first joy of moment for me , I was already in my dreams with eyes open could visualize me standing there and clicking sunrise. Damn why day is long.
It took us one hour to get back on road and we were towards Thalakaveri, from where the Cauvery river originates.
After a long tiring day we came back to Victorian Verandaz, Mr.Kamal had informed Thimaiah family that we are coming back, though this was not his first chat with Thimaiah family in the day. Mrs Diana Thimaiah had started calling when clock had started showing arrival of evening and sun was on way back to his home, like any lady asks her children to come back home before sun set.
Tim and Diana were waiting for us, as we reached. Tim with his European style hat On, though in shorts and Iwas wondering why am I in jacket? But this was something which we had phased whole day, only couple wearing a Jacket which ever place we went, may be we were too conscious of being in a Hill station so what if its in southern part of India.
Me and Tim went back towards the Gate of the estate, he had to lock it up and came back talking about How I decided for Victorian Verandaz?, How I came to know about Victorian Verandaz?, My purpose of visit to Madikeri and lots of questions. Though in the mean time I was offered a hot cup of coffee with a plate full of biscuits and this trend followed the next every time we had tea, religiously, not a single time our tea or coffee came without a plate full of biscuits, Something which I had never seen in any hotel which ever star category I have stayed in life.
Me and Tim sat in the open verandah outside my room, for the next 2 hrs or so and Diana Mam was preparing dinner for us in the meantime. By the time we had reached there Diana mam came to me and asked me very politely “What time would you like to have dinner Tarun, I replied at 8 or 8.30pm mam” Ok Tarun ( Separate blog would come on Coorgi Food, wait ). And this politeness, sweetness and friendly tone of her like we are family for them remained the same way for the next two days, till the time arrived when we had to leave and her last question to me came in the night just before the departure morning of us, that moment is still in my heart and i am putting it in form of conversation, the way that happened, between me and Diana mam, though their would be many more blogs on Victorian Verandaz but this conversation suits best here.
Diana mam : Tarun , what time you would leave tomorrow.
Me : mam I have to take first bus to Mysore and I think it is at 7.00 Am , so I would be leaving at 6.30 Am from here.
Diana mam : So shall I bring you Tea or coffee at what time, what would you like to have.
Me : Anytime before 6.00 Am would be fine mam. Tea would be fine.
Diana Mam : Ok , I hope 5.40 Am is fine, and Tarun I would pack some sandwiches also for you for your trip to Ooty, its a long journey.
And for my surprise, exactly at 5.40 Am, the day we were going to check out, Diana Mam knocked my door and she was standing in front of me with Tea in her hand and something which was the most heart touching moment for me, she had already prepared Sandwiches at earliest hour of morning, Sun rise was yet to happen.
I can write a whole booklet dedicated to Thimaiah Family and the hospitality they gave to me, but putting that much in a single blog would be an impossible thing to try for, so I would be coming with a whole series for Victorian Verandaz. So be with me.
Once again Thanks to Anuradha Shankar of ” A Wandering Mind “, who suggested me to stay in a coffee estate, making my trip the most memorable trip of my life, and giving me the chance to meet Thimaiah Family whose hospitality reached to that peak that from there anything would look Miniaturized.