HomeAnimalIn Chikmagalur, Couple Turns British-Generation Bungalow into Tranquil Heritage House

In Chikmagalur, Couple Turns British-Generation Bungalow into Tranquil Heritage House

For any person who steps into the serene Woodway Heritage Property — a Chikmagalur homestay belongings run by way of Susmitha and Shreedev in Karnataka — an enriching revel in awaits. 

The bungalow, first inbuilt 1904, has witnessed slightly the evolution. Proper from the town being an remoted spot at the map to now being a hub of tourism and journey, Woodway has observed historical past spread proper in entrance of its eyes. 

And Susmitha and Shreedev couldn’t be prouder. 

“Our goal with Woodway was once at all times to place Chikmagalur at the map,” says Shreedev, a fifth-generation espresso planter, whose father was once the 3rd proprietor of the property. 

Recounting the adventure of beginning the homestay to The Higher India, the couple stocks in wealthy main points the backstory of this area, its heritage, and the fantastic reminiscences it leaves its consumers with. 

The rooms at Woodway Heritage Home are furnished in a way that modernity is coupled with heritage
The rooms at Woodway Heritage House are furnished in some way that modernity is coupled with heritage, Image supply: Susmitha

How the property got here to be

Positioned proper within the lap of the fantastic Western Ghats, Shreedev stocks that the principle draw at Woodway is the heritage and historical past related to it. Constructed within the vintage Gothic architectural taste, one feels the magic proper upon getting into via its doorways. 

“A British gentleman owned the valuables,” explains Shreedev. “Whilst he had to begin with built a bungalow at the best level of the land, and deliberate on residing in it, the loss of water compelled him to transport decrease down at the land and construct a smaller area. Nowadays, that bungalow is Woodway Property, the place the gentleman would entertain visitors, host officials, amongst others.” 

The tale is going that when India’s independence from British Rule in 1947, the property was once bought to an Indian from whom Shreedev’s father later bought it in 1975. 

Turning heritage into a house

Woodway Heritage Home is situated against the backdrop of the glorious Western Ghats
Woodway Heritage House is positioned in opposition to the backdrop of the fantastic Western Ghats, Image supply: Susmitha

Shreedev was once operating in Bengaluru in 2000 when he met Susmitha, an MBA graduate. The 2 fell in love, were given married, and moved again to Chikmagalur, in a house 7 km from the Woodway property. 

The ravages of time had been glaring on Woodway. It were locked for a year-and-a-half and the unpredictable local weather of the state had taken its toll at the house. “It was once beginning to fall apart. The Mangalore tiles and dust partitions had been beginning to chip away. Once we noticed it in the end those years, shall we inform it had observed a lot harm,” stocks Susmitha.  

A tricky name awaited the couple. Will have to they repair the house, furnish it or depart it as is? However the sentimental worth of the house pressured them to make a choice the primary possibility. 

“And we’re so satisfied we did it,” she says. 

A easy concept taking roots

Whilst the couple determined to revive where, they hadn’t considered changing it right into a homestay. The foundation got here after Susmitha learn a piece of writing in 2000 concerning the emergence of ‘homestay tradition’ in Coorg. 

“Then why don’t you Chikmagalur?” she idea. The town boasted of forests, waterfalls, and wonderful grasslands, all in opposition to the backdrop of the luscious Western Ghats. The couple sought after the town to be identified at the world-map.

The heritage home offers bird watching, trekking, hiking, cycling and more to all adventure lovers
The heritage house gives fowl staring at, trekking, mountain climbing, biking and extra to all journey enthusiasts, Image supply: Susmitha

Recounting their first actual revel in of internet hosting other folks, they are saying it was once New Yr’s Eve in 2002 that proved to be the turning level in their tale. Intent on serving to their pals discover a getaway the place they may ring within the new yr in taste, Susmitha and Shreedev presented them their own recently-revamped house. 

The 3 days that the couple’s pals spent at Woodway had been the most adorable, to mention the least. This was once encouraging information for the couple who had lengthy since ruminated at the concept of welcoming visitors into the house. 

Nowadays, Woodway Heritage Bungalow is nearly at all times booked to capability and people who depart its premises accomplish that with a promise to go back.  

The beginning of a heritage getaway 

A lot of homestays — each prison and unlawful — dot the panorama of the Western Ghats nowadays, however the couple was once intent on making theirs according to laws and prison sanctions. They spent the following 3 years in talks with the tourism board of the state. Additionally they visited tourism gala’s throughout India to be informed firsthand the best way to arrange a homestay and the entirety else it entailed.  

The furniture in the heritage home is from the original house to maintain the antique vibe
The furnishings within the heritage house is from the unique area to handle the vintage vibe, Image supply: Susmitha

“We would have liked to do it the correct means,” says Shreedev. “Each time we spoke to other folks about what we had been looking to do, we by no means advertised Woodway. We advertised Chikmagalur.” 

And it paid off. He sought after town other folks to revel in the magic of nature and the therapeutic powers of solitude.  

What it takes to run the property

Rubbishing the standard assumption that espresso planters lead sumptuous lives, Shreedev says that it isn’t that easy or rosy. 

“Sure, our high quality of lifestyles is superb however there’s a lot that is going into it. Farming on plantations is tricky. Managing 250 acres of land is hard. And that’s the facet that few see,” he says. 

However each and every night time after a tedious and arduous day on the plantations, Shreedev returns house with freshly-harvested espresso beans — that the visitors wait eagerly for — and a deep sense of pride. The plantations are the place he belongs, he says. 

Surrounded by way of the plantations, Woodway, with its six fully-furnished rooms replete with fashionable facilities that supplement the old-world attraction, additionally homes a kitchen lawn. The couple set to work on their interest venture in 2000, solving the roof, electric traces and portray, whilst keeping the unique feel and look of the house. Shreedev offers the credit score of overseeing the recovery to Susmitha.

The kitchen garden at Woodway Heritage Bungalow boasts of a variety of produce and guests can also enjoy a barbeque on the land in the evenings
The kitchen lawn at Woodway Heritage Bungalow boasts of a lot of produce and visitors too can experience a barbecue at the land within the evenings, Image supply: Susmitha

“Many of the furnishings is from the unique area,” she notes. “We use brass vessels that had been used for cooking again within the day. The entirety is designed round taking the visitors again a 100 years, but feeling sumptuous in the similar second.” 

For any person who thinks that is the principle draw at Woodway, it will get higher. The meals is an absolutely other magic in itself. Susmitha says that the name of the game lies of their kitchen lawn, from the place they supply round 70 % in their general produce. 

“Mom Nature supplies us with colocasia, mushrooms, aubergines, jackfruits, horse gram, turmeric leaves, pomelo, pink rice, pepper and extra,” she says. 

A standard meal at Woodway comprises akki roti (a flatbread made with rice flour, spices and herbs), kai kadubu (coconut rice dumplings), urali kattu (a Karnataka speciality made with horse gram in highly spiced coconut gravy) and sevige kaihaalu (a candy coconut milk facet dish). 

Including that as he sees such a lot of other folks now beginning homestays, Shreedev says it is important to first perceive nature ahead of doing so. “You wish to have to soak up what the hills are telling you ahead of you dive into this undertaking,” he says. 

In this exceptional adventure commercially since 2005, the couple reiterates that for them Woodway Property hasn’t ever been a construction, however quite a “residing factor” that has grown with them over time.

“Would we have now accomplished it some other means?” Shreedev thinks aloud to himself for a second. “Indubitably now not,” he says with a grin. 



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments