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The Hermitage Guest House, Khanapur

 

Awaken to the call of the birds, the smell of dense foliage and the sight of lush green woods...

Overview

In the lap of the Western Ghats, near Belgaum in Karnataka is the Hermitage Guest House - a 45 acre eco lodge that is a family-run farm, hosted by David, Morvarid and Katrina Fernandez. Awaken to the call of the birds, the smell of dense foliage and the sight of lush green woods. You could simply laze around in these verdant settings or push yourself to the extreme with trekking, wildlife spotting or swimming. Delve into pottery, dyeing or enjoy the temples and historical sites in western Karnataka.


What we've planned for you...

Being far away in isolation at the Hermitage also offers you plenty of things to do. You could take part in the farm activities and learn or share a tip or two in organic farming even as you mingle with the people and animals that form the Hermitage. Explore what is home to one of the world’s 18 biodiversity hotspots, a paradise of wildlife. The Ghataprabha Bird Sanctuary and Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary are nearby. Opt for a day-long trek around Abnali, DongarCurtorimn or JamCurtorimn. Drive down to the banks of the Bandora and Mahadai rivers, where one can swim or walk along their banks in the Mahadai Valley. The butterfly haven of the Pohe Vajara waterfalls and Gavali is a photographer's dream.

There is a stone fortress at Bhimgad near Krishnapur which was used by Shivaji. This trek is strenuous, but the jungles and isolation make it worth the effort. Explore the gorges and rock pillars at Ulli or play in the limestone labyrinth of underground mazes at Kavala caves. A 90 mtr high monolith moulded by time stands at Syntheri. Go white-water rafting or try your hand at solo kayaking in the Kali River of Ganeshgudi. There also exists a Tibetan settlement at Mundgod complete with a monastery and a carpet centre. The prime of these is the historical town of Kittur and the temples of Halsie. Yoga classes can be arranged for those inclined to make it a spiritual retreat. Soak in the colours of rural Karnataka by visiting a weekly market or 'haat' at Khanapur on Sundays, Allnavar on Tuesdays, or Nangad on Wednesdays.

Discuss with your hosts the night before and they will help you organise the trips.

When...

While the monsoons are beautiful, it is the only time the property is closed as it is inaccessible. This is between June and September.
Tongue Teasers…

Enjoy the family's Parsee and Anglo-Indian style meals full of natural herbs and spices. Healthy and wholesome food made with freshest of ingredients, the veggies and fruits will give you complete nourishment.

Bunk in...

Ever thought how living without electricity or your favourite television programme can be? Get a chance to find out.

Machans - Built on 11 ft high bamboo stilts, the machan is a perfect room with a view. Of course, there is no electricity on the machan. Two adults can stay comfortably.

Kadaba - Is a traditional village house based on a raised foundation of rammed earth, built of bamboo, wood and mud plaster. The cottage can accommodate two young children along with two adults.

Gota - The rural cottage has floors made locally with red clay tiles and a distinctive roof. The 'Gota' has access to electricity and like the 'Kadaba', can accommodate two young children.

All the accommodations have a western-style bathroom at the ground level. Enjoy the open-to-the-sky bamboo and thatch bathrooms of the 'Machan' and 'Kabada.' There is a common recreation area which also hosts the dining space and a place for barbecues. The 'Bhum' for hot water is located here too. The farm shop throws open the farm products to you in the form of jams, jellies and pickles. You could also pick up colourful cotton, hand-stitched quilts known as 'cowans' made by traditional artisans.
Bunk in...

Ever thought how living without electricity or your favourite television programme can be? Get a chance to find out.

Machans - Built on 11 ft high bamboo stilts, the machan is a perfect room with a view. Of course, there is no electricity on the machan. Two adults can stay comfortably.

Kadaba - Is a traditional village house based on a raised foundation of rammed earth, built of bamboo, wood and mud plaster. The cottage can accommodate two young children along with two adults.

Gota - The rural cottage has floors made locally with red clay tiles and a distinctive roof. The 'Gota' has access to electricity and like the 'Kadaba', can accommodate two young children.

All the accommodations have a western-style bathroom at the ground level. Enjoy the open-to-the-sky bamboo and thatch bathrooms of the 'Machan' and 'Kabada.' There is a common recreation area which also hosts the dining space and a place for barbecues. The 'Bhum' for hot water is located here too. The farm shop throws open the farm products to you in the form of jams, jellies and pickles. You could also pick up colourful cotton, hand-stitched quilts known as 'cowans' made by traditional artisans.
How to get there?

The Hermitage Guest House is about 45 km from Belgaum. Drive from Curtorim (140 km) or opt to have us send you a vehicle. Belgaum is well-connected by rail and air to Mumbai and Bangalore. Many buses from Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore pass through Belgaum.
 
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Holiday with a difference...

You can do your bit at enjoying the environment in a low-impact manner that helps preserve and protect it. Use of recycled and handmade paper, eating food prepared with organic home-grown fruits and vegetables are some of the golden rules that go a long way. You will also be taking part in a cycle that makes a positive impact on the local community by providing employment to them, especially local women who use local resources.

How Much?

Single Occupancy / Double Occupancy 2500 per person per day

The tariff includes room, food and taxes

Excludes: Transport

Prices valid up to 30th September 2013

Extra bed policy & pricing - Children upto age 6 will not be charged for extra bed

Transfers - can be organized at an additional cost (from Khanapur, Belgaum or Curtorim)

Payment Policy – 100% payment to confirm the booking at least 48 hours before arrival

Cancellation policy - 7 days: full refund, more than 72 hrs and less than 7 days - 50% refund, less than 72 hrs - none

Period property is closed – June to September

Guestspeak…

I first visited the Hermitage Guest House in April 2008 when I took the Banavasi Village Tourism Committee there to help them understand the workings of a responsible tourism venture. I couldn’t have found a better place. I also left wishing that I had some time there to myself. Anyway, I made the best use of the time there – enjoyed the night sky since there was no electricity, listened to the night sounds, bathed (very thoroughly) in the open bathroom and gorged on the food. I have watched village women bathing in the open by rivers and have been too shy to join them. Here I had the chance to sit in the sun and bathe and what an experience that is! And Morvarid’s cooking – wah, wah! She complained loudly that all of us were vegetarians while her best cooking was meat – and then went on to feed us fresh, yummy food!

Here is a family who actually live what they say. So you have the “shop” on site with no doors! And workers on the farm are treated with a lot of respect and maintain time. David has no problems doing the dishes at night. So you soon feel at home and relaxed. A visit is long long overdue!

- Gouthami
 
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- G.K. Chesterton

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