I remember, a friend once mentioned about travelling to an unheard place called Chorla Ghat, somewhere in the western ghats. My first thoughts were who goes that far over a weekend. But the curiosity of learning about a new getaway made me catch her get all the details. She was absolutely in love with the place and the fact that it could be easily accessed by an overnight train got me thinking and planning.
I am sitting here in the waiting room of Belagavi station and writing this post as I cant wait to share the gem of this resort we have discovered. So here goes all the details that will help you with the planning and also my review.
Who is the resort recommended for? Anyone looking for a ‘getaway’ in truest sense. Perfect for couples looking to spend some quality time together (like we did), or families wanting to expose their kids to nature or even for a group of friends who would be interested in Nature, trekking, bird watching and the likes.
Getting there and back from Bangalore
The location is easily accessible by the overnight train from Bangalore to Belagavi- Rani Chennamma express. The train starts from Bangalore at around 9.15PM and reaches Belagavi by 8.30 AM. If requested in advance, the resort will send a car for your pick up. It’s a nice enjoyable drive of 1.15 mins or so. Similarly for return, the same train starts at 6.30 PM and reaches Bangalore by 7AM.
Pro tip – Take the metro from MG road/Indiragar to Yeshwantpur and skip the traffic. The metro station is connected to the railway station
Alternately, you can fly down to Goa and request a pick up from the airport. This would also be a 1.5 hours drive.
The resort and what we loved about the place
The highlight of this place is its beautiful location amidst the jungle overlooking the waterfalls. The resort allows you to disconnect yourself from everything and get lost amidst nature (literally since there is very minimal phone connectivity). If you believe that nature is the best therapy, then it cant get any better than this.
The cottages too are designed for you to feel amidst nature. The cottages are very basic but clean and comfortable. We stayed in a cozy tiny wooden cottage (Soliya), which had large glass walls on three sides giving us a view of the forest at all the time. We hardly ever rolled down our curtains. Initially I was a little worried not knowing who would peep inside, but was pleasantly surprised when I woke up to 4 playful squirrels right above my head.
Pro tip – Ask for any of the following cottages as they have the best view – Tulsi, Amruta, Bakul and Savri. But the rest are not bad either, so you could still go ahead if the mentioned cottages aren’t available.
PS – Be open to bugs and insects in the room, but it’s expected any case in a jungle retreat. Please note you wont find some of the typical things expected from a resort like a kettle in a room, room service, fancy cocktails, etc but those are the things we hardly missed.
No fancy English breakfast and wide spread buffets mind you, but we still loved every bite of every meal. What stood out with regards to food was that every single meal including breakfast was all authentic local cuisine made by the locals. Simple poha and wada paav for breakfast, mutton masala (I had an overdose of) with bhakri, fish curry and bolied rice, fish fry, yam fry and prawn curry are the few dishes I remember which sent me into a food coma. Not to miss the delightful soulcurry and kokam juice too.
They also have a well stocked and reasonably priced bar.
They also arrange for several treks and walks if you don’t want to just chill and relax. Some of these treks are not suitable for kids under 12, so do check with the guide. We are both a supremely lazy couple and not the trekking types, but decided we need to do something different and opted to go on the waterfall trek. And boy what joy!
We trekked through the jungle through all kinds of terrain through slushy roads. We were there during the peak of monsoon and so the paths were all extremely slippery and we had to tread every step with caution. The scariest part of the trek was where we had to cross through the gushing stream holding onto moss covered boulders. I did pray to god a zillion times through those few mins. The view of the waterfall was totally worth all the effort. And on our return it started to pour and despite carrying our raincoats, we decided to get drenched. Cant remember the last time we had so much funJ
Will I try this again? Definitely not! Or may be I will. #Newtoadrenalinrush
The same night we also went on a short midnight trek into the jungle. I turned out to be bolder than I expected J. We spotted few types of frogs and snakes. We also came across a very interesting patch of fungi called the luminous fungi that glow in the dark. I would like to mention the guide Namdev who was extremely knowedgable about not just the different creatures found in the jungle, but also about the flora and fauna. So if you are at the resort, do go out with him on a trek or a walk.
On weekends they also arrange a dance performance by the locals. We witnessed a stellar lamp dance performance which had us all in awe of the risky lifts and formations done by the girls carrying the lit lamp on their heads. Don’t miss this performance when you are there.
Well, saving the best for the last- The infinity pool and the view! We were just hanging by the edge of the pool waiting for the mist to clear. And when it did clear, we hung on a little longer staring into infinity.
What should you pack?
Besides what you would usually pack for a weekend getaway, you should pack odomos (not much of a mosquito problem though), any antiseptic cream (remember you are in a jungle), an extra pair of shoes/floaters, torch, lots of extra plastic bags to carry your wet shoes and clothes, ziplock covers for your phone in case of monsoon treks, a book or some board games because theres not much to do once it gets dark, rain jackets if you have one but they anyways give a raincoat to all guests. Alcohol is only served at the bar, so if you want you can sneak in few bottles in your suitcase (I am not saying we did it).
Trip Budget – Rs.22000 for two for 2N3D
2N3D stay in the forest view cottage – Rs.12512 (includes all meals and all activities) , Pick up and drop from Belagavi – Rs.2800, 2tier AC train tickets for two – Rs.5280, extra Lunch on day 3– Rs.1100
So that’s all the details from our short getaway. In short, a great getaway option for people looking to escape city life. We have come back with few insect bites, bruises, cuts, a bag full of damp clothes and a suitcase full of happy memories.
Work. Save. Travel. Repeat ❣