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26|Sep Posted by aditya -Ayurveda, Mountain, Resorts, Spa, Waterfalls

Surviving in India’s mega cities can be irritating with the continuous sound and terrible traffic. Bangalore while small within an Indian framework still has a people of 8. 4 million which places it on the par with Mexico City and Jakarta and more populous than NY and London. The populace combined with poor infrastructure, horrible traffic and continuous noise makes it an irritating spot to live so every opportunity I get I get away to the stunning Indian country-side for a few tranquility.
A week or two ago throughout a long weekend we packed up Roxy and headed off to the West Coastline. Our original plan have been to come back to Sai Vishram, (about that i acquired posted here) nonetheless they were taking benefit of the quieter Monsoon season to handle some renovations and weren’t taking any bookings. After a little of research we found a fresh place called Crazy Woods Spa and Holiday resort in Shiroor about 12 kms from Sai Vishram. It acquired very good Trip Advisor reviews but we also examined with the Sai Vishram supervisor as we’ve found Trip Advisor to sometimes be unreliable. He provided his thumbs up so we booked ourselves in.
Finally reaching Shiroor after an 11 hour drive from Bangalore, we resulted in a side road which headed from the coast and much deeper in to the countryside. 15 mins later we discovered the manager position in the center of the street waving to us and converted into the unobtrusive entry to the wild Woods Spa.
Crazy Woods is the brainchild of Mr. K P Shetty, one particular lucky people who discover their interest in life and pursues it every opportunity he can get.
K P Shetty loves plant life. He has plant life from all around the globe. And wild Woods is where the guy can indulge himself. Established on about 24 acres, 3 hours from the nearest city, Outrageous Woods is a Botanical wonder land. If anything may be the perfect antidote to the strains and strains of residing in a huge city this could it be.

Bananas
The resort is filled up with trees and plants from around Asia, Bananas of most different kinds, creepers from Bali, Palms from Thailand and numerous flowering shrubs which attract enormous colored butterflies even through the monsoon. This area gets a great deal of rainfall so everything is lush and green.

 

A lovely fast flowing and clear river, cool with the elope from the jungle-clad hillsides forms the boundary using one side.
A little country lane bisects the house and using one side, occur about 2 acres is the accommodation composed of individual thatched and tiled cottages built from the neighborhood red laterite stone.

Cottage at Crazy Woods
Incredibly for such a remote location, ( there isn’t even any cellular phone signal) the rooms have all you would expect in a 5 star hotel. Large four-poster bedrooms, safe, minibar, satellite television, air-conditioning (although unnecessary when we have there been as it was lovely and cool), hairdryers, tea and espresso making facilities, and large collection of toiletries. Every details has been considered even right down to the two 2 golfing umbrellas in each room to guarantee the guests stay dried out while roaming the holiday resort.
Across the street is another 22 acres of lush tropical forest and gardens where Mr. Shetty is creating a Spa and more accommodation. The structures is beautiful, incorporating the neighborhood laterite rock with antique solid wood pillars and intricately carved doorways salvaged from old homes.

Antique Door

The trees are home to varied monkeys and wild birds, and butterflies flit from flower to flower.

Hornbill
Meals are taken in the large communal dining hall. Open on 3 sides and surrounded by a fish filled lily pond, here is where the resort really stands out. I have been to many places where the accommodation is nice and the food only average but here Mr. Shetty is truly blessed. In the kitchen Chef Rana and his assistant Chef Sudarshan conjure up some of the best Indian food I have ever eaten ( aside from the Boss ’ of course). Served in buffet format, every meal was different and for the 3 days we were there not a single item was repeated. What is even more amazing is that the Chefs, although being from North India and Calcutta, were able to cook up authentic local food as good if not better than anything we have had in Mangalore or surrounding areas.

Wild Woods Spa Dining Hall
Where possible they use ingredients grown on site or from the local area so everything is very fresh. I believe the nutritional value in this food is so much higher than what we have in Bangalore and I actually gained 2. 5 kilos (weighed on the scales which are found in every room) in my 3 day stay.
Mr. Shetty arrived from Bangalore on the 2nd day of our stay and delighted in guiding the guests around the property and explaining the different plants to them. We discovered a little green-house in the back section which had some of the most beautiful orchids. Mr. Shetty said that he had an even bigger collection in Bangalore which he will be transferring to Wild Woods.

Orchids
The surrounding countryside is also beautiful and I went for a couple of runs through the villages, frightening the local children and puzzling the parents. One goat-herd seeing me running past, waylaid me on the way back and asked me where I was from and why was I running, as his 3 half naked children looked on in amazement.

Shiroor Countryside
In the hills behind the resort are two waterfalls, stunning with the monsoon rains! We wanted to take a closer look and Mr. Shetty instructed one of his staff to accompany us as a guide as the trek was quite challenging.

Shiroor Falls

The, at first reluctant, guide initially tried to dissuade us with tales of blood-sucking leeches the size of your arm, but after stopping at a remote farm house for some leech repellent (a cloth ball soaked in salty water ) he soon warmed to the challenge of dragging the city folk up the jungle slopes to the waterfall viewing point. At times crawling on our hand and knees through thick thorn filled undergrowth, and pausing frequently to dislodge the odd leech from between our toes ( the guide strangely enough being the main target of the leeches), after an hour and a half climb, the jungle parted to reveal a thundering cascade, pouring down the side of the mist clad hills.

26|Sep Posted by aditya -Mountain, Resorts, Spa, Waterfalls

Always on the lookout for offbeat locations I had been lucky to find Wildwood’s Spa on the internet . Most folks in Bangalore wait for long weekends to plan a getaway – and after a few years having covered Coorg, Ooty, Kodai, Bandipur, Chickmagalur, Waynad, Hampi & Badami – I had been happy to find another great location in Karnataka. We are lucky that Karnataka has so much to see

Getting There

Located 130 Km from Mangalore (3 hr Drive) its north of Mangalore on the Mangalore – Goa highway. We required an airline flight to Mangalore and then drove to the vacation resort – Roads are solitary track but decent for 90% of the route . There is however a more convenient option of taking an evening Train from Bangalore 16523/24 Karwar / Kannur Express that leaves bangalore at 8 PM and reaches Byndoor at 11 AM. Byndoor is a 15 min drive from the Vacation resort. I recommend you take this – don’t get puzzled by the name – the train that leaves Bangalore splits into two at Mangalore – one half goes to Kannur and the other to Karwar.

About the Resort

Its a new resort – 18 months old with 9 Cottages and 16 Villas. Spread across two tracts of land 4 Acres & 16 acres separated by a community road. The Cottages are in the 4 Acre property and the Villas in the 16 Acre. The Vacation resort is in the last stage of completion and the Villa section is 90% done. Its a botanical vacation resort with over 7000 varieties of plants arranged at the border of the jungle with a nice small river encircling it. The greenery attracts a lot of birds and butterflies – a rarety for city dwellers today.

3 Things that make the Vacation resort appealing

1. Lovely Location – Lots of greenery – Gurgling River less than 50 ft from your room

2. Nice Rooms , Great Service , Homely food

3. Plenty to see – Beaches / Temples / Treks

The Rooms

 

The rooms are nice & spacious. We had booked the largest room (Room – 1) that came with 2 Rooms – 2 Baths. The Bathrooms are well designed , with all modern amenities. Rooms are designed with Thatched roofs and well covered – so even during day you need the lamps on.

A TV in both rooms with Cable connection , AC , Lover and Coffee Machine makes it effective and functional with all the amenities you need. The rooms has a small sit out with a bench that overlooks the river.The Cottage section of the Resort spread across 4 acres is small – the Restaurant and Spa are a stones throw from the room.

We Paid 15 K / Night time for the two Bed Room – that included all meals.

Food is homely and tasty , mainly Veg. Spread is decent but not as expansive as a 5 celebrity hotel. The Chef is open to suggestions from guests. One day he even served us “Brahmi Spinach Curry” – thats the leaf that helps with your memory space. The morning juice was also amazing – on day 2 we were served a drink that looked like it was full go fish eggs – on enquiry we were told that its a local drink called ” Tampina Beeja” which is supposedly good for keeping the body cool.

 

Liquor is not served – but you are welcome to get some from home and have in your room. If you arrived here thinking of Mangalorean fish – then you may be disappointed (We were happy not to get the Fish smell)

The best activity

While there are many things to do the best activity we liked was the trek up the Kosalli Falls. Its about 6 Km – and requires 2 hr one of the ways. A tough trek ( by my requirements) its thru solid jungles and some parts are on the edge of the hill. I just made it puffing and panting – but the kids experienced great fun and beat us hollow.

 

The other attractions nearby will be the beautiful beaches.

We visited 3 beaches of which 2 were exceptional.

The Someshwara beach is the closest – 15 Km , 30 min drive from the Vacation resort. Its also the beach where a river matches the Arabian Sea. Empty , neat and clean its rare to find a beach like this in India. No hawkers, No shanties, Nobody ogling at women – its a great beach. The other beach I would recommend is the Marawanthe beach – a 1 hr drive from the vacation resort its on the way back to Mangalore. The temple town of Murudeshwar also has a beach – but that is very commercial. Water in this part of the country is rough and swimming is not recommended.

 

For the religious minded there are some famous temples to visit. Udupi – 85 Km , Kolur Mookambika – 40 Kms, Gokarna – 120 Km , Murudeshwar – 37 Km. And for some more fun Jog Falls is 120 Km ( 3 hrs drive) and Goa is just 4 hrs away.

This is also Cashew land – you can see forests of Cashew trees on both sides of the road as you drive. We went to a cashew factory and saw the laborious process of how Cashew Kernels are boiled/burnt and then the nut is cracked open. Post that they are manually scraped and cleaned and then graded by size. At the end of it you get amazingly tasty cashews at a price thats almost 50% of what you get in Bangalore – Rs 500/- Kg.

 

Other activities – Long Walks , TT & Badminton, Non Monsoon season they arrange for River activities, and even Snorkelling. Many of the activities are seasonal. We loved our morning walks along lush green paddy fields every day. But Kids can get bored – so plan to come in a group.

 

Weather

Its humid – even in end Sep the Temp was 30 +. The best season as always is Nov to Feb. Summers can be very hot and Monsoon is clearly avoidable.

In Conclusion – we adored the place. Yes getting there was a bit of a problem and the 5 K for the Innova from Mangalore to the Vacation resort was a bit too expensive. Food was good, service was great and we had enough to do for 3 days. It did help a lot that were two family members – I strongly recommend that you go as a group. It takes a lot of enthusiasm and energy to run a resort like this – hats off to the owner and his team for doing a very job. I don’t think they make any income out of this venture.

If I were to make 3 suggestions to the Hotel management – they would be

1. Decide your placement – Spa Centric or Nature Centric , The name Wildwoods Spa – gives it a feeling that its Spa Centric , but in fact its a Nature Resort

2. Package your activities – 1/2 day modules , and sell that package , as of now you decide where to go and the hotel helps you with local transport.

3. Create more activities for Kids – if in Monsoon river activities are not possible , create something like Cooking , gardening etc – Kids need activity – The Cashew burring activity we did one day was excellent and well appreciated by the kids.

Yes the place does not have Internet/Wifi – I think thats a blessing in disguise.

06|Aug Posted by aditya -Resorts, Waterfalls

Karnataka is famous for its waterfalls and Jog falls is certainly one of the best. The difficult path along the Jog falls takes a lot of time for an individual to climb up and walk down the famous falls. The beautiful forests around Jog Falls are a must visit for the lovers of nature. Apart from the beauty of the falls, there are many things to do and enjoy here. Read this article by Wild Woods Spa and Resort-the best resort in South India to know more. Jog Falls.

Enjoy festive spirit of Ganesha festival

Ganesha festival is a leading festival which is celebrated every year in Jog falls. In this festival a huge idol of Lord Ganesha is made of black marble and is worshipped by people. The festival attracts a large number of people every year and it is believed that Lord Ganesha removes all the obstacles from the life of people who become a part of this festival.

Visit Thyvare Koppa Lion & Tiger Reserve

Thyvare Koppa Lion & Tiger Reserve is a beautiful sightseeing destination of Jog-Falls. This lion and tiger reserve is situated at 12 km from Shimoga, which is on the way to Jog Falls. A variety of accommodation options are available for staying near Jog Falls, with Wild Woods Spa and Resort being one of the most popular Jog Falls Hotels.

Visit Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary

Located near Jog Falls, this is one of the most biodiverse regions near Jog Falls. Here you can find-Lion-tailed macaque, tiger, wild dog, Black Panther, deers, sloth bear, jackal, giant flying squirrel, porcupine and many other animals. The sanctuary is open throughout the year and is a visual treat for the lovers of nature.

Visit Tunga Anicut Dam

Tunga Anicut Dam is the most popular picnic spot near Jog-Falls. Surrounded by green paddy fields and areca nut plants, this a delight for the seekers of peace and relaxation.

It has been blessed with some of the most precious gifts of Nature. So, visit here this summer vacation and for the most comfortable stay during your visit, contact Wild Woods Spa and Resort that has some of the best Mookambika hotels and cottages to make your vacations an affair to remember.

To know more, visit-http://www.wildwoodsspa.com/

05|Aug Posted by aditya -Mountain, Resorts, Waterfalls

Mangalore is one of the most beautiful places in India. It is blessed with scenic beauty, which looks the best after monsoon showers. In Mangalore you can enjoy the lush greenery or enjoy the pristine beauty and marvel of its famous waterfalls. Here are some of the best waterfalls you can see in Mangalore, brought to you by Wild Woods Spa and Resort-one of the best Mangalore resorts. Famous Waterfalls Near Mangalore.

Kudumari Falls

The beautiful Kudumari Falls is located deep within the forests of Western Ghats. It is a heaven for adventure seekers and nature lovers who can enjoy the serene beauty of nature. In between the lush green mountains the white waterfall looks heavenly. With a height of about 300 feet, this waterfall is one of the major attractions of Mangalore.

Adyar Waterfalls

For those trying to seek some respite from crazy city life, this place is perfect! Adyar falls is a small waterfall that has a height of about 30 feet. The beauty of this waterfall is captivating and villagers regularly have bath here.

Jog Falls

Jog falls is a beautiful place that captivates the people who visit it. It is one of the most visited weekend getaways near Mangalore. Created by the River Sharavathi that drops from a height of about 830 feet, Jog Falls is the second highest waterfall in India. Its beauty is simply amazing and enthralls everyone who sees it. Wild Woods Spa and Resort is located near Jog falls, offering relaxing and fun filled holidays.

Seeta Falls

This waterfall is located deep inside forest in North-West Karnataka. Since, this fall is not very deep, you can walk to the point where water drops and enjoy a relaxing bath there. Famous Waterfalls Near Mangalore.

Looking for a relaxing holiday with your loved ones? Then, Mangalore is the place to visit this vacation. Simply contact Wild Woods Spa and Resort for the most comfortable stay amidst nature and discover some of the most beautiful family vacation and honeymoon destinations in South India that will simply sweep you off your feet. Apart from visiting the most beautiful waterfalls in India, you can enjoy many fun activities to recharge your senses and feel awesome!

To know more, visit-http://www.wildwoodsspa.com/