Jenkal- A bungalow and coffee

A few of my friends got together and this trip happened. But then, that is how it is with friends. I read it somewhere “One should go on unplanned trips”. Well, this was partially planned as we had to book the place at our destination, Jenkal near Sakleshpur.

Sakleshpur is about 230 kms from Bangalore and is full of coffee estates and scenic mountain slopes and brooks. The altitude is around 3000 feet and weather is more or less pleasant through out the year.

The six of us started from Bangalore late on a Saturday, around 12 noon from Bangalore. The route goes through Neelamangla ( take a left here, straight is Pune Highway), Chanrayapatna and then a big industrial town, Hassan. After Hassan you take a diversion towards Sakleshpur. The highway is a single lane and it does slow you down. But, the road is good enough. We reached Sakleshpur around 5 pm and stopped at Munzerabad club. One of the owners of the bungalow at Jenkal, Karthik, is a secretary of the club. This club is of the British times and retains that charm. We were treated to some nice coffee. Karthik also gave us a baked dish to carry to the bungalow at Jenkal.


The Gang at Munzerabad club

From Sakleshpur, it is 26kms to Jenkal. Take the first right at the fork after Sakleshpur town. Keep on going till you pass through a village. At the circle take a left. After some distance, take the right fork. There are no road signs to direct you and is better to take directions from the Munzerabad club. The road is very narrow and winding and took us an hour to reach our destination. It looked like a road to nowhere. But, suddenly, it opened into a clearing in the jungle and there stood a majestic bungalow of the old world in front of us, bang in the middle of the forest and coffee plantation. I immediately fell in love with this place. There is nothing around for miles, so you got to be equipped with your needs. There is just a cook, a helper and a dog in that place. The bungalow is a renovated one, though it is more than 50 years old and has been done up in the old style. It has just 4 double rooms. The entrance has carved pillars and an ornate door. The first floor has a spacious covered verandah open at the front and you get a majestic view of the forest and the distant hills.


The Bungalow


The Ornate Door

We spent the evening just exploring around and lounging on the verandah. There was no sound, except the chirping of insects. No TV, no music, no ringing of cell phones, just the forest sounds and us. My friends started playing cards. I don’t play, so I just helped around with drinks. At 10 pm, the cook called for dinner. It was simple, but very tasty and made in the local style. The baked dish turned out to be an apple pie and it was the best pie I have ever tasted. Dinner over, time to be back on the verandah and chat.


Relaxing

The next morning, all of us got up around 6:30 am and had morning tea out in the open. The sunrise was very nice with light filtering in through the tall trees.


Sunrise

The helper at the bungalow took us for short trek in the jungle. It was sheer fun. The idea was to climb up a mountain- Jenukal Guda- which would have taken around 3-4 hours. But we did not have the luxury of that much time. We left it for next time. But the walk was rejuvenating indeed.

Booking.com


Trekking

After the trek we got ready and had a good breakfast. We then whiled away some time in the courtyard and the verandah. The co-owner, Madhan, dropped by as a courtesy to his guests. These people are very hospitable and take good care of you. He gave us a lot of background information about the bungalow and the surrounding area. He even had lunch with us. Post lunch, he took us to his home which was about 12 kms from this place.


Tractor-more like a toy

He took out his small tractor and invited us for a joy ride. What a bumpy ride it was! It was an experience in itself and we were thrilled like kids. We were taken to a lagoon sort of water body deep inside his property. In the quiet of the forest you could hear the murmuring of water and spent some time over there splashing around a bit.


Idling by the lagoon

We even had to cross a single log bridge, by holding onto the rope. Turned out to be quite an adventure.


Vivek holding onto dear life

Later, we were taken to his coffee bean refinement plant where he explained the process. It seems there are different categories of coffee beans priced differently. Generally, Robusta type is grown as it withstands the pests. The other type, Arabica is delicate and requires maintenance.

It was now quite late in the evening and time to start back to Bangalore. With a heavy heart and fond memories we reached back late in the night.

P.S: The charges at the Bungalow are Rs.1500/person/night including lunch, dinner and breakfast.

  • Very nice and cosy description. You might want to add some contact details in case some one plans to visit this place.

    Its a wonder that how you pulled a just-boyz night-out :)

  • Manoj

    Fantastic, Peaceful, Soothing are the words I can use to describe our experince.

    Thanks Sud for collating this together.

  • Your lucid and well written post reminded me of a funny incidence.

    After attending a company kick off meet at Kochi, our team consisting of 10 persons were boarding a flight bound for Delhi. While we were settling down, some one said Excuse me. I am Dr. Sabharwal. Are you from NCR ? Totally taken aback, I replied in the affirmative. Then he said smilingly I thought you were leading a team of wrestlers. We all had a big laugh.

    Good to see your healthy looking friends. I trust Dr. Sabharwal’s comment is valid for your team too.

    Well it was all on the lighter side. Coming back to your post, in one world – “marvelous. All through the post, I had a feeling of being a part of the travelling team.

    Keep on enriching us with your experiences.

  • Quite calm place to relax, surely looks attractive. A very good narration supported with equally good photos. I envy you guys & wonder why we women can’t have something like that exclusive to us. *Sigh*

    I agree with Nandan about the contact details.

    @Mr Dhall:Ha Ha Ha… I empathize with you. :D

  • rahulv

    Very nice post. I had been to a similar place in Coorg. A quiet home in the midst of coffee plantation….
    I found this link for Jenkal info-
    http://jenkal.in/contact.htm
    Pics on that website look similar to ones posted here, and owner name – Karthik matches :-)

  • Patrick Jasper

    Nice – But hey that tractor, is it refurbished or does teh model come out like that – I thought i saw teh mahindra logo on it. Looks cute though.

  • manish khamesra

    Sudhir,

    Its an interesting description about an interesting place that can be added to our list of places to be visited when in Bangalore. Thanks for sharing it.

    Ram Uncle, it was very interesting comment to read :)