In the Land of Kurumbadis-Review of Kurumba Village- Nilgiri Valley-Coonoor

Tripoto
1st Nov 2017
Photo of In the Land of Kurumbadis-Review of Kurumba Village- Nilgiri Valley-Coonoor by KatchuTravels

The 5th gear on my car, makes me feel invincible. There's a sense of peace as the car races on a clear highway, between the mirages that promise a waterbody ahead. When you are traveling to a hill station on ghat roads, there's a sense of size reduction as the invincibility finds its way to morph itself to humility. Travel makes one modest and the hills make you doubly modest as you learn to see your size amidst the magnificence of the Nilgiris.

Adventure said ' It's nice that you remembered me this morning

Monotony Said ' Ping Ping Ping..3 Emails and 17 Whatsapp conversations need you now'

Adventure said 'Err....Dont worry, There's no Airtel signals once you get up the hills'

Kurumba Village Said ' Both of you come, You both need each other. You are made for each other. Did you know that?'

Monotony and Adventure looked at each other and made out in the hills. This is the story of my micro vacation-This is the story of Kurumba Village!

My 3 days at the resort had all of these elements and we shall see some of them below. It was a place meant for connecting to yourself, while you soak in magic in what you see, eat and experience. A family and couple friendly, hide away that also has something for the kids because Kurumba Village's focus is to excel at what they do in making your stay memorable there

The dining area at Kurumba Village, with views of the misty valley

Photo of Kurumbadi, Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, India by KatchuTravels

Great Views and lovely food. The secret ingridient for a great vacation is great food!

Photo of Kurumbadi, Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, India by KatchuTravels

Kurumba Village, is set in a 10 acre spice plantation in the village of Kurumbadi which is set below the Mettupalayam-Coonor road, by the side of the a permeating waterfall and stream, that laces around the sides of the property. The resort is like a forest, being part of the environment rather than just being a concrete structure in the middle of nowhere. The resort in operation from 2004, is a 22 room -environmentally conscious place, that aims to let you connect with the ancestors of this land- the Kurumba tribes, who are also appointed as some of the staff in the resort. The resort has energy efficient lighting in the woods, recognizing that there is a larger environment that guests need to sync their rythm to.

The people employed are from the surrounding areas, and every one of them left a lasting impression on me during the 3 day stay. Every house has a beautiful patio, overlooking a hammock and garden on one side, with another balcony opening out to the woods where the green and the browns keep mixing through the day. The house is adorned with a Kurumba Tribal sketch, and as you step into the room, there is no real division between nature and concete, as the folks who designed it have seamlessly merged both of these elements into a beautiful halogen lighted heavenly room, overlooking views of the valley, which could make you discover your inner Leonardo to feel like shouting 'I am the king of the world'

View of the valley from our room balcony. Sit and listen to the sounds of nature!

Photo of Kurumba Village Resort, Burliyar, Tamil Nadu, India by KatchuTravels

The resort has little pathways within the place, that look like forest trails and the various rooms are at different heights on the hills, some overlooking the base of the waterfall, and some overlooking the valley.

Pathways within the property that lies nestled amidst the greens

Photo of Kurumba Village Resort, Burliyar, Tamil Nadu, India by KatchuTravels

My time at the property was spent doing the following activities that I vividly take back as memories.

1) No-Alarm Days

I see this as an important activity. When in a resort that's part of the wilderness, I always manage to get up when my body needs to. The body being well rested and not needing an alarm clock is an important activity to know that your body is still doing well.

5 am- Wake Up time at Kurumba Village!

Photo of Kurumba Village Resort, Burliyar, Tamil Nadu, India by KatchuTravels

2) Great Food

The secret to a truly relaxing vacation is great food that you can savour and eat. I knew I was relaxed by the amount of food my stomach allowed inside. I had their chef Murali arrange a special halogen lit dinner by their beautiful treehouse in the woods. I loved his pepper corn starters, Herb infused salads and his concoction of a coconut-ginger soup that had me going on repeat mode. Chef Murali is from the town of Palakkad nearby, and has come up the hard way by doing some great dishes and takes a lot of interest in making sure his guest's eyes light up. People going beyond their call of duty, makes you develop a huge affinity with the brand-Kurumba Village. I certainly had!

Special Dinner By the Tree Side and Low Lighting

Photo of Kurumba Village Resort, Burliyar, Tamil Nadu, India by KatchuTravels

The pathway leading to the treehouse! Beautifully lit up

Photo of Kurumba Village Resort, Burliyar, Tamil Nadu, India by KatchuTravels

Chef Murali's making us some morning tea

Photo of Kurumba Village Resort, Burliyar, Tamil Nadu, India by KatchuTravels

Having a 5 year old kid often means, you are not quite sure of what food they would opt for. My son, enjoyed his time asking for his special sandwich with cheese, pepper and salads thrown in, apart from the really crisp-but-soft Hara Bhara Kebabs that were served, with the clouds visiting often to chaperone us.

Nandu having a blast of a time in the woods, eating to his heart's content. That means a lot to a parent seeing their kid having food, without being fussy!

Photo of Kurumba Village Resort, Burliyar, Tamil Nadu, India by KatchuTravels

3. Kids Activity with Nature

Thanks to Dinesh, the in-house naturalist, he made Nandu collect twigs, leaves and mud, to create a little artwork, apart from telling the kids of the animals that leave their footmarks, and the birds who roam on campus.

Nandu found a kid to spend time with to play at the resort

Photo of Kurumba Village Resort, Burliyar, Tamil Nadu, India by KatchuTravels

Young Naturalist-Nandan

Photo of Kurumba Village Resort, Burliyar, Tamil Nadu, India by KatchuTravels

A giant squirrel welcoming Nandu even as Dinesh explains to him about it

Photo of Kurumba Village Resort, Burliyar, Tamil Nadu, India by KatchuTravels

Dinesh asking the children to look at the giant squirrel

Photo of Kurumba Village Resort, Burliyar, Tamil Nadu, India by KatchuTravels

Dinesh making Nandu do a tree hugging excercise to connect with nature and ask for a wish- Nandu asked for being here for ever, since he loved the place!

Photo of Kurumba Village Resort, Burliyar, Tamil Nadu, India by KatchuTravels

4) The Little Library!

The resort has a little collection of books in the reception, apart from having a small library in each room too! If you came here to slow down, and just connect with yourself, the Kurumba Village just has it right for you.

Library at the reception

Photo of Kurumba Village Resort, Burliyar, Tamil Nadu, India by KatchuTravels

I also managed to sit down, and pick a book, to read out to Nandu, as we slowly transitioned from breakfast to lunch, watching the clouds fly by.

Book Reading by the woods!

Photo of Kurumba Village Resort, Burliyar, Tamil Nadu, India by KatchuTravels

5) Exploring the Woods Nearby!

Chef Murali took me out on the last day of my stay down to the waterfall, that slowly meanders its way from the top of the hill. The sounds of the waterflowing dominates the sounds of the crickets and bats, when you sit for your breakfast by the valley view.

The little stream that flows by the side of the resort

Photo of Kurumbadi, Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, India by KatchuTravels

The resort has a guide called Srini, who knows the valley by the back of his palm.His dad was a guide for the British and the knowledge of the valley has been passed on to the next generation. Srini prefers walking across the valley zip-zapping through paths one never even knew that existed. Srini walks around 60 kilometres each day, and stays above Coonor. He daily walks to the resort which is a 15 km jaunt, taking him just 30 minutes. A man who walks, and drinks the fresh mountain water, does not need health watch nor gym time. I envied his lifestyle. Srini was from Mysore, but seemed to have a Kerala accent, but could also speak Tamil and Telugu.

Photo of Tea Nest, Alwarpet, Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, India by KatchuTravels

My trek with Srini started at the Teanest resort (part of the Kurumba Village group), after I was driven in my car by one of the resort staff(who also drove the car back to the resort). After a relaxing morning tea, we set out to explore the woods in a 10-12 kilometre walk downhill from Teanest to Kurumbadi through misty hills, nondescript houses, a school on a hill, colourful flowers and little streams of water flowing down.

Nilgiri Valley- Mesmerising

Photo of Tea Nest, Alwarpet, Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, India by KatchuTravels

Rain and Red Flowers, amidst the greens and mist!

Photo of Tea Nest Annexe Cottage, Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, India by KatchuTravels

Tea view houses- Can I just buy one of them and have a peaceful life?

Photo of Tea Nest Annexe Cottage, Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, India by KatchuTravels

6) The Toy Train (Without the 'Chayya Chayya' expectation)

While this is not a resort specific activity, you can take your vehicle down to Coonoor to board the train to Mettupalayam or Ooty (Ootacamund). The tickets can be reserved earlier, but if you are travelling like me on a weekday, you dont really have to worry about tickets. 10 Rs for a window seat to connect to the valley outside that passes by tea plantations, betel nut and spice plantations. The train authorities dont seem to allow anyone to open the train doors, let alone standing on the train to do a SRK. So the filmy aspect is more or less gone, but sit inside and savour the beautiful country side that opens up!

The Mettupalayam-Ooty Toy Train

Photo of Ketti, Tamil Nadu, India by KatchuTravels

The curvy rail lines that transport the joy ride

Photo of Lovedale, Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India by KatchuTravels

So the moral of the story is that it takes just 3 days at a beautiful property like Kurumba Village in the woods for monotony and adventure to make peace with each other!

You can watch our trip, cut down to 60 seconds!

Cost

The resort is priced above 12,000 INR onwards on its rooms, and it differs depending on the room type. Browse through their website to book directly

To get to Kurumba Village, its best you travel on your own. Whether you travel on your own or take a taxi for your rides, it should be another 6000-7000 Rs on your driving costs. So keep that in mind.

Best Time to Go

There is no best time for a place steeped in the hills, but if you can just before the Europeans come here for their winter season (Dec-February), the resort is flush with the freshness of the onset of the North East Monsoon(Oct-Nov) and the Pre monsoon showers (June-September)

Getting There

From Chennai- You could take the train 12671 to Mettupalayam via Coimbatore and then take a taxi from there to the resort. If you are flying down, take a taxi from the Peelamedu airport in CoimbatoreIf you are adventurous, you could take the toy train from Mettupalayam to Hillgrove station and walk down a kilometre from there, walking through the Kurunji flowers that bloom once in 12 years.

From Bangalore-The best way is to drive, through Mysore and Gudalur into Ooty, Coonor and then Kurumbadi, but if you dont prefer the hills, you can drive through Salem, Erode, Avinashi keeping the ghat roads to a minimum of 14 kilometres. For those flying or taking a train, you need to come to Coimbatore to then take a taxi.

From anywhere else in India-Fly in to Coimbatore and take a taxi/train to Mettupalayam

The resort has only BSNL signals, so if you have anything else, it makes sense to call the resort from Mettupalayam/Coonor for directions, as there is no easy signboard to spot on your left, where you need to make a V shaped turn down the valley. If you are not sure how to drive down or drive up a hill, it helps if you can drive in 1st gear or get a driver who is at ease with driving in the hilly regions.

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2 Comment(s)
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You can try coonoor and Kotagiri
Sat 01 26 19, 14:53 · Reply · Report
bro help me to visit some place inside tamilnadu
Tue 10 09 18, 19:46 · Reply · Report