Visiting Karnataka : Coffee, Beaches and Hampi

Whoever coined “One State, Many Worlds” for Karnataka Tourism got it spot on! The diversity of geography, languages, food, climatic conditions, and the history, wildlife, culture across the state is unbelievable!


Someone asked us to stitch up a road trip across the state inside of a week to cut across and sample various places, so we thought we’d share it for everyone’s benefit. The idea is to keep the drives to 4-6 hours, and cover a decent variety. The whole state is still too vast for seeing inside a week, and we usually recommend more time at each place. Hampi, for instance, alone needs about 3 days!

Bangalore – Sakleshpur/Chikmagalur via Shravana Belagola and the exquisite Belur Temple.

About 300 km : 4.5 hours + breaks

The drive itself is fantastic, and gets into a scenic countryside pretty much as soon as you get out of Bangalore on to the Mangalore highway. There’s a bunch of options along the highway for a quick snack.

Sravanabelagola – about 150 kms out – is one the most important pilgrimage centres for Jainism, and goes back to the 3rd century BC! It’s totally worth a stopover.

The Belur Temple at Belur, 35km past Hassan, is one of the best crafted and preserved temples in South India. Do use the services of a guide while there – they tell the story really well.

And then you’re amidst the coffee estates. Rolling hills, low clouds for a major part of the year, rivers and streams born in the Western Ghats, and a cover of green as far as you can see. We’ll be happy to host you at the Balur Estate or at Golden Wood, Sakleshpur.

Spend a day or two here soaking it in, going on long walks/treks in the estate, understanding growing, picking and producing coffee and its different grades and forms. A planter’s life is a blissful one, if tough.

Malnad – Tirthhalli – Shimoga – The Sharavathi Valley – Honnavara – Gokarna.

About 310km – 6 hours + breaks.

The Malnad – male’ nadu or the land of hills – is one of the prettiest terrains we’ve ever driven through. The roads are not always great, but the treat of the eyes, the clean air and the lack of traffic make up for it. Tirthalli is one of the wettest districts in the South!

You could stop over at the Jog Falls which plunge 830ft. This is especially gorgeous just after the monsoon, and a sight to behold.

At Honnavara you get to the coastline after a lovely drive through the Western Ghats – the lush green Sharavathi Valley which drops to the coast in a matter of a few kilometres. The roads from here are good, and you keep catching glimpses of the Arabian Sea. Turn in to Gokarna (stay with us!) for quiet, long beaches, pretty estuaries with sandbanks, hills and forests, right upto the sea, mangroves and numerous fishing villages. The temple town is ancient and psychedelic, and the area – unlike Goa – retains the feel of the ages old world that it is – great for exploring on foot.

Gokarna – Hubli – Gadag – Hampi

Another 320km – 6-7 hours. No real stops on this.

The drive starts out along the coast, winds back up the Western Ghats and then gets deeper into the Deccan Plateau. Gadag has an ancient Jain Temple worth a quick stopover at.

But it’s Hampi you want to get to! A whole city built of stone and abandoned completely a few hundred years ago.


The drive back to Bangalore should take you about 7 hours, and is mostly zippy highway. Except a quick stopover at a dhaba, not much there, unless you want to stop and ogle at the magnificent Chitradurga Fort. It’s amazing how much history dots the landscape everywhere!

Kerala Weekends – From Chennai

Kerala is an extremely underrated weekend-breaks-destination. From Bangalore, and even from Chennai. It’s extremely well connected both by roads and trains, and recently, Air Asia has started operations there with some sweet pricing.

From Chennai, for instance, there are a dozen and a half trains between Chennai and Ernakulam (Cochin)!



This makes for easy options for a 3 day break. And Kerala is one of the richest experiences in terms of what you can do and see around there – so you can keep going back for more.

Check out the Linger locations in Kerala. And get in touch for more at

The Palathra Heritage at Mararikulam. Getting there, and Around



At Mararikulam, off NH-47, take the Beach Road towards the Arabian Sea. Just after the Mahadeva (Shiva) Temple there, there’s a right turn onto the Mararikulam – Kanichukulangara Road. A few hundred metres into this, you will see the gate and signboard for “Palathra Heritage” on your left.

How To Get There (from Bangalore) :

Trains : Take an overnight train to Alleppey. From the station you’ll get plenty of cabs to cover the 16 odd km to Mararikulam. The cabs should charge your 450-500/-. If the train stops at Cherthala, about 10km from Palathra, you could disembark there as well.

You could also take a train to Ernakulam (Cochin) – many more trains go upto there. The distance from here to Palathra is about 50kms, and cabs should be available easily. If you find a connecting train to Cherthala, that’s a good option as well.

Buses : Overnight Volvos headed to Alleppey or beyond should drop you at Cherthala or even Mararikulam (check with them as you board) from where you should get autos or cabs to Palathra Heritage.

By Air (from Cochin) :

Take a flight into Kochi (Cochin). You should get plenty of cabs there to get you to Mararikulam, about 90km away.

Around There

  • The Beach : Marari’s famous beach is just about a kilometer away – you could walk/ride or take an auto.
  • St. Andrew’s Forane Basilica, Arthunkal : a beautiful 16th century Church about 7km away on the picturesque beach highway.
  • The Mahadeva Temple : A centuries old Shiva temple a short walk away is the only temple where Sree Mahadeva and Parvathi Devi sit facing each other.
  • Vembanad Lakea and the backwaters : The Muhamma Boat Jetty on the Vembanad lake is a few kms on the other side of the NH. Backwater cruises, and boats and ferries to the other side to get to the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary and to get to the Pathiramanal Island – another pretty paradise for birdwatchers – are available here.
  • Alleppey itself is a quick cab/auto/bus ride away. Old churches, ancient temples, trading hubs, the canals criss crossing town and the beach give the town a very timeless feel.
  • Fort Kochi is a great one day trip – a lot of old buildings, Chinese fishing nets, world and trading history and shopping in a very walkable few square kilometers along the harbour.

Locally, autos, cabs and even public transport (buses, trains and ferries!) are plentiful and if you’d like, we’ll call one for you. Plan a trip to the Palathra Heritage, Mararikulam for a week long vacation, true Kerala style. The property has 5 old wooden huts transplanted in a green garden, authentic Kerala food and is perfectly situated for all of the above!

For reservations : or +91-959-005-0001

Getting to our Kumaon Properties – Corbett and Vijaypur

We started these 2 new properties in the KumaonVanghat Lodge in Corbett and Chestnut Grove in Vijaypur, near Chaukori, Uttarakhand. A lot of folks have written in asking for how they get to these places.

Here goes…

Vanghat, Marchula, Corbett

Please note: Leaving Early out of Delhi is highly recommended due to the remote location of the Lodge.

Get on the Nizamuddin Bridge and onwards toward the Delhi – UP Border.

Drive straight to Moradabad. En route you will pass Hapur, Garh Ganga, Gajraula (Best midway stop with numerous options for meal and restroom use) and Joya.

Take the Hapur By pass just before Hapur town.

You take the Moradabad bypass just before Moradabad town. At the first toll booth get a ticket for the full by pass, onwards you encounter another tollbooth and finally join the main highway back. You need to U turn from this juncture and drive back about 2 Kms and then take a right turn for Kashipur and onwards to Ramnagar.

After you cross Ramnagar drive straight on the Ranikhet road for about 21Kms till you get to the village of Mohan (There is a police barrier here and a couple of tea shops). At Mohan there is a fork, the right road goes to Ranikhet and the left on to Garhwal take the left road going to Garhwal drive for another 14 km and you will spot the Baluli suspension bridge built over the Ramganga River. The Baluli suspension bridge is a visible and prominent landscape. There would be a representative from lodge to meet you at the Baluli suspension bridge and guide you to remote Vanghat.

Please note the hike is a 1.8 KM hike through undulating terrain. This walk through the village of Baluli and riverine forest is an excellent introduction to the valley, and can prove to be the most personally satisfying way of reaching the Lodge. Porters are provided however guests are requested to travel light.


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Average fitness and good walking shoes are vital.

By Train: Preferred by most regulars since it is comfortable, convenient and economical. Ranikhet Express (also called Corbett Link Express) has First Class AC 2 Tier and departs every day from Delhi (Old) station at about 10:30 PM and arrives at Ramnagar at 5:00 AM. Since Ramnagar is the last station, coach attendants give you a wake-up call if instructed. This train departs back to Delhi at 9:30 PM everyday and arrives Delhi at 4:30 AM. This Train gives you the option of optimising your time in Corbett.

The other train option is Uttarakhand Sampark Kranti departing Delhi (Old) at 3:30 PM and arrives Ramnagar at 8:30 PM. The train departs Ramnagar at 9:00 AM and arrives Delhi at 3:30 PM. For those arriving by Uttarakhnad Sampark Kranti we make arrangements for stay at a lodge at a short distance from train station.

In the train beware of snoring neighbours!!! Must get hold of state of the art ear plugs!!

We arrange for station transfers if requested.

Chestnut Grove, Vijaypur (near Chaukori), Uttarakhand

From Delhi–  Leaving Early out of Delhi is highly recommended due to the remote location of the Lodge. One can also take a break in between to have a relaxed and comfortable journey.

Get on the Nizamuddin Bridge and on-wards toward the Delhi – UP Border

Drive straight to Moradabad. En route you will pass Hapur, Garh Ganga, Gajraula (Best midway stop with numerous options for meal and restroom use) and Joya.Take the Moradabad By pass just before Moradabad continue till Rampur. From Rampur, just after the Railway Station turn left for Bilaspur – Rudrapur – Haldwani. From Haldwani start climbing up towards Bhimtal – Bhowali – Almora. From Almora you can either go via Kausani  Bageshwer – Kanda – Vijaypur or Takula – Bageshwar – Kanda – Vijaypur.

From Ramnagar/Corbett/Ranikhet/Kausani – Drive through Mohan-Ranikhet-Vinta-Someshwar-Kausani-Baijnath-Bageshwar-Kanda-Vijaypur

From Pithoragarh/Berinag – Drive through Ghat-Panar-Gangolihaat-Berinag-Chaukori-Kameridevi-Vijaypur

From Munsiyari/Thal/Dharchula/Chaukori- Drive through Thal-Chaukori-Kameridevi-Vijaypur.

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By Train: Preferred by most regulars since it is comfortable, convenient and economical. Ranikhet Express has First Class AC 2 and 3 Tier and departs every day from Delhi (Old) station at about 10:30 PM and arrives at Kathgodam, at 5:300 AM. Since Kathgodam is the last station, coach attendants give you a wake-up call if instructed. This train departs back to Delhi at 8:40 PM everyday and arrives Delhi at 4:30 AM. This Train gives you the option of optimising your time in the hills..

The other train option is ANVT Shatabdi Express, departing Anand Vihar Terminal  at 6:15 AM and arrives Kathgfodam at 11:30 AM. The train departsKathgodam at 3:45 PM and arrives Anand Vihar Terminal, Delhi at 9:30 PM.


Of course, if you need help or more info, call us at +91-959-005-0001 or mail us at


The Himalayas, Wildlife and Kerala! Linger grows

We’re now live at 3 very do-nothing, quiet locations across the country. And with this, we have our first properties in Kerala and the Himalayas now live.

Vanghat, Marchula, in the Corbett Buffer Zone

Forests all around Bridge across the Ramganga Setting

At the end of a 2 km journey on foot and a raft across the river is this seriously committed-to-forests property that respects its surroundings even while making it accessible to us. Run by a naturalist and a team that’s friendly – both with the guests as well as the forests. You’ll love the place, and learn a lot, we assure you!

Chestnut Grove, Vijaypur (Uttarakhand)


6750ft high up in a very quiet, relatively unknown part of the Himalayas is Vijaypur (or Bijepur) a small little tea town with pine and oak forests, tea estates, and old temple or two and miles of opportunity for walks, hikes and treks. Or of course, do nothing but read a book, sip on tea and enjoy the stunning views of the snow clad mountains in the distance.

The Palathra Heritage, Mararikula, Allepey (Kerala)

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Amidst the very green, laidback Mararikulam village is an unassuming little space where a very passionate family has resettled old, traditional houses in a backwaters setting. Illam, Eatti, Chandanam, Maavu and Plaavu – the names themselves tell a story of a different time in a context that attempts to keep up with the same even as the world around changes rapidly. The beach is a short walk/ride away, as is the pretty Vembanad lake and the famed Kerala backwaters. What a trip!

We’re adding a few more places. Keep watching the action on our Facebook page. For reservations, as always – we’re at and at +91-959-005-0001.