It was only a matter of split seconds, the visibly lush green forest was now all white and cotton-y. That’s the thing about hills they say, the weather changes in a fraction of a second. And here I was at Ayatana Coorg to witness nature’s marvel unfold right in front of me while I sipped on my coffee. Not that I hadn’t witnessed the phenomenon before, but there was something more enchanting about this, something I couldn’t quite put a finger on, yet.
I had arrived at Ayatana Coorg after a long, arduous journey — one involving an early morning flight, a five hour drive, crossing serpentine roads narrowing with each passing kilometer, highway hotels serving ample varieties of dosas and the verdant Western Ghats’ landscapes.
The sun had set in by the time I reached, and the lush landscape around now seemed denser. After a quick check-in and some hot tea, I headed to my room. Tucked quietly away from the rest of the world, in the green environs of south India, the property is a luxurious escape. And for city folks, like me, Ayatana comes as a breath of fresh air, away from the constant humdrum, surrounded by the forest, with organic and local produce on the plate and nature’s bounty. My phone had already lost signals somewhere along the way, which I didn’t seem to mind. But for those fearing losing connectivity, the property has a well functional wifi in place.
The next day began with a scrumptious breakfast overlooking the famous waterfall within the property premises. Post that I was headed for a cooking class with the head chef, Bobby. Right from learning about local produce and flavours, to getting to know the nuances of the famous Coorgi pork and the right way to cook it, the class had it all. The cooking in the region is simple, I’m told, with farm-to-table vegetables, laced with local spices paired with rice or rotis made with rice flour.
While here it’s not just a hearty breakfast that overlooks the waterfall but also a selection of adventure activities — I opted to zipline. After gearing up, it was a matter of a few minutes until I whizzed past the waterfall onto the other end, with my heart racing, and adrenaline pumping, losing my footwear in the process.
After a quick lunch I was headed to the spa right next to the pool. The 60-minute session was a calming experience with the waterfall’s sound, chirping birds and crickets as the background music. A late siesta after this was inevitable. I spent the evening at the bar with the waterfall gushing in the backdrop and indulging in the various offerings prepared.
I spent my last day mostly walking around the property beginning with an early morning nature walk, spotting a rudraksha tree and ending with an elaborate property tour witnessing and understanding the various flora around.
While people might assume the natural waterfall within the property premises to be the highlight here, I seemed to have cherished the tranquility, the private, cosy nooks and corners, the soft rainfall and the chirping of various insects and southern avifauna. With a disconnect, quite literally, from the outside world, time is a relative concept here and is best spent at one’s own luxury.