This estate is a 400 acre coffee plantation since the 1840s. The Planter’s Bungalow has stood testimony to the changing seasons and centuries at Balur since 1853. The River Hemavathy originates just above the Estate. Its truly a pretty, fascinating piece of India’s Coffee Heritage. We welcome you to spend a few days and soak in the place, its history, and its solitude.We could describe it but it can only be experienced.
The Heritage Bungalow has two options
- The Planter’s Room : This can accommodate 2 guests comfortably, and additionally 2 kids as well.
- The Guest Suite : This hosts 4 people in 2 rooms.
The Coffee Cottage : A large premium cottage renovated recently with a huge bedroom with a fireplace, a tall ceiling, large windows with lovely views, a sunroom with furniture that goes perfectly with the era this place is from. The bathroom here holds a nice surprise or two! The room has in room service in a an annexe dedicated for this purpose.
The Cardamom Suites have 3 rooms renovated to match the spec of the Heritage Building, bathrooms that make you want to take a shower, and a common hall with a fireplace and a very loungeworthy setting. One of the rooms has a sitout overlooking the coffee on the far side, and one opens into the lawns and the bonfire.
Things to do Around
You can spend days at the Estate itself exploring the waterfalls, spotting birds, and just walking amidst absolute tranquility along its 26kms of estate roads. But should you wish to get around a little – the area is just pretty to explore in a car, or on a cycle, or even by foot!
- The source of the Hemavathi : The river originates a couple of kilometres from the bungalow, just above the estate. There’s a quiet temple there you can spend some time at.
- Huge pretty tea estates, and a visit to the Tea Factory (if permissions come through).
- Kudremukh – about 60kms away. The drive is pretty, and goes through Kalasa – a historically important temple town.
- Horanadu – another centre of pilgrimage at the end of a very scenic drive.
- Sringeri – an old, important math in the hills.
- Agumbe – the “Cherrapunji of the South” which now actually gets more rain than the latter!
- Kemmangundi, the Hebbe Falls and Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
Its basically the setting Balur is in – bang in the middle of a huge expanse of green hills that receive a lot of rainfall, that make it a charming place you can spend a week exploring and not run out of options.
But, of course, we recommend the hammock, long walks, cups of tea/coffee and a few books for a relaxed do-nothing time.
How to reach here
The Estate is about 300 kms from Bangalore.
From Bangalore – take Magadi Road and then Kunigal just after Magadi town (right fork) to join the Mangalore Highway. Take a turn into Hassan, and ask for Belur.
There’s a couple of Coffee Days before Hassan – one at Belur Cross and the other a little after Chennarayapatna. There’s also a Kamat a little after Chennarayapatna. Numerous other food options have popped up all along the road, upto Hassan.
Go from Hassan to Belur and just as you start to enter the town, there’s a circle with a left towards Mudigere. Just a little after you cross a bridge is a Y-fork (with a 3rd road going left). BOTH roads go to Mudigere but take the main road that goes straight.
Its a nice road and easily doable in any car. Budget about 4.5hrs of a drive time. In case you start early, you can do a quick stopover at the Belur Temple.
At Mudigere you turn left towards a small town called “Handpost” a couple of kms beyond. Here, at the circle, you need to take a right at the circle (you cross a rice mill on your left) – towards Kottegehara. At this town, take the road going towards Kalasa, and just after Balur Village, take the left “U” hairpin – still towards Kalasa/Kudremukh.
Exactly 2 kms from this hairpin turn (and 9kms from Kottegehara) there’s a small fork going left towards a gate and a bungalow (behind trees) – this is Balur Estate. We’ll try having someone wait at this fork – give us a call as you start from Handpost.
If you get to Javalli, or even a place where the road to the origin of River Hemavathi is marked, you’ve gone too far.
Kids upto 10 years of age are welcome at no charge at all (accompanying 1 per adult).
We’re pet friendly at most locations, and pets are welcome at a flat convenience charge of 250/- a day and we are happy to make pet food available at Rs 500/- a day