Harbinger of Monsoon at the Ghats: A Cherished experience at The Taj Madikeri Spa and Resort
About this Blog: India’s only rain-forest resort and a delightfully rare wellness retreat, the Taj Madikeri Resort and Spa is located at close vicinity to the urban jungle of Bengaluru. I spent a couple of beautiful nights at the wellness retreat and refueled my soul and body!
From a blissful luxurious retreat in the Western Ghats jungles to a gorgeous backdrop of a destination wedding venue, the Taj Madikeri Resort has perfected the art of responsible hospitality. It took Taj a decade to build the property, taking keen note on the nuances of traditional Kovada architecture and subtle styles inspired by the locals. I recall my stay at the Taj property with fondness!
How to reach The Taj Madikeri Spa and Resort
At the wee hours of a Monday night, I left Namma Bengaluru in deep slumber and wheezed past the highway connecting hinterlands of Karnataka. Within a brief four hours drive through the Tumkur highway and a couple of strong filter kapi helpings, I reached the Taj Madikeri Resort and Spa, hidden away in the folds of the mighty Western ghats.
Nearest Rail station to The Taj Madikeri Spa and Resort is located at Hubli followed by Mangalore Airport. The property arranges for car pick up upon prior request.
Perched at one of the hillocks, the Taj Madikeri overlooks a verdant valley of lush green jungle, which also doubles as a wildlife corridor in summer and winter. Poignant at the onset of monsoon winds, the jungles and her residents were preparing for the mating season.
The Taj Madikeri stays rooted to omnipresent nature!
Upon arrival, we were welcomed with sprinkling of revered Cauvery water and an earthen cup of strong coffee, sweetened with jaggery. A sip into it, we learnt the seeds are procured from choicest Robusta and Arabica grown organically in the adjacent plantation.
“Where is the coffee plantation?” My naive mind asks standing at the edge of water-body that peeps over this part of the country of million hills, all of which belongs to the eponymous Taj. “Wherever the light touches is our kingdom!”
Did you know: Talakaveri, the source of river Kaveri is located at Bramhagiri hill and makes for a scenic trekking route. Kodava, the locals of Coorg had built a tank around it. The Hindu temple of Kaveriamma is located close by as well.
By the quirks of nature, the hill ranges of Madikeri has bald patches as punctuation in between a melodious song of dense rainforest, where myriad avians nest, endangered amphibians native to the Ghat forest live and thrive, a portion of forest is revered as God and kept untouched. Taj hotel had meticulously found those few spots and gradually developed their property using those empty patches of land.
Thus, not a single tree was uprooted while making this humongous resort. “Fallen not felled”, as they proudly state at the Taj Khajana, the signature souvenir shop of the Taj Madikeri Resort and Spa, where the choicest of Indian handicrafts are handpicked and showcased.
Standing by the lobby, I closed my eyes and breathed. A sudden burst of pure oxyzen splashed my lungs, and subsequently the entire respiratory system!
Is it the fresh air? Or the aroma of petrichor as mild drizzles were drenching the perched red land of the Indian peninsula? Either way, I felt alive and uplifted, instantaneously!
For those of us the urban souls, busy in the daily grind of chasing success defined in proper urban dialect, knowing hustling as an inevitable part of it, the Taj Madikeri resort is an idyllic retreat to stop by and rethink life. And if you do not want to delve deep into the philosophy of it, but want to slow down in the sheer pleasure of being close to nature, and being grounded, you got to experience the hospitality at the Taj Madikeri. The rest of it will be taken care of by omnipotent nature. She will awaken the human soul buried deep in you!
Choose your stay at the Taj Madikeri Spa and Resort!
I put extreme emphasis on nature while talking about the Taj property, which may sound ironic. Is it not all about experiencing seamless luxury in the premier hospitality brand of India, namesake to the wonder of the world?
My answer will be a resounding yes. And I would like to argue, the Taj Madikeri resort and Spa is a nature’s child. With the ghats and the rainforest as an inseparable element, the resort could never be designed into the great escape it is today, had it not acknowledged its scenic surrounding!
Take for example, the Presidential Suite. Styled after a traditional Kodava household, the Presidential Suite is a 9000 square feet villa featuring 3 bedrooms, separate reception and living cum dining areas, an indoor pool and an additional jacuzzi.
The wooden floors, the traditional beds, the profound window panes overlooking the landscaped vistas, the courtyard with a dainty garden and more; all speaking in proper vowels of luxury retreat.
Yet, the fact that it is located amidst a nature trail, elevates its appeal. A few mulberry trees stand in front of the pillared hallway, opening into the living space. Sitting pretty as one’s own private bungalow, the Presidential Suite of the Taj Madikeri Resort and Spa is a vacation home is a privilege reserved only for the discerning travellers.
The private pool of the Presidential Suite!
The next category, the pool villa with a couple of bedrooms and a beautiful covered private pool stole my heart. It also flaunted a few small patches of gardens at the corners by the living and open space. That dash of green made it all cosy and grounded.
The pools are temperature controlled, meaning a relaxing dip into it is something one can always look forward to, irrespective of the season or time of the day!
The Taj Madikeri Resort spans over a sprawling 160 acre area of rainforest, conservatory, landscape garden, organic farmland, coffee plantation and the villas & cottages where guests reside. All the villas & some of the cottages are equipped with a fireplace, come with elaborate bathing arrangements, panoramic views of the jungle through profound glass windows. Warm muted colors adorn the walls. Subtle yet comfortable decor complements the traditional style of architecture.
You may choose to explore all of the property by foot. The serpentine slopes are paved and wheelchair accessible. You may also want to call in the buggy.
The buggy is an electric car, fueled by green energy and designed to transport 5/8 people at one go. Swiftly, the buggy comes to your doorstep as you place request for one at the reception.
The “buggy ride” is enjoyable as well. The winding roads, covered in mist and flanked by tall trees with moss hanging from the top, redefining the tone of greens at every ten meters distance, reminds you of a fairytale land. Looking at the beautiful road speeding past, I remembered the iconic dialogue from the movie Inception, “A dream within a dream within a dream!”
Riding on one such road, I reached my villa at the Taj Madikeri Resort and Spa. One belonging to the premium category, my stay was adorned with literally hand stitched handkerchiefs as welcome notes, a bottle of rose wine, a basket full of fresh fruits and fancy meringues. A neat and tidy bed with crisp white sheet was inviting. A large glass window pane promised of prized values at the sunrise.
There was a writing desk overlooking such scenic stage. A made up bathtub was waiting just by the well made bed. Tough choices indeed!
In short, it was the ideal perch for a traveler in search of solitude.
Torn between choosing one, my attention was deviated as I was given a chance to join one of the walks amid the rainforest.
Click here for the best rate of Taj Madikeri Resort and Spa for your upcoming holiday!
Nature Walk at the Rainforest: Most prized experience at The Taj Madikeri Spa and Resort
The bigger and quintessentially better part of the resort lies in its close vicinity and easy access to the surrounding rainforest. With the knowledgeable guide from the Taj Madikeri Resort and Spa, we embarked on an epic walk in nature’s trail at the rainforest.
Armed with leech protector socks, a raincoat and an umbrella, we started for the rainforest walk.
The monsoon brings in copious amount of romance in the jungle. The trees are greener, the flowers are in full bloom. Moss spread mysteriously retaining the last drop of rain in their mechanism. The branches of berry trees are heavy in fruit-bearing.
“It is the season of harvest. We do not disturb the forest and her elements at this time!” Declared the guide as we trudged along the muddy pathway amidst the absolutely stunning nature trail.
A sense of adventure pressed hard. Our hearts pumped with joy of exploring something precious. We were witnessing the iconic monsoon at the Western Ghats, up close.
Tadpoles, mollusc, long tailed magpie greeted us along the way. Wild mango tree, Kachampuli and coffee bushes dot the road. Star shaped tiny grass, myriad forms of moss, fern leaves witness us walk past. Tiny huts of tribal people appear from nowhere.
The nature trail lasts for close to one hour and we come back contented and heart filled with joy. We make a brief stop at the frog-pond to attend to the frogs in the property!
Also read: Offbeat and fun things to do in Goa!
The Frog Pond!
In an attempt to conserve nature’s wonder, the Taj Madikeri has dedicated a marshland for the frogs, native to the Ghats. An endangered species, the Malabar flying frog make an immediate appearance as we look around. It is monsoon and evening is the time they mate, hence remain in the most active state and are easy to spot.
The longest Zipline of South India!
The adventures don’t just finish there. The next day, we would be gliding past the verdant lush valley in a zip line stretching from one hill to the other, and often hailed as the longest zipline of Indian peninsula. Amidst light drizzles and a marshland ready to swallow the glider at the bottom, the ziplining lasted little more than a minute but stands out as one of my best memories from the Taj madikeri Resort and Spa!
You just need to weigh well within 100KG and above 18 years old to be able to do this!
With such pretty installations everywhere, it is of little doubt why The Taj Madikeri Spa and Resort is a preferred venue for destination wedding in India!
The Conservatory of Kodava Culture!
While taking a stroll around the property, we chanced upon the conservatory of the Taj Madikeri Property. Run by a veteran colonel of Indian armed forces, the conservatory showcases many nuances of the local Kodava culture. The colonel took care to explain all of the cultural significance associated with his home, from being wedded to a tiger to the coveted filter Kapi machine which must be pierced using hands.
Located at a distance of 8 KM from the town of Madikeri, the Taj Madikeri Resort and Spa has plenty of activities on offer. You shall remain occupied for a good week with nature’s trails, rainforest walks, the nearby hikes and exploring the gardens by the property.
Take a Traditional Spa Treatment at Jiva Spa!
If your senses seek to rejuvenite, consider taking a spa treatment at the Jiva Spa located at the Taj Madikeri Resort!
The Jiva is a signature Spa brand of Taj. At the Madikeri Property, they have designed an astounding 3000 Square feet space aiming at Ayurvedic treatment and healing.
There are stations installed for medication.
A distinct bathing room inspired by the Kodava tradition awaits at one corner. The red floor, the copper vessel on steam, and the subsequent 3 hour long treatment seemed to be alluring however I settled for the hour long oil massage!
In case you are traveling with the beloved, do consider taking a couple milk bath as a prelude to the aromatherapy session. An ayurvedic doctor presides over the Jiva spa and shall help you with necessary consultation.
The Spa experience was soothing and calming. It stripped me off all the tiredness and “travel fatigue”!
Post the spa session, I took a direct plunge at the indoor pool!
The Most Instagrammable Infinity Pool in India!
Sunset canvas viewed from the infinity pool at the Taj Madikeri Spa and Resort.
There is nothing quite like dipping in an infinity pool at the end of a long day! As I edged to the corner where the sky merged with the rolling hills, a splendid sunset took place, adding colors to the sky canvas!
They also have a couple of Jacuzzi baths!
Indulge the Gourmand Soul in You!
How can a trip to the Taj Madikeri Resort and Spa be complete without a mention of the famed Kodava dish, Pandi Curry. I was saving the best for the last. And truth be told, Kodava cuisine offered so much more than just Pandi curry!
The rice flour made Akki roti, the flavorful bamboo shoot soaked into the spices, the lamb soup served on a brass tumbler, a rare green mango curry and berry ice creams with a timid touch of chocolates; the chef had left no stone unturned to treat us with the best hospitality from the Taj kitchen! Needless to say we loved it!
Lunch with a view? Yes please!
Mulberry ice cream prepared with berries organically grown in the hotel premises!
At Dew: one of the healthiest choices of food and drink!
And the treasures of a typical North Indian spread! Memories of the Gilawati kebab make me mellow!
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