You know, those kind of moments that can just transport you into a whole other world, the kind that you never want to leave? The kind that shows you that there are places and people out there that you are yet to meet? – I have never been more amazed walking into an otherworldly situation – it was surreal, it was charming, it was the most beautiful place I have been to in a really, really long time! It was a moment I will never forget, a moment I want to relive over and over, a moment that I would go back to every chance I get!
Walking out of the Bangalore international airport was literally like a tropical breeze. The first thing I said to Shamita as I walked out was “this is like walking out of an airport on a tropical island – almost like Mauritius or Fiji, or something”! (Guess I haven’t explored much within my own backyard, so to speak!)
So we’re on our way into the city now, its an hour’s drive to Tejini’s (someone who’s childhood I discovered, was a blast), the powerhouse, and ultimate force to nature behind of Halli Berry Estate. We were so warmly welcomed into their house – breakfast was laid, and we were almost ready to leave for the estate. And so it began! The most beautiful road trip I’d ever been on. Karnataka has such beautiful roads leading to the mountains, and even in my totaled, groggy state, I kept my eyes on the road, as we headed for Chikmaglur that beautiful, sunny day!
I was so tired from the flight in, and I thought to myself I’d take the #napofmylife on the way to the Chikmaglur, which obviously didn’t go as planned! I stayed up the entire route to the mountains, and I am so glad I did! The highway was beautiful, green for miles, the roads were smooth, and it was the loveliest three hour drive up! It was one of the most beautiful road-trips’ I’d ever been on, hands down!
The car journey was comfortable, we got to the estate three hours later, and just when I thought I’d seen it all on my drive up, I was filled with awe once again! Once we were inside the gates of the estate, we drove up to our cottage – that was sight for sore eyes! I CANNOT begin to tell you how lovely and serene everything around us was! Dense forests for miles and miles, surrounding the estate like a beautiful green velvet blanket, clear blue skies, and every drop of happiness in the air! I knew I was finally somewhere I belonged, and that the next four days of my life were going to be the beginning of a great friendships to follow!
I woke up early the next morning to explore the acres of land on the estate, it was surreal – coffee plantations for miles, the hike was going to be epic, and in that moment, I lost all sense of city-life, and gave into the beauty all around me! I was definitely in my happy-place! We walked around the estate, Nimish showed us around, he knew the place like the back of his hand and Shamita and I were in for the best day to follow! Walking around the estate, shooting in nature and just being one with it was the best feeling! Streams of fresh water, flowing all round us, plantation all around, and forests for miles and miles – we had set off into the unknown! Shamita and I have never felt so thankful for the beauty around us and the adventures we have had at Halli Berri!
I really don’t know how else to put my moments and experiences of the estate into words, I’ll let the pictures do the rest! Tejini is a great host, and I urge you guys to go and experience the beauty Halli Berri has to offer, first hand! Shamita and I have always talked about going off on a trip together, and for the years of family and friendship we have shared, this was our first time experiencing a great adventure together! From the lovely staff and wonderful home-cooked meals, to Kartik Kariappa shenanigans to Nimish and his super-knowledge about the place to of course, Tejini who has made this the most wonderful holiday I have taken in YEARS, LITERALLY – I can’t hardly wait to go off on a trip with these guys again!
I just want to say that I’ve never been more happy to be surrounded by complete strangers who became family in a short span of four days – its beautiful how nature can bring different people together to such a like-minded way of life! I am truly thankful for everything. And to think, it was just FOUR days! #friendslikefam
Trust me, its PARADISE!
Photos by Nimish Jain
Halli Berri Cottages, Khambi Halli, Chikmaglur
Tejini Karippa, Shamita Gogia, Kartik Kariappa
November 5, 2017