Hermitage is a well-appointed and secluded working farm set amidst the
lush forests of the Western Ghats. If you are a Wildlife enthusiast or
Nature Watcher, keen on Birding in India, a Nature Photographer, enjoy
Trekking, or just simply love the outdoors, then the Hermitage is a
perfect holiday destination for you.
Your Farm stay at the Hermitage will give
you an opportunity to experience and observe life in Rural India, an
opportunity seldom presented to the international traveler. Have a close
encounter with Provincial India, the Village Community, and its Culture.
The Western Ghats have been designated as
one of the worlds 18 bio diversity hotspots. It is a chain of hills
extending over 1600 kms along the West Coast of Peninsular India,
housing one of the richest assemblages of flora and fauna on earth. The
biological richness can best be understood when one realises that 27
percent of all the species of higher plants recorded in the Indian sub
continent are found here.The rich biological wealth also includes
mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects. It is here that frogs reach their
highest diversity, with over 100 species. Endemism is a natural feature
here and this is exhibited not only among frogs, but also among plant
species, nearly 1800, are endemic to the region. The Wroughton’s
free-tailed bat, Otomops wroughtoni is another endemic species, located
very near us at Talevadi that unfortunately, is in danger of extinction.
The western slopes of the mountains experience heavy annual rainfall,
while the eastern slopes are drier. The predominant vegetation types
include deciduous and tropical rain forests, montane forests,
grasslands, and scrub forests in lower, drier areas. The Western Ghats
has something for everyone, whether it is medicinal plants, birds,
frogs, elephants, or bats.
Why not spend your vacation in The Western
Ghats with your own personal hosts, enjoying all the comforts of home,
while experiencing the Colour and Chaos that is India! You'll take back
memories to treasure for a lifetime.
Accommodations : There are three
independent units available each styled differently. All are comfortable
and respect the privacy of guests.
Experience the art of simple living
without electricity, without television and the other trappings of
modern life. Comfortable and very enjoyable nevertheless.
Machan: A home on
stilts eleven feet above the ground with great views. Built with bamboo
and wood. There is a private western style bathroom at ground level,
open to the sky. Look up and delight in the green forest canopy, you
will find it far more interesting than a book! Cold running water
supplied on tap, hot water available from a 'Bhum', located near by. The
Machan is not electrified.
Kadaba: Built in the traditional style
of the area, the Kadaba is a typical village home. Based on a raised
foundation of rammed earth, the Kadaba is built of bamboo, wood and mud
plaster. Modern western style bathroom, open to the sky, built with
bamboo and thatch. Cold running water supplied on tap, hot water
available from a 'Bhum' located close by in the recreation area. Not
electrified (Two young children can also be accommodated in this
Is a rural cottage, with cool soothing interiors. The floors are locally
made red clay tiles, and the roof is distinctive, because of the old
recycled, hand made village tiles. There is a modern western style
bathroom attached, with running hot and cold water. The Gota is
electrified. (Two young children can also be accommodated in this
The Recreation Area : If you are in
the mood for company here is where is it all happens, this is also the
dinning area complete with a barbecue pit. You will find comfortable
chairs for lounging and chatting. The 'Bhum' for hot water is also
located here. The notice board will bring you up to date with the latest
Food : We
pride ourselves on our food, which is both wholesome and healthy,
assured by using only the freshest of ingredients, natural herbs and
spices, and low cholesterol sunflower oil. We cater to both vegetarians
But our forte at the Hermitage is Parsee
and Anglo Indian Cooking. The two communities have a lot in common, they
are essentially town-dwellers, westernised, love family life, and take
their food and drink very seriously. Both their styles of cooking are a
blend of many cultures.
Cooking : Parsee cooking has its roots
in the community’s Persian heritage, and the resemblance remains to
modern Iranian food. One such likeness that Parsees and Iranians share
is their affinity for meat and eggs, [both Iranian and Parsee cooking
use them well], and there is no tradition of vegetarian cooking in
either cuisine. Parsee food has of course been influenced by the
traditions of Indian cooking, notably by the food culture of Western
India. Ginger and Garlic, fresh herbs particularly mint, and the spices
coriander and cumin, are all generously used in Parsee cooking. Nush e
Parsees: The Parsees are the Followers
of one of the world’s oldest religions, and belong to one of the world’s
oldest civilisations. Founded by Zoroaster, the religion dates from
around 1000 BC. The Parsees were the original inhabitants of Ancient
Persia, which is now modern day Iran. In 936,a group of Zoroastrians
immigrated to India to escape religious persecution. Today, these
Zoroastrians are known as Parsees. Though the Parsees assimilated into
their country of adoption, they retained their distinctiveness, their
unique culture, religion, and way of life.
Indian Cooking : Memories of Kofta
Curry and Yellow Rice at Sunday lunch. Anglo-Indian cuisine, as the name
suggests is a delicious blend of East and West. The Western preference
for meat and eggs is balanced with the Indian affinity for vegetables,
rice, and pulses. The Anglo Indian Kitchen is perfectly capable of
producing a delectable Irish Stew as it is a dish of Pork Vindaloo.
Anglo-Indian: The Progeny of mixed
marriages, the name that came to denote The Eurasian population in
India. In the 18th century, Warren Hastings used the term to describe
both the British in India and their Indian born children. However
according to the Indian Constitution you must be of male European
descent if you wish to call yourself an Anglo-Indian.
The Anglo-Indian is a product of East and West, a unique blend of two
very different cultures. It shows, in their traditions, their religion,
speech, and customs.
Ingredients : Included in the menu are
lots of unusual indigenous fruits and vegetables, some grown locally,
others that grow wild in the Western Ghats. The Jackfruit [Artocarpus
heterophyllus] has two varieties, one a delicious fruit or the other
cooked as a vegetable. Home made Jam made from the Wild Jamun [Syzyguim
cuminii] is delicious. The Chikkoo, Breadfruit, and the sweet and
crunchy Ber are other fruits you might like to try. From the Annonaecae
family you have Bulls Heart, Custard Apple and Cherimoyer. Bananas, have
you ever tried them cooked as a vegetable? Taste the diminutive Elichi
bananas of South India.
There is a choice of Vegetables like the
Drumstick, (Moringa oleifera), rich in iron and vitamins, the Hyacinth
Bean (Dolichos lablab) believed to be one of the most ancient of
cultivated plants. Try Karela or bitter gourd (Memordica charantia L),
supposed to be good for diabetics, or sample one of South India’s most
popular vegetables, The Snake Gourd (Trichosanthes anguina L).
Our list includes nuts such as the Charoli,
(Buchanania lanzan spreng), and Bibiya, (Holigarna arnottiana Hook.F)
both grow wild in the forests of the Western Ghats, and are delicious.
We are happy to accommodate special diets and requests.
All sorts of activities can be undertaken
at the Hermitage, but not necessarily as an organized program. Guests
can decide how they want to spend their day, how active or inactive they
want to be. Walkabouts on the farm and participating in farm activities
are part of our stay program and are at no extra cost. Those guests
interested in the local culture, and interacting with the local
communities, will get plenty of opportunities to do so. Guests may also
choose just to relax, read, chat, or play a game of mah-jongg.
What follows is a list of some activities
for your stay at The Hermitage. Your hosts are always available to help
you plan your days here.
Excursions by 4 x
Village and the Mahadai Valley:
Settlement at Mundgod
Other Places of
Throwing a Pot
itinerary can be put together for you, we invite you to discuss your
needs via e-mail. Or if you prefer you can make your choices when you