Coffee Plantations, Western Ghats and Homestays
The Western Ghats, also known as Sahyadri, are a mountain range that covers an area of 140,000 square kilometres (54,000 sq mi) in a stretch of 1,600 kilometres (990 mi) parallel to the western coast of the Indian peninsula, traversing the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat A large part of the Western Ghats lie in Karnataka and Sakleshpur is in the heart of Western Ghats and is recognised by UNESCO as the World Heritage Site and is one of the eight "hottest hot-spots" of biological diversity in the world. It hosts a large proportion of the country's flora and fauna, many of which are only found in India and nowhere else in the world. Growing coffee in this region will support higher diversity and abundance of birds when compared to areca and rubber, and found 13 endemic bird species. Large-bodied frugivores like pigeons and hornbills are found in much higher densities in coffee. These birds play a very important role of seed-dispersal and maintenance of forest trees in the region. India cultivates all of its coffee under a well-defined two-tier mixed shade canopy, comprising evergreen leguminous trees. Nearly 50 different types of shade trees are found in coffee plantations. Shade trees prevent soil erosion on a sloping terrain; they enrich the soil by recycling nutrients from deeper layers, protect the coffee plant from seasonal fluctuations in temperature, and play host to diverse flora and fauna. Coffee plantations in Sakleshpur are essential spice worlds too: a wide variety of spices and fruit crops like pepper, cardamom, vanilla, orange and banana grow alongside coffee plants. Sakleshpur’s coffee plantations have diverse climatic conditions, which are well suited for cultivation of different varieties of coffee. Some regions with high elevations are ideally suited for growing Arabicas of mild quality while those with warm humid conditions are best suited for Robustas. Sakleshpur hill station is as good as it gets for the folks of Bangalore, but It’s not just the charm of this hill station that brings folks like you to this place, but also the best homestays in Sakleshpur that offer you a perfect escape from the humdrum of your city life. Homestays in Sakleshpur are largely run by families or a small staff personally appointed by them. Whether it be a sprawling plantation bungalow home or a simple cottage style rooms, the hosts themselves take care of everything. It is in their own interest to ensure that theirs is a safe place for travellers to have a pleasant stay in. While living with a family gives you company and makes you feel safe, hosts also ensure that you have enough privacy by letting out rooms in a separate floor or an adjoining building some times. Nobody knows the place better than someone who was born and raised there. Online research is great but usually, all you have to do is ask and your homestay host will share his insights on Sakleshpur and no one but your homestay host is the best person to rely on. As Indians, we like to travel as one large joint family. Most often, you’re not looking for luxury but a caretaker or a host who takes care of all your simple needs. You could simply be looking for a place where mattresses are laid out on the floor and you are allowed the space and privacy to have a good time with your family. While you could be restricted to do so in a hotel, a large number of homestays are all about joint families and accommodate these simple requests. Every Bangalorean must visit Sakleshpur to get a slice of country life, it’s only 3.5 hrs away from Bengaluru with beautiful driving experiences.