Short & Beautiful drives from Bangalore - Kadamane Estate, Sakleshpur


If you're looking for some good drive circuit, off-road fun and forest drive trails around Bangalore, this is a post you'll love to read. There are a loads of short drives from Bangalore where you can spend a weekend or couple of days for a short break from maddening life in Bangalore. We explored one of them few weeks back and it was a wonderful retreat and great fun drive. We wanted to spend couple of days out of Bangalore and being a driving enthusiast, we wanted to explore a circuit that can fit into our requirements for offloading trails and nature drives. So we researched and got to know of a great place called "Kadamane Estate" through our one and only human GPS, Mr. HVK. He knowing me and my interests, suggested this place and as I trust him well, I went ahead and booked this place for a couple of nights.

The wait started and before the D-day, we got all the packing etc. done so we are ready for the trip. On the D-day, we started around 6am from Bangalore towards our destination. The drive is pretty smooth till Hassan and then you get into villages where the roads are somewhat bad and bumpy but not back breaking like in Bangalore :) Anyway, we decided to go to Shettihalli church that was on the way to our final destination for the day and spent some time there for family photoshoot.

Shettihalli Church

The route we took (click on image for google map)

Farmlands at the Shettihalli church site

Farmlands and the river Hemavati

Farmlands at the Shettihalli church site

Farmlands at the Shettihalli church site

After a good photoshoot, we proceeded towards Kadamane Estate, Sakleshpur. It took us almost 2 hours from Shettihalli church to reach Kadamane Estate. The roads we a bit of village roads and at the end became exciting. We had to cross one check-post in-between where we were asked where are heading and only after ensuring that we have a booking at the Kadamane estate, we were allowed to get through. Our host suggested one route and told us not to take the route suggested by Google Maps at the end 11kms but somehow we fell pray to Google and literally ENJOYED the trail Google suggested to the core. It was a narrow forest trail the only a JEEP with 4x4 capability would do easily and we just LOVED driving on that trail with our darling Raakshas SUV.

The route we took to Kadamane from Shettihalli Church (click on the image for google map)

Drive towards Kadamane ...

The drive to Kadamane

Excellent mud trail towards Kadamane

After getting down from the trail, we had to drive another 20mins to reach the Kadamane Estate entrance. The weather that day was very warm around 33 degrees Celsius and felt like we made a mistake to come there. Anyway we didn't had a choice so just proceeded to the bungalow where we had our accommodation booked. We had to make an entry at the gate for going to the Sinnadorai bungalow (yes, thats the name of the bungalow) and then drive for few minutes to reach the place. The drive is good through the tea estate and gives a very good view and feeling to be in nature.

The view of Kadamane tea factory

Office @ the Kadamane estate entrance

The main entrance and the reception area at the Kadamane bungalow

After reaching, I called up the manager (Radhika, a wonderful, sweet lady who manages the estate) and informed that we have arrived. We were greeted well by the staff and offered iced tea which was yummy. After the check-in formalities, we were shown our cottage that was just 200 meters away with a big lawn and a wonderful view of the tea estate. Wow!

Single cottage view from our double cottage

The rooms of the cottage were pretty well done with basic amenities and clean toilets. The rooms had fans but no Air Conditioning and I guess you pretty much won't need AC's here most of the time in a year but yes during March, it would have been a welcome amenity to have. anyway, so we settled in the room, opened all the windows so that the breeze can come and then just relaxed for a while.

The lunch was ready when we arrived around 1:30pm with some of the very good south Indian cuisine vegetarian food. Even though we are a hard core non-vegetarian family, we had to settle in for veggie food for the day as there was no other option :(. Anyway, we enjoyed the food to the fullest and then proceeded back to our room.

Around 4pm, we decided to go for drive out in the tea estate and kids wanted to go for bike ride. So we went for the drive within the estate that had a beautiful circuit and great views. Suddenly during the drive, it started drizzling and made the weather a bit better than what it was few hours back. We spent some time on the drive and kids enjoyed their tea estate biking trip before we returned to the cottage early evening.

Lovely views of the Tea estate within the property

Lovely views of the Tea estate within the property

Lovely views of the Tea estate within the property

The drive circuit within the property

Kids biking at the drive circuit within the property

Lovely views

There are couple of driving circuits in this area and we wanted to do them but then Radhika suggested to do that next day and we agreed. During evening, it started raining like hell and made the evening very cold if not chilling.

We had some good tea with pakodas (onion fritters) and relaxed throughout the evening by spending time playing carrom at their sports room and chit chatting. By around 8pm, the dinner was ready.

Dinner was seriously delicious and we had chicken prepared specially for us :) Yipppeee !! the kids and we were all happy again. So we enjoyed the yummy dinner before crashing into the beds for that night.

Early morning, we decided to go for a trek to the estate and woke up at 6am. One of the staff member from the estate escorted us to the trek and made sure we come back safe and sound to the cottage. The trek was very good and tiring as well but was fun!

Sunrise view from the estate

Morning view from the estate

Sunrise view from the estate

Beautiful views everywhere!

Beautiful views everywhere!

Views from the top of the hill

The trek trail

The trek trail

The trek trail.. was very slippery here

After the trek, we had breakfast and decided to play tennis at the tennis court which is within the estate. That was some real good fun and workout for the whole family. We played tennis for sometime and then played "pitthu" (Lagori)! Anyway it was great gameplay for 2hours.

Met this dog family while returning from the trek and played with them for sometime

After that we got ready for a picnic lunch which was arranged on our request somewhere on a water stream around 7-8kms away in the deep forest.

So around 12pm we went to the water stream and guys believe me thats a drive I cannot forget at all even today. I loved the drive so much that I would go here again just for the drive when its raining heavily :) The place was very nice and had a good driving trail for a 4x4 equipped vehicle. You can do the trail if you have a 2 wheel drive vehicle but at some places it might be difficult to drive if you're not very experienced driver. Else, you can always ask Radhika to arrange one Jeep for you.

Drive to the water stream through the deep jungle

Drive to the water stream

Drive to the water stream

Drive to the water stream

Drive to the water stream

Drive to the water stream

The forest drive

The forest drive

The tea estate spread across acres and acres

Anyway so we reached at the water stream that had very little water left now because of no rains but still was not a bad place for a picnic lunch.

Lunch @ the water stream. We were told that the whole place actually submerges under water during monsoons. We were lucky to actually have lunch there as it had not started raining yet.

The lunch today was Chicken Biryani with Pineapple curry and Raita .. Wow and that was just finger licking good... We enjoyed the lunch and then spent some quality time there playing Damsharaz... and boy that was some golden moments spent as a family away from mobiles phones and urban madness!

Relaxing time

Another pose :)

A Classic shot ...

Kumar, unloading the food boxes...

After enjoying the lunch, we proceeded back to the cottage so we can catch up on some sleep before going for a sunset drive this evening. The drive back to the estate was lovely with a good offload trail in-between the tea estate. We clicked loads of pictures here and then moved back to the cottage. It was a super fun lunch and something we enjoyed to the core!

The gang in crime !

Off-roading trails

Off-roading trails

The jungle drive ..

Driving in the tea estate was a good experience. The road was full of rocks and obstacles but we were happy to have a beast of a vehicle to tackle such a terrain. It was great fun driving on these un-roads!

When we reached here, there were pipes laying on the ground for watering the tea plantation. We had to get down and dismantle the pipes to make way for us. When we crossed, the caretaker at the tea plantation fixed them back. I felt bad for the guy but Kumar said thats fine as he does this every time a vehicle passes through !!

Beautiful tea estate with water sprinklers!

Beautiful tea estate with water sprinklers!

Sprinklers at work at the lush green tea estate

Crossing the water stream

Crossing the water stream

Crossing the water stream

Lush green tea estate views

Worker at the tea estate plucking the fresh tea leaves

Lush green tea estate

Lush green tea estate

Off-road trails through the tea estate

This evening, we asked Radhika to arrange for tea and snacks at one of the mountain tops within the estate and she obliged. We had our own 4x4 vehicle so we didn't had to hire any jeep but drove ourselves. After a short 20mins drive we reached the place (see pictures below) and it was a stunning mountain top with an excellent view of the valley and mountains. The place was so mesmerising... with beautiful weather and cold breeze. So we camped there for about an hour, saw the sunset, had lovely coffee and snacks and just lived the moment!

Panorama shot of the sunset place

Mesmerising views of the sunset place

The sunset !

Landscapes to live for !

Our beat looking towards the valley!

Tea time with a view

My hot hot beast !

The trail to the top

Snacks

Club sandwiches

Coffee time

Kumar serving us tea/coffee and snacks. He was a great help for everything. Made our days special! Thank you Kumar.

Enjoying Evening tea

Isn't it a great shot :)

Enjoying Beautiful sunset!

Our trusted companion .. our Raakshas!

After the sunset, we went back to the cottage and spent some time playing carrom before the dinner. As usual the dinner today was also awesome with a chicken item and egg bhurji which was just awesome. That was the end of the day and we crashed into our beds after a great day.

Next morning after waking up at 6am, we went for a early morning short drive to a mountain top for the sunrise and a trek with great valley views of the estate. The drive was again excellent with a good trail for off-roading. After reaching one the base place, we had to trek till the mountain top and boy that was a great steep trek and the views from the top of the mountain is something I cannot express in words.. so enjoy the pictures :)

Morning view from the cottage

Morning view from the cottage.. see the layer of clouds covering the tea estate

Morning view from the cottage

Early Morning view from the cottage ..

Lush green forest

Golden light

The pano shot of the valley with great views

View from the top of the hill

Beautiful place and views..

Sometimes you can be lonely at the top. Choose you spot wisely!

Beautiful place and views..

The off-road trails I loved to drive on!

Beautiful place and views..

Beautiful place and views..

Our Raakshas.. takes us far!

Some creative shots :)

Views From the top

The beast posing :)

View from the top!

After this trek, we went back to the room as we had to checkout now this afternoon and proceed with our journey. So we came back to the room and I thought it would be good fun to wash the vehicle which was covered with all the mud and dust and the lawns had a water pipe so make it happen :) :)

I thoroughly enjoyed washing the beast and it was a good workout after a treacherous trek but it was good fun with the kids playing in water.. I remembered my childhood on ow we used to play in water and whenever it used to rain back then.

Bird on our cottage fence .. lovely!

After a good fun, we go ready and had our last breakfast here before carrying on to Chikmagluru, for the second leg of the journey. The stay here was just simply awesome and we truly enjoyed the hospitality by the entire staff here. I would like to thank Kumar and Radhika specially for making our stay not only comfortable but also memorable. We will not forget the drive, the sunset location, the coffee, pineapple curry, black pepper chicken and the chicken biryani we had ever! Truly amazing!

For anyone who might be interested to spend 2 nights out of Bangalore, in a nice and calm place that is not too far away, this is a great place where everything is just awesome when it comes to a memorable holiday. So, I would encourage everyone to go there and enjoy what life has to offer.

Stay tuned for the next leg of the journey from Kadamane to the lush green and serene place you would love to holiday with great views, good food and awesome off-roading trails and places.

#KadamaneTeaEstate #Sakleshpur #TEaestate #southindia #westernghats #Sinnadoraibungalow

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Copyright Amit Pahuja

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