Uttara Kannada trip Vinuthas home stay, Gudavi, 130811

August 16, 2011

The trip to the land of the

Kadambas (kathambA)

organized by Poornima Dasarathi and Geetanjali Dhar

opened a window to a part of Karnataka I had not experienced before….

banavasi trst home window 130811

Here we are, after travelling through the night from Bangalore to reach Banavasi at 2.30am..and having had a nap and shower to refresh ourselves, ready to leave for the morning's outing...some of us are not very keen to be photographed! banavasi trst home 130811 banavasi We first went to Belligavi, where we had a superb breakfast at the home of Savitamma; my photos of it all are on Facebook, here However, I'd like to write about the wonderful time we had at Vinutha's estate in Gudavi, the Kanthapalli Home Stay (they have no website!)...here's our beautiful hostess, who serves lunch to those who call ahead and order a meal, at Rs.100 per person. vinutha 2 130811 gudavi This lady has a beauty that does not owe anything to cosmetics; she's going to look as beautiful when she's 80, I think, as she does now. vinutha 130811 gudavi She and her husband moved a few years ago to Gudavi from Bangalore to manage the estate and the farm, and its clear she means it when she says she's very happy here. Her husband (whose name I never got through the afternoon!) has a leather garments export business which takes him to Bangalore regularly; but though all her relatives live in Bangalore, she says she hardly ever goes there. Their daughter, Punyashree, goes to the local school, and she says she is very happy with the education she receives there. This contentment and happiness show, I feel, in her face. She showed me the mark of a wedded woman, the silver "kangaN", that women traditionally wear on both wrists, but she wears only on one. It was a lovely piece of jewellery: bangles and kangaN 130811 gudavi She knows a lot about herbs, and showed me this leaf of a plant, called "madhu nAshini" (sugar destroyer), which she asked us to chew. It had a mildly bitter taste... Photobucket She then offered us a spoonful of sugar: sugar bowl...130811 gudavi ..and I assure you, the sugar had no sweetness at all..it tasted like sand! Her husband also showed Ganesh this extremely bitter leaf, called "The Queen of Bitterness" (kattuka rANi): kattuka rANi leaf 130811 We teased Ganesh about his first girlfriend being such a bitter queen! Vinutha also showed us the vanilla plants, the pods of which the competent businsesswoman exports: vanilla plant 130811 gudavi I photographed her ear ornaments, too: vinutha ears 130811 gudavi She and her husband were discussing various things around the farm, as we wandered around: vinutha and husband discuss 130811 gudavi The farm is beautiful, too. here's a decorated window: decrtd window 130811 gudavi The pathway has tiles whose sides are glowing with moss: pathway 130811 Vinutha's home is lovely, too. Here's the puja room... puja rm without flsh 130811 gudavi I then used the flash: pja rm flash 130811 gudavi Her kitchen is very modern, though! modern kitchen 130811 gudavi The vegetables were piled up for the next meal: veg under strs 130811 gudavi The room next to the entrance: inside room 130811 gudavi The room had brass and bronze vessels over the window: brs vsls 130811 gudavi At the public dining building, several century-old kitchen implements were displayed on the wall: old kitchen implelmnts 130811 gudavi Lunch consisted of rice, sambar, chips, pAppad, chitrAnna, various "pudi"s, sAmbAr, muLLangi soppu pAlya (radish greens), and mango chutney....with majjige (buttermilk) to wash it all down with, and fruits and hoLigE (a sweet made with lentil flour, coconuts and jaggery) as dessert: lunch 130811 gudavi They have a lovely swing that visitors can relax on: 130811 swing 130811 gudavi

The genuine warmth of her hospitality, and her very competent management, impressed me greatly, and it was with reluctance that all of us gathered together to wish her and her busband goodbye:

all of us at Vinutha'shomestay 130811

It’s a pleasure visiting home stays like this, which are well-managed and yet maintain the personal, homely touch. I hope there are very many more Vinuthas in our countryside, welcoming visitors who wish to learn more about their own culture and heritage!

If you want to see my photographs of the various temples we visited, go to my Facebook albums,


for the Kedareswara temple

and here

for the other temples we visited.