With monsoons active and watercourses in full flow, it is the best time to visit a river retreat. Close to Shivamogga city, the Gateway to Malenadu (the land of rains) in Karnataka is the River View Farm Stay, nestled on the banks of the Tunga.
One can soak in the tranquil atmosphere of this verdant spot—290 km from Bengaluru—with a plate of tasty snacks and a cup of hot coffee. Though heavy rains may not let you go on a boat ride for the river is in spate, one can walk along the beautiful river front amid the chirping of birds and the soft sounds of the river, or wade through the farm to enjoy the aroma of arecanut, pepper, betelnut and cardamom. Watching the sunrise across the river is a captivating experience too.
Situated in the midst of a 30-acre modern plantation, the farm stay is managed by agriculturist A S Viswanatha, a progressive innovative farmer and a keen yoga practitioner from Harakere village. He is the right person to talk to if you love gardening and farming.
“Earlier, we used to get a lot of farmers who came here to know more about modern farming techniques. But, now families frequent as the accommodation is ideal for them. My farm stay is based on the concept of US lodges and Swiss farm stays, which help farmers with additional income,” Viswanatha explains.
The River View Farm Stay is close to the Sakarebailu elephant camp and the Lion Safari. And the scenic Ganjanur Dam is just 9 km away. To catch a glimpse of the jumbos bathing, one must reach Sakrebailu—one of India’s best training camps for elephants—before 9 am.
After playing in the backwaters of the Tunga, they congregate for feeding and around 11.30 am they are led back to the forest by the mahouts. Another attraction for children here is the Tyavarekoppa Lion and Tiger Safari—12 km from the farm.
The food is home-cooked and mostly local cuisine. The breakfast provided is good, says a tourist from Bengaluru, and the staff is polite and courteous. There is no dearth of parking space if one drives down in their own vehicle. Seasonal activities such as campfire, river bank volleyball, paddling and fishing are included in the itinerary.
This place is a perfect retreat for the harried and stressed professionals.