Savi meaning sweet, is the apt name for the sweet, ‘mango de tour’ event, as the owners of Garuda farm have named it.
This is located at Garudapalya in Kolar district, fortunately not too far away from Bangalore.
This is the second edition (year) of the Savi mango trail, which is an event that the owners conduct when the mangoes are ready for harvest and is a delightful activity for Mango maniacs to indulge in !!!
I was invited to experience this mango’nificent adventure and the mango lover in me could not have been happier.
The farm is around 60 km from Bangalore and usually takes a mere 45 minutes once one is done crossing the KR Puram bridge on Old Madras Road. We left at 8 am and were there by 9.15 am, the first 30 minutes being dedicated to extricating ourselves from the KR Puram traffic turmoil 😀
The roads are excellent and it is only the last bit of a km or two, that is not tarred but nevertheless it is not too uncomfortable a track.
The Farm –
The sight of the grand farmhouse and surroundings greet you as you enter the farm and you are welcomed into the beautiful home that is built on the lines of a traditional ‘thotti maney’ or courtyard house.
There seems to be a bit of fusion here though and the thotti or tank within the house is replaced by a lush garden and water body, that I felt gave it a certain aura of Eastern Asia.
However the floors in red oxide, yellow oxide and green oxide and the red laterite and granite stone walls and wooden antique furniture, keep the decor connected to the local rustic theme.
A pergola in the lush lawn in the backyard, again pleasantly disrupts the rural concept and adds a touch of the sophisticated.
Likewise, there is another pergola like structure at the side of the building that has resulted from the roots of a Pipal tree that have arched above the ground!!!
The farm spreads across 300 acres and is the ancestral property of the Byre Gowda family. It is managed by Manjula Byre Gowda, one of the family members and she also ably conducts the mango expedition.
The orchard boasts of an impressive 8000+ mango trees that bear the varieties of Badami, Dusheri and also my favorite, Mallika – the Empress as I like to call her !!!
Apart from this, they grow paddy, ragi and some fruits and vegetables and they also rear a few heads of cattle.
The Mango Trail –
The trail begins with fortification :-D, served in the pergola on the lawns and home made goodies like Butter murukku, Puffed rice chewda, Coconut barfi and a glass of thick mango juice (from home grown mangoes of course) were offered to us guests. Despite wanting to linger awhile over the refreshments, we were gently reminded that the trek would take over 2 hours and we would have to be back in time for the home cooked meal served on a banana leaf !!!
Of course the very thought of the mangoes that awaited plucking, offered added incentive and we set off on our adventure.
A tractor with its trailer was our means of transport to the orchard and the 5 minute bumpy ride was enjoyed by all, strangely even by those who complain about the pot holes in Bangalore 😀
The first lesson in mango picking was at the Badami section where Manjula educated us on the method of plucking the fruit along with the stalk since this variety oozes a sap that burns the mango and the hand, if plucked wrongly. Sharp knives were handed to everyone and we were also taught how to recognize the fruit that were ready for harvest.
From here we made our way towards the Mallikas and Dussheris, going past a few examples of strangely purple mangoes that were apparently cases of grafting that had not turned out as intended. These however, served to spark sufficient excitement among the purple’exed visitors 😀
The terrain beyond the orchards is sufficiently rocky to encourage an urge to climb and we had enthusiastic Spider man wannabes who entertained us with their ascending skills 😀
A couple of large water bodies tempted us to linger awhile and a ‘Titanic Point’ had us throwing our arms akimbo for the classic shot.
At the end of the trail we found that the tractor had made its way towards us to receive us and we piled onto it again to make our way back for the lunch that everyone was dreaming of and had burnt enough calories to eat with sufficient lack of guilt !!!
The completely home cooked, Gowda style meal is served on a banana leaf and consists of a flavorful spread of dishes. Puri, mango puree, coconut chutney, ragi mudde, avare kaalu saaru, kosambari, potato palya, vada, mango rice, white rice, rasam, millet curd rice and Haalu obattu as dessert, made this a truly delicious and food coma inducing meal.
For the non vegetarians there was a finger licking chicken dish. Speaking of finger licking, the avare kaalu saaru was the stuff that my dreams were made of !!!
Attire advisory –
One can opt for the morning or evening session of the Mango de tour.
If choosing the earlier one, then make sure that you are protected by an effective sunscreen and equipped with a hat, sturdy walking shoes, light clothing and plenty of water.
The evening session would be far more pleasant temperature wise and there is also a chance of spotting peacocks and deer that abound on the farm.
Be aware that this is not a trail for those who would find it difficult to manage on moderately rough terrain.
Produce on Sale –
Apart from the mangoes that one can buy before leaving the place, they also have other fruits and vegetables on sale as per availability. We bought pomelo, red figs, dried chillies, shallots, bananas, guavas, avarekaalu, gooseberries, coconuts etc, most of which were organic.
Contact and booking –
They can be found at their Facebook page at Savi-Farm Fresh Mangoes
Phone – 9164387109
Address – Savi/Garuda Farm, Garudapalya, Kolar, 563133
Google – Farm location
Morning – 9am-2pm with snack and lunch
Evening – 4pm-8pm with tea and dinner
Adults – Rs 1000, Children between 5-12 – Rs 600, Children below 5 – no charge
They also provide home delivery of mangoes in Bangalore – Please contact +91-9164387109 or +91-8904895167 for the same.
June 3rd, 2018
Please Note – This trip was made in collaboration with Savi Farms. The narrative is based on the inputs that I received from various sources as well as my own experiences.