As mentioned in Mango Mulch-Part 1-An Overview, the farm and cottages are meant for rest and relaxation and it is not one of those activity filled destinations.
On the farm –
The cottages and surroundings themselves are a great place for those seeking a peaceful stay, where they could curl up in a hammock with a book or stroll leisurely through the orchard or watch the cows being milked or walk down the excellent and safe village roads to get a glimpse of rustic life and colorful village homes or (as my husband would do :-D), just snooze in bed all day long with the sounds of nature playing their lullaby.
In March, the green mangoes are 2 months away from ripening and the frequent gusts of breeze bring down quite a few of them. While a newbie like me looks on in distress at the wasted fruit, AshSudhi who have seen it all over the years, stay unmoved, knowing that they have to let nature take it course and allow only the fittest to survive. I however could not bear it and the least I could do was gather them and give them pride of place in my album 😀
In the evenings it is highly recommended to do the short walk to what they call the Sunset point (which definitely scores a Brownie Point).
You will be rewarded with breath taking views of the sun sinking into the horizon behind a sliver of river, with the blaze of colors in the sky, glimmering onto the shimmering water of the Kaveri that is restrained by the Madavamantri dam in the distance.
One could also have intellectual conversations on various topics with the owners, AshSudhi, who apart from being knowledgeable about their farm related matters, are also well versed with the Bhagvad Geetha, Upanishads, yoga etc and have had gatherings and discourses at their home for similar minded friends and family from India and abroad.
Bird watching and photography –
Where there are trees, there will be birds (my own saying 😀 )
Mango Mulch and its surroundings are a bird watchers delight. There is an abundance of avian life and I was told that the sightings included the fly-catcher, grey hornbill, small minivets, owls, Indian pitta, drongo, peafowl, ibis and many migratory birds.
I did spot the peacocks in the distant fields and I was also lucky to have one of them perform a little dance for me. Unfortunately I was not equipped sufficiently to get a clear shot. I have made an attempt though and you will have to make do with this until I try this again 😀
The Ibis on the contrary, are not that shy and I was able to get much closer to them.
Picnics by the river and cycling –
The Kaveri is less than 2 km away and along the banks there are several picturesque locations where one can just spend a few hours picnicking by the waterside in the shade of the trees.
There are also a few lakes around the place which make for scenic spots.
Cycles are available at the farm and one can wend their way through the fields and waterways, to get to the banks.
Organic Farm visit –
The 120 acre First Agro organic farm is just 3 km away. This is owned by Nameet and Naveen who are friends of mine and through whom I first came to know about Mango Mulch. Though the farm does not permit walk in visitors and also does not have an organized visit for the public, one can request in advance by mailing them at info@firstagro and spend some time there viewing the activities. They have no sales of vegetables on the farm but the online option is at Sakurafresh
If you twist their arms gently, they will permit you to visit 😀
Shivanasamudra waterfalls –
Gaganachukki and Barachukki are the two waterfalls at Shivanasaudra, 30 kms from Talakad. This is also the location of Asia’s first hydroelectric power station which is still functioning from 1902.
One can visit these falls through the year but they are at their magnificent best only during the monsoons from June to September.
I did not go to see them because I plan to go again in June when they will be gushing in all their glory.
Temple tours –
Talakad is a temple town and is known for the famous Panchalinga darshana that takes place every 12 years, the latest being in 2009. At this pilgrimage, devotees visit all 5 of the Shiva temples (Panchlinga sthalas) on the same day with the belief that they will be absolved of all sins. These 5 temples represent the 5 faces of Shiva.
Legend has it that the Wodeyar of Mysore had attempted to forcibly divest Alamelamma of the Vijayanagar dynasty, of her famed jewelry collection. Due to this demand, Alamelamma jumped into the water with her jewels and doomed the land to a curse of sand.
Hence the Talakad area is inexplicably covered by sand that one would not normally find in an inland location like this. I plodded through the hot sand to visit the Keerthinarayana temple and the Vydyanatheshwara Swamy temple that are located near each other and a large and serene temple tank also lies in the vicinity.
The Keerthinarayana temple is said to have been built in the 12th century by the Hoysala rulers and the structure that now stands has been excavated from the sand in the early 1900s.
The Vydyanatheshwara Swamy is the temple of good health (Vydya meaning doctor) and was built by the Cholas in the 14th century and is one of the Panchalinga Sthalas.
Sangam at Tirumakual Narsipura (T Narsipura) –
The confluence of the Kaveri and Kapila (Kabini) makes for another location of interest at T Narsipura, a town that is about 18 km from the farm. The recently built Ghat there, reminded me of the ghats of Banaras with its wide steps leading to the water. Metal coracles lie moored against the steps and while I was told that one could go for a ‘unofficial’ sail in them, I would certainly not attempt a coracle ride sans life jackets et al 😀 Being March, the river was also rather dry and unlike what it would look like in the monsoons.
The temple of Shri Mahalakshmi Gunja Narasimha Swamy is located here, which was built during the Vijayanagar era. Unlike the other temples that I visited, this one was relatively poorly maintained, hygiene wise.
This is another small town located on the banks of the Kaveri and is about 28 km from the farm. The very impressive Hoysala architecture is prominent in its monuments and sculptures and the most famous temple here, is the Chennakeshava temple, built in the 13th century. This appears to be a smaller sibling of the Belur and Halebid temples. Maintained impeccably by the Archaeological Department, this temple and the sprawling grounds that it lies within, are a pleasure to visit and view.
As in all temples, one as to leave their footwear outside. The stone flooring can get really heated during the day but this place fortunately had laid a carpet that we could step on (I insist that it is red and that they knew I was coming 😀 ).
This was unlike the temples I visited earlier in the day, where the searing stone underfoot, compelled me tiptoe jumpily like a cat on a hot tin roof 😀
The stone flooring inside the temple though, is cool to the touch and one is transported several centuries back, within its dim, hushed and gorgeously sculpted interiors.
We covered all these temples in a few hours but one can actually spend an endless amount of time in each place, depending on one’s interests.
Other sightseeing options –
For those willing to go the distance, Mysore city, Srirangapatna, BR Hills, Kabini etc are within a 2 hour drive.
For more pictures, see My Facebook – Mango Mulch-Part 2-Activities
Activities make one hungry and after all this food for the soul, it is time to provide food for the body too 😀 So let us move on to the part that I am most enthusiastic about – Mango Mulch – Part 3- food and drink.
Mar 12th-14th, 2018
Booking and contact –
To book a stay at Mango Mulch, contact the owners at
email – email@example.com, Ph – 8277126558
Pl Note – This assignment has been carried out by me, in collaboration with Mango Mulch. The information in my narrative is based on the inputs that I received from the client and also from my personal experience.