Curating unique travel experiences in Udhagamandalam

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    Little Earth Group founder Vijay Prabhu and his wife Meeta Prabhu at The Periodic Table restaurant in Udaga Mandalam.
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Little Earth Group founder Vijay Prabhu and his wife Meeta Prabhu at The Periodic Table restaurant in Udgamandalam | Photo credit: Sathiyamoorthy M

I sip fresh tea infused with lavender and peppermint leaves picked from the backyard garden, as I soak in the stunning view of the emerald blue waters of the glacial lake amid a green valley. Dawn dawns on Destiny Farm’s establishment in Avalanche. It is a 45-minute drive from Udhagamandalam, including a 20-minute misty ride through forest areas to reach the property. The 130-acre Farm City Resort spans two hills and a lake, amid the wilderness of the Nilgiris Biosphere, terraced slopes that display rows of cultivated seasonal vegetables, and picture-postcard views. “It’s a working farm, we have horses, free-range chickens, a dairy, and adventure activities like rock climbing, rappelling, valley crossing are done under the supervision of instructors from the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute,” Little Earth founder and Owner Vijay Prabhu says. A chain of boutique hotels in Udgamandalam. Despite being a lawyer, his heart is in offering people vacation experiences.

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“It all started when he was looking for pre-loved British-style furniture for his small farmhouse in Avalanche,” says Meeta Prabhu, his wife, an engineer who runs the group’s boutique hotel. She also runs and is an interior designer of properties. “The search led him to a guest house called King’s Cliff in Udaga Mandalam, which was giving away old furniture. Vijay immediately decided to renovate and turn it into a bed and breakfast. His hospitality career began It started from the moment.

Vijay adds that King’s Cliff was also operated as a bed and breakfast in the 1920s. “We have displayed the tariff card where the rooms were charged in ana. During the renovation, we made sure to retain the old charm.” They added more boutique hotels to the portfolio, including Sherlock, another British-style bungalow that has been remodeled, Mangifera, located on the edge of the Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary, Destiny Farm Stay and most recently, Suntakur. , an island resort in the Arabian Sea. Karwar Beach.

Destiny form stay

Fate farm stay Photo credit: Special Arrangements

While Destiny’s 60-acre farm nurtures English vegetables, seasonal produce, herbs and greens, the backyard kitchen garden has bananas, Brussels sprouts, fiery pink rhubarb, (the fleshy, edible stalks) that pickle and Go into jams, Chinese and red cabbage varieties, basil and thyme, and wild chow chow complete the kitchen. “The in-house Wishbone restaurant has a farm-to-fork concept,” says Shantha Kumar of Littleearth Group’s GMS.

While families enjoy nature outings with kids and pets, corporates opt to stay for leadership and team building exercises. They have also tied up with schools to offer experiential learning. “Children are given a plot of around 400 square feet of barren land. During the three-day or five-day program, they have to get their hands dirty, plant thorn, clean, sow seeds and fertilize with cow dung. Finally. “Car, they learn to appreciate the effort that goes into farming. In the process, we also teach them to reduce food wastage. It’s a value-based learning approach and we’ve reached thousands of children,” Vijay said. say

The couple strives to offer the discerning traveler a memorable vacation experience. “We’re constantly trying to offer new dining experiences. The idea is to bring together what we enjoy on vacation. To start, stay at a quaint place with an interesting twist. Be the character and his story,” says Meeta.

A view of Le Cafe

A view of Le Cafe Photo credit: Sathiyamoorthy M

The group has opened Le Café, an outdoor café with a European-style ambience in the heart of Udgamandalam, while at the same location The Periodic Table, which offers contemporary European and French cuisine, presents Vijay’s vision of molecular gastronomy. Is. “We are working towards making the periodic table a fine dining destination,” says corporate chef, Arup Kakati, adding that he is also experimenting with local produce sourced from local communities. “We source beans from Badaga communities and make a French puree soup and Italian-style ravioli filled with seasonal vegetables. We also have a chef’s tasting menu, a four-course and a five-course menu as well as a la carte.” The old-world Kingscliff’s Earl’s Secret Restaurant, a 130-year-old building set in a beautiful garden, offers Chinese, Indian and continental cuisine. At Le Cafe, they’ve added a supermarket that also has a hydroponics bay where one can pick up fresh lettuce and greens, and a monthly farmers market.

Scenes from the establishment of Destiny Farm

Scenes from the establishment of Destiny Farm | Photo credit: Special Arrangements

Accidental hoteliers pride themselves on not operating their properties as ‘hotels’. “We have hired professionals from the industry but we thrive on the personal touch we share with our customers,” says Meeta, adding that the group is particularly about sustainable operations. , and it has reduced plastic at source, separated and recycled waste. Vijay also dreams of setting up a vegetable auction market in the Nilgiris with a cold chain attached. “The local people can use it and it will fetch a fair price to the farmers. The Nilgiri is like a vegetable bowl. Although the effective contribution to the economy comes from tourism, there is immense potential in the flourishing vegetable segment.” “

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