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Uttara Kannada trip: Vinutha's home stay, Gudavi, 130811
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,


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...


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


for the other temples we visited.

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I see what you mean about her beauty.

And gosh, that plate of food looks SO good and for only 100 rupees, a real deal!

It's lovely, in these days, to see physical beauty "unretouched"....and actually Rs.100 for that meal is quite expensive in Banavasi, where a comparable meal costs about Rs.30 or so....that's what I mean when I say that she's an excellent businesswoman!

I'm still mentally translating rupees into pounds!

Oh, you wealthy plutocrat, you! :)

Beautiful!! - the house and the lady :) I now crave holige :(

~ Ramya

Wish I could send you some... maybe I'll think of you and EAT some.

Beautiful pictures. I love the porch swing.

It is a beautiful part of my state....I was glad that I went...and that I could share it, too.

i want that woman's looks and her mossy pathway too! :)

What! I can understand about the mossy pathway, but you are one of the most beautiful women I know!

Oh Deponti, thank you. I can't tell you enough times how much I love what you share. Your hostess **is** beautiful (and I was fascinated by her earrings and glad you had a second photo). I loved the painted decorations on the wall and around the window, and I was happy to see the vanilla under cultivation! I've been reading up on cardamom cultivation, but vanilla too.

The kitchen is spacious and looks perfect for cooking for a large number. When you say it is modern, can you tell me what a less-modern kitchen would be like?

Your meal also looks mouthwatering.

An old-fashioned kitchen would have all the cooking done on the floor, on a wood-burning stove...certainly, no ceramic tiles...I'll see if I can find one somewhere to photograph. It was most inconvenient, would fill the kitchen with smoke (the kitchen always used to look black or gray)...and yet, delicious food would come out of these kitchens...

Thank you!

I have a friend from Cambodia, and one time she invited me to her older daughter's sixteenth birthday party. The day of the party, my friend and other friends of hers who were also from Cambodia were preparing food in the kitchen, and they had spread bamboo mats on the floor and everyone was sitting on the floor and doing all the preparation there (chopping, peeling, etc.) T

The actual cooking was on an electric stove, though (and on a barbecue grill outdoors).

Oh, we still do the processing sitting on the floor, quite often..but increasingly, we have caterers, as they are a very viable alternative to doing all the cooking at home.

That lady's earrings and earnings are both good :)

The meals for all the visitors are cooked in another kitchen...not the one I photographed, which is in her home.

The meal WAS very good!

Wonderful photos, D. I would love to live on a farm like that surrounded by all the lush vegetation. I'm sure it's quiet and peaceful there with mostly the singing of birds and the sounds of other animals breaking the silence... And the veggies are freshly picked from the garden, I'm sure?

Are there many "homestay" businesses like this in India, both urban and rural?

She really is a natural beauty and what beautiful and colorful adornments!

The vegetables come from around the area...I don't think she has a vegetable patch.

There seem to be a lot home-stays around...but the quality varies widely :(

Yes....her beauty seems to come from her happiness within as much as from good features.

BTW, I'm on Facebook now, finally,;) altho I'm there even less often than I am on LJ. When I clicked on the links to FB that you provided here, I couldn't get in to your page(s.) I sent you a friend request when you were gone traveling, so maybe it got buried in the e-ommunications that piled up when you were gone.;)

Oh, and the food looks yummm. Great color contrasts too. And yes, Vinutha's home is lovely, both inside and outside!I'd love to while away my time in that swing. And the ancient kitchen implements are interesting. Is that a long stemmed ladle at the top and what seems like a coconut grater at the bottom right hand corner?

Thanks for this interesting post, D.

Should I look for "Gilda" on FB, or do you have a different name?

Kitchen implements...a stirrer, a long thing to hit the paddy/other grain with, yes, you are right, there's a coconut scraper, there's something to peel off a coconut husk with (next to the scraper) and there's a little thingummy to set a little lamp on (rhs)...

Re FB-look for Hida Martines, altho a number of people have told me that there are several with that name. So look for the location "Chula Vista, CA." You must be dealing with the deluge of mail that came through when you were gone, so take your time. When you can, see if you find my friend request. Then you can just click "yes." Thanks and hope to view your FB pics soon!

Lovely people, surroundings and graciousness!

Glad you enjoyed it. The hospitality was so warm; she asked us to stay back and have chai and then leave for the Gudavi bird sanctuary.

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