Amidst river banks, wilderness & light drizzles, we rang in the husband’s 30th, back in 2013. Nothing like a birthday falling on a weekend, nothing like a road trip to celebrate and nothing like an indulgence like The Serai.
A five hour drive from home( Bangalore) which included stopping at Kadambam for breakfast( if you ever happen to be on the Bangalore – Mysore highway & have a soft corner for South Indian food, don’t miss this place!), we were finally at The Serai, Kabini just in time for check in. There’s a minor possibility of finding yourself blankly gazing at the silent waters & the lush greens without a care in the world. Of course, if you’ve gone through some of my other posts, you know how I love escaping the city life into a quieter world, even if it’s for the shortest time (this time it was a one night stay). Although Kabini is a hotspot for wildlife lovers & photographers alike, we were solely there for the peace & tranquility. Not that we turn our backs on adventure but this was one of those holidays, the ones backed by inertia & idleness.
A few minutes of getting us acquainted with the place & the kind staffers at The Serai showed us to our room, rather a mini little house with rustic interiors in keeping with the forest theme. Black & white photographs of wild animals, bedspreads with large leaf patterns: every little detail had been tended to meticulously.
We’ve always spoken highly of the food at The Serai, whether at Chikmagalur, Bandipur or here in Kabini. The restaurant, Wildgrass rolls out a massive vegetarian spread which always includes a good balance of traditional, continental & fusion food, not to forget the scrumptious desserts. What I’m reminded of ever so often are the soft Mallige Idlis that were served at breakfast. Mallige in Kannada refers to the delicate, jasmine flowers. These Idlis are called Mallige Idlis owing to their soft texture that almost melt in the mouth. The chef was kind enough to share his recipe but you won’t see a picture here because it didn’t occur to take one…in this age of “clicking a photo before anything else”, that means a lot!
After breakfast, we took a stroll by the the backwaters of River Kabini. Despite the rain, we refused umbrella offerings. Why ignore nature’s pristine showers to avoid a little drench? The cows grazed lackadaisically while the boys tending to them posed for my husband’s camera. In comparison to a fast paced city life, time almost came to a standstill. There’s a mini cycle path for the sake of forgotten childhoods and a spa for additional pampering as well.
The highlight for us was sitting by the balcony at sunrise, watching the pitter patter of rain as it formed ripples after ripples on the backwaters & sipping a hot cup of black tea, all in the absence of the dreaded morning rush. Come night time, the stars emerged from the navy blue sky, as my husband sliced his birthday cake and entered a new decade….
I’ll let the pictures do the talking…
Read about our experience at The Serai, Bandipur HERE.