Indian tourism is undergoing an enviable boom, with European and American tourists flocking to the ancient land to view some of the remains of its enduring historical treasures, its marvellous scenery and devour an imaginative array of national and regional curries. The health benefits of Ayurvedic medicine, delivered by some highly accomplished professionals in some of the acclaimed clinics and resorts are also a major attraction. Indeed, this vast country with over a billion people and its friendly and warm welcome for foreigners and the Indian Diaspora has so many other attractions waiting to enrich the traveller's experiences. The adventurous will be generously rewarded in their search for many elusive gems.
Coorg In Karnataka
Coorg is one of the smallest districts of Karnataka state. Yet its people have played an extraordinary role in the military history of the country, and have produced some brilliant warriors. India still reveres the memory of its army's two outstanding Commanders-in-Chief: General Cariappa and General Thimayya. The latter stood up to the Chinese invaders of Indian soil but was handicapped by inadequate equipment and his men's unfamiliarity with harsh and unfriendly terrain. Nevertheless he and his men acquitted themselves most honorably. The visionary Nehru in his ceaseless struggle against racism and racists made a most sagacious choice, when after General Cariappa 's retirement the tough old warrior was appointed as Commissioner to Australia. Cariappa managed to expose the hypocrisy and idiocy of white supremacy in a country that had once belonged to the indigenous Australians, .. Cariappa was declared persona non grata for his scathing attack on Australian racism and expelled. But he made his point and it was not long after that that Australia abandoned its vile all- white policy.
Evolve Back Luxury Resort
In the wake of the pandemic, revisiting the resort after four years, I realised that the name change from Orange County to Evolve Back meant more of a move forward. This is a well designed and perfect nature resort with heritage villas/cottages with all the comforts including a private temperature controlled pool and jacuzzi, spread over a vast area full of tall oak trees and plants. It is surrounded by coffee plantations and protected forests on one side and the Cauvery river on the other.
On our recent visit(Jan 23) to Evolve Back we were delighted to find that the staff, both old and new, were committed and adhering to all the processes and procedures that would ensure the resort was providing hospitality at its best as always.
Villas and Cottages are unusually spacious, very well maintained and spotlessly clean. There are three restaurants to choose from: one being exclusively vegetarian and the others specialising in grilled dishes, fine dining and romantic dinners, giving wide menu options. The chef makes it a point to meet and greet every guest to find out what they like best.
There are several organised activities, starting with birdwatching in the early morning led by the expertise of inspirational guides who could easily identify each and every chirping bird on the route. Evolve Back is perhaps one of the best resorts for birdwatching in Coorg which has a reputation as a bird lovers paradise in India.
Instead of the usual eco-walk (plantation walk) we opted for a buggy ride and it worked very well for us, saving energy as well as time and allowing us to go at a relaxing pace. One of the newly introduced activities is coffeeology - coffee making and tasting, it is an amazing and unique daily activity which offers guests insights into where their coffee comes from and how it is made.
Well motivated, experienced and welcoming staff with a proactive mindset are everywhere, whether it is at the reception, the restaurants or the library - which apparently is open round the clock, with coffee on tap to keep the night owls awake! The House Keeping team would turn up ,so to say , with the promptness and speed of the fire brigade if you contact their office for something..
I felt that the guests on the whole are impressed by the management that respects the environment while creating employment opportunities for local people and bringing in much needed tourism to provide a boost to the area while promoting the heritage and culture of India. In terms of the overall ambiance, quality of care and the diversity of food and activities, the service one receives far exceeds expectations.