Are you someone who pictures your holiday in a lush green valley, sipping your hot cup of tea, soaking in every bit of tranquility that nature can offer and gazing out at the stars at night? If yes, then a camping trip to Kikui Farms, overlooking the Emerald Lake in Ooty, should be on your list!
Tucked away in the lush green foliage of Avalanche, Kikui is a campsite that is larger than just a picturesque space for nature lovers to access and pitch a tent at. Carefully crafted in tandem with the interests and ideologies of its owner — Vishanth; the camp embodies a philosophy that is deeply rooted in minimalism and sustainable production. With a Masters in sustainable development in the food system and being part of the slow food movement, Vishanth is a new- age farmer who wants to establish an exciting platform for organic farming and create a hub for other farmers in the country to follow suit.
His aim is to grow 100% organic crops where fertilizers or other products have no role to play. Kikui – a permaculture farm, now flourishes with farm fresh produce and attracts plenty of travel enthusiasts to the campsite overlooking some of the most idyllic hills of the Nilgiris. The rolling hills, abundant natural beauty, and the scenic, panoramic views of the vast Emerald lake, all make for a pleasurable stay without doubt, but the boundless energy of the wonderfully invested host, Vishanth, is what makes the campsite a humbling experience. The organic farm grew to become home not just to the workers but also many farm animals — so be sure to give them a hug when you’re there.
Evenings here are very special with a pint of beer and a merry bonfire along with a group of like-minded travelers, chatting and singing to their heart’s content. As a part of the camp stay, you will also relish the food prepared specially by the host for you. Perks of having a chef as your host! The food provided is of fine quality and the incredible view will simply leave you in awe of this adventure.
You will retire for the night in the tent under the star-lit sky and wake up to hear Nature’s finest music show as the “dawn chorus” of birdsongs reach a fever pitch at daybreak. On a lucky day, you can also sight the elusive, endemic Nilgiri thrush. Later, explore the area to your heart’s content, have breakfast and head back to the city for a fresh start of the week.
At Kikui Farms, it is that kind of a holiday, where your soul connects with the universe. Among the nippy mountain air, you can taste the sweetness of the mist on your lips and feel the tender of breeze on your neck. When the hovering monsoon clouds are absent, you can gaze at the starlit skies and the bright, shining moon above that will leave you feeling insignificant in the larger scheme of things. But for an authentic Kikui experience, come, form your own perceptions about it!
The Ideal time to visit would be from October – May. The place is shut from June – August during the monsoons.
Things to carry: Carry a warm pullover, woolen socks, and jackets if you’re visiting this place during winter months. From February to May, you just need to take a sweater/shawl with you to keep you warm at night. Don’t forget to take your camera /charger with you. The sunrise from the campsite is mesmerizing. Something that you shouldn’t miss.
Activities: You get to visit the organic farm, the host will take you through different sections of the farm and explain the process of how organic farming is practiced. There are also continental cuisine workshops planned according to the number of guests at the campsite. Then you have this happy bonfire session by the camp, where to get to know the other guests, chat, and bond with them.
Safety: Absolutely safe to be here than in the cities where you breathe only polluted air. It’s a safe and secure zone as the entire area has been electric fenced.
Facilities: Tents will be provided along with sleeping bags. Dinner and breakfast come along with the package. The campsite also has clean washrooms so fret not. There are single tent camps and double tent camps; Each tent will be provided with separate sleeping bags for each person to keep warm inside the tent throughout the cold night. The barbeque will have everything from farm fresh veggies to meat and can be enjoyed best with music, games, and beer as well. The place is also pet-friendly so can bring your furry friend along for the night’s stay!
It’s ideally a weekend getaway, so camps will be conducted on Friday and Saturday nights. Do pre-book before going as arrangements are made accordingly. Showing up at the campsite without prior booking wouldn’t be encouraged.
Location: Kikui farm is situated in Avalanche near Red Hills Nature Resort, overlooking the Emerald Lake, 28 kms from Ooty in the Nilgris district.
Directions: The campsite is at a distance of 4kms from Red Hill Resort. You could drive until the starting point of the hike from the resort, post that it’s a hike of 2kms.
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