ADDRESS: Located in Hessarghatta village, Our Native Village (Eco-Resort) is a 90 minute drive from Bangalore City. Maps location here.
ROAD CONDITIONS: Depending on where you are coming from, you can expect normal Bangalore road conditions. However, the last leg of around 2 or 3 kms are pretty uneven and unlaid. It actually gives a feeling of how village roads are. Nevertheless, the driveway to the resort is green with trees on both sides of the road, and that almost makes up for the uneven ride.
AMBIENCE: Our Native Village is an eco-resort. Its architecture, energy generation and conservation methods, water harvesting techniques are all focused towards building an eco-friendly environment. Extensive solar panels, organic farming, a bio-gas plant are the steps taken to enhance a natural way of life. What was charming to know was that the bricks that stand the resort were also made of the same land and naturally sun-dried.
The resort also aims to bring its guests as close to nature as possible by offering a life-in-a-village experience. The ambience of the place has this unique rural charm that captures your attention. What you can expect here are lush greens, an open green playground, absolute quietness, the same quietness broken by the constant chirping of a bird, the sounds of nature, sunlight brimming over the place and village activities.
2. Catapult aiming
3. Bullock cart ride
4. Cow milking
6. Tyre chasing
7. Flower garland making
8. Indoor activities
It is extremely good to see the efforts of the resort to give its guests an experience of village life. Fun down-to-earth activities which are forgotten in the nexus of city life will definitely bring back the child in you. Go for a bullock-cart ride, milk a cow, fly kites with your kids, run around the open playground, get your hands dirty with natural red soil or just watch the natural water at the poolside. You will cherish it all. Remember aiming catapults? Or spinning tops? And the very Indian rustic game of tyre-chasing(you roll a thin tyre with a stick and then chase it)? Well, yes, you and your kids can enjoy all these activities right in the heart of nature at this place.
More activities that promise a countryside feel are pottery and flower-garland making. It is unassumingly charming to learn how to make a beautiful flower garland. We loved making them in the morning. Pottery is another activity here that engages guests. The contagious fun of creating a beautiful shape from a lump of soil will surely entice you to get your hands muddy.
Our Native Village also strives to preserve deep rooted Indian culture and heritage. If you are staying over, you will not miss the rich murals on the walls of the rooms. Every room in the resort has a mural that has been handpainted by tribal artists from some part of India. In addition, on weekends, guests are entertained with dance performances from various parts of the country.
OVERNIGHT STAY: We stayed for one night at Our Native Village. The rooms are comfortable and takes care of modern lifestyle while preserving tradition. The rooms are naturally cool because of the sun-dried clay bricks they are made with. You cannot miss noticing the beautiful red floor of the rooms, and the natural handmade toiletries in the bathrooms.
If you are also keen for a visit to the spa, do try the body massages. You are sure to get rejuvenated after a visit!
FOOD: The restaurant at the eco-resort offers good food. Though their speciality is authentic Karnataka cuisine, the resort tries offer a mix of cuisines keeping in mind that their guests are a mix of Indians and expats. On the day we visited, the lunch buffet consisted of North Indian, South Indian, and Oriental dishes. There were Indian curries and rice and rotis(wheat flatbreads), one Chinese appetizer and a Chinese main course dish. The food was healthy, however, we expected a slightly more planned menu. Since there was one Oriental main course dish, we expected one Oriental rice based or noodle based item to carry this side dish. For non-vegetarian eaters, there was only one Indian chicken curry and the above mentioned Chinese dish. For the dessert, there was only Vermicelli Kheer (vermicelli pudding). A few more options of at least cut fruits/sweets for dessert, and one or more main course items would have made the meal a complete one.
One more point of note is that families enjoy meals if kids also eat heartily. Some food options for kids can make these retreats more joyous. For example, a pasta main course, or sandwiches, or noodles, or fruits work wonders with kids.
Regarding the bar section, the resort serves beer, but not any other alcohol. They make fantastic lime juices though.
We awaited the evening tea and coffee after a round of pottery and more outdoor activities. The evening was welcomed with potato fries and tea/coffee.
You can spend the evening watching the wonderful performances by local dancers followed by dinner. Early mornings are beautiful here. Nature is at its pristine, and you can enjoy a walk around breathing the fresh air, listening to the birds and watching the new blooms. Be it a day-trip or an overnight stay, you will enjoy the place and bring back fond memories.
Address: Hesarghatta Road, PO Box 8802, Bangalore 88. (Note that it is a 90 minutes drive from Bangalore city)