Coffee Village Retreat

Kimmane Coffee Estate has the honour of being the headquarters of the British Coffee planters who had made their base here. But interestingly, prior to coffee, it was cardamom that was cultivated in over 3000 acres of the estate land.

Coffee Village British Bunglow

The cardamom was exported to Britain and even today, at Kimmane, you will still find the spice is still being cultivated. But coffee, the kind of beverages, has a full sway on the land and rightly so, for it may have been the first of the many plantations to venture into coffee in the early days.

Right next to Mudigere near the Retreat are the famed Kemmangundi (Red) Hills also known as Baba Budan Giri (and Dattatri, after Guru Dattatreya), named after a mystic saint, venerated by both Hindus and Muslims.

 

High among the hills amidst
the clouds and sleepy environment,
nestles a shrine (Dhargah) in dedication
to him - as also a temple to Guru Dattatreya.

Three large caves said to have been sanctified by three siddhas contain their icons and gaddiges (tombs) and an annual 'jatra' (fair) is held here in their honour. The enthralling scenery around makes this a much frequented pilgrim centre.

Legend, as quoted even by coffee biographers (Stewart Lee Allen - The Devil's Cup: Coffee, the Driving Force in History, Mark Pendergrast - Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World, and Antony Wild - Coffee: A Dark History) has it that Baba Budan, on Haj, brought back seven coffee beans from Yemen and planted them in the hills here. Pioneering efforts of the early British planters, who braved the elements and the terrain, opened up vast swathes of land for coffee cultivation in 1820. The baton was passed on to the early Indian planters who kept that spirit intact and today, thanks to the effort of these early pioneers, the Coffee industry is thriving in Karnataka.

Coffee Village Retreat - A home stay in the lap of the mountains!
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