Coffee holidays: Unwind in nature's lap with a hot cuppa

Karnataka, which accounts for over 70% of India's total coffee production, is betting big on tourism around its coffee.

BENGALURU: Karnataka, which accounts for over 70% of India’s total coffee production, is betting big on tourism around its coffee.

The last chunk of rainforest coffee on this planet is in India and grows along the Western Ghats covering Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Karnataka’s coffee gardens are a haven for wildlife, dozens of rare bird species, some 50 different types of tress apart from natural flora and fauna.

State Tourism Minister Priyank Kharge said a wide variety of farm and home stay options are available across coffee areas of Chikkamagaluru, Kodagu, Hassan, Sakleshpur and Baba Budan Giri (a mountain where first ever coffee in the country was grown in 1670), and Mullayanagiri (the highest coffee growing peek in Chikkamagaluru).

Kharge said, “We’ve recently eased a lot of restrictions around farm tourism and home stays, by decreasing the home stay registration fee to Rs 500 from Rs 10,000. We have also introduced additional incentives to encourage entrepreneurship in coffee tourism. We received home-stay registration requests from over 700 coffee farmers and estates in the last two months.”

Some of the activities promoted under coffee tourism include nature trails, trekking, pulping, bean plucking, drying, curing, roasting and grinding the coffee.

In addition, coffee lands offer amazing landscapes with unique culture and cuisines, he said.

Anil Kumar Bhandari president of Indian Coffee Trust said, "Corporates and real estate firms are eager to swallow huge chunks of coffee lands to build resorts, but coffee farmers with the help of the tourism department are trying to keep such elements out."

Only individuals and families who are living in Karnataka for a minimum period of 15 years will be eligible for home stay licences.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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