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The Elephanta Caves

The Elephanta Caves , located on Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri, about 11 Km off the coast of the Gateway of India, Mumbai, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to these caves, excavated probably in the 6 th century CE, is awe-inspiring, and also thought-provoking. Over the years, I have visited the caves a number of times, and also attended a number of talks by experts in the fields of art, history and archaeology on the caves. Together, they help me understand these caves, their art, and the people they were created for, just a little bit better. Every new visit, every new talk, every new article I read about the caves, fleshes out the image of what the island and the caves would have been like, at their peak. I last wrote about the caves on this blog, in 2011, almost exactly 11 years ago. Since then, my understanding of the caves has, I would like to think, marginally improved. Hence this attempt to write a new and updated post, trying to bring to life, the caves of Elephan

Review: Misty Hills, Wayanad

Our Wayanad trip was entirely planned by Thomas Cook India. So, when we left, we had no idea where we would be staying. This was a big first for us, since I am the one who usually makes all the arrangements, and thus know exactly what to expect. I stubbornly refused to ask details about the accommodation, trusting that someone as experienced as Thomas Cook would surely find us the perfect place, preferring to take this trip as it came. 

Driving down from Bangalore, Samhith and I wondered what the hotel / apartment would be like. We debated over whether it would be in the city or far off, in the wilderness or a plantation, if it would be like a homestay... you get the drift. It was only as we approached Kalpetta that we realised that the hotel would be near the town, and Samhith’s face drooped a little. But then, as our car followed our escort over winding roads, amidst tall trees and thick plantations, his face lit up once more, and he eagerly began looking around, wondering which of the houses/ hotels would turn out to be ours! It was no wonder then, that this tall green building, towering over the surrounding plantations, came as a complete surprise!

Misty Hills isn’t like a hotel, but is more of an apartment complex. It stands at one end of a property, part of which is still the home of the owner. All around are other private properties, each home more beautiful than the other. Each house has a plantation, or at least a garden, as does Misty Hills, adding to the homely atmosphere. Colourful flowers line the building, offsetting the modern structure, helping it blend in with the surroundings.

We had a small room, since there were just the two of us, and though pretty basic in nature, it was comfortable enough for us. The accommodation wasn’t much to write about, but it was the hospitality which made our stay there so wonderful.

Our very first evening there, we met the owner as we wandered around the property, drooling over the jackfruits. The manager came up and introduced us, and he seemed stunned that I and Samhith were on a trip by ourselves. He reassured us that we would be perfectly safe, that we could go wherever we wanted, and that they would make sure our stay was comfortable. And they stayed true to their word, checking up every now and then, making sure we had everything we wanted. When the electricity failed a couple of times, they brought us a battery operated tube light, and got us whatever we wanted to eat from hotels nearby. Samhith soon became a big fan of the ‘pazham pori’, a type of banana fritters, a local delicacy.

We weren’t able to taste the home grown jackfruit, but the day we left, the owner offered to give us one to take home – whole!!! It was a tempting offer, but one we had to refuse, since we were on our way to Mysore, and wouldn’t reach home for another week. But he insisted on us taking at least a small bottle of honey they had just extracted from a hive. We gratefully accepted that, and now back home, and after tasting it, I am glad I did!

As I mentioned earlier, the property is still rather new, so everything was bright and clean and new. Maintaining this same level of cleanliness and neatness in the coming years is indeed a challenge, one I hope they will live up to. The only change I would love to see would be home cooked food served in a common area, so we could eat somewhere other than in the room, and meet other guests. Also, Kerala has such an interesting cuisine, it is always preferable to eat home cooked food rather than the typical hotel food. These are only changes I would recommend. As to their hospitality, I hope that never changes! 


  1. Interesting story! Beautiful place to stay.

  2. Pazham Pori is one of my favourite snacks and I remember gorging on it on a trip by Netravati Express from Trivandrum to Mumbai :-)

    I have one observation on the architecture of Misty Hills: isn't it quite different from the local architecture and wouldn't a multi-storeyed structure stand out like this in a place like Kalpetta?

  3. Beauty Villa.
    I Like It.
    Excellent Post & After This Post I am thinking Still I have Much More To Visit IN India.

  4. The Article was good.Thanks for sharing fabulous information.

  5. I would like to say many thanks to you for the useful information that you provided here.

  6. Today I booked a room in Misty Hills Homestay and was reading the reviews in TP. I came across your review and got the link to your blog.
    I had called Amailal (he must be the manager or owner of the place) today evening.
    He told all the rooms are booked and only Bamboo Hut is available.
    We are 4 of us - 2 adults + 2 kids (8 & 12 years).
    So, I wanted to check with you whether this "Bamboo Hut" will fit all of us and is it safe?
    Is that room big enough to put an extra bed?

    Your words are encouraging for anybody who is planning to book a room in Misty Hills Homestay.
    Thanks for the blog post.

    1. Thank you, Mr. Narendra Kumar. Glad my post helped you decide. About the Bamboo hut, I didnt stay in one of them, so I have really no idea about the size, but I am sure it is safe. I stayed alone at Misty hills, with just my son, and they made sure we were perfectly safe the entire time I was there, so I dont think you need to worry on that account! Please do talk again to Amailal, and go ahead and have a wonderful time at Misty hills! and yes, please do write back with your experience,.

  7. Beautiful place. I have visited Wayanad last month.

  8. Thanks Gaythri for your advice & book the Rooms at Misty hills. We two family stayed at 2 bed room apartments, really it was very nice. Mr Amailal guided well for the local trip along with map. The food was very fantastic in Misty hills kitchen. We enjoyed & like to say one of the best & peaceful place to stay.

  9. Wow,Great place for stay and think about new plan and idea.
    i like you story
    thanks for sharing


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