Hotspot : The Allure of Shanthi Kunnj Beckons

March 17, 2010                                                                     
Chickmagalur : A Visionary thinks a head of his times and his foresight stands testimony to changes that come with modernization and moving times.  The “Holy Cross Estate”,  has over the years emerged as an abode of peace, quietude the bucolic beauty of nature, the boulevard to savor nature at its natural best and  is  indeed a dream come true thanks to the prescience  of Anthony Saldanha, the master planter blessed with a fervor for plantations. It was his fecund imagination that led to the conversion of a barren land into a burgeoning “Holy Cross Estate”, which today stands tall in all its majesty and splendor.  Keeping in tune with the same spirit of adventurism “Shanthi Kunnj”, the home stay facility which has come up in this estate recently, has emerged as a gateway for all those who are in the hunt for a beguiling rendezvous with nature away from the chaotic city life.


Founded in 1979, the Holy Cross Estate is unique and inspiring in its own way, a true testimony of the saga of dedication, forbearance, determination and foresight of its founder.  His ceaseless efforts, fortitude and innate strength resulted in converting a barren land into fertile and luxuriant vegetation.  Once known as ‘Masigadde’ (coal field) as it was used for burning coal required to run the steam locomotives of the British era, Antony Saldhana, took it as a challenge to turn the charcoal land into a veritable goldmine much against the prophesies of doom by those who felt nothing could be grown on this land downgraded by years of burning charcoal.  The Bhadra River flowing closely became his lifeline and he envisaged building an estate and embarked on this ambitious journey with full gusto.  His strenuous efforts began yielding desired results as the estate began to yield in 1983-84 and the area taken for dead by many began to breathe life once again due to the concerted efforts of the one man army of Antony Saldanha.   Cash crops like coffee, areca, black pepper, cardamom, vanilla and banana plantations are grow.  

The Tranquil Abode 

Presently, his son Neethan Saldhanha is managing the estate with the same vigor and fervor exhibiting a rare acumen resulting in the birth of “Shanti Kunnj’, situated close to the cushy embrace of the Holy Cross Estate.  Armed with an engineering background Neethan has embarked on the challenging task of carrying forward his father’s legacy in style and keeping in tune with the modern times and needs.   

As the name suggests Shanti Kunnj is an abode of peace and tranquility, an epitome of seeing and enjoying nature in its pristine form.  It is safe haven where one can cuddle under the lush green ambience of coffee estate, overlooking the enchanting hills and captivating foliage inviting with its endearing charm.  The essence of Shanti Kunnj lie in the fact that it is a unique coalescence of the best that luxury resorts can offer with the rawness of a jungle lodge coupled with the joyful lavishness and hospitality of a home stay.

Set on the banks of river Bhadra, Shanthi Kunnj, with a complete professional approach aims to reach out to out to those who are on the look out for a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of the stressful urban life and want to unwind under the nature’s majestic splendor.  For those who just want to relax and rejuvenate having a perfect holiday destination Shanthi Kunnj beckons you with its misty, mystical and serene allure that can leave you mesmerized with life time memories.  It will be a dream come true to loll in a lavish log cabin with the sound of the majestic river gushing nearby, amidst the tranquil environs of the lush green coffee estate and to witness the beauty of  hills filled with wisps of gleaming mist dappled with golden sunshine.  That is the essence of Shanthi Kunnj.  


The cottages at Shanthi Kunnj are created with an eye for every detail keeping the comfort of the guests in mind and to make their stay a cherished experience.  Keep in touch with the eco-friendly tradition all cottages are created entirely out of locally grown timber.   Guests can choose from three types of cottages.  Log House/ Twin Cottages, Area Houses and Glass Houses, to suit the tastes, comforts and choice of guests.   Twin Cottages comprise the central structure of Shanthi Kunnj, with two independent bathrooms each to cater to large groups.  These cottages are of first floor level to enable the guests savor the nature in its pristine best.  

The areca cottages are constructed entirely out of areca palm timber to give a feel of jungle stay amidst the luxuries of modern resorts.  The Glass houses are a combination of wood and glass, the blending resulting in a marvelous creation of cottages.  Using wood as the basic structure the rooms are encased with full length glass windows on all three sides overlooking the river. 

All cottages are provided with comfortable modern furnishing along with 24-hour hot water and provision of color television. At the basement of the twin cottage is the Den - a common fellowship area, where one can play games, or have a get together. An independent rest house is provided for chauffeurs with all meals at a small extra cost. An open air parking area is provided for safe parking of your vehicles along with wash and basic facilities for routine maintenance. 


Holidays and recreation always go hand in hand to make it an exciting interlude of fun and frolic and to make the holiday a memorable and a life time experience. Recreation offer includes plantation tour, bird watching, nature walk and wild life watch with the added excitement of spotting hares, wild hen, peacock and other exotic birds.  Shanthi Kunnj also offers on demand recreation activities such as White Water Kayaking of 7 kms on river Bhadra, Stil water Kayaking for families including children, swimming with the assistance of a life guard, trekking in Bhadra Reserve Forest with the guidance of a government official and Coracle ride throughout the year. 

Holidays can also be combined with excursions to notable places of interest nearby namely visit to Muthodi Forest Reserve/Wile Life Sanctuary (20 kms), Kigga Falls (50 kms), Sringeri Temple (35 Kms), Kandya Temple (3 Kms) Bababudanagiri Caves (80 Kms) and Kemmangundi (80 kms).  

Shanthi Kunnj is indeed a treasure trove that offers unlimited scope for enjoying nature at its pristine best.  It is a surefire gateway to revivify and rejuvenate the mind, the mind and the sould.  The allure of Shanti Kunnj will always beckon those who want to be enfolded by nature to treasure those priceless moments for life.

Fore more details, please contact:

Shanthi Kunnj Homestay
Devdhana Village, Honnekoppa,
Sangameshwar Pet,
Near Kadabagere
Chikmagalur - 577136

Email :

Tel: 0091 810 5763632 / 0091 824 2485180

by Florine Roche - Daijiworld Media Network
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Comment on this article

  • Jacintha, Katapadi/Dubai

    Sat, Mar 20 2010

    Looks very beatiful and exciting. However, the rate per day is Rs.6,000 (AED.500)-for couple per day which is not a affordable amount for common people. If they can offer something for 3-4K's should be great.

  • Edward Cardoza, Mangalore, UAE

    Sat, Mar 20 2010

    I truly agree with Ophelia. The place looks beautiful and nice. However, it is very expensive. They should have family packages to encourage more families to stay. Even 5 star resorts and hotels around the world offer family packages.

  • Daniel, mangalore

    Fri, Mar 19 2010

    Thank you daiji.Lots of tourist information you all r providing.
    shanthi kunja rates are expensive.Splecially for kids 5-12yrs.

  • Rajkumar Uchil, Falnir/Mangalore

    Fri, Mar 19 2010

    Congrats! Mr.Neethan Saldanha. "APPEALING, IMPRESSIVE and TRUELY ENCHANTING" this summarizes the " Home Stay " in a nutshell. This article of Ms.Florine Roache brought back sweet memories of last MAY when me and my family had the fortune to meet Mr.Neethan Saldanha, the brainchild of this project,through my colleague Mr.Gregory Sequeira of Chikmagalur,who happens to be Mr.Neethan Saldanha's brother-in-law. Mr.Neethan Saldanha enthusiastically obliged us by taking us on a sightseeing spree around his estate which was breathtaking to say the least. At this point of time this project was in its infancy and meticulously planned beyond doubt, indicative of a great holiday destination in store. From the brief time we spent at his residence, Mr.Neethan Saldanha came across as a hospitable and courteous person. Thanks so much for your kind gesture of taking time out of your busy schedule and entertaining us. We are immensely humbled. Best wishes for your success.
    Rajkumar,Janet,Disha and Diksheeth

  • ophelia Dsouza, miyar/karkala/melbourne

    Fri, Mar 19 2010

    Thank you Florine for the beautiful presentation.really beautiful place to relax but it looks very expensive. family package with reasonable rate then more people can afford.

  • santhosh pv , Mangalore/Bangalore

    Thu, Mar 18 2010

    Some of the beautiful things come at a prize. One does not need to nconsider cost benefit of such places. It is package and I really feel it is worth the prize. The very ambience makes it an exciting destination.

  • Pramod Pinto, Mnagalore

    Thu, Mar 18 2010

    It's a beautiful location sorrounded with coffee plantation one side and river on the other ..Heaven on earth..I have already expirienced a over night stay over there.Service,location and ambience is excellent..All the very best.

  • Joel, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Thu, Mar 18 2010

    Very expensive..

  • Ronnie Patrao, Urwa Qatar

    Thu, Mar 18 2010

    This beautiful place brought back my old memories of my birth place/Childhood days (Balehonnure).I never expected this place would become a tourist spot one day. Well done Saldanhas...I wish you all success in your venture.

  • Arun Bhat, Mangalore

    Wed, Mar 17 2010

    I checked the website. The place looks good and exciting but appears to be expensive with tariff starting from Rs.2750 upwards per person per day.

  • Olivia Moras, Puttur/Toronto

    Wed, Mar 17 2010

    Can I call it the Paradise on Earth. Thank you Florine Roche for the woderful presentation. This will be my next picnic spot when I visit India next. I had been to Kelgur after my marriage (20 years back!)to one of our Uncle's house. I appreciated the place so much. It was so romantic.
    There are such beautiful spots in India like this one. We need to Identify them. This is the true Architectural beauty which is merged with the nature. Thank you Daiji for this Article.

  • raju, mangalore

    Wed, Mar 17 2010

    this is exactly what i want from daiji..some tourist spots which are not famous as other big names..but equally beauty ful like them .
    great work.
    expecting more. like wild life in bandipur etc

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