Smiles at hidden spots of Somwarpet in Coorg

By Shobha Rao Smilemaker

Jan 18: There is always a thrill to go to places that are off the beaten track and this time we decided to go on a short drive around the Somwarpet taluka of Coorg.

The lush greenery, the winding roads, the up and down terrain, the coffee and pepper plantations on either side made me feel really blessed to have so many rich natural wild sights to admire in South India. Even the quaint village of Shanivarsanthe felt as if time had stood still there since ages.

And thankfully these places are quite free of the noisy tourist crowds that I usually see elsewhere. Our dear local friend Prasanna insisted that we visit the the biggest lake in Coorg called Honammana Kere.

Our first impression was just a silent awe for the stunning natural beauty of this place. The reflection of the blue skies, the white clouds and the rich green foliage on the crystal clear waters was mesmerising. This lake was nestled in between the hills called Morí beta and Govi beta. On a more adventurous note, if we had more time, we could have undertaken short treks to the temples on top of the hills to admire the stunning views from the hilltops too!

There is a Honnamma devi temple besides the lake that has an interesting history. A local ancient king had prayed during the times of water shortage and refused to sacrifice his daughter-in-law, when asked to do so. However his pregnant daughter in law Honnamma walked into the waters and drowned, sacrificing her life for the well being of the people and ensuring abundance of water for all.

She is revered by the locals as a Goddess in a unique shrine dedicated to her on the banks of the lake. I noticed an ancient stone with carved inscriptions in front of the temple probably recording this interesting piece of history.

A lot of devotees come here for the powerful blessings of the Devi for marriage or child prospects. I was told that on Gauri festival day, at least 101 ladies immerse sets of many Pooja items like fruits, vegetables, turmeric kumkum, bangles etc. in the waters.

Yes, the spiritual energy of the place was something that could not be expressed in words. The calm serene feeling of the mesmerising natural ambience made the lake feel like a hidden gem. I could probably spend hours sitting on the temple steps, dipping my feet in the water and doing absolutely nothing.

We had a sumptuous lunch with our gracious host Jairaj Shetty at a place called Whisper Valley. The 360 degree natural view made it feel as if we were in heaven! The open air jeep ride through the coffee plantation to a hidden stream was an adventure by itself! And we just had to frolic in the gushing waters feeling rejuvenated like kids again!

It was a day well spent with good friends and lots of smiles in the unknown nooks and corners of Somwarpet.









Shobha Rao Smilemaker has a vision of living in a world where people use their ability to find and make smiles in any situation. She is a lawyer by qualification, a soft skills trainer by passion, a motivational speaker, a freelance journalist, a bestselling author, an avid traveler and founder of 'Smilemakers Trainings'. She can be contacted at





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Comment on this article

  • Anoop, Bangalore

    Thu, Jan 27 2022

    Me and 4 of my other family friends had a memorable weekend at Whisper valley last December. The place is serene and well maintained. Mr Shetty and his staff took care of us all through the way with delicious food, entertainment for the kids, night bonfire and barbecue, and an unforgettable jeep trip for a dip in the ice cold waters of Cauvery river flowing through the property. Highly recommended!!

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  • Prateek, Upper Bendoor, Kudla / Bengaluru

    Fri, Jan 21 2022

    An exciting and memorable vacation in Sakaleshpur and Whisper Valley Homestay chronicled and described so well by Shobha Rao, which is also a tribute to the hosts!!

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  • Chandni Punja, Bengaluru

    Thu, Jan 20 2022

    Beautiful place....ideal for a perfect holiday..had the most wonderful time with fun-filled activities and excellent the company of the most gracious host...look forward to the next visit !!

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  • Avinash, Bangalore

    Wed, Jan 19 2022

    A perfect weekend getaway with family and friends. Amazing food, stay and fun filled activities. The property has an awesome scenic view of the coffe plantations and also with a stream flowing where you could play in the water and relax by the stream. Archery and trekking to the topmost point of the property's estate was really entertaining. Enjoyed every bit of our stay at Whisper Valley Coorg.

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  • Naveen T L, Bangalore

    Tue, Jan 18 2022

    It is perfect place to rejoice with family/friends. Place is blend of following 1. Scenic location 2. Excellent property 3. Fabulous food 4. Great hospitality 5. Etc Can't wait for another visit 🙂

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  • marie, Mangalore

    Tue, Jan 18 2022

    Lovely pics and write up on your trip , The coffee plantations of Coorg covered with stunning greenery would charm anyone. With its undiluted landscapes, lovely waterfalls, and an amazing assortment of flora and fauna, it has much to offer visitors. Wake up to the view of misty mountains in the morning and enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Whisper valley is definitely a perfect heaven for those wanting to have a blissful holiday amidst lush greens and relax amidst serenity. Whether you are planning a holiday with your family or friends, the host at whisper valley will spoil you with everything you dream of a perfect holiday, We had a lovely time and enjoyed all the adventurous activities like archery , the jeep ride and a dip at the river which flows within the property , The food cooked by the chef at the property was absolutely delicious with blend of local spices and flavours. The campfire and barbeque at night was an absolute surprise , I would definitely visit that place again .

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  • Ram Prabhu, Strongsville, Ohio, USA

    Tue, Jan 18 2022

    Good piece of travel write up by Shobha Rao Smilemaker. The scenery looks gorgeous & I am happy to see my good & dear friend Mr Jairaj Shetty the wonderful host that he always is. Can’t wait to visit the area on my next India trip. Cheers!!

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  • Aakash Kholia, Bangalore

    Tue, Jan 18 2022

    Whisper valley is a gem of a place to stay. Mr. Shetty he tastefully done the interiors and has catered to small things that make a difference. Hospitality is something that differentiates Whisper valley from other places. Best place to unwind yourself from the hustle bustle of city life. You will definitely extend your stay like I did during my last visit. Already planning for the next one

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  • Dr. Naseem, Bangalore

    Tue, Jan 18 2022

    Looks incredible. Would love to go to this place. Serene natural abode.

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  • francis lobo, Mangalore

    Tue, Jan 18 2022

    The tour reports of SMILES is very good and informative and complements to Shobha Rao.

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