We took a small vacation in coastal Karnataka last week and stayed at a rather unusual – pure vegetarian & non-alcoholic Sai Vishram Beach Resort at a small hamlet called Byndoor.
Holiday at Sai Vishram Beach Resort
It gave me several reasons to think of another laid-back yet adventurous holiday there.
Not to be missed view
Being a beach resort, Sai Vishram Beach Resort is located right on the Byndoor beach overlooking the green Arabian Sea. Surrounded by the fishing villages, only other people you would see are the fishermen playing with the waves on their narrow fishing boats. Sunset is beautiful giving your camera many lovely shots. However what is unique at Byndoor is a small hike away on top of a small hill. Through the wooded forests and well-laid steps, you reach a viewpoint where you can see a beach and the backwaters in a single frame.
This is a breathtaking view – something that I have not seen elsewhere. On the right is the vast sea with a white sandy beach and on the left is the network of backwater channels interspersed with green trees. My eyes struggled to decide which part is more beautiful and to soak in the complete view of an ocean when it meets and merges with the earth.
Sai Vishram Beach resort offers all the standard water sports like swimming in the sea, Parasailing, Jet Ski, kayaking and a banana ride. Now, why should I leave Goa and go to Byndoor to enjoy these activities – because there is no rush there, for the crowds are limited to the guests of the resort? All the staff is available for its own guests and so is the beach. Goan beaches cannot offer that exclusivity though they have other advantages. The watersports staff of resort has a young girl who drives the Jet Ski and takes guests for Banana rides. I was really impressed with her and would probably do another story on her. Water activities here reminded me of Snorkeling in the South-China Sea.
Air Boat Ride
The Air Boat is a boat designed to navigate on shallow waters – waters as shallow as less than 2 feet. With a propeller fan in front, it looks like a helicopter on the waters and makes as much noise. We were given life jackets, which I am not sure if we needed but then it’s always safer than to be sorry. We were also given earplugs which all of us thought we would not need but before we knew all our ears were plugged. A fast ride through the backwaters was fun. In the middle of the water we were offloaded and allowed to play with water – I saw a huge bunch of algae and seashells in the water that was absolutely calm and clear.
Video of Air Boat ride
Watch the video of Air Boat Ride in the shallow waters.
Bathing under the Sky
Sai Vishram offered us an option to choose from their lovely cottages, deluxe rooms and the sea facing tents. Cottages are located on the other side of the road, a bit on the hills – each with a view of the Arabian Sea and the flowering and fruit trees surrounding them. Each had a unique design; one even came with a private pool. They were tempting, but I let them go. Deluxe rooms were like any other modern high-end hotel so I let that go.
We chose to stay in a tent not only because it was closest to the sea and at night we could hear the roar of the sea waves as they hit the shores. More importantly, we chose it for its unique bathroom too. Each of their 10 tents and a mud hut have an open bathroom with a small garden attached to it. I do not remember if I ever bathed under the open sky with butterflies all around me. The walls have aesthetic murals and the washbasin was a huge stone with a part of it scooped out. Since we were playing at the beach and enjoying water sports we had to use the bathroom a lot. I simply loved those open bathrooms.
Sai Vishram Beach Resort is a pure vegetarian non-alcoholic resort making it just perfect for me. Any vegetarian knows that we hardly get any choices on the menu or a buffet spread. Most menus are designed for non-vegetarians with some consolation entries for the vegetarians. To be able to eat everything that the resort has to offer without even thinking if the food would have been cooked with the same utensils or in the same kitchen as non-vegetarian food is high, for vegetarians. I must add the food was simple yet delightfully tasty.
I was talking to their manager and he believed that since the food is offered to the God before it is offered to the guests, there is divinity that gets added and guests are left licking their fingers. Well, I am sure the faith in divinity does add its magic to the food. They even have the before-food prayer on their dining tables for people to say it before they eat. The Resort does not even serve aerated drinks and junk food. In the middle of the water activities, we were offered watermelon juice, in the evening we were served Dahi Puri by the beach along with tea & coffee.
The Shri Yantra is a prosperity diagram that you would have often seen in shops and homes – most of the times as an etching, on a copper plate. For the first time at Sai Vishram, I saw a life-size three dimensional Shri Yantra in wood with all its geometric shapes one on top of the other. Two wooden cylinders had the Vishnu Sahastranam and Lalita Sahastranam written on them. Have you seen anything like this elsewhere?
Finally, I loved the advice of this wise Sea Turtle.
We were invited and hosted by the Sai Vishram beach resort management for this experience. We would like to thank them for the wonderful hospitality offered.
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