The name Malnad in Kannada literally translates to Male-naadu, the land of the rain. However, the name is derived from Male (hill) and Naadu (region) in Kannada. Therefore, the Land of Hills amidst the Western Ghats (also known as the Sahyadris), one of the 25 bio-diversity hotspots in the world. It is a region known for its bio-diversity, endless greenery and some of the most picturesque spots in India. A cursory search on the Internet will provide you with a glimpse of it’s beauty. The region is known for its Coffee. Thousands of coffee plantations, big and small, can be found in the region. Mullyanagiri, at over 6000′ is the highest peak in Karnataka. The Malnad and it’s coffee are our motivation for organising this event. The Coffee Day Global Group has graciously given us access to some of their best coffee plantations for this run. Some of these plantations have been growing coffee for over 150 years.
Land of Coffee
Chikmangalur District is widely known as the Land of Coffee. Both Arabica and Robusta, two well known species of coffee are grown in this region. It is estimated that about 70% of the coffee grown in India is grown in this belt.
Our run will take you through seven coffee estates – Lalbagh, Kathlekhan, Sampigehutti, Kurkenmatty, Doopadkhan, San Khan and Rajgiri. These are home to some of the best shade grown single-origin coffees. You will come across some of these in Cafe Coffee Day outlets across the world under the label Dark Forest (Kathlekhan in Kannada) and King of Hills (Rajgiri in Kannada). Records show that coffee was planted in Kathlekhan in 1865.
The Malnad Ultra
The Malnad Ultra, as it often happens, started accidentally. A small group of runner friends planned a run in the Kemmanagundi area in 2015. Since this is a remote area, we approached a prominent estate owner to give us access to a guest house within the estate for the night. When he heard our plan of running some 70-80 kms on that day, he was intrigued. Within a few days we were invited to host a run by the Coffee Day Global Group on their estates. We wanted to share our incredible running experience with others…and so began the Malnad Ultra.
Our first event on October 8-9, 2016 attracted 195 participants, while our second edition on October 7-8, 2017 had 441 participants. The third edition was held on October 13-14, 2018 and attracted over 1200 participants.