Coorg (Kodagu) is located on the Western Ghats of Karnataka and is known for growing 30% of India’s coffee. Other major crops grown here are pepper, cardamom, areca, and paddy. This area receives heavy monsoon showers and is the catchment area for river Cauvery. Pollibetta is about 3200 feet above sea level. Coorg has salubrious climate with temperature ranging from 10 degree to 32 degree Celsius. The average daytime temperature round the year is in the comfortable range of 22 to 32 degree Celsius.
British coffee planters started developing estates in Coorg from around 1850s. It was a British tradition to establish a club wherever they resided. They invariably created a ‘Little England’ where they could meet, play games, dance, and party to overcome their nostalgia for home.
Bamboo Club was formally established in 1886 at its present location in Pollibetta. Southern part of Coorg was known as the Bamboo District those days from which the club derived its name. Bamboo Club continues to be a home-away-from-home for the present-day members as well.
Bamboo Club is one of the oldest clubs in India and is ranked amongst the top 100 clubs in the country.
The Club Timeline
A Ladies Room was added in 1892 since women were not allowed in the main clubhouse except on days when there was a party and dancing! The mode of transport those days was by bullock-carts and horse carriages. A Protestant church was established nearby in the year 1892. The area surrounding the club was planted with coffee and even now provides additional income for the club.
Many new facilities such as tennis courts, indoor shuttle court, billiards, card rooms, and children’s room were added over the years. The club was exclusively for the Europeans, and it was only in 1949 that membership was extended to three prominent Indians namely, Rao Bahadur Mandepanda S. Mandanna, his son Mr. M.M. Appaiya, and Dewan Bahadur Ketolira M. Chengappa. By then the Consolidated Coffee Ltd., was well-established and besides the British officers their Indian counterparts were also given membership. Officers of Bombay Burma Trading Company too were active members of the club.
The centenary of the club was celebrated in grand style with a formal sit-down dinner for all the members. The bamboo club currently has a membership of over 500, many of them being coffee planters.
Bamboo Club underwent total renovation in 2017/18 under the presidentship of Mr. A.S. Muthanna, and his committee. Though the original foundation was retained to a large extent, the interior, the flooring, lounge, bar, billiards room, cardroom, washrooms etc., were redesigned and given a new look. The newly refurbished clubhouse was inaugurated on 7th July 2018. Of the two clay tennis courts one was converted to synthetic surface and is floodlit.
A swimming pool was added in 2019. The club has a reading room and a collection of more than 3800 books in the library. Guestrooms are well furnished and have television and wi-fi Many events are conducted on a regular basis and the members take part in them enthusiastically. Bamboo Club continues to be a home away from home.