Rajakkad Estate : A beautiful abode in the Palani hills
Nestled in the foothills of the Western Ghats, is the "Rajakkad Estate", in the village of Manjelparappu, Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu. We were travelling from Athoor, moving uphill. Even in the mid-summer, the temperature started dropping. We were on a familiarization trip, around Tamil Nadu and, our agenda was to have lunch in this beautiful setting.
Rajakkad Estate is a seven-room bungalow or “Illam” – a traditional home that is recreated in Manjelparappu. The property was basically an 18th-century summer palace of the Travancore Maharaja in Nelliyampathy hills of Palakkad, Kerala. It was dismantled in Palakkad (Kerala) and rebuilt here at the Estate merging itself to the new environment.
The Estate is about Jackfruit trees, Papaya, Coffee, Oranges and, Pepper creepers, crawling onto most of the trees. The place is calm and refreshing, with sweet melodies once in a while, from bird friends of Rajakkad. The Ecosystem here is very much organic, taking you close to nature. They have a few cows and calves and, produce a lot of milk and other dairy products. We spotted a few birds and a giant Malabar squirrel. The workers stay within the Estate. One could join them in their daily activities, and be a part of the Estate. You could go for soft treks and, nature walks around the Estate. These treks, are sure to be loved by nature lovers.
You might not really feel the estate, to be like a palace, but it is a large bungalow with seven different rooms with an en-suite bathroom and a doorway to the garden. The cosy rooms are traditional in style and have contemporary elements of design making it a fusion. A courtyard is in the center of the house, made into a pond with a few plants and fish. A library is next to the dining area, where you have an array of books to explore during your stay. Chairs and hammocks are put in the gardens, for people to sit and enjoy the serenity of Rajakkad, sipping tea, coffee, etc. The floors are tiled with rough granite and cemented with red oxide, which adds to the cooling effect. Food is prepared by the local cooks, and they have a fixed South Indian menu that includes both Veg and Non-Vegetarian; you will love it for sure. Television has no role to play here! You get the local newspaper, and of course, you are connected (Wi-fi). In total, Rajakkad Estate is a calm retreat to nature in a royal style.
The nearest city to Rajakkad is Madurai (80 Kilometers), it has an airport and a railway station. From Kerala, you could connect to Rajakkad Estate from Munnar and Thekkady, which are within the Western Ghats. Visit www.rajakkadestate.com to reserve your room.