|Downton Heritage Homestay located
in the heart of Periyar Tiger Reserve, a rare destination ideal for
trekking, bird watching and jeep safari. A 100 year old Estate Bungalow
set amidst sprawling cardamom plantations and thick forests of the
Western Ghats is transformed in to relaxing haven to unwind. You are
awakened every morning by chirping birds welcoming the sun and as the
dusk stretches into the silence of the night one can feel the presence
of wild life. It is quite an experience to lounge in your comfy warm bed
with a view of the jungle and the mountains lending an ear to the eerie
silence. We welcome you to this Godly place on earth, to be in the lap
of nature and go back inspired and awed, to come back again.
||Till about two centuries back this part of the
Western Ghats in Kerala with its thick rainforests and large population
of wild animals was consideredalmost inaccessible. Public attention was
drawn to this place when Col. J. Pennycuick, designed the Mullaperiyar
dam in this region in 1895 submerging virgin forests, resulting in the
Thekkady lake. J. R. Vincent a prominent British planter of the times in
Mundakayam Valley, bought the initial clearing of over seven hundred
acres just above the lake in 1926 for planting cardamom, and named it
the Downton Estate. He built a colonial style ranch home, the Downtown
Bungalow in 1930, which is now refurbished by the present owners and
offered to discerning tourists as a souvenir from the colonial days. The
lovingly maintained 19th century bungalow still retains its charm and
character with exposed
ceiling beams, Georgian water boiler and marble walk-in bathtubs.
|Pachakanam lies on the border of Kerala?s
Pathanamthitta and Idukki districts, both touching the western outskirts
of Tamil Nadu. From Vandiperiyar, a town on the NH 212 connecting Kollam
to Madurai, one deviates to the right and thereafter it is all large
expanse of tropical wet evergreen forests on both sides.
||These forests are on the other side of the famous
pilgrim destination Sabarimala but the dense forests in between make
them mutually inaccessible. With the tropical evergreen forest
consisting of rare trees of varied species and huge sizes we feel the
warmth of nature at this unusual piece of land gifted to us to explore
|The Downton Bungalow is set amidst a manicured cardamom plantation of
six hundred acres. From the Bungalow there leads up the hill top in the
deep forest, a mud road that forks in to more than one pathway that
serpentine through the thick foliage offering the trekkers and the night
riders rare views of flora and fauna.
||What we offer
> Well maintained accommodation
> Cooks, waiters and guides
> Laundry on request
> Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian food
> Guided treks
> Night safari in open jeep
> Plantation visit
> Night camps on request
> Barbeque on request
> A morning jeep ride through the plantation lasting about 2 hrs right
up to the Periyar lake catchment areas receding into the forest boundary
offering an opportunity to see the wildlife in its natural habitat.
> Guided treks through routes identified within the plantation designed
both for the leisurely and the more adventurous.
> Night Safari where we move about armed with searchlights and cameras
in an open jeep.
> For the ornithologically inclined this place is ideal for watching
birds of rare species. Here one can see the hornbill nests and feeding
in the season.
> The evenings can be spent through a scenic drive in and around the
valley with acres of meadows, cliffs and precipices that cut down into
the Sabarimala ranges.
> For the weary traveler there is always the option to curl up with a
book amidst the eerie silence only the jungle can offer.
||Tariff: 12000 per two person with all meals.
Though wild animals could be sighted throughout the year within the
estate periphery, one should not expect the predictability of urban life
in the wild.
The rooms are not air-conditioned; there is no landline telephone
connectivity or internet and no television in rooms
Mobile phone coverage is very weak. But on certain locations there is
good signal strength.
Hosts' family members may not be available always.