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Mana musings

ARISTOCRATIC AURA Olappamanna Mana Homestay.  

OLAPPAMANNA MANA

VELLINEZHI, PALAKKAD

USP: An ambience that takes you back to feudal times

Everything about Olappamanna Mana Heritage homestay is aristocratic. Located in the scenic Vellinezhi village, Olappamanna Mana was a centre of Kathakali studies in the early 20th Century — the mana being the traditional home of a Namboodiri family. The village has around 70 Kathakali artistes, some of them big names.

The mana typically has two courtyards, around which are huge dining rooms, kitchens, a temple, performance area and store-houses. Traditional rituals are held often in this area. I was lucky to be there on a day of Kalamezhuthumpattu, to be able to see the kalam and hear the song.

Ancient gigantic utensils, antique urns, books and other paraphernalia are kept in another sprawling room. A library is at the disposal of the villagers, in keeping with the mana's tradition of imparting education and food free to the public.

The homestay, where guests are put up, is in another building, which used to be the pathayappura — the room where paddy was stored. This high-ceilinged structure has been partitioned into three rooms — all of different sizes. In all, they can accommodate 10 people at a time. A kitchenette is also provided, should you need coffee. The meals are provided by the hosts.

The huge, heavy doors; the wooden staircase; and the wonderful view from the balcony — make you feel like an aristocrat from a bygone era. Birds not only wake you up but continue singing all day, and the squirrels are busy all the time. Peacocks feel free to intrude into your reverie. The mango and coconut trees, wild flowers, and grass — they all grow without being regimented into rows or cordoned off by boundaries.

The hosts, an engineer and his wife, personally serve you breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They eat with you, making you comfortable. The food is vegetarian and consists mostly what grows there. It's a traditional Namboodiri cuisine and no grinders are used during the preparation.

Inside the main building, that is the ettukettu, footwear is not permitted. Smoking, alcohol and non-vegetarian food are strictly prohibited. Movies such as “Aaram Thamburan”, “Parinayam” and “Thanmathra” were shot here.

A few kilometres away flows the Kunthipuzha. The fresh air and the sight of the fresh flowing water make you want to sit there and meditate.

(The writer was at Olappamanna Mana at the invitation of the homestay.)

How to get there

It's 90 km from Nedumbassery Airport, via Trichur, Shoranur and Cherplacherry and also 90 km from Coimbatore via Palghat. The nearest railway station is at Shoranur.

Things to do

Walk around the huge compound, get into the natural pool, pluck the mangoes and eat, and walk on the small beaten tracks, in the company of squirrels and birds.

Watch Kalamezhuthumpattu if it is scheduled for that day.

Take a trip to Kunthipuzha and trek on the huge rocks by the riverside.

Learn vegetarian Namboodiri cooking from the hostess.

Tariff

Check-out time is at noon. Tariff includes board and food.

Double room: Rs. 3,530

Twin sharing: Rs. 4,706

Family room: Rs.5,000 (twin sharing), Rs. 6,000 (three) and Rs. 6,765 (four).

Suite-like Large Room Rs. 6000 (twin sharing), Rs.7060 (three) and Rs.7765 (four).

For details call 09895081821, 0466-2285383.


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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 1:50:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/mana-musings/article2207567.ece

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