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Wayanad > Periyar - Bungalow
Periyar - Bungalow
Reserve Bungalow is located 10 Kms away from Thekkady,
Periyar Bungalow is set amidst a sprawling cardamom
plantation of six hundred acres, which lies sandwiched
between the tropical evergreen forests of Periyar Tiger
Reserve and Ranni Reserve.
which has an original title deed dated 1912, was granted to
a band of local planters hailing from Kuruvinakunnel and
Kallarackal families along with a few other energetic
planters from the neighboring plains by the Maharaja of
Travancore. J.R.Vincent, the brother of A.D.Vincent, a
prominent rubber planter in Mundakayam Valley, bought the
initial clearing of over seven hundred acres in 1926, and
named it the Downton Estate.
He built a colonial style ranch home, the Downton Bungalow
in 1930, which is still seen at the entrance of the Estate.
The Downton Estate was brought by the K.I. Varkey in 1947,
and is now with the Karimpanal family the hill top, into the
deep forest, a mud road traversed only by jeeps or on
horseback. The road serpentine up through the thick foliage
some two kilometers up to the end of the Estate, and behold
on the edge of the forest, upon a small hill, beside a
gushing brook is the majestic Periyar Reserve Bungalow. The
building overlooks a gurgling stream which rushes down the
rocks, separating the Downton Estate and the Reserve forest.
The Bungalow is built in harmony with its natural
surroundings. The ground floor have thick granite columns
for walls with massive wooden windows and doors. From the
sitting room one can see the thick evergreen forest margined
by the silvery stream, where many a times wild animals like
gaur, sambar and elephants come for a drink. A wooden
staircase leads up to the first floor sit out - which is
actually a long L shaped verandah, which has polished wooden
planks for flooring. The sit out is open on both sides and
commands a birdís eye view of the surrounding cardamom
plantations and the jungles.
The Periyar Reserve Bungalow is a unique experience as its
the only place where you get a comfortable homely feeling
though right inside the middle of the forest
The upper floor has three large bedrooms with tree trunks as
pillars holding the ceiling and wood paneled walls. The
bedrooms are aesthetically furnished and with attached
bathrooms. At night the surroundings are echoed with the
chirping of crickets and the occasional call of a barking
deer or the purring of a hungry panther.