Indhrivanam

An ecological mountain retreat

Indhrivanam logo
Indhrivanam, located in Kumily Thekkady in the South Indian state of Kerala, is a unique place to stay with only one detached stone cottage available for tourists. The cottage is situated in a small private forest with hundreds of rosewood, almond, mango, jackfruit and orange trees, creating a setting you won't find elsewhere in Thekkady. Indhrivanam is ideally suited for a couple or small family, Indian or non-Indian, who want to get away from the crowds of India, for people, for instance honeymoon couples, who would like to enjoy their holiday in privacy, and for anyone appreciating delicious vegetarian and vegan food.
* It is difficult to categorise Indhrivanam. We are a retreat in the sense that by staying here you are retreating from the outside world. We are a resort in the sense that the property is large. We are a boutique hotel in the sense that very few people stay here at the same time. And we are a homestay in the sense that we deliver a homely, informal and friendly atmosphere.
** The photo above is the view of the Tamil Nadu plains. It was shot 200 metres from Indhrivanam.

The Cottage

There is only one, and it is yours and yours only.
Located in its own private forest.

Indhrivanam logo
Staying at Indhrivanam is a different experience. The focus is on ecologically sustainable practices like rainwater harvesting and the use of dry toilets. For people wanting hotel/resort luxury (swimming pool, flat screen television, and room service), Indhrivanam is not recommended, but for people seeking the luxury of privacy, peace, nature, a very nice cottage, ecology, helpfulness and comfortable living, Indhrivanam may be the perfect place.
The cottage is made from local hand-chipped rock, and has a traditional terracotta roof. Very little concrete, paint and chemicals were used in the construction, and the wood used for doors and shutters is locally grown silver oak (non-indigenous with low absorption of CO2). The cottage has a front veranda (12m2), bedroom (20m2) and attached bathroom (6m2). The bedroom has double/twin beds with extremely comfortable king sized duroflex spring mattresses. In the cottage there is an electric kettle, coffee, teas and clean drinking water. There are incense, candles, soap, toilet paper, telephone, torches/flashlights, umbrellas, walking sticks and a hair dryer. There is wifi Internet in the cottage (3 Mbps), and unlimited entertainment on our networked video and music library. If you have an Airtel, Idea or Vodafone SIM, you should, on the property, be able to connect to those companies' 3G networks (4 Mbps).

The Property

A secret haven for fauna and flora

the property logo
Indhrivanam means a sense of forest in Malayalam. The word indhrivanam is made by joining indriyam, meaning a sense of, and vanam, meaning forest, and by adding an h that more accurately reflects the pronunciation of indri. The name is a reflection of reality as the 1.6 acre property is almost entirely under tree canopy. In addition, the canopy is layered, which makes an ideal habitat for our slender lorises (a primate that is very rare and usually only found deep in the forests of South India and Sri Lanka), Asian palm civets, squirrels and around 50 types of birds, including Malabar grey hornbills. Roaming at ground level are wild boar, mouse deer, hares, rabbits, porcupines and monitor lizards. As you can imagine, it is an ideal setting for extended relaxation. However, when you do decide to venture out, we always, if requested, help with arranging and acquiring tickets for activities in the Thekkady area (pdf, 25 kB), and if you need a driver or guide, we can point you in the right direction.
In addition to the cottage, there is only one building at Indhrivanam, which we usually refer to as the main building. In the main building, food is served, there are office facilities, reception and so on. It is also where you find amenities like computer facilities, laundry service, a very small library of books, playing cards, dominos, backgammon, scrabble, carrom and detailed maps for local walks. Amenities are, as a rule, free.
Importantly, Indhrivanam is the only vegan place to stay in Kerala. The meaning of vegan in an Indian context is pure vegetarian without dairy products. We do not have a restaurant, but provide homemade food at a charge. Breakfast (INR 250 per person) is Indian or continental with fruit and fruit juice. Lunch is usually not available, but as lunch is the most important meal for local people, there are decent Kerala lunches available in local restaurants at very reasonable prices. Dinner (INR 425 per person) is from the North Indian, South Indian or Middle Eastern cuisines, according to guest preferences. Coffee/tea, lime juice, and, on good days, cakes are available for free throughout the day in the main building. For lunch, or if you prefer to eat breakfast and/or dinner somewhere else, there are around 100 restaurants located within 1 to 10 kilometres from Indhrivanam. Even though we are vegan, we are happy to accommodate most people, and we will, if you wish, recommend restaurants that suit your requirements.

About

We are a friendly bunch.
Neither fake, nor photoshopped

the property logo
Indhrivanam is owned by Morten (Danish, responsible for email correspondence) and Sarah (English, responsible for phone correspondence). We spend 11-12 months of the year at Indhrivanam. We have a small room in Indhrivanam's main building, located 50 metres from the cottage, where we stay with our Indian Pariah Dog, Ashna. She is healthy with up-to-date vaccinations, has been socialised well, and is very friendly.
There is one permanent employee at Indhrivanam, Raju, who has been working with us since 2008. As Indhrivanam's only employee, Raju's job description is very varied: he cooks, cleans, and does gardening. He has worked as a cook in various hotels and resorts, and it is fair to say that he is an expert in the Kerala cuisine. He lives with his wife and two children 10 kilometres from Indhrivanam.

Booking

So, why not make a booking?

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Our tariff depends on time of year, number and age of the persons staying, and the number of nights the booking is for. For instance, for 2 people the tariff is between INR 4800 and 5800 on European Plan (without food) per night including any/all taxes. The maximum number of people we can accommodate are 3 adults or 2 adults + 2 children. Persons aged 12+ are counted as adults. If you are, for instance, two couples, we can arrange accommodation for the less adventurous couple in a nearby homestay style place. Even though we compete on quality not price, our tariff is by far the lowest for any detached cottage accommodation in Thekkady, and should you find comparable accommodation at a lower price, we are willing to price match. Please contact us for the exact tariff or check our detailed tariff table (pdf, 26 kB). If you are staying for 3+ nights, please ask for a discount.
Before contacting us, you may want to check our Internet reviews. However, please be aware that Indhrivanam has no chance of obtaining a high ranking on the main tourist accommodation review site, Tripadvisor, as this requires a constant flow of reviews. Tripadvisor's algorithm for calculating accommodation ranking is based on the number and frequency of reviews rather than their quality, and as Indhrivanam is easily the smallest accommodation provider with only one unit, we are always well hidden far down on the ranking lists, usually somewhere between 40th and 60th out of 120 in Thekkady in the B&B and Inns category. However, based on average rating, Indhrivanam is somewhere between the 1st and 5th highest rated accommodation in Thekkady, out of all approximately 250 accommodations, with an average of 4.9 (out of 5).
Of course, Tripadvisor's strange rating system doesn't decrease the value of Indhrivanam's Tripadvisor reviews. In addition to the Tripadvisor reviews, we have reviews on Airbnb and Booking.com, we got a nice mention in an article by Mahananda Bohidar on halabol.com (pdf, 476 kB), we really appreciate the considerate blog post from Barbara Bell who stayed at Indhrivanam in 2013, and, finally, we were reviewed favourably in Lonely Planet Magazine India's August 2015 edition (pdf, 1 MB).
If you want to make a booking or have any questions, please contact us by using one of the contact methods listed below. We should be able to handle correspondence in English, German, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian. We are friendly. Don't hesitate! And we are efficient: you will usually, time zones permitting, receive a reply within 1 hour. If you do not receive a reply, please check your email system's spam/junk folder.
If you are booking your holiday through a travel agent or tour operator, you can request to stay at Indhrivanam. If the agent claims that we have no availability, you are welcome to contact us to check their sincerity.
Address: Indhrivanam, Valiyapara Road, Chakkupallam PO, Kumily 685509 KE, India