An ecological mountain retreat

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 wanting a stay that is low impact on the environment, fauna and flora.
* 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.

The cottage

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 conventional 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 (5 Mbps). If you have an Airtel, Idea or Vodafone SIM, you should, on the property, be able to connect to those companies' 4G networks. Jio and BSNL coverage is more patchy.

The Property

A secret haven for fauna and flora

The property

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.
Indhrivanam has been through many incarnations in terms of food provision. These days, the approach is as follows: meals are served in the main building. Breakfast and dinner are complimentary. Lunch is not available. Breakfast is available between 07:30 and 10:00. Dinner is available between 18:00 and 19:00. Please note that Indhrivanam is the only vegan place to stay in Kerala. From a dietary perspective, the meaning of vegan in an Indian context is pure vegetarian without dairy products.
The Indhrivanam breakfast consists of homemade bread with various homemade nut butters, relishes and a very tasty cashew cream cheese. There will also be fresh fruit, e.g. oranges, papaya, water melon, pineapples and/or bananas. There may be homemade scruffins (a small cake that is a cross between a scone, rock cake and a muffin). If you prefer an Indian breakfast, we can make adai with sambar and chutney, or vegan Indian omelettes. Coffee, tea, lime juice, and, on good days, cakes are available for free throughout the day in the main building. Dinner is usually something from the Indian cuisine, North or South, a fusion, Jain or a new invention! Please note that we do not have a menu.
If you prefer to eat out or you are eating very late in the evening, there are around 100 restaurants located within 1 to 10 kilometres from Indhrivanam that are happy to serve you. For lunch, which is the most important meal for local people, we recommend the South Indian thalis, priced at INR 50-150, that are available in local style restaurants. For dinner, the cuisines in restaurants range from North Indian, South Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern to Chinese. The average price for dinner for 2 people, is INR 500-1000 in the more upmarket places, but, if you prefer, you can easily spend INR 4000-5000 in the 4-star or 5-star resorts and hotels. There are also cheaper, local style options, e.g. in Kumily Town there is South Indian street food for people who are so inclined. For our non-Indian guests in particular, we highly recommend seeking out local food as experiencing the various Indian cuisines is an important part of experiencing India. We are also happy to recommend restaurants.


We are a friendly bunch.
Neither fake, nor photoshopped


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 dogs, Ashna and Teddy. They are healthy with up-to-date vaccinations, have been socialised well, and are 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.


So, why not make a booking?


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 5300 and 6300 (with breakfast and dinner) per night including any/all taxes. If you book directly with us, and you are staying for 3+ nights, we will give you up to 25% discount. 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 second couple in similar accommodation nearby. Please contact us for the exact tariff or check our detailed tariff table (pdf, 26 kB).
Before contacting us, you may want to check our Internet reviews on Tripadvisor, Airbnb, Google and We got a nice mention in an article by Mahananda Bohidar on (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