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 we are a B&B in that breakfast is the only meal we provide. The exceptions are when there is a strike in Kerala (which is often!) that affects local restaurants (we then ensure that our guests don't enter starvation mode), and when we are cooking for ourselves, which usually is for lunch (guest can then join for free). However, Indhrivanam remains 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.
There are around 100 restaurants located within 1 to 10 kilometres from Indhrivanam. For lunch, which is the most important meal for local people, we recommend the South Indian thalis, priced at INR 50-100, 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.