description: All the three villas are spacious, independent and located on the outer dyke facing the peaceful backwaters. The villas are named ‘Chempakam’, ‘Mandharam’ and ‘Ashokam’ after popular local flower plants / trees. The first villa ‘Chempakam’, designed by Swiss architect Karl Damscen is an open plan affair. The other two, ‘Mandharam’ and ‘Ashokam’, designed by Thomas Dominic from Kochi, have a separate living room, bedroom and ‘sit-out’.
The three villas are filled with antiques, including some beautifully carved and crafted doors and windows, which were meticulously collected over a period of time. There is no air-conditioning, no telephone and no TV in any of the villas. TV and telephones are available at our residence, should the need arise.
There is a well stocked refrigerated mini bar and an electric kettle in each room. The three villas are well furnished with two large single beds, wardrobe, cupboard, writing table and chair, settees and chairs in the ‘sit-out’. Not to forget the clean, dry and spacious modern bathroom in each villa. Extra beds are available if needed, and there is also a generator to backup the electricity in case of any power failure. All windows are netted to check the entry of insects.
The farm is made up of ridges and canals, with all the planting done on the ridges. The canals are used for natural fish culture. Karimeen (Pearl spot) and fresh water jumbo prawns (scampi) are grown naturally in some of the canals.
The major crops on the farm are coconut, toddy tapping, nutmeg, cocoa, banana, pepper and many other fruits, vegetables and spices. The farm also has a few cows, geese, ducks and hens. We are members of the Vechoor Cow Trust and are doing our small part in the conservation of Vechoor cows by having one on the farm. We hope to take up a few more. Currently we have started planting vanilla also. The reclaimed island has also helped Vechoor Village to develop. It has given land to the people, plenty of employment, free grass for cows and plenty of free fuel.
The farm was a ‘modern’ farm when it started, but in the last 10 years we have been systematically cutting down on chemicals and relying more on organic and natural farming methods. Today we have successfully cut down by 75 to 80% all chemical inputs.At present the farm employs sustainable and organic methods of farming and we believe that in the coming years we will be a 100% organic farm.
We are prominent members of the community, and have our roots in agriculture. My grandfather was involved in land reclamation and my father, the late Philipkutty, received the ‘Kera Kesari’ award for the best coconut cultivator from the Govt. of Kerala in 1994.
Staying with the family is an unforgettable experience with fond memories to take back. As hosts, we reside on the property full time, and hence, our personalised attention is assured. All guests at Philipkutty’s Farm are welcomed and cared for by the family. We are fully involved and would gladly take you around the farm or the many places of interest or just sit and chat with you. You are also welcome to share in our interests - mum enjoys cooking and I do paintings as a hobby. All this is without compromising your privacy. The family takes a lot of interest in personalising your stay, depending upon your interest. We are always there to make your holiday another memorable experience.
We strive to give our guests the undiluted real Kerala with exposure to the Keralan way of life of a Kuttanadan (backwater) family. The interaction with the family is also an educative experience for the guests on issues like farming, cuisine and culture. Along with the fond memories they carry back, most guests when they leave are also better informed.
reviews: “....Today families will open a few rooms to guests, making it possible to enjoy the atmosphere and hospitality of a real Indian home- as well as tasting their original dishes.... Two of the private homes we stayed in were on the ‘islands’ of the backwaters- areas of reclaimed land surrounded by canals..... The Kutty family were waiting for us on the jetty at ‘Philipkutty’s farm’...... Here we stayed in spotless comfort. Vinod’s mother and wife, Anu, cooked us excellent meals, and demonstrated some favourite dishes. Their succulent duck curry was unforgettable....”
Joseline Dimbleby’s Tour of the Backwaters. ‘The Mail on Sunday’, UK, August 4th, 2002.
“God’s and Sundry - and meals by ‘mummy’.... At the edge of a broad backwater canal, in the midst of coconut and frangipani, you will find three gorgeous traditional Kerala Cottages. There is no road to the little slice of Paradise, no village to interrupt the splendid isolation.....”
‘Business Today’, India, August 4th, 2002.
Great home style food from Philipkutty’s farm (toddy & scampi) - as one of the Five Cool things to do in Kerala.- Cosmo weekend travel.
‘Cosmopolitian’, India, August, 2002.
About 1 1/2 hrs. (75 kms.) from Kochi (Cochin) International Airport, 40 minutes (20 kms.) from Kottayam and 45 minutes (25 kms.) from Alleppey, Philipkutty’s farm is well connected by land. The property can be accessed by a boat too. If needed, we can arrange for transfers on request, at an additional cost.
- Enjoy a sunset cruise every evening on a vallam (country boat) out in the open backwaters. The sights, breeze, sounds and smell of the late evenings are indeed very soothing. If you are lucky you can also catch the moonrise.
- Take a canal cruise through the narrow and winding canals on a vallam or motor boat and catch a glimpse of the unique backwater villages.
- For bird watchers the backwaters and the farm offer ample opportunities for sighting kingfishers, woodpeckers, egrets, cormorants, herons, crowpheasants, snakebirds, teals, etc.
- Ask for a cooking class from mum and learn the nuances of the local cuisine.
- Do a farm walk with any of us and learn about farming below lake level as well as the different crops cultivated. Do check out toddy tapping.
- Walk around the island along the outer dyke. This may take a little under 3 hours and covers a distance of approximately 8 kms. You could also walk in the village and the market, across in the mainland.
- Do a wider sightseeing and exploration trip of the countryside on a bicycle. A sketch of the region can be provided and you get to enjoy the coconut groves, paddy fields, canals and villages that blend into each other. Most of the roads in the mainland are flat with little or no gradient.
- For the adventurous try swimming in the backwaters in front of the villas.
- Visit the Ayurvedic Centre opposite the property for consultation. Try out rejuvenating massages to proper Ayurvedic treatments for various ailments spread over weeks if need be.
- Try fishing (rods available), or, if you are lucky, check out if you can spike scampi at night.
- Visit the St. Mary’s parish church at Vechoor. This is an old church with a history dating back to over 500 yrs.
- Visit the local temples which are in plenty, the Vaikom Siva temple being the biggest and most famous of the lot.
- Visit a very old Nair Tharavad (household) - ‘The Kaimals’. The household has a history of over 400 yrs- their old wooden house being a testimony of this. The family temple, the old palm leaf manuscripts, the temple art of ‘kalam’ drawing (for which only natural and organic pigments are used) and the tallest Snake God statue are the other attractions there.
- Watch the hundreds of fireflies in the farm at night. You might just mistake them for the stars.
- The property also offers an ideal setting and is inspiring for serious writers and artists.
- But, if you are the kind who wants to just relax and cool off, sit on the verandah or under the trees and dream or observe the passing backwater life or catch up with your reading. You could also star gaze into the clear pollution free night sky.
- Finally you could engage the family members and just chat about anything and everything.
and pricing details: please
contact owner for further details:
Ambika Market, PO,
INDIA - 686144
PH- +91 4829 276529, 276530 ,275130
Mobile- +91 98950 75130
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org,