Gorgeous hotel tucked away in gently rolling hills

Rajakkad

Rajakkad

Dindigul
, Karnataka
, India

Rajakkad, like all interesting houses with a history, has evolved over a period of time. It is organic by nature, dynamic in energy, and has been constructed and refined over 250 years, using timber cut from the forest reserves of the princely Travancore family. The estate is approached along an avenue of royal palms as you slowly climb to the top of the hill. The building comprises courtyards and pools and is naturally cooled by gentle breezes wafting through louvered screens and doorways. There is a library, a sitting room and a dining room and, whilst Rajakkad provides contemporary comfort, the owners have tried to keep it as simple and authentic as possible. It’s cosy, it’s homely, it’s true to itself. Simple, airy rooms with attached bathrooms fan off from the main courtyard and each has private access to the garden. Fine linen and deep mattresses and pillows ensure an excellent night’s sleep whilst the colourful furnishings and tadlac finishes contrast subtly with the wooden structure.

Our Rating: Premium
Property Type: Heritage

Destination

The Rajakkad Estate is a wonderful 250-year-old building with a huge sense of history and an incredibly warm and inviting atmosphere. Surrounded by a working coffee estate and lying high in the hills above Dindigul, the views are superb; the walking is second to none; private estate tours are enlightening and the place exudes charm and sophistication. A former Travancore palace which has moved location a couple of times, its final resting place is probably its finest and one could spend days or weeks here. It has wrap around pretty gardens with plenty of private, comfortable, shady nooks and crannies designed to while away the hours in, when not walking or feasting or chatting. This place is more of a home than a hotel and it’s one of the most welcoming and relaxing places to stay in Tamil Nadu. Given its small size, it is the ideal place to take in its entirety. It is a place for nature lovers, walkers, readers and people who like to take it easy.

Accommodation

Comprises 7 rooms, categorized as 4 twin bedded rooms, 3 double. The rooms are spread around the 3 sides of the palace, fanning off from a lovely courtyard, and are bright and cheery and prettily decorated. The dark wood paneling that can seem too intense and gloomy in some Malayali houses has been whitewashed in the bedrooms here so that they are light and welcoming. They are spacious with sophisticated, elegant furnishings and remain warm and cosy in winter but are cool and fresh in summer. The bathrooms are very small but work perfectly and have good rain showers and a smooth tadlac finish. They have been ingeniously created by bringing the verandah into the bedroom and that has become the bathroom. The rooms are well lit and all open out straight onto the garden where each room has a semi-private sitting area to enjoy, looking over the canopy of the forest below and around you. All the rooms are slightly different but have a common theme running through them, with colourful rugs and black oxide floors. All in all they are homely and inviting.

All rooms have showers, bathrobes with hot water bottles or heaters, standing fans, hairdryers on request. Purified water is provided for all guests in the rooms. Bottled water is offered at extra charge.
Due to the nature of the building, it is not easily accessible / suitable for wheelchair users.

There is neither a television nor DVD player at the property. There is a small, well – stocked library.

Plentiful hot water is supplied by hidden geyser.

Dining

A table d’hote menu is available offering delicious, fresh South Indian and Mediterranean cuisine. Lunches comprise of fresh and varied salads, scrummy picnics can also be arranged.

Meals are served al fresco when the climate permits, in the jungle, in the dining room, or wherever a guest may choose. Evening meals are largely en famille but guests can ask for an alternative arrangement.

Experiences

Rajakkad is a place to come and immerse yourself in nature, to take time out of a busy, culturally intensive itinerary and surround yourself with birdsong, views from heaven, lush, dripping jungles and just a little bit of wilderness wonder. Relax on shady terraces, in a hammock, or in the garden, visit the farm, explore the coffee estate, or wander the many meandering paths on the estate. Due to the refreshingly cool climate, the walking here is fantastic and the estate is home to a huge number of migratory and indigenous birds – a veritable birdwatcher’s dream!

The more active can join in local temple festivals or enjoy full day walks, with a feast of a picnic provided, taking you through rocky gorges, under the jungle canopy, past waterfalls and natural pools, or through welcoming villages.

Why we love this place

Rajakkad is highly accessible and provides the perfect, restful, wilderness break in a demanding South Indian tour.

Responsible/Sustainable Tourism

Rajakkad places high importance on its sustainability and strives for minimal impact on the environment. As little as possible was disturbed during its reconstruction and they have extensive water harvesting systems in place. They have constructed numerous small check-dams across the valley, to catch and draw the rain-water back into the ground, they have sunk cisterns into the ground to harvest the water from the roofs of the house and that whole system is a gravity feed from top to bottom, with outlets at intervals to address the various planted areas of the estate.

In water, they try to be as entirely self-sufficient and sparing as possible. All grey water is used on the estate which is healthy, active and entirely organic. They use only natural compost mixtures, which include cow-dung and slurry, neem oil/water as a spray to protect the young plants and the drying of their crop is in the sun, spread out over the farm yards. The delicious South Indian and Mediterranean cuisine is produced from locally sourced ingredients daily and there is a small farm which supplies much of the daily requirements.

Our Recommendation

Practice yoga on a ‘pond like’ platform in the heart of the dripping, noisy jungle.

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