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Monday, June 18, 2012

Thani Illam - Our Ancestral House

During our Thottuva visit we also visited "Thani Illam" which was our ancestral house where my great grandfather Ramanatha Iyer lived. During his later years Ramanatha Iyer shifted to Perumbavoor to live with one of his sons. During that period he partitioned his properties at Thottuva between his sons Ganapathy Iyer and Viswanatha Iyer. While Ganapathy Iyer, my grandfather, received around 10 acres of cultivable land, the ancestral house was transferred to Viswanatha Iyer.Until 1994 this house was occupied by family members including the well known writer Malayatoor Ramakrishnan, my fathers cousin. It was sold to one Mr.Parameswaran Namboothiri in 1994. He has renamed this house as Thani Illam and in course of time over the years,with some modifications and improvements has converted this place into an environment friendly heritage home stay for tourists.For details log onto: http://www.thaniillam.org/oindex.htm
When we visited Thani Illam there were no tourists as the house was under annual maintenance for anti termite/white ants treatment and Namboothiri and his family including grandchildren were present there. They were wonderful hosts and were delighted to receive us. We were taken on a conducted tour of the house and Namboothiri took great pains to explain at great length each and every aspect/feature of the house.We had light breakfast with them - vadam,chakka pappadam, pazham puzhingiyathu,uppuma & herbal tea. Here are some of the pictures taken during our visit:
Entrance Gate
A view of the house from the gate
Front entrance
A bedroom
Chest of drawer to store bed sheets and linen ( this wooden chest was once used to store rice)
Traditional wooden roof and paintings
Another room with a stairway to the attic
Old wooden Book shelf  with toys made from coconut shells
An open well with clear sparkling water
Wooden Pulley and coir rope for drawing water. Guests are allowed to draw water from the well
The traditional dining table 
The conventional kitchen with gas stove added for convenience
Charcoal and wood/coconut husk used for cooking
Traditional Kerala breakfast
Thani Illam side view
Special room above the garage - Namboothiri posing with his charming grand daughters
Areca nut plant above and below
Jackfruits above and below
Time to leave
A Group Photo before departure- my wife Shobha posing with the Namboothiri family

82 comments:

  1. those girls are so beautiful! how nice to be given a tour. i like all the wood and antiques. :)

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  2. Fascinating tour and wonderful photographs.

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  3. They are beautiful, the buildings, the fruit and all of them are superb.

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  4. How great that your ancestral house is still being cared for. Looks like a nice place for tourists. Wonderful tour!

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  5. It looks like an old but comfortable house. I love the foliage outdoors, very green and pretty.

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  6. It looks like an old but comfortable house. I love the foliage outdoors, very green and pretty.

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  7. That was a lovely visual treat.
    Just enjoyed each picture and brought back some good memories of my maths teacher who gave me tutions in Geometry.
    Her house was something like this.

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  8. beautiful house and surrounding...

    internal architectures shows our heritage...


    thanks for sharing and visiting my blog

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  9. thank you for the wonderful virtual tour!

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  10. Each and every pictures has got so many stories behind them. I felt like visiting my ancestral home at Udupi, which has become a concrete building now.

    Thank you.

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  11. What a lovely house, we don't build things like this any more, at least not in the cities.

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  12. I have seen similar houses long long back. So nice to be reminded of them again through these pictures. They should be preserved. In foreign countries , their tourism industry makes money out of such old settings.

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  13. Sir, amazing and heavenly pics of the Kerala country side house and the surrounds. I long to live in such a one. The green is so refreshing.
    Good to know that you are the late Malayatoor's nephew.

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  14. very nice...
    specially those cheema chakkai...
    :-)

    regards.
    anu

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  15. Houses in coastal area will have similar architecture, this reminds me, my mother's place.
    The house is beautiful!

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  16. Great post.
    Wonderful photos from a lovely place.
    Love the wooden toys.

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  17. What a beautiful home in such a lovely tropical setting.

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  18. Beautiful house and thanks for taking us around.Have a great day!

    Shantana

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  19. @Anilkurup: Thanks. Yes I am Malayatoor's nephew but never had the privilege of meeting him :)

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  20. I have seen these kind of house only in cinema's... Always Old is gold... calm and wonderful place... ennaku poramaya iruku...

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  21. This is a fascinating post RR...Iam a huge fan of vernacular homes..this one is so alive and relevant even today.I wonder where have we strayed from such a rich architectural heritage.....I was also amused by the toys in coconut shell..

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  22. An amazing and thoroughly enjoyable post. Thank you so much for sharing your photos.

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  23. A very pretty place! SO down to earth and beautifully done - connected to nature!

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  24. Wow! Reminds me of my Grandma's house in Mangalore!

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  25. My brother Ram,
    First let me say I love the entrance view of the last photo. The foliage is just beautiful. You always show us different views of life for some folks. The ancestral house looks peaceful from the photographs. Thanks for sharing my friend.

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  26. You must be very proud and attached to this place. Thanks for sharing these lovely pictures:)

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  27. Very very beautiful! Must have brought in nostalgia!

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  28. I've never seen such round jackfruits. "Iyer" is a very pleasant surname. One of my all-time favorite movies from India is called "Mr. & Mrs. Iyer". :)

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  29. @eye in the sky: Yes this is a smaller variety called "Thamara Chakkai" or when translated "Lotus Jackfruit" perhaps because of the mini lotus like designs on the fruit.

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  30. This looks like a place I would love to visit. Your ancestral home! It is very beautiful and welcoming.

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  31. A lovely house with some awesome pictures:)

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  32. Its like a dream house..I'm in love with this house..Very beautiful pictures...:-)

    Thanks for the visit and comment..:-) Glad to have met you here..:-)

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  33. Forgot to mention,I loved the reading space especially..:-)

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  34. Awesome!! Beautiful Illam. Would love to spend atleast a day here. During the monsoons this place would definitely be heavenly. Nice to know that you are related to Malayatoor Ramakrishnan. Love his books.

    www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.com

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  35. I almost felt how much you would have wished that this had remained with your family.Did you not?

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  36. @Sudhir Kumar: Yes I wish very much that the property had remained with the family:)

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  37. Lovely love posts Ramu. Even your Thatha's house in Perumbavoor looks like the side view of Thani Illam , isn't iT? I remember your Perumbavoor Thatha's house. WEhat ahs happened to it?
    Lakshmi

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  38. Namaste....
    t'is a pity the home couldn't remain in your family but life and progress being what it is things move forward.

    Love the areca tree shapes, hate jackfruit-in fact my body hates it, allergic!

    The house needs some work/repairs but it looks sturdy.

    as usual thanks for sharing & including a piece of your history.

    stay blessed.
    rhapsody

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  39. Thank you for the very interesting tour of the house :)

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  40. Beautiful post. Lovely pictures. I wish I could visit this place sometime. I would love to learn about the architectural features of this traditional house.

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  41. @Lakshmiv: The Perumbavoor house was sold many years ago - around 15-20 yrs back !

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  42. @A Home Maker's Utopia: Thanks for the visit and the nice comments.

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  43. @A Home Maker's Utopia: Thanks for the visit and the nice comments.

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  44. THIS IS MY FAVORITE OF YOUR POSTS RAM!!! When I come to India, can you please show me your ancestral oasis?? Thank you in advance :D

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  45. Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments. Please take time off to visit Kerala and spend a few days at Thani Illam and get an experience of traditional life in Kerala. Pl log on to below website for details : http://www.thaniillam.org/oindex.htm

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  46. Love the house it has so much character !! Almost like paradise - no wonder the girls have a glow on their faces !! What a treat , thxs for sharing

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  47. Lovely Post....
    it was like visiting that place for the moment, thanks for sharing Sir...:)

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  48. what a charming house...during my two visits to kerala, i stayed at hotels..but im sure next time im going in for such homestays!!!

    http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in

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  49. @Maryam Maquillage: I am at your service. When are planning your India visit ?

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  50. I've seen your comments in some of the blogs I visit. Thought I'd come by and say Hi. Glad I did. These photos are spectacular.

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  51. That was so nice. I very much like the old Kerala style houses in the form of 'Nalukettu' . I am also from Kerala (Cheruvally, Kottayam Dist.).

    Saw your comment on my blog and arrived here. Thank you :)

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  52. @Abhinav: Thanks for the visit. Welcome to my blog.

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  53. @Myrna: Thanks for the visit. Welcome to my blog.

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  54. @Tina's PicStory: Thank you.Welcome to my blog.

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  55. @Turmeric n Spice: Thanks for your comments. Welcome to my blog.

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  56. Would the nearest rail head be Kochi?

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  57. @Flowergirl: The nearest railway station is Angamali.

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  58. It's like a real peek into history! Great shots!

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  59. Absolutely enchanting.. Kerala is our favorite place especially Allppuzha and Trissore Your pictures and narrative brings the essence of life in Kerala. Thanks RR.

    ERR

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  60. Hi
    I am so glad to visiti you again,though I am taking a break from blogging.
    You have provided such fantastic photos!
    The traditional building house is very beautiful.The roof of the house is also catching my eyes.How lucky that you were alloweded to have such clean water there!
    Have a great weekend.
    Tomoko

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  61. These photos are so neat to see...like the antiques, plants, fruit. Nice to have a tour also

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  62. Beautiful house and breathtaking pictures. Really miss all that in city life.

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  63. This is wonderful! Wish i could visit my family house too, but it's gone, there's a big apartment building instead...

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  64. I very much loved this post. Very much nostalgic. Very few madhams are in our hands. Our own ancestral home has been flattened. (Incidentally I was in J&K) and now at Chennai.

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  65. Thank you, Ram, for visiting The Villages blog. It's always good to hear from you. I enjoyed this post immensely as I've done some genealogy work myself...and who says you can't go home again, even if home has been changed somewhat?

    Looks to be a fine home and tourist accommodation!

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  66. What a nice cosy house it is! It looks like a villa among greens. People in the photo are graceful. Fruits are unusual for me.
    Thank you for sharing the tour.
    Have a great weekend!

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  67. BEAUTIFUL sir , that house is lovely .. Now It makes me want to go to my home toooo ..

    Bikram's

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  68. Wow ! these pictures took me back in time. Very nostalgic.

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  69. beautiful house!!A house surrounded by trees and mud.. Amazing!!

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  70. So pretty! This is so very perfect a place for a quiet holiday. Oh the pictures are really so inviting!
    Thank you so much for this lovely post.

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  71. wow..how amazing! oh my gosh...you are so fortunate to be able to go there!! your pictures give a great tour..thanks!!
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

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  72. I'd really like to see this place and learn about the traditional architectural features. If I'm going that side, I'm surely going to look up this blog before I do so.

    Love how they have tried to retain the authenticity of the place.

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  73. What a fascinating tour and wonderful photographs! Love seeing your ancestral house. Thank you so much for sharing your pictures.

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  74. Hey the pistures made me nostalgic:)..My patti still stays in our Ancestral house. I love visting kerala. it is so beautiful.

    thanks for sharing these pictures...very beautiful

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  75. I've never been in India. It's interesting to see how people live in other parts of our world. Thanks for sharing your pictures.

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  76. Good to see so many comments about our home - also ancestral home of Sree Ramakrishnan ..... I have written some articles about Kerala, it's history and is it connected with tourism industry. The same can be found here: http://santhosham-keralatourism.blogspot.in/

    We are no longer running the homestay business as my parents are getting older (!!) and I am staying at Kumaranalloor, Kottayam. We may sell the property (hopefully to some one from Ramakrishnan's family itself) and settle at Kottayam soon.

    I am sure, such old buildings are livable for centuries, while the modern structures are not.

    We are grateful to the almighty for getting an opportunity to live and maintain the building for the last 20 years....

    Am also reachable through fb:
    https://www.facebook.com/santhosh.thannikat

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  77. Wonderful photos. I felt as if I was taken for the conducted tour! It is sad that such houses are now being demolished to make way for concrete monsters! Hope this unique house will remain intact for years to come!

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