Open the doors to world of charm:
Built in the early 1900’s in the midst of hundreds of acres of farmland and natural beauty, Shenbaga Vilaasam opens its doors to a rare and fulfilling experience for you.
When you walk into Shenbaga Vilaasam, you will be enveloped in quaint, old world charm amidst a rustic setting. Whilst your city nerves unwind in a homely, yet luxurious ambiance, allow yourself to peek into the exquisite lives of people of a long lost past. See the magic of India come alive through the eyes of Samathur the village that houses Shenbaga Vilaasam. And in numerous ways, experience the warmth, hospitality and charm of India and her people.
Shenbaga Vilaasam, opened its doors to guests in the year 2007 for the first time due to the efforts and interest taken by Rajah Shankar Vanavarayar of Samathur. In his words “Shenbaga Vilaasam, is a place where we want to portray our culture and tradition in the real sense to the visitor, one is made to feel at home here and yet experience everything that is south Indian”
An edifice of tradition and hospitality:
Shenbaga Vilaasam was built as a farm get away for the Zamindarini of Samathur, Shrimati Maruthapushpambal. The care bestowed by the Vanavarayar family, is evident everywhere in this beautiful mansion. The royal ancestry of the Vanavarayar family date back over 2000 years. The families headed the land down the ages and were the guiding force over this region.
A window to India’s architectural heritage:
This guest house has four bed rooms. Built in a unique blend of south Indian architecture, Shenbaga Vilaasam has a beauty in every tone. Giant wooden pillars support colorful hand dyed chettinad tiles. The center of the formal sitting room opens towards the sky, allowing the play of natural light and at the same time, shielding the home from the mid day glare of the sun. The house tries to bring in the enchanting outside – inside in every way possible through its many verandas and sit outs.
Shenbaga Vilaasam is decorated with family heirlooms and the antique collectibles that the family has acquired over the years. It is indeed a visual treat for the visitor and may say it is “like a museum”.
Each room at the Shenbaga Vilaasam, named after the women of the household, welcomes you with the warmth and hospitality synonymous with the family. The rooms are – Manickam, Maruthapusham, Radhamani, Jaya. Each room has been decorated and designed to make you feel comfortable.
The Mystical Setting:
Shenbaga Vilaasam, is nested in the midst of hundreds of acres of farm land where even today active farming is practiced. The beautiful mountains act as a magnificent backdrop and the coconut plantations here and there add to the beauty. The farm that surrounds the house also has many cows. Some of the daily needs for the kitchen are indeed procured internally.
One can just sit and gaze at the villagers lead a life that we only read about, life here goes on in complete relation with the land in a truly organic way. Guests enjoy a walk in the mornings when many spot peacocks along the walk into the farms.
Almost 200 years ago, the Vanavarayar family initiated the building of a large manmade lake, which was meant to irrigate the areas surrounding. Today, in addition to giving the land around Shenbaga Vilaasam a picturesque setting, the lake continues to provide a means of livelihood for the people who live here. This is a place for many birds to flock in the mornings and evenings and is indeed a sight to see.
Shenbaga Vilaasam – myriad ways to experience India
The fascinating aspect the experience in Shenbaga Vilaasam is that the guest finds his or her search. Finds that one aspect that the soul searches for. We present to you some options, but we ask you to explore or to tell us what you need and we will try to fulfill your needs.
Sandhai stroll - Sandhai is a village market and it is a time when the actual producer of many things comes in contact with the ultimate consumer without any middle men. It is held on a particular day of the week in certain locations. A visit to this market place is suggested as one truly experiences the real India in her exotic best. There are simple and small Sandhai’s in villages and also the near by town Pollachi has one of the biggest Sandhai’s in the region.
Village walk or cart ride - guests can walk or have a ride in a bullock cart through the narrow lanes of the village of Samathur. The quaint village has simple lined homes and one can stop to visit a craftsman’s home or a village temple or just to catch some village small talk.
Experience the Crafts - India is a land which is rich in its craft cultures and traditions. Every region or even village has its one crafts culture. Even today one can witness many of these, and the village of Samathur and other villages have a lot to offer. One can see weaving of saree’s, making of baskets, stone sculpture, terracotta and pottery, palm leaf crafts, garland making and many other crafts. Some of these crafts are to be witnesses in the place of the craftsman and some can be arranged to be made in Shenbaga Vilaasam itself.
The Agri - Culture - the only occupation or livelihood that is termed as a culture itself. And Shenbaga Vilaasam offers a guest the chance to see it in the real way in many ways according to the season and time of the year. One can see coconut plantations, paddy fields, vanilla farms, tea or coffee gardens, beatle leaf plantations and a host of other crops and cultivation's depending on the time of the year. The guest has the opportunity to interact with the simple farm worker or to just see our daily consumables being grown.
Spiritual Journey - Shenbaga Vilasam, has been a place where many saints have come and gone. It according to many has an energy or aura attached to it. For the seeker, we can arrange a visit to the 700 year old ancient shrine of Lord Choleshwara and Goddess Shenbagavalli in the village of Samathur. The temple has been worshipped and maintained by the Vanavarayars for centuries and it for sure has a charm of its own. Again an experience not to be missed. Special rituals or pooja’s can be arranged with special requests. We can also arrange for you to visit a hill temple, which will require you to go through a short climb or to a folk temple or to a temple market. Yoga sessions can be arranged in a spiritual retreat near by if required.
Wild Escapes - Visiting a region which is encircled by fauna and flora of varied kinds, it is a must to do a half or a full day journey to a near by wild life reserve. Certain months in the year these reserves are closed but special permissions could be got. These forests are home to some of India’s pride like the tiger and even the lion tailed macaque and the Nilgiri thar, both of which are globally endangered species.
Natural Getaways - Shenbaga Vilaasam, being in an area with abundant natural beauty, it is natural that there are many sights and places where nature enthralls the visitor. An evening tea can be packed for you to a location that might captivate you, like a waterfall or a panoramic dam site. With prior intimation we can arrange for these visits.
Indian Shopping Spree - be it the local natural medicine/spice store or the fabric retailer in the crowded by lanes, to the potters street or the jeweler, one can experience many aspects of the shopping of the way the locals do it in the town of Pollachi.
The Visit to the Palakkad fort, a rice farm and an antique store - this half a day tour into Kerela will take you the famed fort (1766) of Tippu Sultan in Palakkad and then to the rice farm which cultivates the 2500 year old Navara rice and finally to a store that sells antiques. This half a day trip, for sure showcases many different aspects of this region.
Some Truly Indian experiences - some more ways in which you can become one with the culture or way of life of the land.
- Astrology - with a parrot or an experienced astrologer
- Interaction with an historian to get to know about the land and its greatness.
- Listen to some classical or folk music
- Visit to a local industry to get to know the modern face of India
- Visit to a heritage home or a Palace
- Ayurvedic treatment
- Get invited into a simple farm home for a traditional meal.
- A lesson into of south Indian cuisine
- Witness a enthralling folk dance – Kollattam