The sweet smell of cardamom wafts through the nippy breeze as you enter the pristine white heritage estate off the Thekkady-Munnar highway. Un-weathered by age, the almost century old heritage bungalow greets you cheerfully atop the elevation from the main road. A premier in the region for plantations, Dr. Mathewâs grandfather started the work of building this estate in the year 1918. The bungalow often doubled up as the village office for the planters who came to seek advice from him. Kalarickal, for many years, became a renowned landmark for planters not only in Kerala but the entire country. As long back as, six generations of local families have been employed in the estate.
Dr. Mathew and his wife Beena, along with his son, have made considerable effort on retaining the traditional essence of the bungalow, ensuring that the original granite and clay combination blends perfectly with the new teak roof additions, mandatory for the upkeep of the house. A block from the wall has been opened to display the use of clay, and not cement, in the house; a place which invokes many questions from almost all visitors. Eager to share the illustrious history of the house and his grandfather, Dr. Mathew has also displayed an old photograph of his grandfather on a horseback. An old curing shed for cardamom still stands at the entrance, with many new additions to the machinery to simplify the process. Still having maintained the original method of using the furnace, Dr. Mathew passionately explains the entire process of cardamom planting. With an avid interest in flowers, he also maintains a greenhouse to take care of some magnificent anthuriums in memory of his mother from as far as Hawaii. Bee keeping is one of the other interests which keep the hosts busy. Widely traveled across the world, Dr. Mathew and Beena, make wonderful company with many interesting anecdotal information about the region and the plantations. Pets are not allowed.
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