Sometimes you climb a little hill and straight away descend into… history.

I knew we were going to a tea estate. Having been to one years ago that too in Darjeeling, I was eager to see one in Kerala.

What i saw really surprised me. it was not just the tea estate but the colonial house built during the British times for the estate manager. So here we were at Arnakal Tea Estate.

And since we’ve been doing pictorial blogs, here’s another walk through a sprawling tea estate with a historical colonial bungalow smack in the centre of it. When I stepped into the place I exclaimed that this seemed like something out of a book. And sure enough, I was right. There has been a book written by Eve Baker who actually grew up in this place more than half a century ago. (Link below). So let me walk you through a storybook house.

The sprawling house stood in the middle of well manicured lawns. An old colonial structure made of wood and tiles - it was reminiscent of days gone by
The sprawling house stood in the middle of well manicured lawns. An old colonial structure made of wood and tiles – it was reminiscent of days gone by
A porch flanked with vibrant flower beds on both sides of the steps led to a wide verandah which encircled the house.
A porch flanked with vibrant flower beds on both sides of the steps led to a wide verandah which encircled the house.
The verandah - or corridor - wide and red and vibrant - a great place to sit out in the evenings or for high tea.
The verandah – or corridor – wide and red and vibrant – a great place to sit out in the evenings or for high tea.
Our gracious hosts Geeta and Oommen were there to greet us outside and led us in to a large spacious living room. One step inside and we stepped back in time
Our gracious hosts Geeta and Oommen were there to greet us outside and led us in to a large spacious living room. One step inside and we stepped back in time
Our gracious hosts Geeta and Oommen were there to greet us outside and led us in to a large spacious living room. One step inside and we stepped back in time
Our gracious hosts Geeta and Oommen- General Manager of the estate, were there to greet us outside and led us in to a large spacious living room. One step inside and we stepped back in time
More views of the living room
More views of the living room
Then we took a tour of the large sprawling house
Then we took a tour of the large sprawling house
The adjoining study
The adjoining study
Beautiful flower arrangements adorned every room. So aesthetically appealing
Beautiful flower arrangements adorned every room. So aesthetically appealing
Roses...
Roses…
And more roses
And more roses
Look at this arrangement!
Look at this arrangement!
Sunflowers...
Sunflowers…
And the fragrant magnolias
And the fragrant magnolias
And this one...
This too was one of many…
Art adorned the walls
Art adorned the walls
And antiques stood testimony to time
And antiques stood testimony to time
The large dining room with an equally large table! The table was groaning with the weight of Indian hospitality and we feasted on deliciously cooked local delights
The large dining room with an equally large table! The table was groaning with the weight of Indian hospitality and we feasted on deliciously cooked local delights
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We did have a bystander to the proceedings… okay… a bysitter!

And on our way back through the undulating green hills we got a refreshing smile from one of the pickers… making us want to come back again!

Once again I thank all who made this trip possible – AK, SV, SG, Valsa, and our gracious hosts Geeta and Oommen!
Thank you! Till we meet again!

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Here’s the book written on this place

Eve Baker The Tea Planter’s Children

If you’ve missed the earlier posts in this series here are the links

South by South East Flowers, Fruit and Spice

South by South East Day Three

South by South East – Day Two 

South by South East

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