This ‘Mud Palace’ Affords an Immersive Nature Retreat


Searching for one of the best homestays in Kanyakumari? Rajchandar Padmanaban and his spouse, Naga Jeyalakshmi, constructed Muthunandhini Palace as a heritage house the place sustainability meets Tamil Nadu’s conventional structure.

Sitting amidst the attractive hills in Pothayadi village close to Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, is a house that was as soon as a pair’s dream. An ideal mixture of Tamil, Venad, and Chettinad cultures and types, the place, known as Muthunandhini Palace, is the love baby of Rajchandar Padmanaban (35) and his spouse, Naga Jeyalakshmi.

Stuffed with historic artefacts and antiques from Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Madurai, and Karaikudi, the house stands as a testomony to the wealthy cultures of the world. The couple determined to share their treasure of a house with others by changing it right into a homestay.

“If you go to the homestay, you possibly can anticipate serenity, tradition, and heritage. The character surrounding us will fill you with a way of peace, and our genuine meals will nourish your soul,” says Rajchandar in a dialog with The Higher India.

The homestay isn’t just a marvel of tradition but additionally a terrific instance of sustainability. From composting their waste to implementing measures to recharge groundwater, the mud homestay is elevating the bar for nature-friendly journey.

Inspiration from grandmother’s house

Born and raised in Kanyakumari, Rajchandar is a geo-data scientist who has spent the vast majority of his life round environmentalists.

“Spending a lot time round them, I needed to make my house as aligned with nature as potential. I had at all times been involved concerning the degradation of the environment and didn’t need to contribute to it,” he shares.

Rajchandar fondly remembers his grandmother’s house, surrounded by greenery.

The homestay has artefacts as old as 100 years.
The homestay has artefacts as previous as 100 years.

“Visits to her house have been my favorite half. At the moment, I used to be unaware of how her deeply conventional and nature-friendly house would sooner or later turn into an inspiration for my dream house too,” he says.

“Her house was quite simple with minimal use of cement and really conventional in design,” he says. 

Whereas dwelling within the metropolis, he longed for a extra secluded place surrounded by nature.

“Once I first noticed the village and the piece of land which now holds my house, it was like love at first sight. I might envision the way forward for the place and therefore selected to purchase the land,” he says.

Rajchandar continues, “There’s a very attention-grabbing story that goes round concerning the hills surrounding the world. It’s mentioned that when Lord Hanuman lifted the Dronagiri Parvat to take it to Lord Lakshman, a bit of it broke off and fell right here. Therefore, these hills have numerous medicinal vegetation rising round.”

The couple didn’t need to disturb the biodiversity of the world and determined to construct a house that blends into nature as an alternative.

In 2021, they began to work on their dream house and opened their doorways to the friends in 2022. “Since we determined to share our house with friends, we’ve hosted greater than 200 friends to this point,” he informs. 

Made with some mud and plenty of love!

The homestay is a mixture of completely different architectures, combining a mix of Tamil, Venad, and Chettinad types that showcase the wealthy cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu.

“I’m personally a collector and love gathering artefacts from the world. I had been gathering numerous artwork items and determined to show them within the house. A few of these items are greater than 100 years previous,” he says.

One factor that Rajchandar was clear about from the start is that he needed to make use of pure supplies to construct the house.

“We didn’t simply need to have sustainable practices. We needed to make the very roots of our house eco-friendly. We used eco-bricks made from limestone and crimson clay for the partitions,” he says.

Itemizing all of the pure supplies that he used, Rajchandar says, “Moreover eco-bricks, we additionally used Athangudi Tiles. These tiles are made up of sand discovered close to Athangudi River which is way more sustainable than regular tiles.”

For the ceiling, the scientist used a method known as filler slab approach to minimise the usage of concrete. Based on Studio DCode, “Filler slab is an alternate slab building know-how the place a part of concrete within the backside of the slab is changed by filler materials.” The roofs even have clay tiles on the roofs too.

“We used crimson soil, lime, cow dung, rice nightfall, egg and jaggery to make a paste for building,” he shares.

Moreover, the homestay options rainwater harvesting, and they’re within the means of putting in photo voltaic panels to harness the solar.

“We additionally make compost out of our kitchen waste, which is then utilized in our backyard. We develop all our vegetation and meals organically so our friends can take pleasure in contemporary meals every day.”

The place boasts 5 bedrooms, 3 balconies, and three dwelling areas for friends to take pleasure in. “Whereas the homestay is shared by us with the friends, we additionally prioritise their privateness.”

Rajchandar highlights, “A singular characteristic of the property is its pure coolness whatever the climate outdoors. With 50 upcycled home windows which might be over 100 years previous, loads of air circulates inside. Moreover, because the home is made from mud and clay, it stays naturally cool all year long.”

The home is made with natural materials such as sand and clay.
The house is made with pure supplies equivalent to sand and clay.

One widespread suggestions he receives from friends is how his house appears like their very own.

One of many prospects, Gavin, who stayed on the property, says, “The place actually appears like house. Residing at their place with all of the beautiful structure depicting our Tamil tradition was an expertise of a lifetime. It’s large in measurement with a number of areas to chill out however the uniqueness was within the small particulars like the way in which they handled us. The meals, their accommodating behaviour made our keep very pleasing.”

Discussing future plans, Rajchandar says, “We actually need to increase the property as many individuals need to keep, however we are sometimes totally booked. We additionally purpose to include extra sustainable measures like photo voltaic power into the present homestay.”

You may ebook your keep at this Rajchandar’s homestay by reaching them at 9360946642 

(Edited by Padmashree Pande; All Photos Credit score: Rajchandar)



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