I know I have written nothing about our Agumbe trip from last year. It’s really sad on my part considering the fact that it was my most favorite trip in recent times. One of these days I have to come around and note down the things from this beautiful trip.
Meanwhile using the opportunity of this blogging challenge, I thought the least I can do is share the best part of the trip. For me, it was undoubtedly the stay at Doddamane. Doddamane translates to “The Big House”. It was the way people referred to the biggest house in the town. True to its name, the house is huge!
Why it is vintage is because of the fact that it is more than a 100 years old! With strong walls and foundation, the house has stood for a century and more, housing various generations of the family. Goes without saying how well architected the structures were back then. What is as beautiful as the house itself, is the family that stays there. Kasthuri ajji and her daughter’s family are extremely kind, friendly and hospitable.
They let out rooms for travelers who are looking for a place of stay. A friend of mine referred the place to me and I just knew, that’s where we are going to stay. You will be served extremely delicious Malnad style food, prepared by ajji and her daughter themselves.
I always loved these kind of old style houses, which we call thotti-mane in Kannada. Thotti refers to the pit that’s present at the center of the house. The roofs converge in the center and during monsoon, you can enjoy the rain pouring into the pit. It is so well designed that water beautifully flows out. There are huge wooden pillars all over the house, which add to the beauty.
Unfortunately what I find beautiful, is difficult for the family to maintain. 😦 You won’t find laborers skilled enough to maintain such structures today. The family also has financial limitations, it being a small town. Despite that, they don’t think of charging people exorbitantly for the stay. The fact is that they don’t even have any charge. Ajji points you to a feedback register and a box and is happy with whatever you put into it. Where can you find such people nowadays?
It has been my long nourished dream to move away from the city to a small town some day and stay at a thotti-mane, with lush green surroundings. It seems far from possible presently, but no harm in dreaming, right?
P.S: The house is featured in the TV series, Malgudi Days, which was shot mostly in and around Agumbe.