A delightful cocktail of royal and rustic

by Aparna Sharma
Aparna Sharma

Pollachi is a destination which makes you believe in magical reality. I often wonder how some places can be magical and realistic. Having spent most of my life in a city, waking up amongst greenery to the sound of birds singing is far stretched from my everyday reality but I am happy to find destinations which are a welcoming, surreal break for me.

Since I was born in Coimbatore which is a city in South India, Pollachi is not a novel destination for me. I have been there many times to visit my grandparents but I was pleasantly surprised to see Pollachi through The Papyrus Itineraries. I found them on Instagram and after going through their feed and website, I got in touch with them because I was very impressed with their work towards responsible tourism. They customised a two-day itinerary for me based on my requests.

Indian weavers

My day started in Negamam, we went to visit the weavers and witnessed the colourful yarn get converted into exquisite saris. Despite the hardships faced, it was very surprising to meet this small community of weavers taking so much pride in their craft. They entertained me into their houses and everybody I met offered me something to drink, their attitude towards life and contentment towards their craft left a lasting impression on me. These are the travel stories which make me wanderlust for more – it’s always the people and the culture which I enjoy the most during my travels.

After we said our goodbyes to the weavers, we went to watch a couple demonstrate how they make beautiful decorative products using palm leaves. It was fascinating watching him make beautiful decors of different shapes and colours, using palm leaves. I wished my daughter was with me. She is very creative and would have definitely enjoyed watching the process. He made us a deer, a parrot, a fish and a flower that we carried back as souvenirs. The leaves were painted in bright pink, yellow, purple and green, which added a fun character to the finished products.

palm leaves craft

palm leaves craft

My mind was constantly thinking of all the places I could use these in my house back in Thailand, so I happily went ahead and bought some more to take back with me. Our energy was soon drained out in the summer heat but soon came my favourite part – it was time for lunch. “I love every opportunity to connect with Mother Earth and spend some quality time listening to her birds, walking on her fields and viewing all the splendid colours she turns into during sunset. I am so happy that The Papyrus Itineraries turned my wish into a reality!”

Aparna Sharma in Shenbaga Vilaasam

I checked into Shenbaga Vilaasam and they had prepared a simple local vegetarian meal for me. The property was timeless and stunning, and it instantly took me back to a bygone era. I have always loved culture and heritage, so seeing this regal farmhouse decorated with the Aathangudi tiles and the simple yet characteristic courtyard in the centre literally made me feel like I had entered a time machine.

Aathangudi is a small town in Tamil Nadu, India which is very popular for beautiful handmade tiles. The room was extremely spacious, I had enough space to stretch and do my yoga. My room had a separate entrance area and a dressing room. All that space to myself made me feel like a Zamindari lady. Zamindars were land owners who collected the revenue of a district during Mughal and British rule in India. The Indian government abolished the title in 1956. I absolutely enjoyed my stay and experience at Shenbaga Vilaasam and the dedicated caretakers took much care of me.

Later, Pravin, the founder of The Papyrus Itineraries, drove me to Puravipalayam in the evening to experience a beautiful sunset. As our car came to a halt, we walked up to a humongous Banyan tree that houses an ancient temple inside. The landscape around was breath-taking and it is an ideal setting for anybody who wants to try sunset photography. The filtered light falling through the tree is lovely to try some portraits too.

bull card ride

Back in my room at Samathur after a sumptuous meal at Coco Lagoon, I slept like a queen in my huge bed. I was all alone in the property that night and there was no WiFi but I had a book and Netflix for company. I got up in the morning and went for a Bullock cart ride to a lake for bird watching. It was quite an exhilarating experience but one has to make sure to hold on tightly. Later, I ventured out to say hi to the livestock at the farm. It was truly endearing to feed the animals and cuddle them.

This was a truly a yoga journey to remember, as yoga for me, is not only my practice on my mat; it is also the life I choose to live off my mat. Pollachi is not a novel destination for me. I have been there many times to visit my grandparents but I was pleasantly surprised to see Pollachi through The Papyrus Itineraries. You can find more stunning pictures and other details of Pollachi on: Papyrus Itineraries

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