Things to do: Tour of Athoor Village

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We offer an optional guided tour of Athoor Village for a minimum of four people. It is conducted by one of our experienced staff members. Generally we go in the morning, as there is more to see. Things to be seen change from day to day, for example, schools are closed on Sundays. On the tour you may visit the goat herders’ village; the local primary school; Athoor Village Square; the Catholic Church; small temples. Local industries include brick making and chamber kilns; sari making on hand looms; rope making from coconut… Read more »

Things to do: Half and full day trips

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Ideas for half and full day trips include DINDIGUL for the flower market, the UNESCO world heritage Fort and a small insight into life in an important market town (half day or longer); MADURAI for the Meenakshi Temple, the Tamukkam Palace and the Gandhi Museum (full day); PALANI for the Dandayudhapani Temple (full day); KODAIKANAL, a hill station, from where there are fine views across the plains (full day).    

Bird watching

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Kingfisher

Bird watching can start from the breakfast table. Look out for the sunbirds on the hibiscus and the territorial gangs of babblers arguing over their territories. Look towards the lake and watch the painted storks rising in the thermals or eagles fishing. At night, listen for the nightjar. Keen ornithologists generally log over a hundred birds during their short stay. We have a range of habitats, such as garden, lakeside, river, farmland, scrubland and mountainside. Our staff are keen bird watchers and usually know where to find a nesting tailorbird… Read more »

The swimming pool

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The swimming pool’s pump is now run by solar power. Because we are blessed with such good light, the photovoltaic cells operate the pump for free! Even during a heavy rain storm, the pump continues its work. However, there have been additional benefits. Because the pump operates for so long each day, the purity of the water is being maintained with out having to use massive doses of chemicals. The environment is continuing to evolve. Bee-eaters and drongos are frequently seen diving for insects. The variety of butterflies in the… Read more »

Weaver Birds

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Weaver birds have started to build in the trees by the main roof terrace. They have had a few fights over territory. Two nest are almost complete. The birds’ colouring suggests that they are breeding males. We wait to see if the nests will be occupied. Towards the lake another nest has been built. Pandi has been down to check out this one. He reports that this site is currently active. He has returned with photographs of an almost completed nest. We will be monitoring this to find out whether… Read more »

The golden hour

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Photographers will be familiar with the term, ‘the golden hour’, as it relates to the magical light qualities around dawn and dusk. Cardamom House is ideally situated for photographing the changing lights as they smother the wakening lake at dawn, and the melting sun as it slips behind the Western Ghats into Kerala. However, we have additional golden hours. The canopy of stars on a clear night can be breath taking. From the roof we have watched and photographed the eclipse of the sun. We have also enjoyed a private… Read more »

The swimming pool

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Pool with view of the mountains

A swimming pool? Responsible tourism? Can they go together? Is it better to swim in Dindigul’s drinking water source or to swim in a purpose -built pool? Our swimming pool was designed and constructed by a world renowned and well respected French company It was also planned for a minimum long-term impact on the environment. The disturbance to the subsoil was minimal. The pre-pressed supports for the concrete used a modern composite strong enough to ensure rigid walls but using the smallest possible amount of cement. The trouble with tiled… Read more »

Dawn at the Lake

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Dawn is an amazing time to walk down to the lake. Many birds are waking up or feeding. The waters are often still, giving opportunities to photograph reflections. The recent poor quality of the monsoon has meant that open water is in great demand. Painted stork and a range of heron are still at the lake. As you walk along the shore, yellow-wattled lapwing wheel overhead, warning of intrusions into  nesting areas.

Butterflies in the pool garden

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An advantage of Cardamom House is its rich variety of habitats and associated photographic opportunities. The variety of butterflies to be photographed changes as the day advances. In addition, the varieties change from week to week as different flowers come into bloom. It is such a luxury to be able to sit on the verandah or in the garden, camera at the ready, and have your subject visit you!    

Photography tours

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Over the last few years the beauty of the locations and the wealth of opportunities close to Cardamom House has meant that we have been visited as a part of a photographic tour. For example, Charlie Waite has brought two Light and Land Tours to Cardamom House. The participants have spent time photographing sari-clad women slipping through the palms, while discovering the intricacies of accurately capturing the vibrant colours and delicate light. With Pandi, they have explored the village. Some of their images have won prizes in competitions. Some participants have also taken… Read more »