The grizzled giant squirrel settles in the valley

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For the grizzled giant squirrel high trees are an ideal habitat. The squirrels have taken up residence in a number of neighbour’s gardens. From time to time, they are seen at the Sadayandi Temple. They are on the ‘near threatened’ list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). At the moment our mixed habitats aren’t so suited to it, although Chris saw one sunning itself on the solar panel, by the pool.  

Water!

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The monsoon failed and the temperatures are rising, yet there are still plenty of birds around. Yesterday morning guests watched as a flock of around twenty painted stork wheeled around above the remnants of Kamarajar Lake. Nearer to home, bee eaters have taken to diving into the pool.  

Barking Deer

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Barking Deer are becoming regular visitors on the hillside behind Cardamom House, where there is good cover in the dense vegetation. Occasionally they appear in the clearings above the rocks. More often, we hear them but don’t spot them!

Giant Squirrels

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Over the last few months giant squirrels have been spotted at Cardamom House and in the surrounding gardens and countryside. Their body is roughly the size of European domestic cat. with the tail the same length again.   This is evidence that, as the valley becomes more vegetated, the flourishing habitat is proving hospitable to a wider range of wild life.   Thanks, Polpandi, for taking these photographs.

Things to do in and around Cardamom House

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There are so many things to do at Cardamom House. You can spend the day locally, visit the nearby village of Athoor or go on half or full day trips. Cardamom House is ideal for relaxation and contemplation. Hours can be whittled away reading, writing, sketching, photographing and watching the world go by. The swimming pool (11m x 6m x 1.5 m) has a separated children’s access area. There are sun loungers and a shaded area. There is a sports area for volleyball and badminton. You can walk around the lake or climb up to the Sadayandi Temple a cave,… Read more »

The season’s visitors

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At Cardamom House we have a wide range of visitors.  Kumar and the rest of the staff team are always alert for new visitors  .Here are some of the most recent visitors.  We have so many bird books to check out the names of the birds. It is good to see that many of them have been attracted by a full Lake.  The painted stork is an exotic visitor, which roosts in colonies on the far shore.  

Party time

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When it’s quiet and most of the jobs are either completed or can wait until the next day, there are few things that we enjoy more than a family day, when the children can explore. learn to swim and maybe even produce some works of art. Meanwhile, the mothers and grandparents can chat, while their husbands cook a biryani.

A variety of habitats

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As the grounds around Cardamom House evolve, a variety of habitats are developing, ranging from shrub, to flower gardens, to more established trees and to open grassland. In addition we have views across the lake and up onto the hillside. This means we have a richness of birdlife. For a few nights a tailor bird rested at night beside our entrance driveway. A number of birds are currently nesting.

A pooja

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A pooja is part of the everyday rituals of all practicing Hindus. Many of us have a room, or a corner of the house set aside specially for holding the ritual. During a pooja the following happens. A bronze temple bell is rung by the devotee on entry to the Temple. The tilak consisting of sandalwood paste & red powder is applied to the forehead at the start of the pooja. Incense sticks are burnt to symbolize the ever presence of the Lord. Camphor pellets are burnt. As  these melt and burn they symbolize… Read more »

Ganesh Day

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Pandi and Chris explain what happens on Ganesh Day Ganesh, the Elephant God, is probably one of the best loved of the enormous pantheon of Hindu Deities. He is credited with the ability to remove obstacles. He is the patron of learning, God of wisdom and gives success and protection against adversity! He is known by many different names across India but we refer to him as Ganesh.Once each year there is an important festival dedicated to him. In the larger towns and cities effigies are built and painted with different… Read more »