Popular anchor Ranjini Haridas, who is an avid traveller, used to regularly post videos of her journeys on YouTube channel before the COVID-19 triggered travel curbs were imposed. After being cooped up indoors for a long time, Ranjini made a quick weekend trip to Kuttikanam, a picturesque hill station in Idukki district, when the lockdown restrictions were partially lifted. Now, Ranjini, who is also an actress, has shared a video of her visit to the famous Ashley Bungalow in Kuttikanam on social media.
The sought-after anchor toured the bungalow, which is surrounded by trees, hills, and green landscape, along with her friends.
Rare plants and breathtaking architecture
Many films, including Fahad Fasil-starrer 'Iyobinte Pusthakam,' a Malayalam flick, were canned at the Ashley Bungalow, which is nestled on 500 acres of land. The place is replete with rare bright-coloured flowers, fruit-bearing trees, and aromatic spices.
The bungalow was built by the Baker family in 1868 and is an hour's drive from the famous Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. This summer bungalow is believed to be the oldest planter’s bungalow in the Peerumedu region. The intricate and exquisite carpentry of the bungalow is still preserved with utmost care. The wood work is a perfect collage of local style and British-era architecture.
The families of Richardson and Munroe stayed at this expansive home until the 1950s. The sublime domed wooden ceiling, the imposing semi-circle large glass doors, and the grandiose wooden doors, which separate the dining area from the drawing-room, will take one to a bygone era.
The bungalow has two double rooms and three single rooms built on the lines of the Victorian architecture. The rooms are peppered with big cots, well-designed teak furniture, fireplace, and large bathrooms.
How to reach
Kuttikanam is 205 km, 135 km, and 40 km from Thiruvananthapuram, Munnar, and Thekkady respectively. The bungalow is situated 2km from the Kuttikanam junction. Take a left turn after driving on the road that leads to Elappara from the junction. One can also reach the bungalow after turning left from the Bison valley.