Plantation Stay: Anantya Travancore, Tamil Nadu

Only a 90-minute drive from Thiruvananthapuram, Anantya feels like a world away.  
Plantation Stay: Anantya Travancore, Tamil Nadu
Anantya design uses eco-friendly elements to create a minimalist, open space. Photo: Sankar Radhakrishnan

As we drive through the gates of Anantya Travancore, my mobile phone indicates it has no signal. And it stays that way for most of our three days at the resort. I wasn’t complaining, for this holiday was about getting some downtime.

Anantya, which opened in 2013, is only a 90-minute drive from Thiruvananthapuram, but feels like a world away. Situated in the midst of hundreds of acres of rubber plantations, the resort is built on a patch of land that juts into the lake created by the Chittar Dam, in the foothills of the Western Ghats. It’s a charming amalgam of Tamil and Kerala influences, reflected in the resort’s mud-plastered walls, tiled roofs, and woodwork.

Anantya’s heart is its open-plan restaurant and the adjoining infinity pool that overlook the lake and hills. Mealtimes were one of the high points of our stay thanks to the welcoming restaurant team and an eclectic menu that featured dishes like the sinfully rich and fiery chicken ghee roast.

Notwithstanding patchy mobile phone signals and a few other quirks, the resort has nearly all other mod cons, such as Wi-Fi and satellite television. If you’ve planned for an active break, the resort can arrange a visit to a rubber plantation. It’s also a good base for treks to nearby hills and for day trips to Padmanabhapuram Palace, Thirparappu Waterfalls, Kanyakumari, the temples at Suchindram, as well as the Chitharal Jain monuments.

We, however, chose the easy life. Our days were spent in the villa’s gazebo soaking up the view: the lake framed by the green of the rubber plantations and the hills beyond, darters fishing, dragonflies skittering across lily ponds, butterflies weaving through the lush vegetation.

If we’d wanted, the resort’s spa offered a range of Ayurvedic therapies. But we luxuriated in the silence that we could almost touch, amplified by the occasional thwack of an axe tearing through wood, the mewling of a Brahminy kite, or the distant drone of a vehicle engine. Cocooned in Anantya, we got the downtime we were seeking and had no idea how time flew by

Appeared in the February 2015 issue as “Placid Waters”.

The Guide

Accommodation Anantya Travancore has 21 villas across four categories. While all villas have views of the lake, the Siddhi villas, with an outdoor shower and gazebo, and Sadhana villas, with private plunge pools, offer stunning vistas of the lake and the mountains beyond (State Highway 45, Kaliyal Village, Chittar Lake, Kanyakumari District; 04651-211400;; villas from ₹4,500 during off-season, which can go up to ₹7,000 during peak season).

Getting There Anantya is in Kaliyal village, about 50 km southeast of Thiruvananthapuram, in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari district. The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport 60 km/2 hr northwest and the nearest railway station is Marthandam 30 km/45 min southwest.

  • Sankar Radhakrishnan is a writer, editor, and communications consultant based in Thiruvananthapuram. He loves travel, cheese, and travelling to taste new cheeses.

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