Welcome to MANGO VILLAGE - Indulge in a Malayali Family's Hospitality!
Spread across 45-plus acres, tucked away on the fringes of a tiny hamlet and yet only a few kilometers off the main road, the Mango Village is blessed with richly fertile, alluvial soil and a year-round salubrious climate There is a well-maintained mango orchard with over 15 varieties of the luscious fruit, an organic vegetable garden shaded by tall, swaying betel and coconut palms, medicinal herbs, spice plants, and livestock including the emu, the second-largest living bird by height, complete with a colorfully painted Kalavandi (traditional bullock cart) perfect for joy rides!
The environment here is sublime, exuding the quaintness and tranquility of a laid-back village in rural Kerala, far removed from the cacophony of urban living. The towering peaks seem close enough to touch and the magnificence of Mother Nature in all her magical splendor is truly awe-inspiring. The Mango Village is an eco-tourism destination, and is open to walk-in guests who want to experience the ambiance of a real functional farm in all its natural ethnicity in a naturally rural and village setting.
Vijeesh, Kavitha and their sons Srihari and Srinath together manage the Mango Village and their guesthouses, serving as the primary hosts. They love sharing their everyday life in tandem with Mother Nature and take immense pride and joy in personally welcoming their guests with warmth and graciousness while going the extra mile to wait on them hand and foot in ensuring their absolute satisfaction at all times unlike large commercial enterprises catering to a touristy clientele.
My father Vijayan and my mother Shantha bought this land in the early 1980s (about 35 years ago) while my younger brother and I were toddlers. We used to live at our ancestral home in Kollengode Village a few kilometers away but our parents used to come here and toil everyday on these 45 acres, which was then almost like a small forest with wild fowl and foxes. We used to join them on weekends and during school holidays and help them in vegetating the land with seasonal cash crops and in systematically planting mango trees, coconut and betel palm, pepper vines, ginger, turmeric and other medicinal herbs.
My parents retired and few years back and are now living with my brother, a businessman, at our house in Kollengode. I moved here with my wife and the boys after building the farmhouse, which Kavitha and I built with money earned off the produce of this land. Once we started living here full-time, we were able to employ permanent workers to help us expand our operations here to include livestock, build up our own nursery and plant some of the choicest varieties of mango including the more well-liked varieties such as Alphonso; Sindooram; Banganapilly; Neelam; Himapasand; Thotha Puri; Malgova, Gudhadath; and Kalapadi among others.
Mango tree production depends on flowering, which is often the first indicator of the yield for the coming season. Flowering starts in December-January and lasts till February to the beginning of March. It can be distorted by sudden rains or heat waves during this period. Not all trees will flower equally in one orchard especially for varieties like Alphonso. A mango tree can produce from 20 kg up to 200 kilograms per harvest season. Mango yield is thus difficult to forecast, as it also varies a lot across years.
Over the years we used to get many visitors to our orchard, especially during the summer months when the mangoes ripen. This prompted us to set up traditional cottages on the property to have guests experience rural village life and see first-hand how a farm is run. We christened it the "Mango Village," as mangoes are our single largest cash crop. The rest as they say is history. We are proud to say that our clientele has grown from just families from the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu to include visitors from the rest of India, Europe and the Americas who stay with us to enjoy unadulterated living close to Mother Nature and to relish our cuisine and way of life as part of our family.
Today, Mango Village is more than just another mango orchard for deliciously succulent mangoes nurtured with care and served with love. It is a destination in itself and reflects our inherent family values, which we hope and pray will be imbibed by our boys and the tradition continued over generations to come.