Pollachi has always been the place to recharge my sapped soul from the city. Waking up to the fresh morning air as the palm trees dance to the tunes of the cool breeze, watching the peacocks strutting around the fields and then the long drives through the canopy of trees into the hinterlands as streams gurgle – nature is bountiful everywhere in and around the town.
But little did I know that this town has some hidden treasures which had always missed my eye. I signed up with Thadam Experiences that offer customized experiences for travellers, and set out onto the unexplored paths of Pollachi.
My first stop was Santhosh Farms, an organic farm located at Narikalpathy area of Kaliyapuram. The owner Mr. Madhu Ramakrishnan, a man whose words speak volumes about his love for natural farming, introduced me to the concept of multilayer farming and its advantages like wind breakers, maximum utilization of natural resources, improved yield, better returns and mulching etc., It was here I learnt the basics of this field of agriculture which doesn’t require tilling and weeding. He has not just restricted himself to agriculture in his 50-acre farm but also manufactures handmade soaps and virgin coconut oil. This tour inspires one on adopting a healthy, responsible lifestyle.
Our next stop was at farmer Krishnaswamy’s home at Bodipalayam – a man who leads a simple yet contented life and follows the philosophy ‘less is more’. His magical hands work deftly on palm leaves to create beautiful work of art in a jiffy. Colourful parrots, fishes, flowers and torans which are used as decors for festive occasions and marriages by the zamins of the villages carry his stamp.He patiently explained to me the process of drying, moistening and dyeing the harvested palm leaves which are pre-requisite for crafting these wondrous creations. He also takes orders for weaving baskets and pen stands in different shapes and sizes. He sure is one busy man who finds life’s pleasure in simple things as making these curios.
He patiently explained to me the process of drying, moistening and dyeing the harvested palm leaves which are pre-requisite for crafting these wondrous creations. He also takes orders for weaving baskets and pen stands in different shapes and sizes. He sure is one busy man who finds life’s pleasure in simple things as making these curios.
Tamilnadu is well known around the world for its bright, colourful silk saris like the Kanchipuram with intricate and bold motifs. But little did I know Negamam (last stop in the itinerary) a hamlet close to Pollachi is the go-to place for some of the most beautiful cotton hand weaves.
As I walked around the village I was greeted to the sounds of clickety-click and dying of clothes. The entire street was buzzing with activity. The Arumugams, a couple probably in their sixties gave me a warm welcome into their home as they opened up to tell me about their daily job of stretching the spun yarn for saris. Next I visited Sivasami’s home – a dyer who was working along with his brother dipping yarns into tubs of coloured water, squeezing them and later hanging them to dry.
I watched them continue with this back breaking activity nonstop as Sivasami’s wife handed me a glass of tea. They sure did know how to welcome guests home however little they had.
We then visited Mr. Krishnan, who has been weaving all his life painstakingly sustaining his ancestral artistry, explained to me the jacquard weaving technique. Krishnan’s wife showed me one of his creations that was simple yet intricately beautiful and that’s when I realised it takes around five days of dedicated craftsmanship that goes into weaving a sari.
My entire day had been spent exploring little known gems around Pollachi. These indeed are the riches of this region which not many know. Be it nature farming or art every place has a unique story to narrate that is mesmerizing and heart-warming. But the stars of my trip were the people of the expanse who were so open and welcoming, it was indeed touching. I had a new found respect for the denizens of this place called Pollachi. Are you heading?
If you are , then the right path you choose would be Thadam Experiences.