‘Michael Appan’ is by no means a superhuman but his demeanor and conduct, even his long shiny hair, command respect. Compassion and anger flow through his piercing eyes in equal measure and he is the undisputed patriarch of an influential family that sends shivers down the spine of Kochi town.
Michael’s character has been brought to life with great aplomb by Mammootty and while the Malayalam film ‘Bheeshma Parvam’ is ringing the box office, a lavish house is making its presence felt in the film. Some modifications were made to the vast house to transform it into “Anjootti Tharavadu” for the film. The ancient house, which is on par or a step ahead of the magnetism of the main character, is located in the Alappuzha district. La Villa de Parrai, which has featured in numerous films, was a homestay that regularly welcomed foreign tourists before the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
George Tharakan, owner of this breathtaking structure, shares the unique character of the building, which is over 100 years old, in a free-wheeling conversation with Onmanorama.
The lavish house was donated for film shooting purposes after the Malayalam film “Punjabi House” was kept in the centuries-old building, and to date, nearly 20 movies big and small have been shot in this beautiful structure. Villa de Parrai also featured in the recent “Hridayam” directed by Vineeth Sreenivasan.
more than a century old
The house is almost 135 years old and the eighth generation of the family currently stays in this traditional house. As the building was well maintained, Villa de Parrai, located at Ezhupunna near Cherthala in Alappuzha district, has a grand new look despite being over a century old.
Heritage home to the core
Dozens of foreign tourists used to check in at Villa de Parrai before the COVID-19 outbreak shut down the world. Visitor numbers have dropped significantly over the past two years due to the spread of the coronavirus. It should be noted that there are various entertainment and fun packages to keep visitors engaged. Activities include a group lunch, a walk through the hamlets and an opportunity to experience the rich and vibrant traditional Syrian cuisine.
Villa de Parrai is a perfect blend of antiquity and modernity and has all the facilities to provide a comfortable stay for visitors. Four rooms with internet connection and state-of-the-art facilities are available.
Kumbalangi and Chellanam a stone’s throw away
The ports of Kumbalangi and Chellanam are close to this facility. The coastal village of Kumbalangi is prominent on the tourist map of Kerala and moreover, it is the first model tourist village in Kerala and India. The Malayalam film ‘Kumbalangi Nights’ made the hamlet more popular and currently people are flocking to Kumbalangi to enjoy its pristine beauty.
The highlights of Kumbalangi, which is surrounded by water, are the fishing and the small boats meandering through the backwaters. Many accommodation establishments have sprung up in Kumbalangi as tourist numbers have increased.
One can reach Mattancherry and Fort Kochi, which have a rich heritage, from Kumbalangi quite easily. In addition to a rejuvenating stay, one can also soak up fishing with Chinese nets and take a boat trip with a cool breeze caressing the hair.