The farm of 35 acres is located on a small island in the backwaters by Vembanad Lake near Kumarakom within the Vechoor village limits. This is the area where you can find the famous Vechoor Cow which is smaller in size. The farm is approximately 2 meters below the lake level. The retaining dyke around the perimeter of the island keeps the lake water from entering the farm. All the rain water is pumped out especially during the monsoon season by using an electric motor and pump.
The farm is made up of ridges and canals, with all the planting done on the ridges. The major crops on the farm were coconut, toddy tapping, nutmeg, cocoa, banana, pepper and many other fruits, vegetables and spices. The farm also has a few cows, geese, ducks and hens. The farm is a member of the Vechoor Cow Trust and are doing their small part in the conservation of Vechoor cows by having three of them in the farm. It has given land to the people, plenty of employment, free grass for cows and free fuel.
Staying with the family is an unforgettable experience. So personalised attention is assured. All the guests at Philipkutty’s Farm are welcomed and cared for by the family. As hosts, they reside in the property full time. Fully involved and are glad take you around the farm or the many places of interest or just sit and chat with you, without compromising your privacy.
The food served is one of the highlights of staying at Philipkuttys farm. The cuisine is mostly local and cooked by the host’s family. Being a traditional agrarian household, lavish meals are more or less like a way of life. Meals are served communally, either in the family dining room or outdoors in the thatched pavilion.
The cuisine is predominantly Syrian Christian with a strong backwater influence. Most of the dishes served are centred around fish, farm vegetables and fruits, duck, chicken and occasionally other meats, supplemented with rice and rice based local breads like appam, string hoppers etc. Breakfast consists of several components. The farm stay serve toast with home-made jams, farm-made yoghurt with fresh fruits and local honey and eggs prepared to your preference are always available. There is also an Indian component which may be sweet or savoury, such as dosas served with chutney, sweet or savoury pancakes and similar tasty delights. Desserts are usually puddings, fresh fruits and some local treats. Coffee and tea are served after breakfast and lunch. Cookery demonstrations are arranged for resident guests, who are interested in learning the local cuisine.
With prior arrangement, Philipkutty’s Farm also cater for lunch parties for non resident guests.
All the villas (which are named after popular local flowering plants, trees and birds) are spacious, independent and located on the outer dyke facing the peaceful backwaters. All villas have a separate living room, clean and spacious bedroom and veranda. Air-conditioners are installed within the cottages,whilst ceiling fans assure a cooling circulation of air at all times. There are plenty of doors and windows in each villa (18 windows and 8 doors) which open on to the farm, garden and backwaters, allowing for excellent circulation of fresh breezes and fascinating views. This gives you a living with the Nature experience. The villas are furnished with antiques which were meticulously collected over a period of time. There is a refrigerator and an electric kettle in each room with tea and coffee making provisions. The villas are well furnished with two large single beds, wardrobe, cupboard, writing table, and chair, settees, and chairs in the veranda. The floor is finished in traditional rustic clay tiles and red oxide and the ceiling in wood.It is great that all windows are netted to pause entry of insects.
Wi-Fi internet is available free of cost at porch area, the sitting room and the waterside jetty. Most communally served meals are served in a beautiful thatched pavilion on stilts, overlooking the farm with views of the backwaters. TV and a land-line telephone are available at family residence.
75 kilometers, say one and a half hours drive from Kochi (Cochin) International Airport.
* Out on the open backwaters, enjoy a sunset cruise every evening on country boat.
* Canal cruise through the narrow, winding canals on a country boat or motor boat and catch a glimpse of the unique backwater villages and way of life.
* The backwaters and the farm offer ample opportunities for bird watchers. Sighting of kingfishers, woodpeckers, egrets, cormorants, herons, coucals, snakebirds (darter), teal, a wide range of both wetland, woodland and garden species as well as Brahminy eagle.
* Visit to Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary.
* Escorted farm walk with one of the family member or staff and learn about farming below lake level as well as the different crops cultivated.
* Choose a wider sightseeing and exploration tour of the countryside on a bicycle. You get to enjoy the coconut groves, vast paddy fields, canals and villages. You can also walk to the nearby village and the market, across on the mainland.
* Visit the Ayurvedic Centre opposite the property for a consultation. Try out rejuvenating massages and Ayurvedic treatments for various ailments during a short or longer term course of treatment.
* Fishing (rods available). Chinese-style fishing nets can also be found in the premises. Guests may enjoy watching and participating in hauling up the catch in the evenings. This is a seasonal activity, depending on water flow, weather and time of year.
* Visit St. Mary’s parish church at Vechoor. This is an old Syrian Catholic church with a history dating back to over 500 years. Services, including mass, are held once or twice daily.
* Visit the local temples in the village. The Vaikom Siva temple is the biggest and most famous, which you can visit by bicycle, taxi or the three wheeler tuk-tuks
* Yoga – Yoga master is available for sessions both for the beginner and more experienced practitioners.
* Learn how to put on and wear a sari, or gentlemen to put on a dhoti.