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PURUSHOTHAMA KAMATH

Alungal Farms

SOUTH ASIA - Cochin

This is not a wonderland with fairies and elves. But here, one can find lots and lots of singing birds, dancing squirrels and sweet smelling flowers. And the place becomes truly magical when we consider the fact that it exists in the heart of a city with busy roads and concrete structures. Our wonderland is called Alungal Farms but we would like to call it the Alungal Woods. A V Purushothama Kamath owns the woods. He is the master and the creator of a dense thicket of rare trees and plants.Sitting in the coolness of the verandah, Kamath unravels the tale of this success story. He says that they have been living in the typically traditional way with a passion for horticulture. Horticulture is in my blood. Both my father and grandfather were agriculturists. Some years back, I read about rare medicinal plants facing extinction and wanted to do my bit to save at least 10 varieties. That's how I got started.

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SPIRIT to discover
PURUSHOTHAMA KAMATH
STORY to share
ALUNGAL FARMS
STYLE to experience
HORTICULTURE WONDERLAND

PURUSHOTHAMA KAMATH

INDIA, KERALA, COCHIN

Wonderland - Alungal Farms

“Horticulture is in my blood. Both my father and grandfather were agriculturists. Some years back, I read about rare medicinal plants facing extinction and wanted to do my bit to save at least 10 varieties. That’s how I got started.”

Photo: Sudhith Xavier

PURUSHOTHAMA KAMATH

INDIA, KERALA, COCHIN

Wonderland - Alungal Farms

He does not make use of any chemicals. The pesticides used here are wholly organic. For instance, the chilli ‘kandari mulaku’ is mixed with water and blended in a mixer-grinder and garlic is added. The mixture is sieved and diluted with water and sprayed as an insecticide.

Photo: Sudhith Xavier

PURUSHOTHAMA KAMATH

INDIA, KERALA, COCHIN

Wonderland - Alungal Farms

In the garden you can find ‘Nakshatra’ trees, a tree corresponding to each Malayalam birth star, nine varieties of the Tulasi plant, ‘Parijata’, ‘Rudraksham’,’Bhadraksham,’ ‘Neelambari’ and ‘Nagalingamaram’.

Photo: Sudhith Xavier

STYLE to experience

HORTICULTURE WONDERLAND

It takes about five hours to water the whole garden. The coconut trees are watered through drip irrigation with water pumped from an adjoining pond. He does not make use of any chemicals. The pesticides used here are wholly organic. For instance, the chilli kandari mulaku is mixed with water and blended in a mixer-grinder and garlic is added. The mixture is sieved and diluted with water and sprayed as an insecticide. Compost wash is diluted and sprayed as a natural fertilizer. Kamath meticulously explains the speciality behind many exotic names. Beside each plant is a small but very useful green signboard with yellow letters that spell out the genus and medicinal properties of the plants. Holiday trips with family become occasions for collecting rare plants. Kamath studies the conditions peculiar to a region that help a plant to flourish. He is an active participant and contributor to various horticultural exhibitions. Some of the various herbs and plants that he has collected during the course of his many travels across the country are, Nakshatra trees, a tree corresponding to each Malayalam birth star, nine varieties of the Tulasi plant, Parijata, Rudraksham,Bhadraksham, Neelambari and Nagalingamaram, which, Kamath informs is an important part of Shivaradhana.

Medicinal plants

There are rare medicinal plants here like, Orila Thamara, Garudapacha, Samudrapacha, Keezhanelli, Guggulu, Pinari etc. believed to be remedies for a wide range of physical ailments.Arogyapacha, mentioned in the Ramayana, Kattamrit,Kattukaachil, Analivegam, Kallurukki,Koduveli,Kalloovanji,Aattuvanji,Chakkarakolli and Ekanayakam, a very rare medicinal plant, are all found here.

Plenty of trees, several sorts of plantains, various varieties of flowers, spice trees, 34 kinds of hibiscus, orchids, oranges, lemons, West Indian, Brazilian cherries, guavas, pineapples, more than 34 varieties of mango trees and a lot more adorn the place.

I like to leave a few fruits like mangoes on the trees for the birds and squirrels to have their fill. We must, after all, think of everyone, Kamath remarks, as he looks fondly at his garden.

Text: THE HINDU, Parvathy Menon

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