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“Tamil old charm house”

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Mangala Rural Retreat
Ranked #1 of 6 Nagapattinam B&B and Inns
Reviewed 11 August 2014

we enjoyed staying at Mangala Heritage home, a typical and traditionnal village house which reminded me that of my grand parents. Interior decoration was great and refined, the owner M.Ranvir Shah good taste! Rooms were big and we had the whole house for us (9 persons). The satff was kind and helpful. The vegetarian menu was prepared according to our wishes and food was excellent. We had cycles to go round the fields which were unfortunately dry during this period. We have met friendly villagers and visited the big temple and many small temples around.

I suggest to those who cannot appreciate village life and tarditionnal homes not to come. This home is meant only for true lovers of nature and cultural authenticity.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Sangari A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 May 2014

I fell in love with this place as soon as I saw the pictures. And to my surprise, when we visited the home it was just as beautiful as in the pictures. The hospitality of the care taker was simply awesome! The place is kept so well, the food is remarkable and the service is perfect. The location is also good with easy access to Tanjore and Karaikal. We stayed there for 5 days in December, did not feel like leaving the house at all (though we eventually did make a few short trips to tanjore and other places around). The home is right in front of a temple tank in the middle of a quaint tamil village - a perfect place to relax, read books, listen to music. The only concern was a local temple that was blaring loud music in the mornings, but this is a problem with many home stays in south india, not just this one.

If you are making a relaxed trip to Tanjore, Karaikal, Nagapattinam, Velankani or any other nearby places on a holiday - this is the place to stay. It is truly a beautiful tamil home.

Room Tip: The rooms in the front part of the house might be less noisy than the ones behind, especially when y...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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5  Thank Visvapriya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2014

After reading all the "great reviews' we decided to visit Mangala Hetitage Home. But it took weeks to get a reply from the management esp Mr Balasubramanium... even after repeated phone calls. To be told that "I am busy with my sons wedding" is certainly no way to run a Heritage Home. And its nowhere near Nagapattinam. It took us a good half hour to drive in the right direction. Its really in the "back of beyond". Nothing much around except a temple in its own water tank. And it can get very boring with nothing to do!!
The house was definitely very well renovated and gave a good idea of how the people lived in the villages....at least the rich folks. Food was simple vegetarian food, with two ladieas looking after the kitchen. And hats off to Arun who was always around to answer our questions. Besides us two the place was empty. And certainly not cheap at Rs 4000 a night.
And what made it worse was the taxi driver who took us to Tangore, arranged by Arun, insisted that we had to pay him more than was originally agreed upon, and that too after a nerve wracking drive!!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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5  Thank Katie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2014

A full moon shone on the temple tank as our group of eight sat on the verandah of Mangala taking in the beautiful silhouette of the Thirupugalur temple. No blare of TVs or horns. Only goats disturbed the peace of the night, as we sat there happily, replete with home-cooked South Indian fare.

In a state where the countryside is overrun with plastic and ancient temples are ruthlessly fenced and gated without attention to the aesthetic impact, this lovingly restored house is testament to what we have lost but can still regain. It was a pleasure to wander around the hall, decorated with South Indian art and artefacts. A lush courtyard connects the hall with the partially covered dining area, where you can commune with dragonflies. The bedrooms are spare and elegant, with comfortable beds.

Since the house is close to several important temples - Thirunallar, Alangudi, Thirukadaiur, Thiruvarur, Velankani...we efficiently checked them off our list, and still managed to come to the house in between for lunch and dinner. The Thirupugalur temple is quiet and well-maintained and an easy walk from the house.

We greatly appreciated the efforts of Arun, Manimekalai, and Sethu, the housekeeping team. The rooms were neat, the food fresh and sumptuous, and the hospitality attentive and soothing.

Two things that bothered me were 1. the basic bathrooms that never got dry - maybe a ceiling fan? or better sloping so the water runs off. 2. the matting on the roof that was torn in places - can cause allergies and harbour insects (or worse).

The trip was eventful and satisfying, in large part due to the beauty and hospitality of Mangala. I would love to go there again.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms with ensuite bathrooms.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank Been2Bagan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2014

Well placed, remote but still have access to modern services. Mouth watering vegetarian food, excellent hospitality services.

Will definitely visit again. Nice village style cooked food. Easy access from the train station. Good collection of books.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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6  Thank MahadevanLakshmi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2013

This is a spectacular property overlooking the ancient Thirupugalur temple near Thiruvarur. For those who do not know, Thiruvarur is one of the most ancient Hindu temples in India. As with other places and towns of religious value to Hindus, the democratic governments of India have complete apathy to these towns and have absolutely no tourist infrastructure. This is despite millions visiting these temples every year. Mangala Heritage Home is an oasis in this infrastructure desert. It overlooks the magnificienly beautiful Thirupugalur temple and do get up early to see the run rise behind the temple Vimanam (tower).

Tastfully rennovated, this heritage house has two wings. The older wing is in the front and the newer extension in the back. As with heritage architecture, the house has a central courtyard around which there are living areas. There are four rooms with attached bathrooms and one room without bathroom facility. Each room has airconditioning with modern beds set in an artistic and vintage background. Vintage artifacts are all over the house to see and enjoy.

The manager, Arun, is a very reliable, helpful, and resourceful man. He is almost a one man army. He has two helpers who help him with the kitchen work and cleaning. Nevertheless, he delivers whatever you desire; well, almost.

The food is cooked in house and to order. They serve vegetarian meals that are very tasty. However, you need to let them know ahead of time.

Thirupugalur has a very interesting past. This is the location where the great saint ThiruNavvukuArasar (the holy one who is master of his divine tongue) attained Samadhi in the late 600s. A couple of centuries later, another saint Sundaramurthy Nayanar visited this area but did not come into the town as this is holy ground that houses the Samadhi of NavvukuArasar. At night, as he sleeps in a traveller's bungalow, an old man accidentally kicks him on the head. Sundaramurthy wakes up to chide the intruder but finds a very old man who is struggling to find his way around. He asks the old man to sleep in his place and goes to a different location. Sometime later, the old man comes there to kick him on his head again. Sundaramurthy wakes up angry and demands the meaning for hounding him in such a foul manner. At this, the old man stands straight and disappears saying "Don't you still recognize me?" Story goes that it was Shiva who appeared to bless Sundaramurthy and recognize his honoring of ThiruNavvukkuArasar.

Room Tip: Choose the older room to experience heritage.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Kaataan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2013

We were travelling to Vellankanni on our annual pilgrimage and since it was the a long weekend (Friday being off due to Ramadan) all decent hotels I enquired in Vellankanni were fully booked , on searching the net I found this place and decided to give it a try. It turned out to be one unique experience and we all really loved it. The place is well kept and gives you an authentic traditional home stay feel. I was travelling with my full family (Wife ,kid, parents and maid servant) and we were taken care of very well by the staff.

Pro's - 1. Authentic village home stay experience 2. Overlooks a huge temple and pond (which was dry) 3. In the middle of Tamil rural land. 4. Well kept property , modern amenities available like A/c , iron , microwave. 5. Ideal for families travelling with kids , large veranda for children to play around and big dining area. 6. Food is cooked by a local cook as was tasty and in generous proportions (breakfast is complimentary , lunch and dinner costs 300 per person for a thali meal , didn't try it but it should be good as the breakfast was simply mind-blowing 7 Caretaker Mr. Arun does a great job and is friendly and always ready to help and guide. 8. !00 % Powerback up is available 9. Hot water and kitchen available for use if required.

Con's - 1. Peak season rate of 5000+ is a bit too high 2. While the property is well maintained , the surroundings are dirty and littered 3. No cots , you need to sleep on mattresses on the ground which might be difficult for old people. 4. Middle of nowhere 5. No TV

Overall a good place to stay for a village home experience and if you want to spend time doing nothing. Will come back again..

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank mailforjoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mangala Rural Retreat

Address: Meda Mada Villagam Street | Thirupugalur Village, Nagapattinam 609001, India (Formerly Mangala Heritage Home)
Region: India > Tamil Nadu > Nagapattinam District > Nagapattinam
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 B&Bs / Inns in Nagapattinam
Price Range: £17 - £41 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mangala Heritage Retreat, Thirupughalur, situated on the outskirts of Nagapattinam District, rich in agricultural beauty, green waves of grain, tamarind-lined roads and cool, dark temple tanks. Ranvir Shah, who runs the Prakriti Foundation in Chennai, stumbled upon the place when looking for a house that could accommodate scholars and others exploring the magnificent Thyagarajaswamy Temple in Thiruvarur. Once he bought, he was clear as to what it would become - a place where travelers could experience Tamil village life. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mangala Rural Retreat Nagapattinam, India - Tamil Nadu

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