Idinjukuzhiyil house in Thrissur is close to two centuries old but it still retains its youth in every aspect.
The house is located at a small village called Kundukaadu near Ramavarmapuram. Teak forest ranges that come under the Forest Department and small lakes surround this house. The 18 acres of land where the house stands, is replete with mango trees, banana plantations, coconut trees and other fruit bearing trees.
A century without any changes
This house is more than 150 years old. Long ago, there used to be paddy fields around the house. This building was used to store food grains and for the members to stay when farming was on. It is almost 100 years ago that the forefathers of the present owner E.A Paulose purchased this house. After that, some minor repair works and some additions were done to the house. Major modifications happened in 2004 and this was supervised by his son Liju Paul who is a Civil Engineer & Interior Designer by profession. Not many changes were done to the basic structure of the house, only the rooms were made more spacious.
The smaller rooms were made large and the really big ones were reduced in size. The staircase and the kitchen were given a makeover. The old stairs were pretty steep and of wood. A concrete staircase was built in its place. Cabinets and cupboards were added to give the kitchen a new look.
There used to be a verandah all around the old house. The bathroom was also located outside the house. The verandah on the north portion of the house was converted into a bathroom for the bedroom on the lower level. The south verandah was also joined to the main house to give more space to the kitchen during renovation. The verandah at the back was retained as such and adjoining to this a new car shed was built. All the new modifications were done considering the Vaasthu of the house and without obstructing the natural air flow in the house.
Even the secret passageways in the ancient house can still be seen here. At the back of the house there were some beams of wood supporting a roof section. These were replaced with cement pillars as the wooden beams had become termite infested.The concrete slabs of olden times in the kitchen made way for new wooden cabinets so as to suit current living styles.
Ancient Architectural elements
Even though the house is not a 'Naalukettu', most of the architectural elements found in naalukettu houses are seen here like a 'Thekkiny' and a 'Vadakkiny' area. The Thekkiny was converted into a store room and the Vadakkiny section doubled up as a car shed and a functional room to store old things.
A spacious front verandah welcomes guests here. The living room also has a guest bedroom adjacent to it. The living room leads to another room that is as big as the living room itself. This used to be the prayer room earlier. From here, one can enter into the bedrooms and to the dining space. According to Lijupaul, this room surprisingly carries sound to all the rooms in the house and to the top level too.
The stairs lead up to a landing with 3 bedrooms near it. There is also another room above this, which could be used as a children's study in the future. A real home is not just a house with many rooms in it. It is when nature and other living beings surrounding the house thrives in harmony with each other and with the house, that you can call it a home. The Idinjukuzhiyil house is a remainder of that fact.