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A 300-year-old mana receives an ebullient transformation

by Tuesday , October 16 2018 12:48

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The quaint 300-year-old mana in Kozhikode had all the glory of an elegant mansion built in the traditional style of Kerala. However, when time began to take a toll on the structure, its owner Nishan Roy decided to renovate it. Architect Jayan Bilathikulam had assured the family that he would implement a new design which would be a blend of traditional charm and modern facilities. Jayan noted the measurements and plans of all the rooms before dismantling the old structure. Many materials from this old house were reused in the new one as well.

The old mana was built as per the traditional vastu sasatra, and the family was particular that the new house too should be following the vastu norms. The measurements and position of the dining area and the kitchen are similar to that of the old structure. Following the rules of the vastu, the house is built at the corner of a 64-cent plot.


The sit-out surrounded by verandah on the three sides is one of the most striking features of the renovated house. The wooden texture on the pillars gives it an old world charm. The mukamandapam or sit-out of the old mana was in excellent condition, and this was carefully removed and re-installed on the new house. The old rounded pillars which were beginning to fall off were replaced with new rectangular ones.

The main entrance leads to a foyer space. The formal living space is to the right side of the foyer. The furniture is made in wood and is in sync with the theme of the house. There is a common bathroom adjacent to this area.

The rooms are arranged in two blocks according to the usage and demands of the family. The ferro cement-works done on this courtyard, which plays a major role in keeping the interiors cool, adds to the charm of the house. The courtyard, built according to the vastu rules, is situated between the bathrooms near the living room and the bedroom.

The corridor which begins from the foyer leads to the kitchen and the other rooms in the house. From the corridor one can enter a bedroom, and it ends at the area which has the family living and dining spaces. The kitchen is complete with a pantry and an adjacent work area.

The first storey

There are two bedrooms and a home theater on the first storey. The home theater could rightly be termed a multipurpose area, as the space with lots of small windows with tainted glass, is also the perfect place for the family to enjoy a great time together. Dark screens arranged above the window could be pulled down when the area is converted into the home theater. The windows and the roof windows, done in elegant wood, play a significant role in enhancing the incredible look of the exteriors of the house. Irul or iron wood is mainly used in the house. The ventilations installed on the first storey have been sourced from the old structure.

Many would be amazed to know that some parts of the house, which may appear to have built in wood, are actually made in ferro cement. The cornices and fire space in the formal living area are done in ferro cement with wooden finish. However, high quality wood is used for doors, windows and the stair way.

The roof, clad with mud tiles, has been built by erecting rafters and beams, under the supervision of an experienced carpenter. Wooden ceilings are built in the rooms which enhances the traditional look of the house.

Ceramic tiles in 1 inches length and width are paved on the floor. A mix of pattern has been followed on the floor to suit the nature of each room. Barring a few spaces where other colors are used, the main theme of the house is white and the dark wooden shade. The cascading brook in front of the house adds to the incredible charm of this enchanting traditional house.

Vastu sastra

The new house is the renovated version of the old mana which was built strictly on the basis of the vastu rules. The family was not ready to compromise on vastu and the new house too is built in compliance with it. The kitchen and the dining area of this house are exactly at the same position where the kitchen of the old house stood. The sizes of the other rooms were altered a bit to cater the needs of the family. However, that too was done only by following the rules of the vastu sastra. The wood from the old house is reused in the new one as well. Following the advice of the older generation, this house was designed with less height than the centuries old traditional mana that stood in the plot.

Project facts

Area – 3759 SFT

Designer – Jayan Bilathikulam, Jaybees Interiors, Kozhikode

Location – Karantoor, Kozhikode

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