Surreal right? Thais precisely what I felt while being perched that high up above the ground, overlooking huge and green treetops which spanned as far as the eye could see. I am sure I was a specimen for the birds and butterflies to gawk at; after all this high up, they must not be used to seeing human beings!!
Tree house living in Vythiri Resorts is an experience out of this world! I got to stay for a day in the highest one – 65 feet high which is built on a 150 year old sturdy rainforest tree; you have to climb through a metal cage which works on a pulley system and a water bag for weight. It was nerve-wracking for me due to my vertigo; but once up – its another world!! I was impressed to note that they recycle the water for the counter weight with an underground tank.
The view of the jungle real estate were exquisite to say the least. I could see splendid verdant green vistas of endlessly sloping tea gardens while the seemingly blue mountains fringing them were covered in a suspended white mist which lifted once the sun came out.
The tree house had a generous bedroom with a big canopy covered double bed – very romantic though am sure it was for protection from all the bugs as I was in a rainforest ; couple of tables with amenities like tea kettle, table fan, etc and a long corridor like bathroom with really good quality sanitary ware and a rain shower. The bathroom windows overlook the jungle and it’s almost like showering in the open – could one have asked for more? I was amazed to have such incredible water pressure in the overhead rain shower at this height and the gas-powered geysers were pretty jaw-droppingly impressive stuff.
There were windows all over in the room as well; some covered with clear glass others with a jail and bamboo chik – all in all a very airy affair, designed to bring the outside in. I was requested to keep the room door closed at all occasions due to the monkeys around. There is a balcony which runs on three sides with a couple of chairs to lounge in – as you can imagine, it’s a very popular spot in the tree house. Just sit in the chair and gaze out at the jungle through the many branches of the tree I was on – it’s a massive tree with a huge base and huge trunk and branches.
Every gust of the wind, swayed the tree house with a creaking sound – this was scary initially but then I got used to it or rather too engrossed in the nefarious activities of the jungle neighbours who descended on me for unannounced visits.
Like when I was ambushed by a gang of monkeys who simply clambered up all around the tree and then jay walked through the balcony – just another day in paradise! All this time I sat frozen in the chair on the balcony, and tried to take a couple of shots of the trespassers, when I dared to lift my camera. One of them got curious and ventured for a close encounter; while a freaked out me sat statue-still, peering at it through half closed eyes. This daring simian decided to have a sip of tea and cool as cucumber reached for my cup and took a swig. Yes, I was sh***ing in my pants!!!
Then this really adorable creature that I had been really looking forward to meeting – a Malabar squirrel clambered up, right in front of the balcony and posed on the wide branch while I happily clicked away. Believe me, it loved the camera and preened and flitted to no end and stayed around for quite some time. Reminded me very much of a Koala bear.
The best part was waking up in the huge bed in the morning to the sounds of hundreds of bird calls in an otherwise quite forest; especially the whistling of the Malabar whistling thrush which trilled from every corner – it was exotic to say the least. I have never heard a bird whistle; and whistle this sweetly and human like. Almost sounds like a person wolf whistling. The manager of the resort had regaled me with stories of some of the guests mistaking it to be one of the staff members whistling at them!!
The entire resort is built well with rope hanging bridge over a stream, swimming pool, stepped restaurant, cottages with balconies hanging over a stream; spa, ayurveda shala, indoor and outdoor games and well landscaped gardens with some gorgeous flowering shrubs. And not to forget the huge trees of the rainforest which towered over everything else forming a gorgeous green canopy.
There were some other tree houses which were on a lower level from mine –I could see down onto those as well. They had an added advantage that one could get down them via steps and a rope bridge. As opposed to me who had to wait for someone to come fill up the water bag to let me down but then I was quite content to be in my little spot of heaven amongst the jungle beauties.