Kariappa House
KARIAPPA HOUSE, Pillayar Koil Street, near Muthalamman Temple, Vaithikuppam, Puducherry, India
A glimpse in to the Tamil heritage of Pondicherry
Kariappa House

Pondicherry, once a French colony, is a lively coastal town on India's eastern coast. It's a place where you can soak in the blend of Tamil and French cultures. Tucked away in Pondicherry is Vaithikuppam, a traditional fishing village with a vibe that’s quite different from the city's more lively centre. It’s a spot where you can see the everyday goings-on of the locals, right on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. And right in the heart of this quiet, culturally rich spot, you’ll find Kariappa House - a property that spans half an acre and comprises various interconnected buildings and apartments. Each structure here reflects a blend of architectural styles, marrying the traditional with the contemporary, and utilises natural materials such as wood, stone, and lime.

Kariappa House's rich history, intricate design, tropical gardens, and water bodies make it an ideal place for visitors who appreciate architecture, history, and a peaceful environment.

Perfectly Rare

Kariappa House is a peaceful retreat that has been carefully restored over five years. This restoration preserved the original architectural style and construction techniques that were characteristic at the time of its original building, blending tradition with modern comforts to create a truly timeless...

Know Your Host

Kariappa House is named after the parents of your host, Kakoli. Her father was a coffee planter and army man from Coorg, South India, while her mother, Indu, hailed from the north-western frontiers of India. Their diverse backgrounds and vibrant lifestyles provided Kakoli and her siblings with a childhood...

The estate is designed with the concept of old sprawling joint-family homes in mind, where spaces flow seamlessly into one another, surrounded by tropical gardens, courtyards, and modern amenities like a covered swimming pool. The restoration of the property took five years, involving a careful process to maintain the charm of the original Tamil houses while integrating elements of Franco-Tamil architecture and more modern influences from the 1970s.

Kariappa House features two Tamil houses that were previously owned by local families. These houses had deteriorated over time, but have been restored while preserving their original foundations and mud mortar walls. The rooms in these houses are small, with low doorways that require one to bow slightly, a traditional architectural feature.

The main building of the property is constructed in the Franco-Tamil style, which is significant in Pondicherry's architectural history. The construction methods, materials used, and finishing touches all reflect practices common in the early 19th century. For restoration purposes, these architectural details are well documented by Intach, providing a valuable resource for maintaining the property's historical integrity.

Kariappa House offers a variety of accommodation options tailored to different needs.

Double Bed Rooms: There are four rooms available in this category, all located in the main Kariappa House block. Each room includes an en suite bathroom and air conditioning.

King Double Bed Rooms with Private Balcony: Two rooms are available in this category, both situated on the first floor of the main Kariappa House block. They feature en suite bathrooms, air conditioning, and private balconies. An elevator is available for access.

Twin Bed Room: This category has one room available, located in the Tamil House block. It includes an en suite bathroom and air conditioning.

Single Rooms: There are two single rooms, one located in the Tamil House and the other in the MANTRA house block. Both rooms come with an en suite bathroom and air conditioning.

Serviced Studio Apartments: The studios are designed primarily for long-stay guests and include kitchenettes. They are sometimes available for short stays as well. 

Guests have access to a swimming pool and a tea room equipped with a refrigerator. In-room amenities include a digital locker, bathrobe, RO drinking water, WiFi connectivity, ear plugs, and toiletries.

Guests can reserve a one-hour exclusive slot at the 23 m-long covered lap pool at the time of booking. There is a Tea Room available 24/7 for all B&B guests where you can make filter coffee using a French Press, brew tea, and enjoy homemade cookies at any time. For those who enjoy reading, there is a dedicated Reading Room stocked with an eclectic collection of books. 

For the active guests, morning Suryanamaskar sessions are available on the terrace. Alternatively, private yoga sessions can be arranged throughout your stay. The Yoga shed on the terrace is also open for all guests to use anytime. You can take a stroll along the Natural Reflexology Path set within a shaded garden. This path is carefully laid out with smooth pebbles and features running water designed to replicate the soothing sound and feel of a natural stream. 

Additionally, the Massage Room on the terrace offers full-body massages by local masseuses, including a trained physiotherapist available for female guests. For pottery enthusiasts, short-term classes are hosted by a local teacher from the well-known Golden Bridge Pottery, available to guests staying for seven days or more. 

For exploring the local area, curated tours and picnics are organized, taking guests to unique spots not typically found on tourist maps. And for those interested in culinary experiences, home-cooked meals and cooking classes are also available upon request.

“If it weren’t for the fact that Responsible Tourism is being understood and appreciated, we would not have existed. But we believe that responsible tourism is not just the responsibility of the host. It can only work if the guests are sensitive and mindful as well,” says Kakoli Banerjee of Kariappa House.

No Single-Use Plastic: Minimal plastic is used at Kariappa House. Handmade ceramic bottles and jugs are utilised for safe drinking water, and handmade soaps are part of the bathroom amenities provided.

Safe Garbage Disposal: Garbage is segregated and recycled.

Water Conservation: Rainwater harvesting measures are in place with recharge pits positioned in different areas of the property. There is an old well that is part of the main kitchen, from which water can be drawn. It additionally serves as a work counter for the kitchen.

Energy Efficiency: Kariappa House is connected to the grid through its own solar net metering system and provides a substantial amount of solar energy to the city. There is a generator as an emergency backup that is used only if there are long power outages. For short outages, the solar inverter is used.

Local Community Engagement: The owners are founding members of the local collective People for Pondicherry and host several events of the Pondicherry Heritage Festival every year. The staff are mostly local, many of whom live within walking distance. The ceramic jugs and soaps are sourced from a local business and an NGO respectively.

Light Footprint Tourism: Nearly 60% of the property is dedicated to greenery – a shade garden, water garden, tropical garden, and trees, including an old rain tree that has been allowed to cut through the building. Only 30% of the land has been built upon, with open spaces for outdoor areas. The lap pool is designed for exercise and is covered to prevent evaporation. Local Tamil face towels and handloom-made 100% cotton towels are used in the bathrooms. The curtains used in the room are recycled Indian textiles that are handmade, natural fabrics, dyes, and handloom weaves. During the restoration phase, nearly all of the wood used in the doors, windows, pillars, beams, and rafters is recycled wood. Meals are served fresh and on request with no buffets. 

Sensitive Destination Discovery: Kariappa House personally curates local tours within Pondicherry including a photo walk, the Pondicherry Street Food and Bio Region tour, and a specially curated tour of the Aurobindo Ashram that gives an insight into the work done there.

Heritage Preservation: During restoration, special attention was paid to maintaining a streetscape in harmony with the neighbourhood and preserving the traditional architecture of the region and post-colonial Franco-Tamil architecture. Local artisans were commissioned to restore using traditional techniques. The new structures were built in the vernacular Tamil style, keeping in mind the architectural details of the region. Kariappa House follows the tradition of asking guests to take off footwear at the entrance and use the home footwear provided. Concerts focusing on Indian Classical music are organised at Kariappa House.

Human Touch: The staff are trained and upskilled.

The RARE Sustainability Quotient is a self-audit tool that is used by our hotel partners to measure, document, and assess their planet and people-friendly practices and is based on the RARE Touchstones.

No Single Use Plastic Water Conservation Local Community Engagement Light  Footprint Tourism Sensitive Destination Discovery Heritage Preservation The Human Touch

Reviews and Location
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

Tension free place
by l_nitin on 01/26/2024

Kariappa House seems to embody a tension-free atmosphere with its beautiful, green surroundings, homemade food, and simple homely rooms. The absence of television, proximity to nature, and lack of...

nice homestay
by Vandan J on 12/25/2023

nice restored old tamil house, however needs to improve in food options, since its s small property they offered limited items in breakfast just 1-2, if u expect full continental breakfast u will be...

Great host, beautiful place and sweet staff
by Maps01427004345 on 11/18/2023

We absolutely loved our stay at Kariappa House. Very beautiful & well-maintained. They have a really good complimentary breakfast as well. Staff is very sweet and dedicated. It was our friend's...

Nearest Airport : Pondicherry Airport (6km, 20 mins). More common is Chennai Intl Airport (MAA) 150km approx 3 hours.
Nearest Railway Station : Puducherry Railway Station (3km, 15mins)

Cancellation Policy:
  • More than 45 days from Check-In: 0% Penalty, Full Refund*
  • All Refunds listed below exclude any transaction charges or taxes already paid on the transaction as those are irrecoverable by us.
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