We are Anushri and Vikram Mathias. Welcome to our wilderness resort and home in jungle!
Jungle Hut was built in 1986 by my parents Joe and Hermie, who retired from a memorable career as tea planters to set up a small and intimate home stay bordering the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. Their legendary hospitality over two decades is now the stuff of junglelore.
Eight years ago, I grew up, quit the rough road as India’s National car rally champion to take on the Hut mentality along with my dynamic wife, Anushri. Since then we’ve expanded the hut but retained its quintessential warmth and easy charm. The two of us are personally involved in every aspect of Jungle Hut hospitality because we love where we are, enjoy what we do and genuinely look forward to every guest.
Come visit to experience the special energy at Jungle Hut. Somehow here, guests turn into lifelong friends; the elephant has remained our oldest neighbour and graceful herds of deer unfailingly give us company each night. Just shine a torch past the lounge on any given evening and you will spot an animal party, soundlessly grazing under the starry sky.
SWIMMING: Take a dip in our pool which lies at the foothills of the Nilgiri mountains or lounge on the deck while you get a massage. If you want to be more active, join our guests for a round of table tennis, foosball, carom or even volleyball and cricket. For the more sedentary, there’s parlour games, interesting conversations (over a drink) and evening bonfires. We also have an ever growing library.
KIDS ACTIVITIES : Jungle Hut is very child-friendly. Children are welcome to run around and play on our natural lawns or join the Treasure Hunts, Art Classes and Wild Life Edu Quizzes, besides enjoying some great board games. Morning nature walks can be arranged within the property on which kids can identify our plants and birds.
EXPLORE THE NILGIRIS : Plantations: The Nilgiri hills have some of India’s best tea plantations. We would be happy to organise a half/full-day visit to a nearby tea estate where you can witness the journey of tea from plucked leaf to specialty brew. Interestingly, pepper and coffee are also grown in these areas.
Ooty: One of the many hill stations established by the British, Ooty is a day trip – visit the botanical gardens, boat around the lake and drop into the Toda Tribal Museum. Shopping includes Toda shawls, bedsheets, coverlets; essential oils such as lemon, eucalyptus, citronella; tea, spices and much more.
Gopalswami Betta: We offer a full-day excursion through the twin sanctuaries of Bandipur and Mudumalai, to Gopalswamy Betta – a hill with a historic temple at its peak. From there, look down onto the magnificent plateau of three wildlife sanctuaries and spot animals if you are lucky!
WALKS: This Jungle offers a wealth of flora and fauna, its topography varying from grassland to scrub jungles and deciduous forests. On foot, there is every chance of encountering wildlife – sloth bear, elephant, bison, dholes (wild dogs), tiger, panther, and many species of birds. Our guide will share his knowledge with you and ensure your safety. We also offer treks through meadows, along babbling brooks, rivers and watering holes.
BIRDING : We share the Nilgiris with over 260 species of birds, both migratory and endemic. The jungle that surrounds us is a perfect habitat for many species, all year round. Jungle Hut offers guided birding treks, from 2-8 hours depending on your preference. Our guide-cum-naturalist has combed this area for the last 29 years and has extensively explored National Parks across India. For a list of birds in and around Jungle Hut ,
MUDUMALAI & BANDIPUR SAFARI: Safaris into the Jungle are only permitted on Government vehicles. We can reserve a seat for you but can’t guarantee sighting of the tiger, elephant, leopard, dhole, gaur or sloth bear. We also offer private safaris around the outskirts of the jungle. Sightings on these safaris often rival what you see within the jungle!
ELEPHANT CAMP (THEPPAKADU ): Let’s take you to the elephant camps run by the forest department where around 29 pachyderms are cared for and trained. Watch the elephants being bathed and fed. Then witness their daily pooja (offering to the deity)! Elephant rides are available from Theppukadu.
The rooms at Jungle Hut are made from local construction materials (and local human resources). All rooms are fitted with energy efficient bulbs
Jungle Hut has numerous solar panels around the property. These also heat the kitchen and guest room’s water. The swimming pool too is naturally solar heated!
All of our water comes from natural springs fed by the catchment area above and from rainwater harvesting. Drainage slows down the water flow, helping to recharge the groundwater, arresting soil erosion and aiding clear-water flow back into the river. This drainage system minimises stagnant water & discouraging breeding of mosquitoes
A series of ponds within the property fed by springs and rainwater help to conserve water. The Upper pond, situated next to swimming pool, Lower pond, showing water catchment are stocked with fish, which also discourages mosquitoes.
Since its inception in 1986, Jungle Hut has contributed to a lot of afforestation within the premises and now hosts over 50 species of trees.
Most of these are indigenous and attract flocks of native and migratory birds.
Afforestation, combined with our pond drainage system, retains water that flows through the property, recharging the groundwater in the area.
The abundance of our resident goats and visiting spotted chital deer ensure Jungle Hut’s lawns are kept trimmed without the use of machinery!
THE MARKET GARDEN
Many of the delicious ingredients used in our cooking are grown in Jungle Hut’s own half-acre organic herb and vegetable garden. Preserves, pickles and jams are also produced from the garden This also serves as a Market Garden. We sell surplus produce (fresh and dried), seedlings and seeds to guests and to local communities.
The garden is fertilised with homemade compost, with goat manure provided by our own livestock. The compost is also inoculated with Effective Micro-organisms (EM) which contribute to soil health and plant growth.
You are welcome to wander around and explore our garden.
Jungle Hut is a wilderness destination but also creates awareness about Nature and Wildlife while at the same time engaging with local communities and contributing to their overall development. Guests are also given the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to these causes. Being permanent residents of this area for over 25 years the Mathias’ have and continue to contribute to the following:
SUSTAINING THE LOCAL ECONOMY
Jungle Hut has been providing direct and indirect employment to local communities in the area, some for almost three decades. Local communities are beneficiaries of enhanced income and job security enabling them to lead a higher standard of livelihood and their dependency on the forest has considerably decreased.
A major portion of the provisions used by us are procured locally. In addition we use the services of local technicians for maintenance work carried out on our campus.
Building a stronger bond between Jungle Hut and the local people, the Mathias’ have provided support as well as constructed homes with attached toilets for all the tribals who work with them and have also built a house for an elderly tribal couple not connected to the resort.
Children, mostly tribals, who have the aptitude to learn English and who are recommended by educational authorities are sponsored by not only Jungle Hut, but a number of regular guests and friends. Most of these children are not connected to Jungle Hut in any way.
Jungle Hut has, over the years provided support to the local Government Tribal School in Bokkapuram by providing it with donations, water supply during dry months, bedding for the hostel, free daily transportation for school going children from a surrounding hamlet and with the support from friends guests and the Hospitality Association of Mudumalai we have supplied them with amenities such as sound equipment, drinking water purifiers etc.
Apart from providing financial support for medical care to the staff of Jungle Hut, the same support is also extended to people in need from the local communities.
In one instance, a few years back, a prominent tribal leader, not connected to the resort in any way was diagnosed with cancer. With assistance from a sister concern, all financial and medical assistance including providing him with prescribed morphine to ease his pain, an air mattress etc was provided. In cases of major health issues members of our staff have been sent for treatment at our expense to high standard hospitals in Bangalore, Mysore, Coimbatore, Sultans Battery, Perundanmalai etc.
Jungle Hut is also a member of The Hospitality Association of Mudumalai through which we have collectively contributed to a local Drivers Association for the purchase of an Ambulance which is used for the general public.
On the land where Jungle Hut is situated, prior to 1986 there were only a handful of trees and the land was mostly over-grazed and barren. The previous owners farmed the land in the season and left it fallow for the rest of the year. Immense amounts of personal effort and research went into planting indigenous and keystone species of trees with the sole idea of creating a wooded paradise and bringing in birdlife. Where earlier, birds were unwelcomed visitors, today this area has become a bird watchers paradise.
Over the years, we have cumulatively planted and protected thousands of trees in the area, resulting in the return of approximately 130 species of birds to the area, along with many other kinds of fauna.
INR 6,900/- Single occupancy
INR 9,900/- Double occupancy
INR 12,000/- Tripple occupancy
INR 5,500/- Single occupancy
INR 7,400/- Double occupancy
INR 10,000/- Tripple occupancy
INR 4,400/- Single occupancy
INR 6,600/- Double occupancy
INR 9,000/- Tripple occupancy
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