|The absolutely charming view of the house from the entrance.|
On my morning walk in a quiet, nondescript bylane in Cascia, Mangalore, I spotted a lovely yellow house in the old Colonial style, with pillars, tiled roofs, et al. The signboard said Ira Spa. I was intrigued, and when I asked around, was surprised to learn that it's been here for a while. In Mangalore, it's not the six degrees of separation between strangers, but usually only half or one degree! Sure enough I soon figured out who owned the spa, that one of the owners was in college with me, and the other had once attended the same Zumba class with me! :)
I connected with Shefali Ballal, one of the owners, and she graciously asked me over...and I was delighted with her efforts in preserving the house. It always makes me really proud when I see old properties preserved, and used for something creative. <
Too many of them are being torn down to make way for high-rises.<
Here are a few pics of the house, and I hope you enjoy them!
|The elongated front verandah that is typical to Mangalorean homes built in the early 1900s. Shefali cleverly added the wooden backrests, and I loved them!|
|Stop a moment and enjoy the beauty of these gorgeous old style. The urli and it's charming stone holder are apt touches to the entrance to the spa.|
|This picture shows the left wing of the house. The garage beyond the tulsi has been converted into a quaint little cafe.|
|This is the right wing of the house, with most of the traditional elelments still in place.|
|The classic round pillar that is common in old Mangalorean homes.Notice the intricate carving at the top.|
|The old front door, so beautifully carved, and the ventilation openings on the top. Shefali has adorned the entrance area with charming old yellow lamps. |
|Antique wooden ledge and a section of the old 12-inch wall characteristic of |
old Mangalorean homes
|The roof is built with wooden reapers and laid out with old Mangalore tiles.|
|The reception area which was traditionally the old living room of this house,|
is attractively done up with both modern and antique elements,
as you can see in the pics that follow.
Most of the decor pieces in the reception area of the spa have been picked up by the spa owners from stores like Fab India and antique shops in Bangalore.
|An antique settee is the focal point in the reception area, |
upholstered in the spa's theme color yellow. You can catch a glimpse of one of the facial rooms, with a lovely stained glass window and an antique chair.
A bit of history about this house. We do not have a clear date on when it was built. The owner Mr. Jayaraj Shetty, who leased it to the owners of the spa, says that his dad bought it in 1950. It was previously owned by a Billava family, and he believes that it originally belonged to a Catholic family who might have built it sometime between 1900 and 1910.
Inevitably the salon section sports a modern look, but Shefali has taken care to add some wooden elements and you know what, it looks good!
|A staircase built in the old style leads up to the pedicure room in the attic.|
|Here's a view of the roof as I go up the stairway.|
|I love the way the old and new have blended together in this room. For old elements, don't miss the imposing old tiled roof, dark wood furniture and the stone basins for the pedicures.|
A few pics of the facial rooms follow.
Back at the verandah, I clicked a close-up of the back rests that Shefali has adorned with old tiles.
And more shots of the exterior, which I absolutely loved!
Adjacent to the spa, in what must have been a garage or the outhouse, is a small eatery called Smoke n Oven
that makes the most amazing pizzas baked in an old fashioned oven, and served on clay platters! The decor at the Smoke n Oven is an extension of that at the spa. Other decor elements in this quaint pizza joint were the threaded design on the ceiling and the home-made, one of its kind sign board!
Bamboo blinds give an element of privacy to the diners, but also let the cool summer breeze in.
And what do you make of this rustic bell-holder? I thought it was delightfully charming!
And, just before I hopped into my gaadi
, this is the final shot of the house I got, with the lovely blue sky and coconut trees in the background.
Check out Ira Life
and Smoke n Oven
on Facebook. You can also see the fascinating pics
of Smoke n Oven's oven being constructed and clay plates and tumblers being baked.
Do you know someone who lives in an old Mangalorean house? Do put us in touch with them!
I am deeply passionate about the colonial homes that Mangalore has, and as deeply saddened when I hear of one being torn down to make way for a high-rise building. Please contact me if you live in an old Mangalorean house!
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