20 February 2007

Sparsa Hotel

I first mentioned construction of the new hotel, Sparsa Tiruvannamalai, a couple of weeks previously. Recently I went back to check on progress and see whether the Hotel was on target to open up within the coming months. There is a huge amount of work to do, but substantial progress has been made. Its particularly helpful that there are several Companies involved in separate projects. Most of the construction work is being done by a Company from Kerala, the thatched roofs by individuals from Tiruvannamalai, and the swimming pool is contracted out to a private Company. As always in India, workers on sites do not wear protective clothing. Here is a lovely young girl labourer wearing her pretty pink blouse.

The day I visited the site, the sky was overcast, which I expect was a welcome relief to many of the labourers who would be otherwise toiling under a harsh and hot sun. Here is a view of the swimming pool and in the background the multi-cuisine restaurant with attached Conference Hall.

Below is the master thatcher; a local man who has brought his own crew to thatch all the roofs of the new 3-star Eco-centric Heritage Resort at Tiruvannamalai being built by Auromatrix, Operators of Days Inn, India. All thatching material, including the long grass, is local, and comes from around Arunachala. In the background you can see a roof shell over one cottage, thereafter a layer of bamboo leaves are tied on top of the shell and the whole thing is finally covered with a tight thatch, which I was told was expected to last for around 7 years. The thatched roof is not only aesthetic, it is also functional as it will help regulate the temperature in each unit, thereby conserving on air conditioning.

Here is a finished thatched roof and very nice it looks too.

Below gives an idea of the look of the cottage units. This roof has its primary bamboo leaves and is awaiting thatching. The granite all comes from Adi Annamalai (which is northside of Arunachala). I was curious as to exactly where at Adi Annamalai the granite comes from and in this respect spoke with the friendly master mason who comes from that area and who is in charge of all stone work. I look forward to soon visiting his quarry and checking out operations there.

I couldn't resist taking a photograph of the sink in one of the bathrooms, mainly because I would very much like a similar sink with its nice,rustic look, in my own home.

As the day outside was so overcast and electricity in rooms not yet operational, the below picture didn't come out too clearly but it gives some idea of the atmosphere and rustic ambiance of the of the rooms. I thought the sample room charming and the greens and browns set off by the indigenous granite blocks, very restful. Of course the rooms will be completely up-to-date with air conditioning and room fridges.

I will check back at Sparsa Tiruvannamalai construction site in a few more weeks to check up on progress.

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