27 January 2014

Restoration of the Paul Brunton Compound at Palakottu

The below photographs are of the Paul Brunton Cottage located at Palakottu. Many sadhus lived in the Palakottu area (located directly west of Ramana Ashram) during the lifetime of the Maharshi. In those days there used to be a colony of varying types of residential structures which housed such personages as Muruganar, Lakshmana Sharma, Paul Brunton and Annamalai Swami.

Entrance to the Paul Brunton Compound

Compound and House have been enlarged over the years

In more recent times various pilgrims have lived in cottages around the Palakottu Tank. Sharon Muensch in December 1973 wrote of her short time living in the Brunton Cottage: “A few days later I moved into Brunton’s Cottage in Palakottu. Back then there were three simple huts in Palakottu, grouped around the water tank. There was direct access to the Ashram through the back wall. None of the huts had plumbing. And we fetched water from the street taps and walked out to the Hill for our toilet.” 

Brunton Compound

Main house and outlying cottages need renovation

Part of the Brunton Cottage
Subsequent to Sharon living in the Brunton house, a lady from Germany popularly known as Helga established a Trust which took over the Brunton House, built a Ganesha Temple and created a sadhu colony, in which a number of permanent sadhus are currently housed. Helga died several years ago after a long and happy life in her home at the foot of Arunachala.

Ganesha Temple built by Helga's Trust

Adjacent Lord Iyyapan Shrine

Sadhu Compound created by Helga
Recently a Canadian French lady Jacqueline Jacques (of Helping the World Foundation) has taken the Brunton cottage on a long lease and plans to repair and renovate the cottage and compound and also ensure that the beautiful Palakottu Tank, which is believed never runs out of water, is maintained in pristine condition amidst its beautiful forest glade. 

Jacqueline and her associate Agasthya Ganesha

Palakottu Tank

Set in pretty glade
Trees surrounding the Brunton Compound
Peaceful, area frequented by a wide variety of birds
Palakottu adjacent to Ramana Ashram


  1. Jacqueline has done such a valuable service! I remember looking into the Sadhu's compound, through a gate at the back of Ramanashram, when I visited in 1985.

  2. Jacqueline signed her Five Year Lease last week, and the restoration of the buildings in the compound has not yet started. When that happens I will post some more information.

  3. no words to show the ecstasy/joy...well done and we are with you Jacqueline.of-course we are all ONE,

  4. Congratulations Ms.Jacqueline for the restoration work.I wish you make it into a museum with rare photos of Bhagavan with his devotees,a good library of books, audios and videos on advaita Vedanta, sanskrit books of yore etc.