1. Success Story

Man Turns 10 Acres of Land into a Fruit Wonderland with Varieties from all Around the Globe

Eldho Pachilakkadan, 42, a resident of Kottayam, chose to leave his career as an architect after over 15 years and pursue a simple existence surrounded by nature.

Kritika Madhukar
Eldho has opened 'Swarga Medu' for tourists and agricultural exports in addition to the fruit forest
Eldho has opened 'Swarga Medu' for tourists and agricultural exports in addition to the fruit forest

Eldho Pachilakkadan his goal a reality by transforming a 10-acre plot of desolate land in Senapathy, Idukki, into a thriving, self-sustaining ecosystem with fruit and vegetable species from all around the globe.

What's even more amazing is that he accomplished all of this within just the span of three years! He also provides trekking and off-roading adventures in the jungle, which he has christened 'Swarga Medu (Heavenly Abode).'

Eldho got a position at a firm after graduating from the Government Polytechnic College in Adoor with a bachelor's degree in architecture. He has dabbled in a few other disciplines. He's owned everything from restaurants to textile shops to art galleries.

Eldho was also a member of an NGO where he and his pals offered to work for the government's forest services on a volunteer basis. Eldho was motivated to develop something of his own as a result of his treks, walks, and simply being in close proximity to nature.

Building a Self-Sustaining Ecosystem

"We came upon this area of land during one of our treks in Idukki, and I immediately felt a connection with it." He recalls, "It was barren, and I wondered whether I could play some role in its development."

"The goal was to build a self-sustaining ecosystem in close proximity to nature." Instead of utilizing systematic tactics and standard methods, I let the saplings thrive on their own using only food waste," he adds.

Swarga Medu, located on the foggy hilltops of Idukki, has various attractions, including a fruit forest with over 20 species of apples, 6 to 7 varieties of oranges, grapes, mangosteen, litchi, strawberry, and other fruits.

"However, getting these saplings wasn't easy. I've been all over the world looking for plants that would thrive in the soil and climate of Kerala. "I'd say that was the most difficult thing," he says.

Eldho collects fruit discards from all of the neighboring shops every evening and carefully uses them to enrich the soil.

"Aside from that, I don't give anything further to the plants," since I believe nature has a way of sustaining itself." We're only here to sow the seeds as humans, and I don't believe we should be the ones disturbing nature's cycle," he adds.

Eldho has opened 'Swarga Medu' for tourists and agricultural exports in addition to the fruit forest. Tourists are provided with tents and are welcome to camp overnight, climb over the hilltops, and even sample the various fruits despite the forest's lack of facilities.

Eldho's Future Plans

Eldho is presently working on a project called "Utopia" in Kottayam and Ernakulam. He aims to lease out tiny pieces of land and turn them into a self-sustaining ecosystem that can generate enough crops for a family to live.

"I desire to see everyone enjoying a life closely connected to nature as people return to sustainable living practices. "I'm hoping that 'Eutopia' will be the start of such a lifestyle," he says.

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