Monday, January 10, 2011

Maryknoll, A Dream House

Last month I went to Maryknoll again. [Do these words remind you of the most famous opening sentence in English fiction? See Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.]

I was going to Trivandrum (see A New Year in Kerala) and to Maryknoll after a long time. Now, Maryknoll was a dream of Dr. Jacob Taliat, F.R.C.S. who was the Palace Doctor to the Travancore Royal Family, and the Surgeon General of Travancore-Cochin State. (See The greatness of human nature – a true story.) The Mary after whom he named the hilltop house in Trivandrum was his wife. She was also my aunt, my father’s sister.

On my trips to Trivandrum I used to visit Maryknoll and stay there sometimes. The responsibility of the architect of the building was, I am sure, only to put together the details including the design of the window grills the famous surgeon had worked out. There are five splendid bedrooms, spacious drawing, dining, living rooms and pantry. A veranda leads to the kitchen area which includes living facilities for servants as well.

But what is more important is the atmosphere of Maryknoll which is on a one and a half acres plot in the heart of Trivandrum city. It is so quiet and peaceful. Perhaps it combines the best of Vastu also. In Astrology: Horoscope for houses? I wrote “It is meant to harness the positive energies from the elements and create the perfect ambiance for physical and mental health, and prosperity and happiness of those who stay in the house.”

When I stayed at Maryknoll last December 28 and 29, there were eight others in our family group. One of them had been very depressed for some time following a heart problem. He would hardly talk or eat properly. But on 29th morning he came for breakfast bright and shining, saying that there was something about the house that made him feel so good. He talked almost non-stop and ate very well!

Jacob Taliat (Jagan), the grandson of Dr. Jacob Taliat and son of Dr. George Taliat F.R.C.S., has converted Maryknoll into a homestay; a different kind of homestay, I must say. You can read more about it and see pictures at

Some of the photos I took at Maryknoll are reproduced below:

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Meera's World said...

It sure looks like a dream house. I love houses like this.The 'ambal' looks exactly like the ones we have in our pond:)

Abraham Tharakan said...

Meera, I'm happy that you liked the post. Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

I have been to this house many years ago with my grandmother. I suspect she is somehow related to you. As I remember , we were there to visit her cousin sister who I think was married to the Dr. This was sometime in the 80's. Your blog brought back so many good memories of my dear grandmother. Her name was Mariamma and she was married to off to Plackattu family in Manimala.

Abraham Tharakan said...

Hello Anonymous,
I am sure that your grandmother was Velliara Parayil Kochammai, a favorite aunt for my generation. I am so happy to hear from you.

Your grandmother's house is featured in my blog. The title is, I think, A Kerala Tharavad.

My email id is

Do keep in touch