Anyone visiting the Chamundi Hills will probably wonder how such a treasure can be found in a remote corner of Kerala. The estate is almost hidden and perched high, overlooking green and fertile hills and valleys.
On a day, the sound of the conch can be heard celebrating a Hindu festival, Church bells may ring and the Muezzin call the faithful to prayer. Religions and people live together in peace and harmony in this timeless place.
The main house was originally built for the Raja (king) Udaya Varma about 75 years ago. The hill was then twenty feet higher, but it was leveled and the road cut out of virgin rock, by human efforts alone. The owner, Mrs. Saroja Thampi, first came to Chamundi in 1967 as the young bride of C. G. Thampi, the grandson of the Raja. She was enchanted by each season bringing new delights and fresh colors to nature’s palette. And she always had the wish that more people, other than her family, should have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of her home.
In 1998 Saroja suffered a kidney failure, which paralyzed her, and doctors diagnosed that she had only a short time to live. However, without any treatment, her kidney function re-started and within a few months she returned to an active life.
The Thampis had always dedicated their lives to the Chamundi Goddess.
Thus Saroja firmly believed that her recovery was a miracle, a result of an intervention by the Goddess. She had a wonderful dream where she was instructed to repay her blessings by transforming her home into a traditional Ayurvedic retreat. The dream carried a vision of how to convert it and to name it "Chamundi Hill Palace Centre".
Mrs. Thampi had led a sheltered life as a traditional wife. With a Convent education she knew nothing of construction work and design. But the support of her husband and the guidance of the Goddess encouraged her in her Mission. A highly qualified staff was recruited, an herbal apothecary stocked and treatment rooms were equipped. Within eight months her dream was fulfilled!
Sadly her husband died a year later, but again the Goddess gave her strength to carry on.