Casa Susegad sits in well over an acre of grounds, with a mix of landscaping and wildness, fruit trees and jungle. Humans love it, and so do quite a few shy and retiring creatures. You can walk around safely and conspicuously and you will only rarely see anything at all. But sit still and silent anywhere with your eyes and ears open, and you will see and hear all sorts of things. From monkeys howling to intricate birdsong, vibrantly coloured sunbirds to the nearly impossible to see wandering violin mantis.
The nearest and most convenient spot to sit still and observe is on your terrace! Here you will see various birds coming for a drink in the waterfall and pond (one year a small water snake took up residence in the pond as well, amongst the turtles and frogs). But our climbing clematis plants produce the most spectacular display when the sunbirds (the Asian equivalent of humming birds) come in for a feed from the flowers. Monkeys running across the Casa roof are another favourite sight! The tops of the trees are also visible from here so eye-catching flights of orioles and bulbuls are easy to see.
It is easily possible to locate quiet sit-out areas surrounded by abundant bird life, especially at dawn and dusk, and even the almost daily forays from the local troop of long tailed langurs. These local monkeys make a special point of visiting, particularly when our fig, mango, cashew and other trees are in fruit. There are also a double four-poster day-bed and various benches and tables dotted around in quiet spots within the Casa grounds where you can be alone with your thoughts – possibly with a dog or two in tow!
One of the best places to experience the wonders of nature is up on the Sunset Terrace, or Jopri (Hindi for hut or shelter). The western view to the jungle clad hills between 5 and 7pm is spectacular, and will give you the perfect alternative location for that pre-dinner drink! It is tucked away at the end of a delightful path edged by miniature bamboo. Here, guests can also enjoy massage and beauty treatments to the sounds of the jungle around them accompanied by the music of a small waterfall beyond.
Through a magical doorway here, guests can enter the Jungle Garden, complete with marble statues of Hindu Gods, stone seating and that wonderful waterfall by a pond that attracts birdlife for bathing and drinking. For bird watchers, the most southerly sandstone bench lends itself to early morning inspection of bulbuls, thrush and robins having their first wash of the day. Here the planting provides a lot of shade and privacy and, with it, the sense of being somewhere really special.
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