After living a routine life for months, everyone aches for unwinding and wish the place is a paradise. Latha Raman endeavours to offer just that. Her majestic Paradise Resort in Kumbakonam town in Tamil Nadu offers guests a unique aesthetic experience with a blend of tranquillity. Strategically located amid three of the most splendidly-built and world-acclaimed temples (UNESCO monuments) of the yester years, the resort has both a historical as well as cultural appeal.
While the Darasuram Iravadeeswarar temple, built by the Chola kings, is a five-minute drive from the resort, the Brahadeeswarar temple of Tanjore and Gangai Konda Cholapuram, also built by the Chola kings, are just 35 km
down the resort. These beautifully sculptured temples speak volumes of the Indian mythology and have attracted swarms of international tourists, especially from France, Germany, Italy and Britain. The place is also home to the Navgraha temples or the temples of the nine planets, where thousands of Indians and NRIs come to offer prayers and seek blessings for a better future.
Established in 2005, the resort has been set up in a traditional backdrop to reflect the rich cultural heritage of the country and spread awareness about the need to preserve these lofty architectures of colossal historical significance. “Every room in the resort is spacious with furniture done in teak and intricately carved. The doors in each of the rooms are antique, brought from the Chettinad bungalows and reinstated here. Apart from the basic amenities are the lush green lawns that make the resort a ‘Paradise’ in the true sense of the term,” said Raman who runs the resort along with her husband.
“Our resort has an international appeal and lures both westerners and Indians, who mostly visit the place to get a feel of the culturally-rich ambience and for a leisurely stay.” She added.
Most hotels in the country are built on modernistic lines to replicate the hotels abroad. But Paradise Resort is built more on the traditional lines; setting it up in a rustic village ambience has given it an earthy touch. In fact, this is what sets it apart from the rest, giving it a beguiling charm that none can match. “It’s still just a beginning, but if this business achieves success, I would go ahead setting up similar hotels and resorts in other parts of the country, depicting the traditions and mores of that particular place,” said Raman.
“I have never been afraid of committing mistakes; I can face and manage trying situations head on. I may have made many mistakes during my entrepreneurial journey, but becoming one was never one of them. I cherish every minute of this journey,” asserted Raman while talking about the slips she may have made while realising her dream venture.
From being just a resort, the haunt has managed to get itself placed in brochure programmes of a plenty of travel companies and travel agents despite the stiff competition posed by other hotels and resorts in the fray. The resort has also been recognised by the local bodies for its uniqueness and state-of-the-art facilities.
“Founding, running and seeing your independent venture thrive are addictions I can never give up. It gives me a high way too endearing to be compromised for any reason,” said a confident Raman who wishes to see the resort carve a niche in the travel industry by 2010. “It would not just be a place where people come to rest, but a testimony of our rich culture of the bygone era,” added.
Tips to budding entrepreneurs — There is an old saying ‘winners never quit and quitters never win’. Times would be trying, but never give up because when the going gets tough the tough gets going. Do not be among those who have always had it easy. Arouse in yourself a burning desire to succeed and success will be at your doorsteps. And like Robert Frost poems read:
‘The woods are lovely dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep’