A Heavenly Abode
East End at Singanallur in Coimbatore is an elitist private enclave, home to just five posh residences belonging to the city’s most powerful and industrious families, one of whom is entrepreneur Barathan Srinivasan popularly known in the city for his associations with social causes such as Siruthuli, RAAC and the Red Cross Society. The well planned enclave has a large common parking area, well kept gardens and an aesthetically laid avenue within. The residents here even get to enjoy some of Coimbatore’s native flora and fauna, along with spectacular birdwatching at the nearby Singanallur tank
Entrepreneur Barathan Srinivasan and his wife Hemamalini were among the first to move into East End. Today, this private enclave has become one of the most coveted pieces of property in all of Coimbatore and what makes it different from the other gated communities coming up in the city is the fact that there are just five massive residences within its compound walls. Some of Srinivasan’s neighbours include Dr. Jay Varadaraja of ELGI, Vikram Mohan of PRICOL and Mr Sundararajan of Suguna Poultry, all stalwarts from the city who choose to live in the privacy of this plush enclave.
Built on a plot of land measuring more than 10,000 square feet, and designed by well known architect Karthik of Turya, the Srinivasans have taken keen interest in the design and styling of their home. A house is a once in a lifetime project. It should suit our requirements and taste while also addressing our current and future needs. Therefore our family went into the smallest of details before putting things in place. If something does not suit us then it is we who have to be blamed and nobody else. Once you build a home keeping all this in mind your home will be heaven on Earth,” states Srinivasan.
A couplet from the ‘Iso Upanishad’ welcomes the visitor at the entrance. The oil on canvas image of Garuda as found in Sri Rangam, by the eminent artist Gangadharan, adds to the beauty of the verandah. On entering the house one is bound to notice the little wooden chairs placed under the lovely picture of Srinathji which was purchased from Nathdwara in Rajasthan. Barathan Srinivasan is deeply religious and has been to a number holy places throughout Asia including Mansarovar, Muktinath in Nepal, the 12 Jyotirlinga Kshethrams and the 106 Divya Desams located in this region. The penchant to know new things and visiting off the track destinations took him to Sriharikota were he witnessed a rocket launch a couple of years ago. A scale model of the rocket has been added to his collection on display at his house.
The living room is a veritable treasure trove. The bronze replica of Varkala Janardhana created by master craftsman G Masilamani Sthapathi is the highpoint of the room. There are also more than 1000 idols of Lord Ganesha on display here. “My passion for collecting idols began early in life and now I have over thousand of them and each one is different, with no two similar ones. I continue to collect and cherish them,” he tells. The living room is an art-lovers pride and a water colour of the divine poetess Andal with two of her companions keep company with the other such priceless pieces of art.
The courtyard used to be a standard feature in Kongu households and the Srinivasans have replicated this in their home. The courtyard has a number of pretty pieces of art made of bronze and other materials on display. The dining room adjoins the courtyard and huge Kerala art by Sasi Edavarad is the main attraction here. The work is a not just art but a display of an episode from one of the epics relating to Lord Ganesha. The house has two kitchens – one for daily cooking and the other one for special or ceremonious occasions. There is also a massage room with an attached bath adding to the indulgence of the home.
A graceful statue of Sri Sai Baba from the pilgrimage town of Shirdi overwhelms one corner of the house. Barathan Srinivasan has made the pooja room the centre of his household and this has added to the aura of the home. A very large composite Tanjore painting with all his favourite deities is central piece on the altar. Each and every lamp and other accompaniments used for the prayers are from different parts of the country. A small shrine which houses one crore ‘Rama Namams’ is kept along with pictures of the family elders in the area adjacent to the pooja room.
“My father Barathan and my mother Padmavathi were very religious. Therefore we have brought in features that were part of their lives. Plus they were keen to do something for society and that’s why our family is part of a number of charitable organisations,” adds Srinivasan.
The house also has has a pretty water body on the eastern side and it adds to the calmness of the setting.