I'm a Social Media Entrepreneur, Professor of Digital Marketing, Author of 5 books, Podcaster and an Organic Farmer.

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Selected Awesome Set of Wooden Pillars

NOTE:  I’m NOT a dealer in wooden pillars.  So, please DO NOT call me inquiring for the same.  The best places for you to get these wooden pillars are from two places:   1) Pondicherry.  On the East Coast Road (ECR), near Auroville, there are dozens of antique shops that has these pillars. No, I don’t have the phone numbers of any of them.   2) The other place is Karaikudi in Tamilnadu. 

Unfortunately, I can’t provide any more information on these wooden pillars. Thank you for respecting my privacy and not calling me. I’ve been getting way too many calls and hence this message. Appreciate it. 

 

 

After hunting high and low for the right wooden pillars for the farmhouse that I’m currently constructing at our 7 acre farm, we finally found a set of 4 identical pillars.   We instantly fell in love with them. Not only were they in amazing condition, they were also the exact height and thickness that we had wanted.

The pilllars are 7.9 feet in height in its entirety. A full pillar has three parts. (Watch the video above where I explain this clearly.)  The top part with ornamental woodwork is called called ‘Bhondil’ and its about 1 foot thick. Then comes the wooden pillar which is 6.1 feet in height. The bottom most portion is a round granite stone which is 7 inches in height.

The pillar is about half foot lesser than what I was originally aiming for. But our mason says its the perfect height as the belt beam will come atop the pillars and that will be atleast half foot thick. So, it all adds up fine.

The pillars’ circumference at its thickest point is 32 inches. Just the perfect thickness that I had wanted.

The pillars are made of  ‘Satin Wood’ or Vaippu Maram as its called locally. Its not as expensive as Teak or Rosewood but just as good. Locals say that having this variety of wood brings good luck to the household. I don’t believe in such sentiments. All I care is that it feels solid and looks great.

The best part was the pricing. Most other shops were charging anywhere between Rs.10,000 to Rs.15,000 for similar pillar. I managed to buy this for Rs.6750 per pillar which is a damn good bargain. Helps to have the wife alongside! 🙂

I took this video right after we paid the advance to the antique furniture guy. The video also features a small conversation with him about the pillars. Even though it was still evening, there was no electricity then. So, had to shoot the video in low light.

This was a very satisfying purchase. The pillars are currently being polished and we will get the final delivery on Thursday, 23rd June. Can’t wait !

NOTE:  I’m NOT a dealer in wooden pillars.  So, please DO NOT call me inquiring for the same.  The best places for you to get these wooden pillars are from two places:   1) Pondicherry.  On the East Coast Road (ECR), near Auroville, there are dozens of antique shops that has these pillars. No, I don’t have the phone numbers of any of them.   2) The other place is Karaikudi in Tamilnadu. 

Unfortunately, I can’t provide any more information on these wooden pillars. Thank you for respecting my privacy and not calling me. I’ve been getting way too many calls and hence this message. Appreciate it. 


Here’s One Reason Why the 7 Acre Dream Must Come True

While we were hunting for the wooden pillars for our farmhouse, we came across this astonishingly big sized tree trunk at a saw mill near Tindivanam.

As soon I saw it, I felt a twinge in my heart. How could someone have the heart to chop down such a magnificent tree?

But then, its easy to see the irony. As Dilip had pointed out, it doesn’t make sense to feel bad for a chopped tree on one hand and on the other buy fancy wooden pillars for the house! That’s llike supporting PETA during the day and enjoying mutton biriyani during night!!

All I know is that I thoroughly enjoy the process of creating something from the scratch. If that involves trees, my passion since childhood, its even better. Now, on with the project!

The challenge is to grow 1000 trees and these should be 100 different varieties of fruit and flowering trees. As you can see its a challenging project. Tough but very doable. I’ve helped set up a wiki to list down all the varieties. Would seek your help in suggesting the ones that are missed out. You can either add it directly to the wiki or just leave as a comment in the comment section below. Thanks in advance.


Technology in Villages.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the amount of technology in use in the villages. The mason had recently bought a new iron rod cutting machine and in his own words, it does the work of 5 men. And importantly, it doesn’t complain and doesn’t bunk work!

 


The Painstaking Hunt for the Perfect ‘Thoons’

NOTE:  I’m NOT a dealer in wooden pillars.  So, please DO NOT call me inquiring for the same.  The best places for you to get these wooden pillars are from two places:   1) Pondicherry.  On the East Coast Road (ECR), near Auroville, there are dozens of antique shops that has these pillars. No, I don’t have the phone numbers of any of them.   2) The other place is Karaikudi in Tamilnadu. 

Unfortunately, I can’t provide any more information on these wooden pillars. Thank you for respecting my privacy and not calling me. I’ve been getting way too many calls and hence this message. Appreciate it. 

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While the foundation work for the farmhouse is progressing, I shifted my attention to hunting for the perfect wooden pillars ( or Thoons as they call locally). These ‘thoons’ have a strong emotional attachment for me. They are strong symbol of a village abode. Long before I finalized the house plan, I had finalized the decision that it will have wooden pillars!

Thankfully, I didn’t have to travel far to find some great ones. After Karaikudi, Pondicherry is the best place to find antique wooden pillars for sale. Thanks to foreigners who appreciate our antique woodwork, there is a flourishing antique trade. There are about a dozen such antique shops and all of them lie in a single strip on the road between Pondicherry town and Auroville.

I spent over 5 hours visiting every single shop in the strip. I painstakingly checked out almost every single wooden pillar available and mentally short-listed a few of them. The challenge here is to find 4 identical pillars. All the four pillars will form the front facade of the farm house.

Among the short-listed ones are these 4 wooden pillars seen above. They are in an unpolished state and needs to be cured and polished.  We have heavy termite problem in our land and hence these will have to be chemically treated to protect them from being eaten up.

Here is another antique furniture shop that I visited. I loved the door on the right but its only 5 feet high.

Here’s me checking out the pillars in a different shop in Tindivanam, about an half-hour’s drive from Pondicherry.  The cost of each wooden pillar ranges between Rs.10,000 to Rs.35,000. The price varies depending on the variety of the wood. Teak and Rosewood demand the highest rates.

Lots of antique woodwork that goes along with the pillars lying strewn around.  What you see here are called ‘Bhondil‘ which is the woodwork that is placed on top of the pillar.  The more grander the woodwork, the higher the price.

Here is a ‘Bhondil‘ that I liked at first sight. Unfortunately, the guy did not have 4 identical pieces and hence had to look for other options.  This week, I’ll go on a second visit to all the antique shops once again to finalize what will adorn my home.  The process of selection is painstaking and slow but there’s a special joy in hunting for the right one your heart loves.

NOTE:  I’m NOT a dealer in wooden pillars.  So, please DO NOT call me inquiring for the same.  The best place for you to get these wooden pillars is from two places:   1) Pondicherry.  On the East Coast Road (ECR), near Auroville, there are dozens of shops that has these pillars. No, I don’t have the phone numbers of any of them.   2) Karaikudi in Tamilnadu. 

Unfortunately, I can’t provide any more information on these wooden pillars. Thank you for appreciating my privacy and not calling me. 

Thank you.


Raising the Pillars for the FarmHouse

The work on the farmhouse at our 7 acre farm is proceeding as planned. The important task is to raise the foundation pillars… what the locals call as ‘dummy pillars’. Since the land is at a low lying area (its about 3 feet below the road level), we first had to raise the base section. We decided to raise it by 5 feet just to be safe.

This work increases the cost substantially, not to mention extra effort and days spent. But we felt its worth it especially considering that our land is close to a very large lake which tends to overflow during the rainy seasons.

Here are the pics when the pillar work was done.

The mason laying the iron skeletal work in the pit that was dug a few days ago.

 

A look at the basement of the pillar.

A hollow channel is created around the metal structure using bricks.  This is let to settle for a day.

The next day, the rest of the pit is filled in with mud leaving the hollow section inside the bricks area. Concrete is poured into the hollow section which binds very well with the metal structure forming a strong pillar.  Once this is done for all the 11 pillars, a curing time of 3 days is given.  While this is allowed to wait, the masons turn their attention to the septic tank where they work on laying the inside walls. That’s for a separate post!





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