How big is the farm?
Vaksana Farms is 13 acres.
Can I know the exact location of Vaksana Farms?
Vaksana Farms is located in a beautiful, remote, picture postcard village called Rettanai. The farm is between Tindivanam and Chenji. Here is the Google Maps link that shows the precise location of the farm. https://goo.gl/maps/
How far is the farm from Chennai?
Vaksana farms is about 2.5 hours drive from Chennai. The NH4 highway is wonderful and makes for a very nice drive. The roads leading all the way to the farm are excellent.
How far is the farm from Pondicherry?
The farm is approximately 1 hour from Pondicherry.
How far is the farm from Tiruvannamalai?
The farm is approximately 1 hour from Thiruvannamalai.
How far is the farm from Bangalore?
The farm is approximately 6 hours from Bangalore.
Can you tell me about the family behind the farm?
Vaksana Farms is a family run farm. It dates back to over eight generations of the family’s presence at the village. It is currently taken care of by Smt.Kasthuri Sivaraman (71 years) and Smt.Lakshmi Ammal (89 years), mother and grandmother of Kiruba Shankar.
What do you grow at the farm?
This is a permaculture farm that specializes in growing a multitude of crops. We have a fruit orchard filled with hundreds of fruit trees, coconut grove, mango grove, timber forest, paddy field, vegetable garden and greens raised beds.
Is the farm organic?
Vaksana farms is a natural farm that follows organic farming principles. We do not like to use chemical pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
Do you have AC in the farmhouse?
Yes, the entire farmhouse is fully air-conditioned.
Does the farmhouse have WiFi? What is the speed of the connectivity?
We have high-speed broadband and WiFi. The average download speed is about 50 Mbps. It’s a miracle that a farmhouse located in the middle of an agricultural farm which is on the outskirts of a remote village has high speed Internet.
Do you have a washing machine?
Yes, we have a washing machine and we encourage you to use it. We also provide washing liquid for you to use.
Do you have a reading corner?
We have a beautiful reading nook with large windows that open up to the greenery outside. A comfortable sofa cum bed is placed here, strategically next to the book shelves. This makes for a very comfortable reading corner.
What are the cleaning services provided at the cottage?
The floors are swept, toilets cleaned, windows wiped, tables and chairs are fully sanitized, all bed & pillow covers are changed to new ones for every new guest. We are extremely careful when it comes to cleanliness.
Do you have a workstation in the farmhouse?
Infact, we have many workstations at the farmhouse. We have two on the ground floor and two on the mezzanine floors. This farmhouse was built during the pandemic and hence the design was done in such a way that it is very comfortable for you to work from the farm.
Do you provide toiletries?
We encourage guests to bring their own toiletries. This is because each has their own preferences for brands. That said, we do have a stock of toiletries for emergency purposes and guests can buy them from us at cost price.
What is the tariff for the farmstay?
The current tariff (as of 2022) is Rs.8000 per night on weekends (Friday, Saturday & Sunday). This rate applies to holidays as well.
On weekdays (Monday to Thursday), the cost is Rs.6000 per night.
This rate is for upto 6 people. For additional persons, it is Rs.1000 extra per person per night.
Is the tariff inclusive of GST?
Yes, the cost is inclusive of GST.
How do I know which days are available?
The best way to find out available days is to check out the website www.VaksanaFarms.in. This has real time data on which days are available.
How can I be sure if this is a good farm stay?
Google has given us the prestigious ‘Top Rated’ tag. Over 300 guests have rated us on Google Reviews with an impressive rating of 4.9 out of 5.
How many days prior should I do the booking?
Since the farmstay is quite popular mainly because of word of mouth, we recommend booking at least two weeks to a month in advance. Weekends see a lot of demand and hence if you want to book weekends, we strongly recommend blocking it at least a month in advance.
Can I come directly to the farm and book?
No. We do not encourage walk-ins. Guests are allowed in only after prior booking. Please visit www.VaksanaFarms.in for checking the available dates.
How do I make a booking?
There are two simple ways you can make the booking.
1) You can book via the website www.VaksanaFarms.in
2) You can GPay the money to 9551664553 (Name: Kasthuri)
Do you cater to group bookings?
Yes, we do. Please call Kiruba Shankar at 9841597744 for a detailed discussion.
Can I pay cash on arrival?
No. All guests are required to pay the full booking amount in full at the time of booking. The food money can be paid in cash after you visit. But the accommodation money has to be paid prior.
Can I Pay via Gpay or UPI?
Ofcourse, you can.
The GPay number is 9551664553.
What is your cancellation policy?
1) If you cancel any date longer than 12 days before the day of stay, the cancellation charge is 20%
2) If you cancel within 12 days from the day of stay, then the cancellation charge is 50%
3) If you cancel within 7 days of stay, then the cancellation charge is 100%
What time is check-in and check-out?
12:30 PM is the check-in
10 AM is the check-out.
The 2.5 hours in between is needed for deep cleaning and sanitizing the farmhouse in preparation for your arrival.
What food do you provide?
We provide cuisine that are well known here in our village. It is healthy, vegetarian food. The vegetables and greens are sourced both from the farm as well as farms that are nearby. Do check out these photos to get an idea of the food we serve.
Can we request for a particular food to be cooked?
The menu is decided by the elderly ladies. We do not take orders for specific food. We are a farmstay and not a resort. Think of it as staying in our house. We encourage you to put your trust in us. You will be pleasantly surprised.
Who cooks the food?
The delicious, vegetarian village cuisine is cooked by Lakshmi Ammal (who is 89 years old) and Kasthuri Ammal (who is 71 years old). Both are excellent in whipping up lip-smacking delicacies.
We like non-vegetarian food. Can you cook non-veg food for us?
Sorry. We don’t cook non-veg food at the farm. Trust us when we say that the food that we serve is something that you will relish.
Can we use the kitchen at the farmhouse and cook on our own?
We have stopped self-cooking at the farmhouse. This is because we found it very difficult to maintain the cleanliness of the farmhouse. When one cooks, it is inevitable for the kitchen to get messy. Also, we get guests who are staunch vegetarians. We want to respect all and hence we took the decision against self-cooking.
Can I make barbeque at the farm?
Yes, you can barbecue outside the farmhouse. (no cooking is allowed inside the farmhouse but barbecuing outside is allowed). For non-vegetarian loving guests, this is a fun option to barbecue under the stars at night.
Are there restaurants close by?
There are small restaurants in the Rettanai village which is 2 kms away. If you want more posher restaurants, then the closest ones are in Tindivanam town which is 15 kms away. We provide healthy, home-cooked food. Why would you want to eat in a restaurant when you get good food at the farm itself?
Can I bring my food from outside?
Technically, you can. While we have restrictions on self-cooking, there is no limitation for you to bring food from outside. But why bother when you get good, clean, organic, healthy food that we cook for you.
What can we expect in terms of activities to do?
There are plenty of activities for you to keep yourself busy with at the farm.
Hands-on Farming: The speciality of the farmhouse is that it is located amidst a working farm. There are farming activities that happen on a daily basis. We encourage guests to come join in and experience farming first hand. It’s good fun.
Swimming Ponds: We have two large, Olympic sized ponds filled with rain water. These are excellent for swimming or just wallowing about. We have tyre tubes which can be used for floatation in case you are not comfortable with swimming.
Outdoor Showers: We have outdoor showers which are awesome to take a bath under the sky. These showers are situated amidst greenery and they are fantastic fun.
Farm Tour: We can take you on a guided walking tour of the farm and explain to you. This is a good way to learn about different fruiting trees and plants. This is a good educational experience.
Farm Animals: Its good fun for you to take the cows out for grazing, cutting grass and feeding them. The dogs are super friendly and you can play with them. Surya, the pony, is super friendly and you can become his friend by feeding him carrots.
What are the indoor activities for a family?
We have indoor games like Chess, Monopoly, Ludo, Snake & Ladder, and Playing cards. Please request us and we will provide them to you. After you have finished playing, you can return them back to us for safekeeping.
What are the activities one can do outside of the farm?
Long Walks: It is wonderful to go for long walks surrounding the farm. It is especially wonderful to go for these walks early morning or late evening for a very pleasant experience. You also get to meet wonderful people along the way.
Trekking at Chenji: The historically significant town of Chenji (Gingee) is located just a half hour drive from the farm. There are two hillocks on top of which are wonderful fortresses. They make for a wonderful explorative trek.
Can I bring children? What are the activities for children?
Ofcourse, you can bring children. Kids have a great time at the farm. They love the open spaces. 13 acres is a large playground for them. Kids are fascinated by farm animals. We have cows, calves, pony, dogs and puppies. We also have indoor games. Please ask us and we will help you with them.
Is it safe for the children at the farm?
Vaksana Farms is very safe for children. Like everywhere else, we encourage adult supervision for children.
Can I conduct retreats here for small groups?
Ofcourse, you can. This farm is ideal for conducting retreats. With the second farmstay getting ready (Tang), we will have the capacity to host upto 18 participants. The best part of conducting retreats here is that your group will have the entire farm for themselves. It is quite secluded and very peaceful. Lots of shady areas in the farm for you to have meetups.
Can I have a birthday party at the farm?
We love special celebratory occasions at the farm. However, please note that we do not allow loud music nor do we allow alcohol. We request our guests to respect the quiet nature of the farm.
Are you willing to host corporate outings/events?
Yes, we are more than willing to host corporate events and offsite team building activities. Kiruba, the co-owner of the farm, has experience conducting leadership retreats and will be happy to host it for your organization. Vaksana farms is ideal for conducting offsites with a rural, village theme. We can come up with very unique village themed activities that will be extremely memorable for the employees.
Can we conduct a cultural program there?
While you can certainly conduct cultural programs, please note that we do not encourage loud music or glaring lights. The farm is a quiet peaceful place and we would want to keep it this way. We also don’t have a physical hall yet but there are lots of shaded places in the farm to conduct events.
Can we have a family function at the farm stay?
Yes, you can . Family functions are good fun. We love hosting family reunions. This is a wonderful place for celebration. (P.S: Please note that we don’t encourage alcohol consumption at the farm.).
Can I volunteer to do the farm activities?
Currently, we have temporarily paused volunteer programs at the farm. We will restart accepting volunteers once we have the accommodation ready to house them. We love volunteers and we understand that this can be an excellent place for you to learn and contribute. We are ardent WWOOFers ourselves and have stayed and volunteered at farms in other countries. We can’t wait to get back volunteers at Vaksana Farms again.
What clothes should we bring?
Bring light colored, loose clothing. We recommend t-shirts and shorts. The climate can be quite hot in the afternoons and we recommend getting a cap or hat. Get extra pairs of dresses as we have nice swimming ponds. We have a washing machine at the farm which you can use.
Can we make a day visit to the farm without staying overnight?
Currently, we don’t encourage day visits at the farm. The reason being the best time to experience the farm is early mornings and late evenings. Its spectacularly beautiful and this is when the bulk of the farming activities happen. We want to encourage our visitors to stay at the farm to experience the beautiful mornings and evenings. We do encourage you to book a stay at the farmhouses. It will be a memorable experience for you.
Can we pluck fruits at the farm?
We have a ‘U Pick’ scheme where you can pluck and buy the fruits at the farm. Please approach us when you want to harvest yourself. We will provide you with baskets and a weighing scale. The rates are close to market rates. The beauty is the experience of you plucking them yourself.
Do you have an option for monthly rentals?
We have only two farmstays and these are booked for daily rentals. You technically can book the place for the long term by paying the daily rental. We have had guests who have stayed for multiple weeks.
Can we do Goseva at the farm?
You can do Goseva at the farm and the cows will thank you for it. This facility is available for guests who stay at the farmhouse.
Can we have campfires?
Yes, we can arrange for campfires. There will be an additional cost of Rs.300 to buy the firewood. Campfires are an excellent way to get the group around for some hearty fun.
What farm animals do you have?
We have 7 beautiful cows, 5 friendly dogs and a lovable pony.
Are you planning to have more farm animals?
Oh yes, we are. We are huge lovers of animals and birds. We want to adopt donkeys, sheep and pigs. We want to grow chickens, ducks, swans, guinea fowls and turkeys. We will have these in the farm after we make arrangements for their accommodation at the farm. We are quite excited about expanding the variety of farm animals at the farm.
Can I feed the farm animals?
Of course, you can. All the farm animals are super friendly and easy to interact. When you feed them, they will start liking you instantly. It’s a very nice experience.
Can we bring pets?
Yes, we are a pet-friendly farm.
Are there any rules and conditions for pets that we should be aware of?
A couple of them for you to take note of.
1) Please ensure that your pet does not chew, bite or damage any stuff in the farmhouse.
2) Please ensure that you take the pets on regular walks so that the pet does not urinate or defecate inside the farmhouse.
3) We have 5 friendly dogs at the farm. At first, their territorial instincts will kick in and they will bark at your pet. After a while, they will calm down and become friendly.
Do I need to bring my pet's bed?
Sure. If your pet prefers his/bed, do bring it along. Please note that we do not provide separate beds for pets.
Can you provide food for our pet?
If your pet needs specific food, we recommend you bring it along with you. If its simple rice and eggs, we can cook it for your pet at a small cost.
How safe is the farmhouse?
The farm is very safe. We have been living on the farm for 11 years. This is a very nice village with very friendly and helpful people. The farmhouse where you will be staying is a walking distance from the house where we stay inside the farm. We also have full-time caretakers staying at the farm. We have 5 farm dogs that are alert at the farm. You will be very safe at the farm.
The farmhouse is located in a remote place. Will it be scary staying alone?
No, it won’t be. While you will be staying at the farm by yourself, you will have people living at the farm. This is the best of both worlds. You get your own privacy and exclusivity along with the company of people who live a bit farther for company and safety.
What about reptiles and insects?
Just like there are birds in the sky and fishes in the sea, expect to have some reptiles and insects at the farm. It is quite natural. However, there is no need to worry as it is quite safe. The occasional snakes are mostly non-venomous and they want nothing to do with us humans. At night, we recommend you use a torchlight. By using commonsense and a bit of alertness, we can easily avoid any interaction with the reptiles. Trust us when we say this because we have been living on the farm for the past 11 years.