Imagine being able to pluck fresh mangoes without having to move from bed. Or waking up to the sounds of birds right next to you, with their nests built inside your bedroom.
For most of us, this sounds like a scene out of a Disney movie. But for Ajmer-born businessman Kul Pradeep Singh and his family, this is an everyday reality — their house is built atop a 40-foot mango tree!
This three-storey treehouse has two bedrooms, a kitchen, a library and a living area, and is located in Udaipur. “The area where our treehouse stands is known for its fruit trees. People used to sell these fruits from over 4,000 trees for a living. But due to an increase in population, they started cutting the trees down,” he explains.
The pleasure of nature’s company
In 1999, Singh was in search of a plot in Udaipur, and had decided that he wouldn’t harm any trees in this area. “When I told a property dealer to not cut any trees and instead replant them somewhere else, he rejected the idea and left. So I took it as a challenge. Instead of uprooting the trees, I dedicated myself to constructing a house on one. Soon, I got hold of this plot, which had a mango tree in the centre, for a reasonable price,” he says.
The construction of Singh’s house was completed in one year with the help of an architect. The tree was around 20-feet-tall at the time, and the house was built with two floors. It stands nine feet above the ground and is supported by a tree trunk. The entire structure is made of steel and the walls and floors of the house are made of cellulose sheet as well as fibre. Four pillars are placed around the tree, which act as an electric conductor during lightning.
“You can see branches inside our kitchen and bedroom. We make necessary changes in the structure according to the growth of the tree. Birds and small animals who dwell in the tree are now our family members. To co-exist with other living beings is an absolute pleasure, and we love their company,” adds Singh, who worked in the electricity department for about eight years before starting his own company.
So how much did the construction of this house cost? “I have kept no records of it. My only aim was to build a house to live in without disturbing the growth of the tree. I did, and I am satisfied,” says the 75-year-old businessman.
Singh says that seeing this model, interested people have contacted him to build a similar home. But no such collaborations have taken place till date. He states the reason, “At some point, they won’t compromise on the structure, which will lead to damaging the tree. I can’t compromise on that as well. I feel that not even a single leaf should be harmed by us.”
The mango tree has grown from 20 feet to 40 feet within 11 years. Singh’s house, which earlier had two floors, now stands tall with three. The first floor consists of a kitchen, bathroom and dining hall. On the second floor, there is a washroom, library and a bedroom. The third floor is made up of a single room with a roof, which can be opened to see the beautiful branches of the tree. He says his wife and son enjoy their lives in their house, and that they are rewarded by the tree with fresh mangoes every summer.
This treehouse has found its name in the Limca Book of Records and is visited by many tourists. So the next time you visit Udaipur, along with the beautiful forts and palaces, add this amazing treehouse to your itinerary.
Read this story in Hindi here.
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