Living happily ever after on a tree house!

By Anil Sharma, IANS

Udaipur : You could call it a castle in the air – except that a three-storey, fibre glass tree house really exists here. And the man who built it has been living in it along with his wife for the last six years!

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Perched on a mango tree near Chitrakoot Nagar here, engineer K.P. Singh’s unique abode was constructed in 2000. The house, built on the nine-foot diameter stem of the tree, has a 10-ft-long remote controlled ladder for entry.

Singh, an engineer by profession, decided to construct the house in view of the possibility of the 61-year-old tree being cut down as the area was to be developed into a residential colony.

“Earlier, a large number of local tribes used to live here and the area had around 4,000 trees. The area was given for development of a residential colony in which case a majority of trees would be cut. Being a nature lover I felt really concerned when I came to know about it. And to present a fine example of man-nature bonding, I thought of building this tree house,” Singh told IANS.

The house has been built without tampering with the original shape of the tree, which explains the continued presence of squirrels and birds on it. The tree’s branches surround and support the entire house.

Its first floor comprises the drawing room, kitchen and dining space, toilet-cum-bathroom plus a front balcony.

“The two branches of the tree in this area were utilised to make a horse cart for kids and also a unique seating arrangement for everyone in the house,” says Singh, whose son too used to live there earlier. A friend of Singh’s now stays with them.

A branch in the kitchen has been covered with a glass top and ideally five people can dine together there. The second floor is a delight for book lovers as it houses a bedroom, a library, a living room and toilet-cum-bath.

Reading your favourite lines amid cups of steaming coffee and looking over at the natural beauty is just unmatchable. The uppermost part is full of greenery. The sound of frisking leaves in the gentle breeze is a real treat.

For the doors and windows, the original leaves have been cast in fibre sheets, which looks beautiful while reflecting sunlight.

“To protect the branches from insects, pests, ticks and termites, they have been painted with neem oil,” says Singh.

As the climate changes, the tree house too fills up with nature’s changing scents. In 2001, when the family shifted from its previous residence in Udaipur city, the house was a real novelty and would attract too many visitors.

“It was a big tourist attraction, but now we have become a bit selective as I and my family live here,” Singh says.

(Anil Sharma can be contacted at [email protected])