The property of Melpazhur Mana was bought in February 1990 by the Chinmaya Mission: refurbished, repaired and renovated – but only superficially so that there is no change to the external structure. In line with Gurudev’s vision, the building will not be changed, the foundation will be retained, and the walls will not be altered. The designs and wood carvings will be kept intact and will remain the same. The roof will have to be changed periodically.
Over time, the sprawling campus has been renovated to its original style and glory. Today, CIF welcomes research scholars to its elegantly furnished reference library that houses over 20,000 books and 30 journal subscriptions. In addition, CIF has a meditation hall, residential quarters, kitchen and dining facilities, temples, prayer rooms, and serene spaces for solitude worship, reflection and self-study.
In February 2018, we restored the Kulapuramalika, a project that took approximately 4 months to complete. The last time it was restored was in 1990. Tiles were individually cleaned and placed back into position, all wooden teak carvings were polished, chips to the wood were sealed, tiles repolished and the entire building is now restored to its original glory. The project cost was nearly 15 lakhs. The next big project that is about to commence is the ‘restoration’ of the Illam, the architectural beauty which is the birth home of Adi Sankaracharya. The estimated cost of the project is 1 crore rupees.
A biogas plant adjacent to the new Annakshetra is constructed under the scheme of Khadi and Village Industries Commission. The total project cost is around Rs. 1.3 lakhs. The biogas plant helps decompose bio-waste from the kitchen which in-turn generates biogas for cooking purposes. On a daily basis, waste from the Annakshetra (dining area) is taken to the biogas plant and we are now able to generate between 8-10 hours worth of cooking gas.
We frequently celebrate the harvesting of crops from our vegetable garden. Thanks to the love and daily care provided by our estate management team, the garden produces a variety of fresh, green and juicy organic vegetables. The vegetable garden project is a state government programme initiated by the Department of Agriculture(Edakkattuvayal) and Krishi Bhavan. Together, they promote and grow food crops and cash crops in the state of Kerala. CIF received a 90 % government subsidy to establish a vegetable garden which now spreads over 50 cents of land and contains a variety of vegetables such as ladies fingers, beans, pumpkin and tomatoes.