Guthu or Bunt House in Mangalore
The Bunts have their origins in Mangalore, the popular ones being Aishwarya Rai and Shilpa Shetty. Most today are in the restaurant business and run these eateries in Mumbai. I came across many Bunt houses in the hamlets around Mangalore during my stay in Dakshin Kannada.
Sloping roofs with Mangalore tiles and huge courtyards surrounded by paddy fields is a typical Bunt house. Compound walls made of Laterite stones these houses are set in quaint surroundings and some like the Guthu house are indeed majestic. The Guthu houses belong to the landlords and are sprawling with separate section for servants, livestock and storehouse.
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Considering Mangalore has a typical tropical climate with hot summers and heavy rains the houses are built such that there is ample ventilation with huge central courtyards. Traditionally in the olden days these mansions housed joint families. Wooden pillars with exquisite carvings are found all across these houses. They look grand and stand apart distinctly in the crowd.
The Bunt houses comprise of a large airy verandah to sit and discuss the day’s affairs. They are called Mogasalai in the local language. The Garodi is the living area where the family members reside. Every house has a chavadi or the worship space where puja and daily prayers are offered.
Tulunadu or Dakshin Kannada also called South Kanara is a great place to experience an amalgamation of culture that overlap the Konkani and Kerala traditions. If you visit this region do not miss on checking out the interiors of a Bunt house.
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