Udaipur is called the city of lakes. Surrounded by hills, this city is very beautiful. Apart from the forts and palaces of the old times, there is something in this city, which adds to its beauty and elegance and that is a ‘treehouse’ about 20 years old.
‘Treehouse’ means a house built on a tree. By the way, many people in the world have built treehouses. But the specialty of this treehouse is that it is a three storey house, which also has bedroom, kitchen, washroom and a library.
This house is built on a mango tree and the name of the person who built this house is Kul Pradeep Singh (KP Singh). KP Singh, who grew up in Ajmer, has been living in Udaipur for the last several years. In the year 2000, he built this ‘treehouse’ and his motive behind making it was to save trees from being cut and to present a model in front of the people. Talking to The Better India, he explained his entire journey in detail.
house built on mango tree
KP Singh says, “I did my engineering from IIT Kanpur and after that started working in Rajasthan itself. After working in the electricity department for about seven-eight years, I decided to start my own business. After that, I started my own company, which today is working in the field of electricity only.”
He said that around 1999, he was looking for land in Udaipur to build a house.
KP Singh said, “This area was earlier called ‘Kunjro ki Bari’. The people living here used to plant fruit trees and earn their living by selling fruits. But as time progressed and the population of the city started increasing, about 4000 trees planted here were cut and plots were prepared. When I met a property dealer, I suggested them to uproot the trees and plant them in other vacant places instead of cutting them down. But he said it would cost a lot. After this I told them that if you cannot plant trees anywhere else, then you should build houses on trees only.
The property dealer ignored KP Singh. But KP Singh decided that he would now build a house on the tree itself. So, he decided to buy a plot at the same place and build a house on the mango tree planted in it.
The house is made of cellulose sheet and fiber, not brick, cement
KP Singh started building the house in the year 1999 and it was completed in 2000. He said, “When I started building the house, the mango tree was about 20 feet tall. So at that time I only built a two storey house. I have not cut even a branch of this tree to build this house of my dreams. My house is about nine feet above the ground and is supported by a tree trunk. Today the length of this tree is more than 40 feet.
KP Singh first made four pillars around the tree. In these poles, a pole acts as an ‘electric conductor’, so that if the lightning strikes in the rain, it does not fall on this tree. Thereafter, they made the entire structure out of steel, and the walls and floors of the house were made of cellulose sheets and fibers. This house starts from a height of nine feet and KP Singh has installed remotely operated stairs to reach it. These stairs can be opened remotely while moving in the house.
He says, “For a few years this house was two floors. Which I later made of three floors. Due to being a house on the tree, many times animals and birds also come in the room. But now it has become a habit to live with them too. For they have not built our house, but we have built our house in their place.”
Twigs pass through the kitchen-bedroom
KP Singh says that he has not made any changes in this tree. Rather, I have tried to make my house according to the size of the tree. When you enter their house, you will see tree branches in the rooms. On the first floor, he has made a kitchen, bathroom, and dining hall. At the same time, he has made a washroom, library and a room on the second floor. A room has been built on the third floor, whose roof can open from above.
He said that often people cut twigs to make the house beautiful and orderly. But not a single branch has been cut in this house. Rather, many twigs are being used as home furniture. For example, a branch has been given the form of a sofa, while some have been given the form of a TV stand. The special thing is that big holes have been left everywhere for the tree to grow. So that the branches of the tree can also get sunlight and they can grow in their natural form.
He says, “We have lived in this house for almost eight years continuously, but when my mother started getting ill, we built another house next to this house so that the mother would not be disturbed. We are all enjoying these two houses. A lot of mangoes also come to this tree in the summer season.
This unique ‘Treehouse’ of KP Singh has also been included in the Limca Book of Records. He says, “Many people still come to see my house and marvel at how the house was built on a tree. I believe if you have passion in your heart, you can do anything.”
After seeing his house, many people asked him for the design of the house. Regarding this, KP Singh says, “People said that you design for us too. But no one is ready to compromise on their facilities and on the other hand, I do not compromise with trees. Because I feel that not a single leaf of a tree should be harmed because of us.”
Arguably, this house of KP Singh is a wonder in itself. So the next time you want to go to Udaipur, you will definitely see this house.
Editing – G N Jha
Also read: No electricity-water bill, no vegetable-fruit expenses, self-sufficient house built on the sandy land of Kutch