Shaped like a natural amphitheatre, complete with original stone terracing, the Bowl is the core agricultural zone at Samakanda. Blessed with nutrient-rich topsoils, washed down from the ridges above, along with pristine water sources from a series of wells, the natural topography also creates a sheltered microclimate suitable for a wide variety of crops. Two acres of old tea have been replaced with new bushes, then intercropped with over 1500 fruit trees, including mango, avocado, mangosteen, rambutan, papaya, wood apple, lime and orange, along with spices like clove and pepper vines.
The swampy area at the bottom of the Bowl has been excavated as a fresh-water lake, surrounded by a series of aquaculture ponds with flowering lotuses and water chestnuts. A series of terraced paddy fields stretch from the lake up towards the Bowl Bungalow, surrounded by beds of rocket, basil, tatsoi and various other ayurvedic herbs and rare vegetables, like Egyptian spinach and rosella.
Overlooking the Bowl is the Bowl Bungalow, another self-catering option for accommodation. This is made available on the same terms as The Bungalow .
The Bowl Bungalow was an existing building now rendered with mud on the exterior and extensively refurbished, providing one double bedroom and one single, kitchen, bathroom, sitting room, dining area and wide verandah, with fine views over the Bowl. The building is equipped with solar hot water and solar electricity.
A ‘herb spiral’ winds up and over rocks to one side and a kitchen garden at the back allows easy access to various fresh salads. A spiral of banana and papaya trees encloses another outdoor shower, fed by a bamboo pipe. Like the Bungalow, the Bowl Bungalow is equipped with a wood-burning pizza oven outside.