Studio at ‘Villa Sikepan’
THE BRIDGE OF THE WHITE TIGER AT VILLA SIKEPAN
In earlier days, a narrow railway track crossed the small river at Sikepan, over an old bridge built during the Colonial era. The track was used for a small train that transported sugar cane to a nearby factory. In due course, after the train ceased to be used, the metal part of the bridge collapsed, leaving only its two stone arches standing. Subsequently, the arch on the village side also crumbled, leaving just the one archway, a proud symbol of its past glory. Legend has it that the top of this archway became home to the Spirit of a White Tiger. Many villagers were extremely cautious, at night, about crossing the new road-bridge, which had been built in the meantime, for fear of being confronted by this spirit.
When Villa Sikepan was built in 2000, arrangements were made with the local authorities to allow inclusion of the archway of the old bridge as an integral part of the Villa. This arrangement served as much as anything to help ensure that this historic landmark would be protected and not exposed to further destruction. A roof was built over the top of the archway to create a charming tea-house and the Spirit of the White Tiger has been ceremoniously invited to continue to reside there. Far from being a threat, the Spirit has become a unique and positive element, providing protection and charming all those, who visit the Villa. Consequently, he has become venerated and a much loved part of the Villa Sikepan.