Heritage Assam – Tea Bungalows

Heritage Assam – Tea Bungalows

“I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground

The exhilarating experience of staying in heritage bungalows resided earlier by the British colonial rulers amidst the evergreen tea gardens. We bring you a list of six such properties in Assam.

Chameli Memsaheb Bungalow, Cinnamora Tea Estate , Jorhat

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(photo courtesy : Mr. Shashanka Deka – facebook.com/shashanka.deka)

Set up by first Indian commercial tea planter Maniram Dewan, Cinnamara will complete 175 years in 2018 is now owned by the Assam Tea Corporation Limited (ATCL), still houses the graveyard of the freedom fighter, which died at the gallows. Cinnamara and Senglung tea estates were started by Dewan between 1843 and 1845 after he resigned from the post of dewan, land agent and chief executive, of India’s first tea company, the Assam Company.  Although Cinnamara still exists, Senglung got lost in time and there were no records available about the garden, till Pradip Baruah, a tea expert undertaking research on Assam tea on behalf of TeaVision, an NGO, discovered the tea estate a couple of years back in Sivasagar district.

History has it that Cinnamara was confiscated by the British and auctioned off soon after the execution of Dewan in 1858 for his role in the freedom struggle. British tea company George Williamson purchased the two estates. However, they fell on bad times as the laborers refused to cooperate with the new owner. They remained loyal to Maniram Dewan, forcing the company to part with them.Cinnamara tea estate was taken over by Jorehaut Tea Company and developed later.

The heritage bungalow at the tea estate is located amidst lush green tea bushes has been given a facelift to make the stay comfortable for tourists. A small museum at the estate where old photographs, history of the garden, artefacts are on display. The bungalow at Cinnamara tea estate, whose floor is made of teak wood, has been lying unused for several years.

 

Puroni Bheti Tea Bunglow, Haroocharai Tea Estate, Jorhat

(photo courtesy : Mr.Kuntil Baruwa – facebook.com/kuntil.baruwa

The Haroocharai Tea Estate is open to enjoy delicious blends and refined Assamese cuisine, and visitors are greeted by the owners, Indrani Barooah and Rajeeb Barooah. Local dancers contribute to a cheerful outdoor dining experience, while the tea pickers in their colorful clothes collect the leaves of the Camellia sinensis, while stealing a view of the dancers for a moment. Puroni Bheti means old foundation which is a crude literal translation. In its essence in the Assamese language it is a place from where humble beginnings were made by a family. The Lodge stands on what once housed the first office of the 116 year old Haroocharai Tea Estate.

Burra Sahib’s Bungalow, Sangsua Tea Estate, Jorhat

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Burra Sahib’s Bungalow, owned by the Barooahs is situated in Sangsua Tea Estate, is known for its quaint colonial architecture and associated with a unique and graceful lifestyle of an age gone by. This big “L” shaped bungalow, surrounded by tea plantations, huge trees, where all one hears are the frogs and crickets seems time has come to a standstill. Built during 1900-1905, with the British colonial exterior, sprawling interiors of carpeted floors, four bedrooms, high ceilings, verandah (courtyard) with sloping corrugated iron sheet roofs and a panoramic view of acres of flower-bedecked garden.

Having four bed-rooms, a large sitting room, and verandahs, all around to suit the climate. This house was refurbished with all modern amenities. Keeping its original style, retaining the old furniture and furnishings with fire places, was converted for tourists into a guest-house, in particular for tourists coming to tour the famous Kaziranga Wild life sanctuary or the Majuli Islands (the biggest river island in the world).The bathrooms, big and elaborate, with 24 hours of hot & cold Water/Shower, got a new look in the 80”s with modern fittings, retiled in pastels and floral designs, making it all look nice and beautiful.

With food, served by their smiley uniformed staff, are delicious Anglo Indian dinners with traditional and continental meals.

With activities , guests could go for Golf or even stroll to the Golf course , or go to the Burra Sahib”s personal fishing lake , that looks beautiful after the rains or go to the tea estate tour for tea tasting.

Mancotta Chang Bungalow, Mancotta Tea Estate, Dibrugarh

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The Mancotta bungalow is owned by the Jalans, one of the oldest tea-growing families in Assam, their business dating back to the middle of the 19th century and still going strong. In recent years, they have converted two of their ‘manager’s bungalows’ into guesthouses, but not of the usual touristy kind. They are not widely advertised and are not bursting at the seams with visitors either. There are six rooms on offer at Mancotta Chang, with and without air-conditioning.

 Balipara Bungalow – Wild Masheer, Addabarie Tea Estate, Balipara

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Taste the lifestyle of a Colonial tea planter at Wild Mahseer, a 22-acre sanctuary comprising the jewel in our crown, the exclusive Heritage Bungalow, an additional 4 cozy tea bungalows, the First Flush dining pavilion and Two & A Bud conference facility all located on a certified organic property.

Wild Mahseer is the perfect place to relax and be pampered between forays out to witness Assam’s breathtaking pristine scenery, discover its rare and abundant wildlife, meet its eclectic mix of people and savour its flavorful multi-cultural cuisine.

The Heritage Bungalow is immersed in over 100 years of rich history. Set in the midst of the Addabarie Tea Estate, it was originally the Visiting Agent’s residence. After renovation and fronted by a massive lawn interspersed with mature trees, decorative beds blooming with seasonal flowers and dotted with wooden benches, it is a perfect refuge for visitors keen to re-create the experience of the old-world British planters’ lifestyle.

Wathai Heritage Bungalow, Limbuguri Tea Estate, Tinsukia

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The low-slung bungalow, embroidered at its fringes with a sizeable lawn, lies partly in the shade of a scattering of trees. The sun-seared green roof crouches protectively over the wraparound verandah “cocooning” walls painted ivory. Wathai, the renovated manager’s bungalow — with two large bedrooms and a family suite — in Assam’s Tinsukia district, is run by the Dibrugarh-based Jalans, who own vast swathes of tea plantations in Dibrugarh and Tinsukia. Limbuguri is a convenient post for travellers taking a break after Kaziranga National Park. A stay in a heritage bungalow in the heart of tea country, a trip to Dibru Saikhowa and a tour of Wakro in Arunachal Pradesh, are on offer. The large bedroom (Yuhina) immediately off the drawing room features a double bed, cupboards and old-fashioned dressing table, all painted white. The spacious bathroom contains a gleaming tub and WC. The bedroom we are assigned (Sibia) is twin-bedded, with a slightly smaller bathroom. The third room, Minla, is family-sized, with an extra bed, dressing table and sizeable bathroom.

Dinner is brought to us in the slightly stark dining room, its slice of glory the original fireplace. It is simple home-cooked fare. Breakfast served in the sunny jaali kamra, however, is a typical planter’s brekkie — eggs and yummy veg cutlets, seared tomatoes with a spot of cheese, fruit and juice, marmalade, heaps of hot toast and tea.

India offers plenty when it comes to choosing accommodation ,whether you’re looking for unbridled luxury or a simple homestay. Eventours Travels brings to you some exceptional places for you to experience in some of the most exotic locations in eastern India. 

 

 

 

 

 

Make it Happen Festivals

Make it Happen Festivals

Here is a list of must include festivals and events that should be part of your itinerary if you plan to travel abroad this coming season. Yes, the travel experience will be slightly different than on any other occasion. But there’s something special when traveling for festivals. The atmosphere is different, the people are friendlier, the destination somehow feels more alive, more energetic, more…fun.

Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Dubrovnik, CROATIA

July 10th – August 25th

Sunset at yacht harbour in Dubrovnik
Sunset at yacht harbour in Dubrovnik

It was at the beginning of the 50s, when there were many theatrical and musical events springing up all over Europe, that the Dubrovnik Summer Festival was founded. However, the idea of harmonizing the renaissance and baroque atmosphere of Dubrovnik and the living spirit of drama and music, actually derived from the intellectual way of life of the city itself, from its living creative tradition, which has bestowed upon Croatian cultural and scholarly history, especially in theatre and literature, many great names and works, and kept it continually in touch with contemporary currents in western Europe.

Sitting along the Dalmatian coast of Croatia is the city of Dubrovnik. Nicknamed the Pearl of the Adriatic, the old city was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.The city was founded in the seventh century and is considered one of the ten best medieval walled cities of the world. Each summer a festival known as the Dubrovnik Summer Festival is held in the city. The festival is 45 days long and involves concerts, games, and live plays. Now 66 years old, to say walled city Dubrovnik’s Summer Festival is something of an institution would be an understatement.

Tomorrowland , Antwerp, BELGIUM

July

Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland is one of the biggest electronic music festivals held in the world, taking place in Boom, Belgium. The town of Boom is situated in Belgium, between Antwerp & Brussels.  Travel, together with the People of Tomorrow, from every corner of the world, all united in a once in a lifetime travel experience that brings you to Tomorrowland.

All paths at the venue, placement of bins and shops all across Boom, signs with directions, the staff. The decoration, absolute top notch. With many hidden details, cool small stages and so on. The sound system is absolutely massive, immense bass and clear highs. The main stage itself was a gigantic, firework spitting, hell castle that couldn’t have been done much better. The decoration, absolute top notch. With many hidden details, cool small stages and so on. The sound system is absolutely massive, immense bass and clear highs. The main stage itself is a gigantic, firework spitting, hell castle that couldn’t have been done much better. Tomorrowland is such an experience! It really isn’t all about the music. Tomorrowland is about embracing the beauty of your surroundings and enjoying it with the happy people around you.

La Tomatina, Valencia , SPAIN

August

The World's Biggest Tomato Fight At Tomatina Festival 2013
BUNOL, SPAIN – AUGUST 28: Revellers celebrate covered by tomato pulp while participating the annual Tomatina festival on August 28, 2013 in Bunol, Spain. An estimated 20,000 people threw 130 tons of ripe tomatoes in the world’s biggest tomato fight held annually in this Spanish Mediterranean town. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

La Tomatina is a food fight festival held on the last Wednesday of August each year in the town of Bunol near to Valencia in Spain. Here are a number of theories about the origins of the festival ranging from the bizarre to the believable, but La Tomatina celebrates Spanish joie de vivre over and above everything else. The whole festival is a sea of white. Make sure you wear clothes and shoes you are willing to discard. Rest assured, you will NOT be able to wear them again. Join the crowds as they walk towards the focal point of La Tomatina – a greased pole with a ham at top. Try to get as close to the pole as possible. Find yourself a good ‘fighting spot’ and wait for the fun to begin.

The event is held every year as part of the festivities of Buñol (Valencia) and its origin traces back to around the year 1945, when some local youths went down to the town square to see the parade Giants and Big-Heads figures. Apparently, one of them inadvertently stumbled and dropped a participant, thus giving rise to a fight between neighbors, who started throwing tomatoes at each other. The following year the group of kids staged a fight back and the rest is history. Today the Tomatina attracts young people from around the world, who gather in the streets of Buñol and hurl the fruit at each other.

Oktoberfest, Munich, GERMANY

September

Oktoberfest

Every year a huge park in the centre of Munich called the Theresenwiese is transformed into what appears to be the world’s party central. Half of the park is filled with amazing rides, side shows, food stalls and Schnapps tents. The other half boasts 14 beer halls. Like everything about the Oktoberfest the beer halls or beer tents are huge. They sit over 4000 people inside and more in the beer gardens. In fact around 100,000 people can be seated at Munich Beer Festival tables! You are served steins (1 litre jugs) of the local brew by the frauliens, entertained by Oompah bands – the atmosphere is fantastic. The Oktoberfest always finishes on the first Sunday in October.

Munich’s Oktoberfest started a long time ago; in 1810 to be exact- in the form of a horse race to celebrate the royal wedding of King Ludwig I and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The citizens of Munich were invited to the event and most of them ignored the races and took advantage of all of the drinks and food that was available. The following years they started including agricultural shows, carnival booths, parades, etc, and the horse races were soon history. Fortunately, they’ve conserved the best part of the festival! Every year, around 7 million people visit Munich to celebrate “Wiesn”, the world’s biggest party.

Hongkong Winterfest, Hongkong, CHINA

November

Hongkong Winterfest

Hong Kong WinterFest is the series of events sponsored by the Hong Kong Tourism Board which takes place from mid November to January 1st. Christmas might not be a typical Chinese holiday but the territory certainly embraces any chance to celebrate, shop and enjoy great food, and Hong Kong is clearly a magnet to visitors during this season. Celebrate the best of the season with Hong Kong’s unique Christmas festivities. Make it a one-of-a-kind Christmas holiday with Hong Kong’s WinterFest. Throughout the season, you can participate in Christmas-themed events all around the city. Head up to Hong Kong’s sky100 Observation Deck for a spectacular 360-view of the city all decked up in its Christmas finery.

During WinterFest the public spaces of the city are transformed into winter wonderlands and performance spaces, with spectacular light shows throughout the season, culminating in a fireworks display over the New Year period. Victoria Harbour is the centre of attractions, and Hong Kong’s famous skyscrapers will be emblazoned with gargantuan Christmas lights. This typically over the top display of bling encapsulates the spirit and lifestyle of Hong Kong, and makes it one of the best places in the world to celebrate Christmas.

Meviana Festival, Konya, TURKEY

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Konya is bracing itself for one of the most important events of the year and that is the annual celebration of Rumi and the whirling dervishes’ festival. From the 10th of December to the 17th, thousands of people will descend on the Turkish city of Konya. This is a journey to commemorate the death of a poet and his works that still continues to exist in the society.

Throughout the festival, the dervishes dance their famous whirl, but it’s the final night – 17 December – that’s truly special, with the dervishes dancing to commemorate Mevlâna’s wedding night.

The entire ritual has four parts, and after bowing to each other, the dervishes begin their spiritual journey by starting to spin. They turn in ever-increasing speed, always from right to left. Their arms, which at first are folded over their chests, stretch out, the right hand pointing heavenwards and the left towards the earth in a symbolic gesture to guide enlightenment from God towards us earthbound mortals. During the entire three-hour performance, nothing but the soft tapping of ever-faster spinning feet, the swish of billowing skirts, and the mesmerizing instruments waft through the mausoleum. Today, the chance to witness this sema draws more than one million people to the Anatolian city of Konya for the Whirling Dervishes Festival, which commemorates Mevlâna’s death on 17 December 1273, the Date: now known as his ‘wedding night’ with Allah.

Eventours ( http://www.eventours.in) celebrates the spirit of travel mavericks who love to explore the world for its vivid nuances with life.They create amazing trips around these festivals and can be reached at info@eventrips.in