Kaziranga Golf Resort: A Slice Of Colonial Lifestyle

My happiness knew no bounds when I set out to explore my homeland Assam. The last frontier of the country, which was left unconquered by the Mughal emperors, Assam upholds the pride of being called the land of splendid secrets.

The gateway to the alluring and unexploited north-eastern part of India, Assam is a treasure trove of glorious history, unparalleled scenic surroundings, indigenous ethnic groups, and a bundle of fascinating tales from the past. Unlike any other destination, traveling through this verdant land, sprawling paddy rice fields framed by the vaguely visible hills, the forested lands, and manicured tea estates make me ecstatic in my own land.

The earthy smell of the wetland brings me the most cherished memories of my childhood. The region has a spellbinding beauty and is visually entrancing. As I start my journey, I will take you on a ride, which will introduce you to Assam beyond the Kaziranga and Brahmaputra River.

The destination is not just another town in Assam, rather it is one of the most prominent places that connect Majuli from the mainland. About 112 km away from the Kaziranga National Park, I was traveling to Jorhat to spend a couple of days at the most impressive heritage property called Kaziranga Golf Resort.

Located amidst the lush, sprawling tea estates, Kaziranga Golf Resort is one of the finest heritage properties in Assam. Coming from the affluent and aristocratic family of the Khongiya Barooah of Upper Assam, the legendary tea planter Late Rai Bahadur Siva Prasad Barooah, probably the richest man during the British era in Assam, from whom even the British tea companies used to take the loan when in need, had the vision of putting Assam in the map of tea tourism at that time. Following the ambitious vision, his son, the Late Hemendra Prasad Barooah, the tea baron, contributed remarkably in fulfilling his father’s dream.

The result is not just a luxurious heritage property in the tea estates, rather he had taken it to the next level by introducing the 18-hole world standard Golf Course as well. This is the only tea estate based commercial course in the world. Not just that, it is only the 3rd Indian course undergoing GEO (Scottish certification).

The First Look

After almost four hours drive from my hometown, I finally reached Kaziranga Golf Resort. While negotiating my way amidst the carpeted tea gardens, the fiery setting sun rays filtering through the branches of the trees just painted a picture perfect moment for me.

Far away from the uniform life, it transported me back to those early years. The time moves slowly here. The unhurried pace of life just overwhelmed me. The moment I stepped out of the car, the joy of being in a pristine place became vibrant on my face. I got a warm welcome and was soon escorted towards my cottage. The old bungalow, known as “Burra Sahib’s Bungalow” won my heart.

The old style architecture, encircled by the well-spread tea gardens and the golf course; I had never seen such a colonial property in this gorgeous location. I was enthralled to see the unending stretch of greens beyond my horizon. I never knew that I would find a piece of land like this in my land.

The Resort

The Kaziranga Golf Resort is conceived as a premium heritage resort. It has 8 Cottages with a total of 16 superior Cottage Rooms, built with the British colonial exterior and verandas, facing the tea gardens and golf courses. Waking up to the sound of birds chirping and the passing train early in the morning was blissful.

Sitting on the balcony with my morning tea, overlooking the rising sun with an unhindered view of the golf course and shimmering leaves of the tea gardens was one of those rare scenes that I will cherish forever.

I completely soaked into the scenery. After spending a considerable amount of time strolling around, this breathtaking setting, I decided to have my breakfast on the lawn.

Soon after, I decided to take a tour of the property. I started with the “Burra Sahib’s Bungalow”, which is 125 years old heritage bungalow, used as a Visiting Agent’s bungalow by George Williamson during the colonial days. Later the property was renovated keeping the original style and the old world charm to get transformed into a Club House.

It has one heritage suit, designed with vintage furniture and colonial decor. Today it houses the office of the resort, along with the spa, swimming pool, library, pool table, various indoor games, fine dining restaurant and sports bar. You would be surprised to find Decathlon store at the property as well.

What all I did there

As time was passing by, the sun was rising high up in the sky. I decided to head back to my cottage post-lunch to take some rest before I set out to explore life in tea gardens. Walking along with the tea bushes, in the tiny alleys inside the gardens and drawing an idea of the lifestyle of the tea workers was on my agenda.

Tea Estate Trail 

A leisurely walk in the uneven paths amidst the tea gardens is the perfect excuse to peep into the lifestyle of the tea workers in a most delightful way. To catch the sweet rhythm of their life, it was the best time to meet some of them who were returning home after a day-long work in the tea plantation.

As I was driving through the Sangsua Tea Estate, I stopped suddenly seeing a group of women coming with their baskets hung, walking towards the collection center. Every evening, just before sunset, they visit the center to give the tea leaves which go to the factory the very next day.

While the women work in the tea plantations, the male members of the family work either in the tea factory or as a supervisor in the tea estates and even some opt to work outside the garden as well. The tea pickers have been doing this job for generations. Some of them are also the sole bread earners of their families. They have a very strong community and believe in unity.

While I tried to capture some of them into my lens, I got the strangest looks from them. The giggling sound of a few made me smile back at them. Seeing them from close proximity, I realized that life is not easy for them, but we need to learn as to how one should embrace life with a smile. As the sun left its last rays, I decided to head back to the resort with a bag full of mixed emotions.

Golf Course Tour

More than anything else, I was looking forward to having a tour of the golf course, set up in the unique location, amidst the tea plantation. Spread across the 150-acre land, this 18 Hole Championship Golf Course is one of the unique courses in the world.

While taking a tour in the rolling land of tea plantations in a golf cart, I was amazed to see the golf course in a natural setting surrounded by tea bushes. The course is complemented by a two-sided driving range and can accommodate 72 golfers at a time.

While touring the course, I got to know that they organize Golf tournaments here annually and it also has a golf Academy. Apparently, this golf course is one of the most popular among golfers, not only in Assam but in other parts of India as well.

The exceptional terrain and pristine setup make it one of the most desired and well-visited golf courses in India. Not just that, Kaziranga Golf Resort is the only tea resort having a golf course in the entire northeast. Well, I could not stay away from trying my hand at golf there.

 This is undoubtedly one of the top colonial sports that the British left behind in Assam.

Tea Factory Visit

Being a native of Assam, I can always relate to the tea environment. Throughout my growing up years, I have visited a lot of tea estates but never cared to enter the factory to see the actual process of tea making. Holidaying at Kaziranga Golf Resort gave me the perfect opportunity to take a factory tour and see what goes into making the world-famous Assam Tea.

Upon reaching there, I was welcomed by the manager of the Gatoonga Tea Estate. Soon I was taken to the factory where the fragrance of the tea leaves dominated my senses. I was exposed to the tea-making process for the first time. I was overwhelmed to see the long process that goes through various stages. From collecting tea leaves, withering, CTC (Crush, Tear and Curl) processing, fermenting, drying, sorting & grading to final packing, everything happens in the factory under expert supervision in each department.

They produce a variety of quality tea based on many parameters. After the factory visit, I also attended Tea Testing session where I learned how just by taking a sip you can get to know the quality of the tea. It was an enriching experience.

Tea Tourism

While the British realized the true potential of tea plantation in the red soil of Assam more than 150 years back, Assam is opening up to the concept of tea tourism slowly. Blending the concept of tea and tourism, Assam is not just inviting travelers to have a rejuvenating experience in the lush green tea gardens, but providing a luxurious stay in the old charming British bungalows to give you a feel of the bygone era. The tourists not only enjoy their stay at these properties but also get a perfect opportunity to see a peaceful life in this part of the world.

Providing world-class facilities, tea tourism also introduces the visitors to live a slice of colonial lifestyle amidst the tranquil tea gardens. There are some of the prominent Heritage Tea Bungalows in Assam and among them, Kaziranga Golf Resort, Banyan Grove, and Thengal Manor, run by Heritage NorthEast, are contributing remarkably toward promoting Tea Tourism in Assam.

In spite of a slow-moving life, one gets the much-required serenity in this part of the country. When the harmony creates rhythm in the most compelling eye arresting place like Assam, life seems to be smiling at you. I find joy in telling the world that I belong to this land. 

Finest Colonial Bungalows in Assam

 Getting there

Jorhat is the second largest town of Assam and is home to many historical and religious sites. Located in Upper Assam, Jorhat is easily accessible through Flights, Buses, and Trains.

Air:  The best way to reach Jorhat is by taking a flight to Guwahati and then take deluxe buses or hired taxi from Guwahati to Jorhat. Almost all the major domestic airlines have direct flights to Guwahati. Though Jorhat has its own airport named Rowraih Airport. There are a selected airlines that have flights to Jorhat.

Road : There are several deluxe or semi deluxe buses from Guwahati , run regularly to Jorhat. The distance between Jorhat and Guwahati is around 312 km. It takes more than five hours to reach Jorhat by road.

Disclaimer :

The Watermarked photographs are owned by the writer and are copyright protected. Reproduction of any of the contents, including the photographs without prior consent/permission of the writer is strictly prohibited and a violation of the same will attract legal action.

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  1. wilson

    Your blog posts are so simple and clear. It covers almost all that i was looking for. Thank you so much for always providing great content. Much appreciated.

  2. Akshay Patil

    Assam is like natural beauty, i been ther during my visit to IIT Guwahati,

  3. Patrali Bose

    It had rained the day we reached there in May 2017 and it can get tough to maintain a clean ambiance in such situations and despite that the staff did a decent job. The golf course is just awesome, there is a decent gym and a spa for the fitness conscious, a swimming pool, lots and lots of open space (green), surrounded by tea gardens… the place is just amazing. The food you get is delicious… you can learn and/ or play golf at a reasonable price. Overall it’s been an amazing experience.

  4. Taj City Tour

    I love tea plantation, there is so much of greenery in tea plantation, the photos are stunning and thanks for sharing remembrable article.

  5. Karen Akpan

    Wow, so many great photos. You described it so well. Never seen this part of India before. SO much greenery was my favorite part.

  6. Only By Land

    I have never read about Assam before so it’s very interesting to learn about this part of India. My brother plays on the Asian tour and there are quite a few Indians on it, so it’s good to read about golf in India. The Kaziranga gold resort looks well set up and the course looks stunning, I’d love to play there. It’s amazing how whilst playing golf, the surroundings can be so lush and green.

  7. Archana Singh

    Whenever i thought of Kaziranga, only wildlife century came to my mind. This was something new. The Kaziranga Golf Resort looks beautiful with the tea gardens. The scenery looks very serene.

  8. Mimi's Migration

    wow this gives a great idea of what colonial life might have been like. I love history so this place looks very interesting. And your photos are beautiful. what an amazing experience

  9. Umberta

    The resort is nice, but what I really like is the surroundings. The vegetation is so green! 🙂 And yes life is definitely not easy for women there…

  10. Marlies

    The Kaziranga Golf Resort seems like a different and unique place in the landscape of tea gardens. The scenery is beautiful in the morning. It would be a pleasure to stay there I guess.

  11. Natasha

    I love this article! I love how you have explained the jobs and roles of the employees. Your accommodation looks very cosy also! I think I would stay at this place! Nice article 🙂

  12. Lisa

    What beautiful photos, it really makes you feel like you’re there! I’m guessing the ladies carrying the tea must be very strong, and work really hard all day to collect those tea leaves. I’ve never tried Assam tea, but it looks refreshing. The gold resort looks pretty too 🙂

  13. manish

    Such a wonderful article for the place which is most desirable in East India.
    I love to travel such a beautiful place

  14. Abhinav Singh

    Such an offbeat choice. makes me want to go there. North East India is so unspoiled! I hope it stays that way.

  15. Shaikh

    Very beautiful place. This is the perfect time to visit Assam fill the natural beauty. Thanks Ma’am for sharing this wonderful post with us

  16. Naomi

    Wow this looks amazing! I think I’d never want to leave anymore! I love it how the ladies bring in the fresh tea leaves every day, that ensures all tea is fresh! Lovely resort.

  17. Brijesh Kumar

    This seems to be a lovely place and the all the minute details and pictures given by you are so good that i feel to go there right away, i have kept the place in my travel diary to visit it as soon a possible.

  18. Jean

    Oh this looks like an amazing place. I want to stay here. And that tea experience. I would love to try the different varieties of tea

  19. Heiwa Heaven The Resort

    Very beautiful place i like this place.beautiful nature pics, I want to visit this place.Thanks for sharing it.

    • Parnashree Devi

      This resort in Assam is worth a visit. It not gives you the colonial feel but also takes you through the tea environment. It’s a beautiful experience itself.

  20. Same Day Agra Tour By Car

    Seems like an awesome place to spend a vacation with family or friends thanks for this amazing post that you have shared with us really glad to read this.

    • Parnashree Devi

      You must visit this resort. I can vouch for the memorable experience.

  21. Devesh Joshi

    Lovely pictures. But you seem to be using heavy pictures. I tried reloading the story 4,5 times and most of the pictures did not load, or appear.

    • Parnashree Devi

      Thanks . I haven’t face that problem yet. Though I will have to give it a check soon.

  22. Kalyani

    The texture of the beautiful green leaves whispers about the peculiarity of life, the ever flowing river reminds me the possibility of life, the morning dew and cool breeze strengthens my belief of existence. O’ my homeland, what more can I ask from you!
    Parnashree! I experienced a mix feeling of happiness and proud of my homeland when I read your post. Liked the photographs and the descriptions. I wish, you engrave more and more resources from this place and spread it to the world.

    • Parnashree Devi

      Thank you so much for your kind words. It feels great to write about my own land.


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