Located in a traditional Assamese village named Jalukonibari, merely 15 km away from the town of Jorhat, the majestic mansion “Thengal Manor” is not just the finest heritage property in Assam but a tale in itself. Home to the affluent and aristocratic, The Khongiya Barooah family of Upper Assam, Thengal Manor upholds the pride of being that historic place from where the very first daily newspaper in Assamese, ‘Dainik Batori’ was launched on 12th August 1935.
My jaw literally dropped when I arrived at the gate of the regal mansion. Tucked quietly in the beautiful village, the astounding white building stands tall with a thousand of fascinating tales from the bygone era. It shouts about the elite lifestyle of Barooah family, who are known for their nobility, philanthropy and tea plantations. Constructed in the year 1929 by Rai Bahadur Siva Prasad Barooah, the mansion was meant to be a family abode for Siva Prasad Barooah, Sashi Prasad Barooah, and their families. But the unfortunate severe earthquake in Assam in the year 1950, damaged the property, which led to the families shifting their base to Calcutta. For 13 years, the house was abandoned till repair work was started in 1965 by the tea baron, Mr. H P Barooah. Later the property was converted into a luxurious heritage hotel, retaining the old charm and feel to it.
The First Look
The very first look of Thengal Manor is nothing less than a picture perfect postcard. With a colonial architecture, period furniture and decor, this magnificent property open up to a large balcony, facing a beautiful lawn with a swimming pool. The ambiance was perfect for a luxurious holiday in the peaceful colonial environment.
As I stepped inside, the photo gallery of the Barooah family drew my attention. The black & white photo gallery gives you a fair idea about these influential family members of Assam.
As I settled in the drawing room of Thengal Manor, my eyes panned around the interior that left me speechless. The fireplace, antique showpieces, paintings, curtains and those arch shaped wooden windows; in fact, every corner of this property flaunts about their lavish lifestyle .
Whether it was a gramophone, chandelier, or valuable collectibles from across the globe, the mansion undoubtedly transports you to the glorious colonial days in Assam.
Untouched by time, each room of Thengal Manor is a reminder of the royal lifestyle. There are four double Rooms and one single Superior Room in the property. The high ceiling rooms offer an elegant look. The grandeur of the rooms with aesthetically designed interiors gives the old world charm vividly. The dressing room, the mirror, the fireplace, old-fashioned ceiling fans and the study table in the room make you feel as if you are turning the half torn pages of a book from the past.
My eyes sparkled instantly at the first look. I was delighted to know that I had been given the biggest room in the property. This was by far the largest room I have ever stayed in any heritage property during my trips across the globe.
The intricate details of the room, whether it was the window curtains, bed cover, antique wooden bed or the pillars, everything was splendid. I was experiencing royalty to the hilt.
Apart from the colonial status, the Thengal Manor is also known for offering the best culinary experience to its guest for years. The guests relish its traditional Assamese Thali. Being an Assamese girl, I can vouch for the taste of its authentic Assamese cuisines.I savored traditional Fish Tenga, Mashed Potato, Local Vegetable Fry, Lentil Curry, Chicken Curry, Duck Curry, Bamboo Shoot chutney with aromatic local Joha rice. I must thank the chef Bipul Baruah for creating such delectable platter for me during my stay.
My Favourite Corner
If I lost my heart to one corner of the property, it had to be the front balcony of the mansion. The expansive front facing veranda opens up to the lush green manicured lawn. The round shaped table in the center is the perfect place to unwind in the evening with a hot cup of tea.
Being a travel Blogger, I found my space to pen down my stories quietly. Unperturbed by anything for that matter, it provides the much-needed peace and serenity for writers and artists. The rustling of the dry leaves, chirping sound of the birds, the raindrops in the monsoon creates such a magical aura that it constantly provides the inspiration for creativity.
A sense of belongingness creeps in, staying at this impressive property.I definitely don’t mind spending a few summers in the lap of nature at this luxurious bungalow.
I have now stopped wondering why The Thengal Manor is considered one of the best heritage properties in India by the prestigious publications like Conde Nast Traveller and Lonely Planet India.
Undoubtedly, Assam is a land of nonpareil beauty in which this Heritage property stands out, providing you with a chance to experience colonial luxury at its best.
I was invited by Heritage North East on a press Trip.
For More Information, Kindly visit http://www.heritagetourismindia.com/
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.
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