I felt an unusual calmness there. The aura of silence lingered around as if time had frozen. The sprawling tea gardens looked like a laid-out green carpet. I was completely mesmerized looking at the greenery all around. I exchanged smiles with those women plucking the fresh tea leaves, wearing the Assamese hat with colorful attires.
The moment I stepped inside the Banyan Grove, one of the finest heritage bungalows, I imagined myself waking up to this alluring view every day, sipping my morning cup of tea in the verandah and penning down my travel tales.
Located at the heart of the Gatoonga Tea Estate in Jorhat district of Assam, the 100 years old Banyan Grove had been the abode of the ‘Factory Assistant Manager’ of the tea estate, who was lovingly called “Mistry Sahib” for his enormous technical knowledge. Spread across five acres of lush greenery, the colonial mansion retains the old-world charm and gives you a sense of the bygone era.
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A perfect abode for creative souls, Banyan Grove is one of the preferred heritage properties, especially by foreign nationals. The bungalow has seven bedrooms with period furniture and decor and a dedicated fireplace in each room. Untouched by time, the property gives you a rare chance to experience the colonial royalty of the British Raj. The high ceiling, the antique pieces, aesthetically designed rooms, and the large drawing room makes you appreciate the elegance the place offers.
Though I didn’t stay (overnight) at this property, but spent the entire day there. What really overwhelmed me was the warmth in the behavior of the staff. If I talk about food, I simply relished the lip-smacking Assamese traditional cuisines, especially prepared by the chef, Bipul Baruah. Owned by the prominent Khongiya Barooah family of Upper Assam, the magnificent property is run by the Heritage North East, along with two more heritage bungalows, Kaziranga Golf Resort and Thengal Manor in Jorhat district.
Colonial Tea Bungalows in Assam
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 selected airlines that have flights to Jorhat.
Road : There are several deluxe or semi deluxe buses from Guwahati that 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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