Draped in my traditional Mekhala Sadar, as soon as I stepped inside the 145 years old colonial bungalow at Wild Mahseer, the regal charms of the heritage property mesmerized me in no time. Standing still as I looked around, I was completely in awe. Holding the pride upright and a spectator of time, the Burra Bungalow of Wild Mahseer whispers endless tales from a bygone era.
The Burra Bungalow used to be the official residence of visiting agents and is now converted into an upscale luxury abode for travelers. Encircled by the lush tea gardens, eye-arresting greens, and a lawn, the bungalow is the perfect choice for creative minds.
The inestimable beauty of the stately bungalow left me speechless. The jaw-dropping décor, aesthetically done up each room and mindfully curated each corner with artifacts, makes it look beyond regal.
WILD MAHSEER: THE HERITAGE STAY IN ASSAM
Imagine waking up to the lush green surroundings, where silence makes the maximum noise, the chirping of birds breaks the morning rhythm and you enjoy the sun-drenched morning in the lawn with a fresh cup of tea.
Located 25 km from Tezpur, the heritage property has a diverse Ark of numerous medicinal and precious plants. It has more than 75 species of birds and butterflies.
The scattered luxury cottages here and there, the botanical forest on both sides of the pathway, and the bamboo forest make you feel as if you are transported to a completely different world. Sprawling over 22-acre land, the wild Mahseer is a perfect paradise for tea lovers in Assam.
Named after one of the toughest game fish in the world, Wild Mahseer offers the best colonial stay in Assam. Housing 5 luxury cottages with upscale facilities and sophisticated interior, each room of the cottages, has its own charm.
From floral curtains, matching cushions, wall hangings, porcelain plates of colorful birds, chic chandeliers, framed paintings to hand-fully picked artifacts speak highly about the elegant taste of interior decoration.
Influenced by the European aesthetic sense blending seamlessly with Assamese architectural setup, each corner of the cottage exhibits the richness of the fine taste of the owner’s wife who has done the interior of each cottage. The rooms are named after tea flavors. Each cottage has more than two rooms. The best part of the room is that it carries an absolute different aura, charm and theme of its own.
BURRA BUNGALOW & OTHER COTTAGES
The exclusive lush tea estate houses 5 different cottages named Silver Tips, Golden Tips, Ambrosia, Camellia, The Cottage, and Burra Bungalows. I had stayed at the Golden Tips which translates into smaller, unopened leaves of the tea plant. This cottage has 3 rooms, namely, The Geranium, Muscatel, and Roselle.
I was given the luxurious Roselle. The huge room is adorned with vintage furniture like a dressing table, study table, and period furniture. What I loved most about the room is its minimalistic décor and the privacy it offers.
Encircled by the bamboo grove, it makes you feel as if you are amidst the forest. The silence is highly celebrated there that makes the guests have a quiet and private holiday. The warmth in the behavior and smiling faces of the staff showcases the high standard of hospitality it offers.
Out of 5 cozy tea bungalows, my absolute favorite is Ambrosia. I loved everything about this elegant abode. Whether it was the well lit up hallway, mindfully sourced delicate showpieces, high ceiling, wall paintings, I was elated to just step inside the newly furbished bungalows.
Keeping in mind the cultural inheritance of the state of Assam that complements well with the European taste, the Ambrosia is a true example of an upscale luxury cottage.
WHAT I LOVED ABOUT THE WILD MAHSEER
If you haven’t stayed in a colonial heritage tea bungalow to experience the luxury of the tea environment in Assam, then you are missing something worth experiencing in the largest tea-growing land in India. What’s better than staying in the premium heritage colonial tea estate like the wild Mahseer in Balipara.
The property celebrates luxury in the most unique way while allowing you to be part of the tea history of Assam. You get lost in the opulence of the place, charmed by the lush surrounding, celebrating silence, but at the same time, it lets you soak in the history. It felt as if I was turning the pages of history and had rare glimpses of how the colonial life of tea planters was in those days.
I enjoyed the hospitality there. They left no stone unturned to make my holiday a memorable one. From arranging a bonfire with musicians on a cold winter night to offering a great gastronomic experience at the First Flush, and letting me peep into the daily life of the Mishing community on a small island named Sikum. Apart from that, the wildlife safari in Kaziranga was one of the highlights of my stay there.
THINGS YOU CAN DO
1.Leisure walks in the Tea Gardens
While holidaying at the Wild Mahseer, don’t miss taking a leisure walk in the sprawling Adabari tea estate adjunct of the property. Negotiating your way through the narrow muddy lanes of the tea garden, you get to observe the tea planters and tea workers’ lifestyles around tea gardens.
If you pay a visit during tea plucking season, you get the rare opportunity to meet those tea pluckers who are mainly women. Not just that, you can also go for a factory visit where you can observe the tea making process. If you are a tea lover, I would suggest signing up for a tea tasting session. It will give enough insights into the variety of teas.
I remember walking in Adabari Tea Estate just before sunset. It was an enchanting moment, seeing the sunset through the branches of trees while eyes met the lush greens beyond the horizon. It was quite blissful.
2. Experience Botanical Trail
The best part of staying at Wild Mahseer is that you are surrounded by a densely forested area. I would suggest experiencing the botanical trail. Imagine walking in the botanic Ark that houses a huge variety of species of medicinal plants and full-grown trees with 75+ species of birds and butterflies, and vibrant blooming flowers. The botanic Ark has a rich sampling of Eastern Himalayan Biodiversity. It surely gives you a rejuvenating walking experience within the estate.
3.Visit Mishing Village
If you wish to explore a traditional Mishing village where you get to see the rustic lifestyle of the Mishing community, I would suggest visiting the tiny island named Sikom, hardly 25 kilometers from Wild Mahseer.
Through Baligaon village one needs to drive to the ghat to take a short boat ride on the Jia Bhorali River to reach the island. The island is inhabited by the Mishing community. It has a population of 150 people only.
The very first sight of Sikom village was captivating. The golden paddy fields, dense bamboo forest, and traditional Stilt houses in the village made it look like a perfect picture postcard. The Bike ride on the muddy road, wondering eyes of the villagers seeing strangers, the serenity of the place, my experience of exploring the village life was beyond fantastic.
Our lunch was hosted at a traditional Mishing household. Relishing authentic Mishing meal at a local’s house and experiencing their warm hospitality made all the difference. Sikom demands at least a day to explore this tiny island. This secluded island reminds me of Majuli.
4.Jungle Safari in the western range of Kaziranga National Park
Don’t miss the wildlife safari in Kaziranga, which is hardly a few kilometers away from the property. The Kaziranga National Park has recently opened the Western Range, Nagshankar of Kaziranga National Park for the tourists.
I was lucky enough to explore the new range which is yet to come under the tourist’s radar. The untouched territory and timeless beauty of an unexplored part of the forest were quite inviting and at the same time thrilling.
I had an evening safari in the 6th addition of Kaziranga’s new western range which starts from Panpur. One needs to cross the river to get to the buffer zone from where I was allotted a jeep with a forest guard. The best part of exploring a new range in a national park is that you get to experience it in the most rustic way. The dense forest and tall elephant grass made the forest look quite alluring.
With more than 6 different varieties of migratory birds, Swamp Deer, Wild Buffalo, SamberDeer, and wild elephant family, I had seen it all during my safari. Though one-horned Rhinoceros is easily spotted in this range, unfortunately, we didn’t come across any.
On the untrodden path, negotiating through unpaved roads, uncharted territory, and jaw-dropping sunset, I had experienced the best of the wildlife safari in the newly introduced range of Kaziranga National park.
TOP HERITAGE TEA BUNGALOWS IN ASSAM
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