The Kangra valley in Himachal is often regarded as the tea capital of the north-west of the Indian Himalayas. A strike valley also called the longitudinal valley, Kangra is presided by the grand embrace of the Dhauladhar and blessed with hundreds of streams and brooks around Palampur. This abundance of flowing water ( palum ) is a blessing for growing tea.
A part of the Prakash family since 1953, Wah Tea Estate is one of the largest manufacturers of tea in the Kangra region. An interesting history precedes the setting up of the Lodge which was established as a plantation estate in 1857 by the British. After decades of continuous cultivation that did not pause even with the earthquake of 1905, the estate was taken over by Sir Sikander Hayat-Khan, the son of the Nawab of Wah in Pakista. Hence the name. That’s right, ‘Wah’ is indeed ‘wow’ an involuntary reaction of every guest at their first sight of The Lodge at Wah.
It is during one of their travels through New Zealand that Surya and Upasana, the young owners and hosts of the Lodge were inspired by a beautiful homestay. And when they set up the lodge right in the middle of the estate surrounded by the snow-capped mountains and sloping tea bushes of Kangra, a lot of thought and detail went making it unique and tailored to the needs of their guests.
Building the lodge was about looking for recycled wood, slate and furniture from the old homes and local court houses. The young couple personally coated the furniture with linseed oil, laid rocks and pebbles in the garden, scrubbed the slates, and even waxed and buffed wooden floors. The way it stands today, The Lodge at Wah blends gracefully with its surroundings. Eight beautiful rooms fashioned in Kangra style using river stone and slate, sun dried bricks made of excavated mud onsite, roof lining details, banisters from witness stands, and even whole doors and windows from the Old Palampur Courthouse.
Originally built as a personal home, The Lodge at Wah is open to travellers who are looking for a retreat away from the stress of their urban lives. Stay in the cottages curiously named after tea - Camellia, Oolong and Pekoe, private experiences with Juliet balconies to look out to the mountain views, nooks for lounging with a book, a parlour to enjoy family time over tea. Meals feature the Kangra cuisine and a smattering of other Indian and global recipes but consciously using organic and local produce as much as possible.
At The Lodge at Wah, you are in nature’s haven. Cycle in the tea gardens, enjoy learning about the journey of tea from the garden to your cup, try paragliding and head off to a trek, ride the Kangra mini-train or take longer excursions to the Kangra Fort, McLeodganj, Baijnath, Masroor. And if ‘doing nothing’ is on your agenda, you have found the perfect place.
Away from the hustle and bustle of our Indian tour this place is just what we needed to rejuvenate. This homestay has been our favourite stop and way surpasses the Cecil in Shimla and other fancy...
If you’re heading to the Kangra Valley to explore Dharamshala, there is a clear winner when it comes to the place to stay: The Lodge at Wah. When Sarah and I moved to India a few years ago, the...
The Lodge at Wah was the best place to start our trip. The staff, "wow" or should I say, wah, everything was perfect especially the cooking demonstration (so much fun). They took on a surprise...
Nearest Airport : Gagar Airport Dharamshala - 40 KM