The lodge at wah
The Wah Tea Estate Homestay started as an endeavour taken up by Deepak Prakash to build a home for his family and personal guests close to the tea factory. He was determined to create The Lodge at Wah as an extension of its surroundings. When he noticed the skill of the locals with mud, stone, wood and slate, he was inspired to make his home using materials and skilled craftsmen only from the region.
Initially, Deepak had no knowledge of building with alternate materials that would lead to safe and high quality cottages. After extensive research on mud cottages from around the world and inputs from the local artisans, he came up with processes and solutions which would work for these cottages.
The cottages are made of local materials and worked on by skilled craftsmen from our region. The structure is made entirely of mud from the excavation on site. The beautiful slate roofs are inspired by the ‘gaddi’ tribe homes and adjusted to prevent water leakage and to look symmetrical and complete from all angles. The riverstones and slates are hand chiseled and crafted in the local Kangra method.
The house color confounds visitors and guests. No paint has been used on the walls, either outside or on the inside. The interior walls have a white finish as a result of mixing the mud plaster with natural materials.
During the construction, an old Palampur courthouse was being demolished to be reconstructed, and we were able to pick up and recycle the cedar and pine wood which echoes throughout the cottages. Roof lining details, banisters from witness stands, and even whole doors and windows are originally from the Old Courthouse. More of the wood is from the Wah estate, in place of which multiple trees were planted. The polish is done with linseed oil, making it chemical free.
Efforts were made throughout to keep The Lodge at Wah a natural, eco-friendly home. These efforts continue in our daily operations so that our guests can enjoy a wholesome experience, far off the beaten path.
The Lodge at Wah has 8 ensuite rooms spread across 3 cottages. All the cottages are made of eco-friendly materials like wood, slate and mud. The cottages are closely placed within the property so that minimal walking is required to move from one cottage to another. All the rooms have been created in a similar style, although each room has it’s own character.
Oolong Room (over 300sq ft): Set in the Main cottage on the first floor, Oolong room faces the kitchen garden and is spacious with beautiful traditional mud flooring.
Court Room (over 300 sq ft): Set in the Main cottage on the first floor, Court room faces the mountains and the main garden. It boasts the traditional mud flooring with a private balcony area made from the witness box stand in the Old Palampur Courthouse.
Cedar Room (over 500 sq ft): Set on the ground floor and opening up to the garden, Cedar room has lovely wooden flooring and beautiful cedar wood beams on the ceiling. It has a cozy day bed area with a window facing the mountains to curl up and relax.
Pine Room (over 500 sq ft): Set on the first floor on top of Cedar room, Pine room has a balcony area looking out at the mountains. It has the traditional mud flooring and a lovely earthy aroma.
Camellia Room (over 300 sq ft): Set on the ground floor, Camellia room opens up to the garden and along with Pekoe room, has a private sit-out area. With wooden floors and snug interiors, it makes for a cozy room.
Pekoe Room (over 300 sq ft): Set on the ground floor right next to Camellia, Pekoe room opens up to the garden. Wooden floors and a lovely window seating, the room offers great mountain views right from the bed.
The Lodge at Wah prides itself on using only organic, local produce. A lot of vegetables and herbs have been grown in the kitchen garden. More get planted on the Wah estate and in our polyhouses. Seasonal homemade jams, pickles, chutneys, sauces and juices pepper our tables throughout meals. We even grow our own wheat which is used to made homemade breads everyday.
The meals are simple yet flavourful. We prefer to plan the meals according to the preferences of our guests. The menu is suggested based on what is fresh and in season. Indian curries and daals are prepared the traditional North-Indian and Kangra way, using earthen pots and firewood. The herbs from the garden lend flavour to Indian, Continental and Italian dishes.
Meals are served in a family-style setting either in the garden when the weather begs us to be outside, or inside in the main dining hall. The staff at The Lodge at Wah work hard to make your stay comfortable, and because some of them stay some distance away, we try to adhere to ending our meals on time.
Breakfast is served between 8:30 am and 10:30 am.
Lunch (on request) is served between 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm.
Dinner is served between 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm. Barbecues can be arranged on request at the lawn.