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.
Camellia is the genus of the tea plants. In keeping with the intrinsic theme of name, the main cottage Camellia is the focal point of the property. It has a Living and Dining Room which is common to all guests who stay at The Lodge at Wah. There are adequate seating options for guests who would like to read books, watch a movie, play games or even relax and enjoy a cup of tea. Guests eat together in the Dining Room – a spacious and open area which allows plenty of sunlight and cool breeze. The kitchen services all the guests, and guests who enjoy cooking are welcome to use the kitchen on request.
Camellia houses 4 rooms – 2 on the first level and 2 on the ground level.
Oolong is a type of tea which is made of unique tea cultivars and manufactured with great care. Different Oolong varieties can be fruity, or woody and thick, or fresh and green. Much the same way, different guests have unique perspectives of the Oolong cottage – some love the views from the top, some love the little reading nook, and some love the concept of a mud flooring.
Oolong is a 2 room split level cottage with a separate entrance for both rooms. The cottage is adjacent to Camellia.
Pekoe is considered one of the highest grades of tea, hand plucked in the most careful way. The cottage has been created for additional seclusion, and has had small design influences of almost every family member. The view of the gardens and the private spot for a meal or lounging adds flair to this cottage.
Pekoe is a 2 room cottage with a separate entrance for both rooms. The rooms are both on the ground level. Pekoe is adjacent to Oolong.
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 as part of our community farming program. Under this program, our tea pluckers have been gifted seeds and plots by the Wah estate. The Lodge is able to use this produce for it’s own kitchen, while the majority of it is harvested by the pluckers for their personal use. Seasonal homemade jams, pickles, chutneys and juices pepper our tables throughout meals.
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 flavor to Indian, Continental and Italian dishes.
All the meals are included in the stay. Guests are encouraged to share special requests and inform us about any allergies or special diet requirements. Guests are also welcome to learn to cook any of the dishes or use the kitchen to teach us a new recipe that we can credit to them in our official Lodge Recipe Book.
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 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.