The Lodge at Wah, Himachal Pradesh

Concept

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.

Cuisine

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 greenhouses. 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. Most dishes are cooked 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 can be ordered on prior request or from our a la cartè menu.

Dinner is served between 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm.

The Lodge at Wah has 6 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 rustic style, although each room has it’s own character. All the rooms have all-weather air conditioners, king size beds, bathrooms with running hot & cold water with eco-friendly ceramic toiletries, hair dryers and electrical bed warmers during the winter. Please note that though we have books in each room and in the main library, there are no TVs in the rooms to encourage our guests to enjoy the peace and the beautiful outdoors.

Our Standard Category rooms are over 300 sq ft with beautiful open design and slate bathrooms.

Oolong Room: 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: 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 from the Old Palampur Courthouse.

Camellia Room: 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: 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.

Our Deluxe Category rooms are over 500 sq ft each with a gorgeous large slate bathroom

Cedar Room: 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 : 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.



THE EXPERIENCE

TEA TOUR

Typically, the tour begins with an overview on the tea manufacturing process and tasting methods.

Guests are then taken for a walk up to the factory, where they can then spend some time observing and learning about how the tea is processed. From here, guests can walk the factory to see the processes of withering, rolling, fermenting, drying and sorting.

On the way to view the plucking process, guests will be able to see the organic farm and polyhouses as well. The fruits and vegetables grown here are by the plantation workers, who have the greenest thumbs we have ever seen!

The tour will then continue on to the gardens, where a lovely tea tasting session awaits. With the mountains in front and the tea bushes all around, guests will be able to learn about how to taste teas, and try our exceptional bouquet. Wah Tea Estate is fortunate to have plenty of plots in different locations, so that we can visit some of the more beautiful plots and see how the Wah tea plucker ladies are adept at plucking only the two leaves and a bud – the essence which lends Wah its high quality taste. Guests can also try their hand at plucking the tea themselves.



BUDDHISM

Dharamshala became the home of the Tibetian government in exile in 1960s, when H.H. The Dalai Lama found McLeodgunj as an ideal place to establish his “capital in exile”. The Tibetan community has established several Buddhist temples and monasteries, so much so the place is called the Little Lhasa.

Namgyal Monastery

The third Dalai Lama first established Namgyal Monastery in 1579 in Tibet, which was later relocated to McLeodgunj in 1959 and now serves as the personal monastery of the Dalai Lama.

Norbulingka Institute

The Norbulingka Institute in Dharamshala, set amidst a gorgeous garden with flowing water and koi fish, was founded in 1988, with the objective of preserving the Tibetan language and cultural heritage. There is a temple here around which craft centres are located, which specialise in traditional forms of Thanka painting to Metal art that are considered integral to Tibetan Monastery architecture.



BIR-BILLING & WORLD FAMOUS PARAGLIDING Bir is undoubtedly a must-visit spot. It offers unobstructed views of the mountains and the cutest, yummiest cafes! Make sure to check out our personal favourite cafes: June 16th, Silver Linings and Avva’s.

Billing is recognized as one of the top paragliding sites world-wide, and the World Paragliding competition was held here in 2015 and 2018. For both adrenaline junkies and adventure sport newbies, paragliding can be a fun addition to the holiday!



ANDRETTA VILLAGE The renowned Andretta Village has beautiful shady walking paths, and great view of the Dhauladhars. Visit the interesting Sobha Singh Art Gallery with the artist’s original home and studio intact, and walk around inside Norah Richard’s original mud home with the beautiful Kangra construction. Then go to the well known Andretta Pottery which lets you take pottery classes for approx 15 minutes, or even for a day (based on availability).



TREKS, HIKES & JEEP SAFARIS

There are plenty of options for day and overnight treks around the area. A locally based activities company ensures to tailor treks to suit guest abilities and interests. They also offer Jeep safaris for those who prefer a more relaxed way of enjoying the ultimate treat – a mountain top picnic with a fantastic view! The best bit about these activities is that they take guests up lesser trodden paths and meandering mountain ways. Sometimes, you might not even see a local for hours! The guides are from the local villages and shepherd tribes, and very well trained and capable of helping guests throughout the journey. Go for the activity, but stay for the views.



AROUND THE ESTATE

We have some wonderful ways for you to just enjoy The Lodge and Wah Tea Estate.

Yoga – We can organize for a yoga instructor to teach you yoga in our beautiful yogashala in the middle of the tea gardens (based on availability).

Nature Trail – Go for a leisurely walk through the estate paths and enjoy being in the great outdoors!

Indoor and Outdoor Games – We have a wide range of games from good ol’ Ludo to classic Croquet on warm afternoons for the guests to enjoy.

Birdwatching – Our gardens and fruit trees attract a wide variety of birds from the Himalayan Thrush to the Indian Grey Hornbill. We invite you to start a birding logbook at our property.

Bonfire Night – We would be happy to set up a bonfire at our garden so you can relax and enjoy the snacks by the warmth of the fire.



TEMPLES

Himachal Pradesh is known as the Land of Gods. The Kangra region is well known for its world famous temples which include Baijnath, Bajreshwari Devi Temple, Chamunda Devi Temple, Masroor Rock Temple, Chinmaya Tapovan, Kathgarh Temple and Trilokpur Temple. The region is especially well known for the 9 (Nav) Devi temples – Mansadevi, Naina Devi, Chintpurni, Jawalamukhi, Vaishnodevi, Vrajeshwari, Chamundadevi, Kalika Devi and Shakumbhri Devi.

Masroor Rock Temple – A unique monolithic structure and is also one of the most unexplored temples in the region. It has 15 rock-cut temples richly carved and built in the Indo-Aryan style.

Chamunda Devi Temple – A beautiful spot which has outstanding views of the Dhauladhars

Baijnath Temple – About 40 minutes from us, the temple was constructed in 1204 A.D. The temple is a beautiful example of Nagara style, an early medieval north Indian temple architecture.

Images and Content Credit – The Lodge at Wah

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