The main lodge is also our home, so there’s always someone from the family around to chat to…
Stay at our family-run lodge on Wah Tea Estate, one of the largest working plantations in the Himalayan Kangra Valley. The 500-acre estate dates back to 1857 but has been in our family since 1953; my father-in-law, Deepak Prakash, designed the property as an eco-friendly homestead that fits in with the natural surroundings. He built the lodge in the tradition of local shepherd tribes, with reclaimed wood, slate roofs and mud walls that are mixed with China clay. We also built a yoga shala in the garden where you can meditate, read or take in views of the mountains.
The beauty of the Kangra Valley is that we’re at the foothills of the Dhauladhar range and close to Dharamshala, home of the Dalai Lama. So, we’re ideally placed for visiting the region’s Tibetan monasteries, forts and riding the mountain railway lines. Our driveway is lined with peach, apricot and apple trees that attract colourful birds, leading to three cottages with six different guest rooms. The main lodge is also our home, so there’s always someone from the family around to talk to, providing a warm, homestay feel. We love welcoming guests, chatting about everything from politics to tea and what it’s like to live in the mountains.
My husband Surya leads our complimentary tea tour, where you’ll learn about the entire production process on our plantation, from bush to cup. Try your hand at picking some leaves, visit the factory and then taste up to 15 different teas; we grow three main varieties, black, green and white that we blend with other ingredients. Often, we’ll have picnics in the estate afterwards with freshly-cooked samosas and tea leaf pakoras. All our food at the lodge is home-cooked and made with produce from our organic gardens, we even press our own oils. Guests enjoy the Kangra Dham, which is a 14-dish thali and a regional speciality made with spices on a wood fire.