The Wah Tea Estate Plantation stay 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 river stones and slates are hand chiseled and crafted in the local Kangra method.
The house colour 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.