Timeless appeal

Exotic resorts in the Northeast are transporting guests to a bygone era of luxury, says Hoihnu Hauzel




Elgin Nor-Khill in Gangtok is a picture-perfect resort that was built in 1932 by Sikkim's last king; (above) feast like a king on regional, Indian and Continental fare in the royal dining room


Which one sounds the most tempting of all? Escaping to an idyllic, grand old mansion in Gangtok that was built by the king of Sikkim in the '30s? Or a king's castle in Shillong that's set amidst thick pine groves and boasts of the writing desk at which Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore once penned his thoughts. Or would you rather vacation in a century-old bungalow in one of the rolling tea estates of Assam?

Off the tourist radar, a handful of timeless resorts in the Northeast are offering to transport guests to another era. They all have one thing in common: they spell luxury in exotic locales.

"These properties are redefining tourism in the Northeast. Relying primarily on word-of-mouth publicity, they are drawing tourists from different parts of the world," says Rakesh Mathur, former president of WelcomHeritage and a hospitality industry expert.

From Elgin Nor-Khill Gangtok, Sikkim, to The Royal Heritage-Tripura Castle in the heart of Meghalaya, the Northeast is alive with picture-perfect resorts and tea estates turned into resorts that are steeped in a rich history.

Take the 25-room Nor-Khill, built in 1932 by Tashi Namgyal, the 12th and last king of Sikkim. Run and maintained by Elgin Hotels & Resorts, a chain that owns hotels in Darjeeling and Sikkim, the resort is 5,000ft high in the Himalayas and offers spectacular mountain views.



Latest Local & International Travel News, Guides, Information & Planning Tips

Dec 17, 9:58 PM EST

India's tea tourism: Gracious living, great brews, echoes of bygone days

Associated Press

JORHAT, India (AP) -- "This is your own home now," announces our host, welcoming us to Thengal Manor. And we wish it was, this gracious residence of one of India's great tea dynasties, which has opened the family villa, with its idyllic gardens and an impeccable staff of 15, to overnight visitors.


Thengal Manor marked the start of a two-week journey through the world's finest tea growing areas - India's Assam and Darjeeling. We mingled with nimble-fingered women as they plucked a green sea of bushes with astounding speed, we drank pink gins by the fireplace in colonial-era parlors and we were very easily seduced by the pampered lifestyle of tea planters.

And of course, we drank many a cup of Assamese - "bold, sultry, malty" - and Darjeeling - "the champagne of teas, the color of Himalayan sunlight" - enough to send aficionados into ecstasy.

Let me confess that I am not particularly tea-addicted. Too much tannin does funny things to my tummy. But my wife, a Scot, more than makes up for it. So that, plus our love for northeast India, sparked our interest in a travel niche that is very much a growing trend: tea tourism.


The Telegraph Laureate for govt land role

The Telegraph 

Laureate for govt land role


Calcutta, Jan. 11: Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz today said he was aware of the problems industry was facing in acquiring land in Bengal and suggested that government role in facilitating acquisition could help reduce the difficulty.
"I talked to some people and they said it's (land acquisition) a problem here," said Stiglitz, a professor of economics at Columbia University, during an interaction with journalists.

The Sentinel

The Sentinel

'Assam is India's window to South-east Asia'

Eminent economists Joseph Eugene Stiglitz and Meghnad Desai say key to Assam's progress lies in proper utilization of its vast resources

GUWAHATI, Jan 10: At a time when the State is witnessing violent anti-dam protests, eminent economists Joseph Eugene Stiglitz and Meghnad Desai have also expressed the view that considering the geographical location of the State, small and medium dams should be preferred over big dams.

The two economists were in Guwahati on Tuesday to attend a conference on the topic 'Asia Rising: Implications for the World Economy' at the ITA Centre for Performing Arts at Mackhowa. The conference was organized by the Youth Forum on Foreign Policy.

The Assam Tribune
Eco-tourism, organic farming key areas: Stiglitz

Eco-tourism, organic farming key areas: Stiglitz

GUWAHATI, Jan 10 – In a discussion-cum-interactive session on the topic ‘Asia rising: Implications for the world economy’, Nobel Laureate Joseph E Stiglitz of Columbia University and British politician and economist Meghnad Desai brought to light facets of economic reality confronting India and Asia in the context of globalization and liberalization.

In an event organised today by the newly formed Youth Forum on Foreign Policy in association with Eclectic Times, the two well-known figures in the field of economics dwelt on the socio-economic history of India and China, and how the countries gradually became marginalized due to international developments, which were unfavourable.


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Ranjit interviewed by NDTV

Wild Mahseer
Balipara Division
Addabarie Tea Estate
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Balipara, Assam, 784101, India


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