Thursday March 22, 2018 01:29 AM

Colonial Bungalow, Sylhet: Living in the heart of the tea gardens!


Once in a while an amazing opportunity comes along, and you just have to jump up at the chance. And, as luck would have it, I received an amazing chance to spend a wonderful weekend residing in a colonial bungalow snap bang in the middle of Duncan Tea Estate.

Packing my bags with anticipation, I caught the Sylhet bound train early in the morning from the train station at Kamalapur, Dhaka. If you’re travelling by train to Sylhet, I would recommend buying tickets at least a week in advance and booking a compartment for yourself, in order to travel in comfort. The train journey is extremely scenic, with numerous rice fields and the occasional tea garden towards the last leg of the journey.

Reaching Sylhet in the evening, we then climbed into a car which was sent by our kind host and settled in for the next three hours at the bungalow. It was night time when we finally reached the bungalow – exhausted after the day’s travel, we decided to have an early dinner and settle in for the night. Our living quarters simply took my breath away. Our room was massive, easily the size of three big bedrooms fused together; the bed was custom made and could easily fit six to seven people sleeping comfortably in it and the bathroom was easily big enough to serve as a bedroom.

I woke up the next morning to the sound of birds chirping and the most unexpectedly beautiful sight that I could imagine. Surrounded by green on all sides, it felt like I was stepping back into simpler times, when cars and offices and factories did not exist. The porch railing just outside our living quarters (“room” is an inadequate term, it was THAT massive!) was the perfect place for some morning lounging.

I explored the bungalow grounds to my heart’s content. Everywhere I looked, little surprises of flora and fauna greeted me. I was even fortunate to find a lovely sitting nook hidden away in the corner of the garden, and I happily curled away in it with my book and the sound of birds chirping.

After lunch, we had the opportunity to take a drive around the tea estate. Our guide drove us around the estate, giving us facts and figures about the tea cultivation process. When I expressed the desire to see actual tea-picking in action, he happily promised me a trip the very next day to go and witness tea picking. We returned pretty early to the bungalow, because the heat and humidity was quite strong (middle of summer and all that!) but that didn’t disappoint me as I was quite content to simply sit back and watch the gorgeous scenery at the villa itself.

The train journey is extremely scenic, with numerous rice fields and the occasional tea garden towards the last leg of the journey

I was soon called back to the bungalow for some tea and afternoon snacks. Once again, curled up in my book, I just let myself sit back and lose myself in the moment, savouring my food and tea.

Although I got to spend just two days at the bungalow itself, those were magical two days unlike any other. One of my best memories was during the night, after dinner. I was lucky enough to witness a full moon during the visit, the silvery rays shining down on acres and acres of tea estate in front of me created some surreal memories!

True to his word, our guide took us to another part of the tea garden next day where active tea-picking was going on, and also to their tea factory to witness the tea processing.

This article was originally published by FeetPin Travel with Jennifer – Travel the Globe – One Feetpin at a time! Jennifer Ashraf loves travelling and exploring new destinations constantly. She is an avid travel blogger focusing on all things related to travelling – from experiences and scams, to accommodation, food and drinks, places to stay and things to see and do.

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