This quaint farmhouse near Darjeeling will help you reconnect with nature | Condé Nast Traveller India


Takdah, which translates to “land of the fog” in the ethnic Lepcha language, is a British-era cantonment in West Bengal that offers sweeping views of tea gardens and mist-shrouded hills. At Prabhdev and Mridula Singh’s quaint farmstay Kaleege House, you won’t be short of either. 

Why Takdah?

Sitting at an altitude of about 5,000 feet, Takdah once offered the British respite from the sweltering heat of the plains of Siliguri. The town is located within a two-hour drive of both Kalimpong and Darjeeling in West Bengal, which makes it a perfect base for holidaymakers. 

The owners

Former journalists Prabhdev Singh and his wife Mridula didn’t think twice about giving up the bustle of Delhi to build their farmstay on a former cardamom plantation in picturesque Takdah. The property is named after the kalij, the Himalayan pheasant that’s native to these foothills.

The farmhouse

Local artefacts add to the character of this farmstay
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The main cottage features a spacious en-suite bedroom with large windows that bathe the room in natural light. Guests can access the kitchen and drawing room, a porch overlooking the terraced farm and comfortable sit-outs. 

There’s also a two-bedroom elevated cottage that sits snug on the northern end of the farm, and includes a self-catering pantry. Perched like a treehouse, its large bay windows afford you 360-degree views of tea gardens and the valley. 

Both cottages are warmed by wood-burning stoves that provide the perfect company for a long read with a steaming cup of tea (or stronger). Vintage artefacts and comfortable throws lend cosy comfort to the red oxide floors and walls of locally-sourced stone. 

Nature’s best

Make the most of the lush surroundings. Wake up to birdsong and head out on forest walks where you’ll be treated to magnificent views of the Kanchenjunga range. The property borders Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary, so keep your eyes peeled to spot barking deer on the grounds, and of course, the resident kalij pheasant. The farm’s produce fuels the freshly prepared meals, which are rustic and homely, with bites like fiery local snack alu dum, plump momos, sel roti or Nepali bread, and smoked meats grilled over a fire. The Singhs also bottle some of their produce, which means you can take the super hot dalle chillies with you for a whiff of that holiday feeling when you’re back home. 

Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect:

Large windows in the bedroom offer views of the greens and beyond
An alcove stacked with books in one of the cottages
Dining at Kaleege House
Large windows filter in plenty of sunlight during the day
Warm interiors with wooden accents at Kaleege House

Doubles from Rs8,000, inclusive of breakfast and dinner. Website.



Updated: March 10, 2021 — 11:21 am

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