It happens to be the latest and arguably the most beautiful addition to the Sikkim tourism map which was thrown open to public from October 1 this year. A four-hour drive away from the Bagdogra Airport on good traffic days, it is a magnificent drive alongside River Teesta, barring a few spots with bad roads. The Temi Bunglow by Eco Adventure Resorts, at present, consists of five majestic rooms along with seven spacious cottages and a breath-taking View Desk overlooking the mountain range.
The heritage bungalow was in ruins and almost on the verge of being demolished till Arijit Dutta came up with the unique proposal of converting it into a hub for eco-adventure activities. The advantage of a dynamic bureaucrat in Mrinalini Srivastava, IPS and MD, Temi Tea Estate could be seen in the way she ensured all road blocks could be cleared to put in place an eco-system of setting up the resort in a record 14 months. A major role was played by Esha Dutta, Director, PEPL, in designing the entire resort. She painstakingly kept the heritage aspect, aesthetically refurbished each and every room. White is a dominant colour and the perhaps the reflection of the resplendent white at the specially created viewing desk is absolutely magnificent. The Verandah is the place to unwind and chill with wi-fi facility to connect with the outer world.
The history of the bungalow is equally interesting. Built by British Christian missionaries in 1885, the bungalow is an architectural marvel. The story goes like this: the Bada Bungalow, as it was known then, housed the British pastors during India’s pre-Independence era. The pastors left Sikkim, a separate country then, while the British left India. It was then when the Forest Rangers took over this beautiful bungalow. The year 1960 was also the one when the king allowed a tea garden in Sikkim to be headquartered at Kewzing. However, in a short time, the early plantation in Kewzing with the Tibetan refugees revealed that the place was unsuitable for tea because of the altitude and terror issues. In 1973, the headquarters were shifted to Temi and the full-fledged manager began to occupy the Bada Bungalow.
A major attraction here is the Cherry Blossom Annual Festival which takes place in November. It is a major draw for countless Nature-lovers who throng here to immerse their souls in ethereal beauty of the place with a hypnotising spectacle sitting against the serene backdrop of the majestic Kanchenjunga peak. Adventure activities, photography competitions and cultural programmes too are an integral part of this annual fiesta that leaves all adventure buffs and cultural aficionadas basking in its wonderful memories for a number of days.
With cherry blossoms in full bloom during November, it marks the time of this extravagant festival, which is not only attended by domestic tourists but hundreds of international travellers as well, visiting the famous attractions like Chaar Dham and Buddha Park. Shopaholics too, would have an interesting time at the festival filling their bags with local handicrafts, floricultural products and off-course the organic Temi Tea at promotional prices. The festival provides for an amazing treat to adventure seekers as well; there are arrangements to indulge in an array of adrenaline pumping activities like paragliding, mountain biking and trekking.
Booking is available online at www.ecoadventureresorts.com. The room rents range between Rs 7,000 and Rs 15,000.