Chameli Memsaab Bungalow, Cinnamara, Jorhat, Assam
Chameli Memsaab Bungalow is a British-era bungalow which has now been converted into a guest house. The spacious rooms with high ceilings, cane & wooden furniture from the yesteryears, added to the vintage aura of the place. During my recent visit to Jorhat, while running errands in the locality, I dropped by this beautiful property that I had heard of quite often but never visited. The sprawling green lawns glistening under the winter sun was so inviting and the adjoining tea gardens that can be viewed from the balcony was just another attraction.
I promised myself to go back there for a lazy lunch (which needs prior intimation) and some quiet book reading session….very soon! 🙂
Some information about this property –
Set up by first Indian commercial tea planter Maniram Dewan, Cinnamara will complete 175 years in 2018 and the authorities have decided to sell the unexplored paradise of the enchanting tea garden to tourists. Cinnamara, now owned by the Assam Tea Corporation Limited (ATCL), still houses the graveyard of the freedom fighter, who died at the gallows.
Cinnamara and Senglung tea estates were started by Dewan between 1843 and 1845 after he resigned from the post of dewan, land agent and chief executive, of India’s first tea company, the Assam Company.
Although Cinnamara still exists, Senglung got lost in time and there were no records available about the garden, till Pradip Baruah, a tea expert undertaking research on Assam tea on behalf of TeaVision, an NGO, discovered the tea estate a couple of years back in Sivasagar district.
History has it that Cinnamara was confiscated by the British and auctioned off soon after the execution of Dewan in 1858 for his role in the freedom struggle. British tea company George Williamson purchased the two estates. However, they fell on bad times as the labourers refused to cooperate with the new owner. They remained loyal to Maniram Dewan, forcing the company to part with them.
Cinnamara tea estate was taken over by Jorehaut Tea Company and developed later. The bungalow at Cinnamara tea estate, whose floor is made of teak wood, has been lying unused for several years.
The heritage bungalow at the tea estate is located amidst lush green tea bushes and has now been given a facelift to make the stay comfortable for tourists.
The famous, National Award winning movie – Chameli Memsaab (1975), was shot in this bungalow and hence the name.