A Visual Journey Into the Burra Bungalows of Tea Estates of North Bengal

a visual journey into the burra bungalows of tea estates of north bengal

Tomes have been written about the exclusive variety of tea grown in the Darjeeling hills and Dooars regions of West Bengal and the lifestyle of the British planters. But the vintage buildings found on these estates have been rarely documented.

READ: Empire of Tea: The Asian Leaf That Conquered The World

INTACH Calcutta Chapter initiated a visual documentation of the ‘burra bungalows’ – the residence of the estate’s agents or managers, some of which still preserve the colonial architecture and antique artefacts that speak volumes of the lavish lifestyle of the people who lived here. Mumbai-based photographer Nikhil Kapur was roped in for the project which culminated in the coffee table book ‘Burra Bungalows of North Bengal’. (Note: the northern part of West Bengal is colloquially referred to as ‘north Bengal’)With a master’s degree in film making, Kapur started his career as an assistant director for television commercials. But storytelling through visuals is what he wanted to do and switched tracks, moving from films to still photography. He specializes in photographing weddings, products, food and architecture. Even before he commenced photographing the Burra Bungalows of North Bengal, he had documented over 50 heritage buildings that belonged to the Kolkata Police (Calcutta Police)…

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