Balakhana’s 5 spacious high-ceilinged guest rooms are beautifully furnished;the ease and comfort of much used but lovingly maintained period furniture blending with the best modern amenities. Inside the house, the guestrooms are a step away from the living and the dining rooms, and the billiard room, and open out on the 2000 square feet columned verandah overlooking the driveway and the grounds.
Through the slow hours of a Balakhana day, the verandah becomes a special place;for lounging with a book in the ease of armchairs, or playing table tennis or carom in the evenings, or at dawn, gazing into the green vista, listening to bird song.
The grounds are a many splendoured place : mango and lichee orchards, groves of mahogany, neem and guava trees, fields growing paddy and vegetables, flowering trees from faraway planted long ago, gardens with many hues and varieties of flowers.
Sit on the grass, or on benches placed here and there, stroll through fields, wander down grassy pathways, pick a carrot from the earth. At night, flocks of birds from near and far nest in the darkness of the trees.
Balakhana’s kitchen has lore of its own, and reflects the family’s daily fare by tradition : an English breakfast, Bengali lunch, Continental and Indian at dinner; sweets, savouries, cakes and puddings. The meals are healthy, ample and delicious. The fruits, vegetables and milk are the produce of the estate.
Owners of tea gardens and manufacturing companies, the Palchoudhuris of Nadia are a lineage of enterprising and technically gifted individuals, early aviators and crocodile hunters, avid gardeners, philanthropists with a history of public service. They embody values that are more and more improbable in this world of concrete, glass and speed, but all the more to be cherished and shared by staying awhile in Balakhana.