Best Tea Plantations in India
India loves it’s chai! Most Indians regard tea as the ‘go to’ beverage when either completely tired or require to feel alert and rejuvenated during various times of the day. Well known as the land of different types of tea, India has quite a history of cultivating and brewing tea. South India, some regions in North India and the North East have the most tea plantations and estates in India, making it the second largest producer and exporter of tea in the world.
A holiday at any of these estates and plantations is definitely delightful and enjoyable. The lush greenery all over, the quaint, narrow dirt roads between the tea gardens, the interesting tea factories all add to the experience.
Here, we have listed some of the best tea plantations in India, where one can visit or have a memorable holiday.
Happy Valley Tea Estate, Darjeeling
This is one of the oldest tea estates in Darjeeling, established in the year 1854 by an Englishman David Wilson. Situated at a height of 6800 ft above sea level, this estate extends over 437 acres and provides wonderful views of the mountains from various points along the way. The tea cultivated here has a delicate flowery flavour and so most drinkers skip the milk and sugar that they usually take with their tea. This plantation has a museum, factory and a tea processing unit.
Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling
Located an hour away from Darjeeling, the Glenburn Tea Estate is a wonderful 1600 acre lush green estate. Tucked away in the foothills of the Himalayas, this plantation has vibrant green tea garden slopes on one side and the snow clad Kanchenjunga on the other. The estate offers a luxurious accommodation with 8 well-equipped suites offering a spectacular view of the mountains. Tourists can experience the true country side atmosphere with wide open spaces and sounds of insects like crickets, locusts and cicadas.
Nilgiri Tea Plantations, Tamil Nadu
Some of the best tea plantations in India are in the Nilgiri Hills in the Western Ghats. In fact, tea cultivation is one of the most important industries in the region and has been in existence for over a 100 years. The tea grown in this plantation has a strong darkish colour and a distinct flavour. It grows throughout the year as compared to Assam and Darjeeling, where it grows seasonally. The famous tea estates in the Nilgiris are The High Field Tea Factory, Kodanad Estate, Glendale Tea Estate, Lockhart Tea Estate and Vigneshwar Estate Tea Factory.
Kanan Devan Hills Plantation, Kerala
The Kanan Devan Hills Plantation is located in the Idduki district of Kerala. The tranquility and the beauty of these manicured tea gardens have attracted a lot of tourists over the years and continue to do so. With very interesting bio-diversity and a first of its kind tea museum, which illustrates the growth of this over-100 year old tea plantation to a fully-automated tea factory, this estate is definitely worth a visit when in this destination. The natural beauty and abundant green cover of these hills present a wonderful opportunity for nature photography.
Gatoonga Tea Estate, Assam
Assam, in NorthEast India is the country’s largest tea producing region. It is well known as the ‘Tea Capital of the World’ and most of the tea is grown in the Brahmaputra valley. Tea cultivated here has a bright colour and lovely flavour. If in Assam, one must visit the over 100 year old Gatoonga Tea Estate which houses the majestic heritage bungalow – the Banyan Grove. Built in an impressive colonial style with sylvan flooring, this massive place has 7 spacious bedrooms, each with a fireplace, a large common sitting room with an attached kitchen and a dining room. A great luxurious place to holiday and enjoy as well as one of the best places to understand how tea is actually made!
Darang Tea Estate, Himachal Pradesh
Regarded as one of the best and oldest tea plantations in India, the Darang Tea Estate located in the Dhauladhar ranges of the Himalayas, is a family-owned estate. With a typical country-side rustic charm, this property houses some beautiful cottages which gives one a stunning view of the snow-capped Dhauladhar ranges. The tea gardens extend over 70 acres and tourists are allowed to undertake trekking expeditions through this extensive plantation which also has some streams and pine forests. One can also enjoy a spot of fishing here.
Picture Credits : Happy Valley – Navrang India, Glenburn – Triphobo, Nilgiri – Flickr, Kanan Devan – Trover, Gatoonga – Tripadvisor, Darang – Walkthroughindia