It’s the country’s favourite addiction. Tea or as we lovingly call it, ‘chai’ is something whose aroma exists in almost every household in India. If my parents are anything to go by, then I can safely say that it is the beverage of the Indians. (No offense to the coffee lovers, like me. They’re just more in number! ) However, if you happen to be of them tea lovers, then visiting a tea plantation in India should be on your list. Here are a few that you can start with!
1. Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling
Nestled in the foothills of the snow-covered Himalayas, 1,600 acres of a stunning and lush green estate awaits you. Situated about at an hour’s drive from Darjeeling, the estate offers you a gorgeous bungalow with eight well equipped suites with a breathtaking view of the Kanchenjunga mountain. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable experience if you’re in town!
2. Happy Valley Tea Estate, Darjeeling
Established in 1854, this is one of the oldest tea estates in Darjeeling. The tea grown here is known to have a delicate ‘muscatel’ or ‘flowery’ flavor. So much so that drinkers usually skip the usual milk and sugar ritual. The 437 acres estate’s owner is known to be David Wilson, an English man. In fact, there is still a board outside with the name and year of establishment of the estate. Avoid going here during the monsoon months.
3. Nilgiri Tea Plantations, Tamil Nadu
These stunning hills have been growing tea for over a 100 years and are famous for their lovely dark and strong, aromatic tea. Unlike other tea plantations in India that grow tea seasonally, the plantations here grow tea all throughout the year. With lovely lush greenery around, Conoor would be your best bet to start with. You could try out some exotic teas at the Tranquili-tea Tea Lounge and head to stay at the peaceful Tea Nest situated on the Singara Tea Estate to end the delightful tea tour.
4. Kanan Devan Hills Plantation, Munnar
Munnar, a hill station in Kerala is known for more than the tranquillity and peace that it has to offer. If tea gardens are your thing, then you’ve come to the right place. Located in the Idukki district of Kerala, this beautiful plantation is a known tourist attraction. Having the country’s first ever tea museum, this is one place you must visit if you’re holidaying in Munnar.
5. Jorhat Tea Bungalows, Assam
Known for its close connection with nature, this beautiful tea plantation in India in the North-East is also known for the amazing tea that grows here. Situated in the central valley, Jorhat is often referred to as the ‘Tea Capital of the World’. The bungalows here are those of the colonial times and offer you an exceptional ‘old-world’ holiday experience.
6. Darang Tea Estate, Himachal Pradesh
This scenic state is known for trekking, skiing, the Buddhist temples, monasteries and its beautiful winters. It has a heavy Tibetan influence which reflects in the tranquillity that is seen in the region. Dating back to over 150 years, the Darang Tea Estate is one of the best tea plantations in India. A family-owned estate; it houses cottages that give you a stunning view of the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas. You do not want to miss this view!
7. Kelagur Tea Estate, Karnataka:
The Kelagur Tea Estate is known for its organic process of tea making. Spanned across 1500 acres, this evergreen lush hub was built over 70 years ago. It is a major tourist attraction, especially for the tea enthusiasts. You can visit the factory and explore the estate to discover the traditional techniques that they use for making tea. So, if you’re visiting the estate and you love tea, there’s nothing you would love more!
8. Cooch Behar Tea Estate, West Bengal
This exquisite tea estate in the North is a part of the beautiful state of West Bengal and is a well known tourist attraction in the state. Situated in the foothills of the Darjeeling Hills, it plays host to a large number of tea growers; almost 30,000 of them. The estate is owned by the Cooch Behar Tea Corporation Limited, which was established all the way back in 1950. Come and be mesmerised by all the fresh and lovely tea.
9. Gatoonga Tea Estate, Assam:
Being the largest tea producing region in the country, the Assam tea is known for its lovely flavor and bright color. If you’re in Assam, you HAVE to stay at the Banyan Grove on the Gatoonga Tea Estate near Jorhat. With over a history of over 100 years, this colonial heritage bungalow is the best place to see how tea is made. You do not want to miss this.
10. Kolukkumalai Tea Estate, Tamil Nadu
Situated at almost 7,900 feet above sea level, this splendid estate in Tamil Nadu, this two-storey estate was established sometime in the 1930s. The sprawling tea plantations and an old tea factory lend an old world charm to the place. You can tour the traditional tea processes they use and also sip on some of that delicious tea while you take in the divine view of the plains.