History of Top 12 Tea Gardens in IndiaIndia is dotted with some great quality tea producing gardens in the world.
India is dotted with some great quality tea producing gardens in the world. Indian connection with tea is an interesting one. Tea was not originally produced in India, it was introduced during the British Raj in India. Britain was in need to grow tea of their own and not rely on their imports from China. The increasing tensions between China and Britain due to the opium wars further pushed the urgency for Britain to grow their own teas. While, experiments to grow tea took place in a lot of British colonies and even the Kew Gardens in London. India, was found to be one of the best tea growing regions across the world. Today, Indians teas are a speciality across. Here are a few tea gardens from India:
Giddapahar, which translates to eagle peak in English is located in the heart of the ever pleasant Darjeeling district. It was founded in 1881 and is a family owned garden. Although a small area of 115 hectares with 94 hectares covered with tea bushes. This tea estate produces one of the finest quality of Darjeeling tea, which is famous across the world. It features a unique combination of traditional China, Clonal and Assam bushes. It also produces green teas in the month of July every year. It is the hard work, diligence of the owners that has earned this physically not so huge tea estate earn a huge name for it’s unique and premium quality tea.
This tea estate was first started by British planter Mr. Henry Montgomery Lennox, in 1899 who planted the first tea saplings. Located in the Darjeeling district, across the picturesque view of Changey Khola and surrounded by Goomtee Tea Estate, Sivitar Tea Estate and Mahalderm Tea Estate on three sides. Since 1956, it was owned by the esteemed Kejriwal family. It is one of the only tea estates that uses original British Machinery that has been maintained through all these years to make tea, which adds to the perfect processing of tea. It has consistently produced high quality tea for tea connoisseurs and drinkers alike. They are known for their exquisite quality produce of green, black and oolong tea.
Goomtee is located amidst the lush abundance of tea estates nestled around it. It shares close proximity with Jungpana and Castleton. Just like Jungpana, the British Planter Henry Montgomery planted teas here in 1899. It was later sold to the Kejriwal family who have continued the ownership until now. The plantation has the total area of 225 hectares out of which more than 110 hectares are being under cultivation of tea. The plantation produces black and oolong teas. Their second flush china bush are a popular variety.
Gopaldhara is located in the Mirik Valley, in Darjeeling and is one of the highest tea plantations in the district (5500 ft-7000 ft). Founded in 1881, before which the land was used to cultivate paddy. The tea seeds took very well to the weather and a new name was created that would charm tea lovers across with their fine quality teas. The total area of the garden is 320 Hectares of which 172 Hectares has been planted with tea bushes. The estate boasts of exquisite qualities of white, green, oolong and black teas.
Rohini Tea Estate
Rohini estate is located in the Kurseong Valley in Darjeeling district. The plantation is the newest in Darjeeling. It was shut for over 38 years and was reopened in the year 2000. It was originally 1300 hectares. Today, the total cultivated area of the garden is around 146 Hectares of which 108 Hectares is young tea. Rohini produces delightful muscatel rich teas in summer, in its new age factory.
Selim Tea Estate
Selim tea estate is located in the serene Kurseong Valley and owes its birth to locally popular gentleman, Selim Saheb (Mr. Henry). Mr. Henry set up the plantation in 1870. This estate is adjacent to Rohini tea Estate, Giddapahar Tea Estate and Jogmaya Tea Estate. The plantation features pure china tea bushes.
Glendale Tea Estate
Glendale Tea Estate is located in the vast south Indian range of Nilgiris that began in 1835. Glendale means, a valley within a valley and stands true to it’s name with its arresting scenic charm. The total planted area is 525 hectares and yields more than 3,000 kgs of tea per hectare. It has a state of the art factory that produces Orthodox Black tea, Green Tea and Speciality Tea. Owing to its weather which is cold, dry and misty the leaves are brisk, golden colour with distinct savoury floral aroma.
Craigmore Tea Estate
Craigmore Plantations was originally incorporated in the UK in 1884, as Ceylon Land and Produce Company. In 1977 was purchased by Indoo Shivdasani of the Inlaks Group UK and has remained as Craigmore Plantations (India). The estate produces High Grown Orthodox black teas and High Grown Pan fired green tea for its loyal customer base worldwide. The expanse of the plantation is approximately 1200 hectares.
Pascoe’s Woodland Tea Estate
Pascoe’s Woodland is located in the Nilgiri hills located in Southern India. It is one of the two factories owned and managed by Craigmore Plantation (Inlaks Group). It produces high quality pan fired green tea that clocks at 0.7 million kgs per year. The teas from the tea estate are premium quality orthodox teas and most of their produce is exported.
Havukal Tea Estate
Havukal Tea Estate is located the famous South Indian Nilgiri Hills. It was set in 2009 and has been one the most productive tea gardens in the region with a yield of 3 million kg per annum. The expansive land of 400 acres at 1000 to 2500 mts above sea level, was inaugurated by Hugh Fennell, who extensively planted the hill with Assam tea between 1910 and 1920. Today, it produces a wide variety of orthodox black teas and speciality teas throughout the year with no dormant season and around 85% of their produce is exported.
Chamraj Tea Estate
Chamraj is located in the serene green Nilgiri range of Southern India, at an elevation of 6500 ft. It was founded in 1922 and produces high quality black, green, and oolong orthodox tea. It’s factory not only credits itself with producing fine quality tea but is also the largest in the Nilgiri region.
Korakundah Tea Estate
Korakundah tea estate is located in the Nilgiri range of Southern India. It is spread across 2200 acres of hill and is part of the UNTE (United Nilgiri Tea Estates) which was founded in 1858 by Sir Robery Stanes. It had gained entry in the Limca Book of National Records as the ‘highest tea garden in the country’ with tea planted at 8,060 feet. The expanse of the estate is 925 hectares, of which 275 hectares is the planted area, while a substantial area is retained as unpolluted grassland and water-body. It is completely organic and has developed its own self sufficient input unit, housing 180 cows, helping them use cow dung for compost.
This list is just a glimpse to the exotic tea regions of India. There is so much to explore !