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India has given many gifts to the world, from spices and saffron to world-famous brews of tea. India is one of the largest producers of tea in the world. Commercial cultivation of tea was started in Darjeeling, West Bengal during the colonial era of British rule. Nestled amidst the lush green hill slopes, there are many tea estates found in this region. Many of these tea estates offer guest bungalows for tourists inside their property. Visitors get the chance to freely roam among the tea gardens, join in the experience of plucking tea leaves, and enjoy a comfortable stay in the lap of nature.
Darjeeling Tea is the first GI-tagged commodity in India. The tea comes with strong muscatel flavour and is considered to be the “Champagne of Teas” by many tea connoisseurs. This has made the tea gardens in and around Darjeeling quite famous. Tea tourism in Darjeeling is a popular concept among many luxury travellers.
What is tea tourism?
Tea tourism is a special experience. Tourists get a chance to indulge themselves in the blissful ambience of tea gardens. Let us take an example of a tea resort in Darjeeling. Set amidst the picturesque views of the Himalayas, the resort is nestled amidst vast expanses of tea plantations. Guests can take guided walks through the plantations, talk to the workers and also visit a tea factory. They also get a chance to enjoy tea tasting sessions of the finest blends of teas.
Tea tourism in Darjeeling is slowly gaining popularity among the general tourists. The experience of staying at a tea resort is unforgettable and blissful; but it requires a high budget. Most of these tea estate resorts fall under the luxury bracket.
Tea tourism is India is emerging as a much-favoured travel trend. The best destinations are:
The Brahmaputra River Valley in Assam is one of the largest tea-producing regions in the world. Tea plantations can be found on both sides of the Brahmaputra River. Assam tea is known for its malty flavour and strong bright colour. With the presence of more than 800 tea estates in the state, Assam offers great scope for tea tourism. A tea festival is held every year in November in Jorhat, often referred to as the "Tea Capital of the World". Some tea estates in this state date back to more than 100 years old. Guests can enjoy the olden days of colonial aristocracy while taking walks through some of the oldest tea gardens of the country.
Darjeeling is known for its enchanting views of snow-clad Kanchenjunga and the lush green hill slopes covered in a blanket of tea plantations. Tea tourism in Darjeeling is fairly popular. There are many tea estates in the region offering attractive tea tourism packages for their guests. Guests can enjoy leisurely strolls through the tea gardens, meet professional tea pickers, and get a chance to participate in tea plucking activity. These resorts offer a mesmerizing view of the Himalayas on one side, and the lush greenery of tea bushes on the other side.
The Dooars valley, stretching from Teesta River on the west to Sankoshi River on the east, lies in the Northern part of West Bengal. Known for its dense forests and wildlife, Dooars also have many unending tea gardens planted along the Himalayan foothills. The tea estates of Dooars are known for its spectacular natural beauty. Enjoy a relaxed and tranquil tea tourism experience here.
Munnar in Kerala welcomes all tourists with an enticing view of miles upon miles of lush green tea plantations. This charming hill station is one of the few places in India that offers tea tourism on a medium budget. Most hotels in Munnar offer an uninterrupted view of tea gardens. Tourists can take a lazy stroll among the tea plantations while enjoying the sweet aroma of different types of tea grown here.
The Nilgiri district in Tamil Nadu is known for its distinguishing dark aromatic flavoured tea. The unique aroma and taste come from being grown in high altitude tea plantations. The tea industry is one of the most important sources for income in this region. Tea tourism is still in a beginner stage in this part of the country.
Palampur, lying in the Kangra Valley of Himachal Pradesh, is known as the ‘Tea Tourism Capital of North India’. There are many big and medium-sized tea estates running their business in this region. Surrounded by snow-clad Himalayan ranges, there are plenty of resorts here offering tea tourism packages. Tourists can enjoy a warm cup of locally grown tea here while enjoying a breathtaking view. Some of the tea estates also offer conducted factory tours for their guests where they can see all that goes behind the commercial processing of tea.