India is one of the top destinations for tea lovers. Lovers of the magical brew are in for a treat in India and the neighbouring Sri Lanka. India has a history of tea cultivation. There are many places that grow tea on the many lush hill slopes. From being one of the largest producers of tea to offering some amazing experiences for tea lovers, there is a lot on offer. The pleasant weather, gradient of slopes and the traditional approach of tea cultivation makes India very popular for tea.
The British and Indians have at least one thing in common; their undying love for tea. This love brough the first seeds of tea to the hill station of Darjeeling in the British Raj. Acting on a whimsical thought of growing tea near where he resided, soon a string of people started imitating him, and voila, we now have a thriving market for Darjeeling tea which is demanded the world over! Stay at the Glenburn Tea Estate or ensure that you save up to stay here as it’s worth every Rupee! Another option is Makaibari Tea Estates.
The black variety of tea which is harvested in Darjeeling, India, is considered the best variety of tea and Darjeeling is also known as the champagne of teas. The weather is the major factor that contributes to the flavor of the tea.
Munnar is best known for its tea gardens. As you drive through, you will find well manicured tea plantations on either side of the lane. With different shades of green, they look beautiful. You will get many postcard perfect images amidst these. Most of them are private properties and don't allow visitors. There are plantations which allow tourists with some offering tea tasting experience too.
The largest tea growing area in the world is found in Assam. Also, Assam is the largest contributor of tea in India. In fact, contrary to myths that we started growing tea only after it was procured from China; tea has always grown in Assam. The locals would pluck the leaves, make a decoction and drink it. This fascinated the Britishers who then started their own plantations in Assam. The Assam tea is also renowned the world over. Some of the stay options include the Wild Mahaseer Tea Planter Bungalows or Burra Sahib’s Bungalow.
4. Himachal Pradesh
Himalayan tea is grown in the Kangra region. Places such as Palampur came especially into existence when Dr. Jameson planted the seedlings here. It was a hit with the British and today tea estates still exist. One can stay in tea estates such as the Darang Tea Estate or can opt for a tea tour at the Wah Tea Estate.
5. The Blue Mountains (Tamil Nadu)
In the Nilgiris too, tea estates have been established since 1835. The Nilgiris Teas are known for their delicate fragrance. In and around Coonoor are tea estates. The Badagas, a local tribe were made to work in the plantations during the British Raj because their lands were taken over by them for tea estates. Spread throughout the Nilgiris, tea estates are to be found in Wayanad, Anamalai region, and Nelliyampathy amongst many other areas. The O’land Estate is located 40 minutes from Ooty. Tenerife Plantation is an option for those visiting Coonoor.