Who doesn’t love enjoying monsoon with a cup of tea? Sitting by the window looking at the rain, Kishore Kumar in the background, sipping your tea with hot pakodas or bhaji. A perfect way to spend a rainy day.
You know what could be more perfect than that; sipping tea sitting in the midst of the tea estates, let me tell you that experience is something else. Imagine surrounded by lush green tea estate, the subtle breeze hitting you with the aroma of the tea estate and at the same time sipping one of the best tea that is there in the offering.
My travel trips have taken me to many tea estates in India and here are some of my favourite. Yes, I know you cant visit them now, but you can definitely imagine them when you are sipping your tea next time.
Kolukkumalai Tea Estate, Tamil Nadu
Last year during November I was sipping tea in the Kolukkumalai Tea Estate. Kolukkumalai is the world’s highest elevation tea plantation at 7900 feet. It is without argument one of the world’s most beautiful scenic destinations. You can spend an entire day sitting at one place and admiring the beauty.
Started in the early 1900s the estate produces tea using the orthodox method in the time-tested tea factory. It is said that due to higher altitudes the tea grows slowly as compared to other places and also it tastes better. The terrains are extremely steep which makes it challenging for the works.
While you are there I recommend you do some hiking and camping, the best time to start enjoying the tea estate would be 6 in the morning along with the sunrise. If you are a photographer, definitely worth it.
Temi Tea Garden, Sikkim
Temi Tea Garden is considered as one of the best tea estates in the world and the tea over here is grown purely with organic fertilizers. The approach path is dotted with beautiful cherry blossom trees, the subtle breeze and the right amount of chill to put you in the right mood for a sip.
To get a better experience book a stay in the bungalow there. If you are an adventure junky then indulge in trekking at Maenam hill, wildlife seekers can check out the wildlife sanctuary. But one should not miss a visit to the local village
Happy Valley Tea Estate, Darjeeling
A unique combination of climate, soil and location give Darjeeling tea its exclusive character. And Happy Valley Tea Estate is one of the oldest in this region. It was established in the year 1854 which was then known as Wilson Tea Estate and then in 1929, it was named as Happy Valley Tea Estate. It is one of the most scenic places to visit in Darjeeling due to its beautiful carpeted greenery and because of the bird’s eye view from the Hill Cart Road. It also has the world’s highest museum and factory.
Glenlorna Tea Estate, Coorg.
Yes, you might be surprised, a tea estate in Coorg? For those who don’t know Coorg is known for coffee plantation and when I heard of tea plantation in the coffee land, I was very excited. Well, the tea was grown here since 1914 by the British.
Driving to this place is nothing less than a scenic treat to your eyes. Since you are in the land of coffee you will be weaving your way through the coffee plantations, tall trees wrapped with pepper and misty wind on your face. As you keep climbing the coffee and the tall trees disappear, the sky clouds will appear closer and the mist will keep you company. From there onwards you will see the hills carpeted with sloping tea plantations. You can spend a night in the bungalow there, soaking in the greenery and enjoying the silence, probably a good book would make it even better.
Sevenmallay Tea Estate
Your trip to Munnar will remain incomplete without visiting one of its tea estates. I recommend you check out the largest tea plantations in Munnar, Sevenmallay Tea Estate. Owned by Tata Tea Company, the stunning tea estate is located very close to Kanan Devan hills. Started in 1900, the estate’s name is an ode to the Hindu god ‘Shiva’ and ‘Mallay’ representing a hill.
Sevenmallay Tea Estate has a paradise-like scenery, lush green tea gardens and a colonial bungalow in the centre. While you are there visit the Munnar Christ Church, Munnar workshop, Cenotaph, Ropeway Station, Gymkhana Grounds and K D H Club. And don’t forget to carry your rain gear.