Must-visit tea estates in India for chai lovers

Must-visit tea estates in India for chai lovers

Must-visit tea estates in India for chai lovers In India, the tea estates add much more than beauty as the mysterious walking trails surrounded by luscious forests and mountain air lure us into planning the next getaway.

Tea estates are considered one of the places which bring in the serenity of the nature. In India, the tea estates add much more than beauty as the mysterious walking trails surrounded by luscious forests and mountain air lure us into planning the next getaway.

Here’s the list of vacation spots in the midst of hills, mountains, greenery, mist and clouds.

- Darjeeling [West Bengal]

With a unique and delightful effect of tea bushes with hovering clouds above the mountains, Darjeeling can be easily one of the magical places.

Since 1841, Darjeeling has been growing the Chinese variety of the tea plant and due to its Muscatel (grapes) flavor that cannot be replicated across any other market; tea is sold at a finest price in the international market.

Hence Darjeeling Tea that has a geographical indication (GI) status is one of the 87 tea gardens protected across the world. The tea plantation regions situated at altitudes between 600 metres and 2,000 metres above sea level get adequate rainfall.

Plantations in Darjeeling: Tumsong tea retreat, Glenburn, Makaibari

Places to visit: Kurseong, Ghoom, Tiger Hill, Peace Pagoda, Japanese Temple, Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park and Darjeeling Ropeway

- Nilgiris [Tamil Nadu]

A pleasant getaway for vacationers, the hilly landscape of Nilgiri has tea growing at elevations which bring in the most beautiful climate and grows tea plants throughout the year.

Nilgiri Tea named after the Nilgiris/Blue Mountains due to the saxe-blue Kutinji flower covering the hills when it blooms once in 12 years, is one of India's most unique teas and the major teas produced are Black and Oolong tea.

Plantations in Nilgiris: Tiger Hill, Destiny farm-stay, Parkside, Craigmore, Nonsuch Dunsandale, Colacumby, Chamraj, Corsley, Glendale, Pascoes Woodlands

Places to visit: Ooty, Coonoor, Kotagiri, Botanical Garden in Ooty, Train Ride from Ooty to Coonoor, Dodabetta

- Kangra [Himachal Pradesh]

“The valley of gods", situated below the exquisitely beautiful snow-clad Dhauladhar Mountain is famous for it’s distinctly flavoured – green and black tea.

Since 1949, the tea has been grown organically on the gentle slopes of the outer Himalayas in the Kangra valley due to the favourable natural climate which is free from insects or pests.

Plantations in Kangra: Darang tea estate, Tara Villa tea estate, Chandpur Tea Estate

Places to visit: Kangra, Palampur, Mandi, Pong Dam wetlands, Kangra Fort, Kareri Lake

- Travancore, Munnar [Kerala]

Munnar is surrounded by lush green plantations of tea, coconut, coffee, pepper, rubber, eucalyptus and cardamom. With a hygienic climate throughout the year, the tea of Munnar is unique with fairly balanced efficiency and body.

Once considered to be the summer retreat of the Maharaja of Travancore, Munnar attracts visitors all through the year with its tea plantations along with pristine valleys, waterfalls, mountains, wild sanctuaries, forests and spice scented aroma in the air.

Plantations in Munnar: AVT tea, Tea County, Kolukkumalai tea estate, the Windermere Estate, Gruenberg tea plantation, Tata Tea Estate, Micheal's Tea, Brooke Bond Tea Estate, and the Tea Sanctuary

Places to visit: Thekkady, Attukal Waterfalls, Wildlife sanctuary, Echo Point

- Annamalais [Kerala-Tamil Nadu Border]

Ranging at an altitude from 900 to 1,600 metres, the Annamalais bring in a strong flavor of tea generating brisk and bright golden saffron liquor in the cup.

The Annamalais hills that are known for the abundant wildlife with Eravikulam National Park, Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Annamalai Tiger Reserve, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park lies between Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Plantations in Annamalais: Sinna Dorai’s bungalow, Waterfall ropeway bungalow, Banyan Tree farm stay, Stanmore bungalow

Places to visit: Yercaud - Malakiparai Estate, Pannimade Estate, Pachaimallai Estate, Crocodile Breeding Centre at Amaravati, Uralikal Estate, Monkey Falls, Velonie Estate, Aliyar, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park, Mirar, Manompally, Attakatti, Kullipatti, Varagaliar, Chinnar, Manjampatty

- Chickmagalur and Coorg [Karnataka]

Situated in the coffee hub of India, the tea plantations produce around 5 million kg of tea every year.

Mostly located in the Baba Budan Hills, the climate surrounding the tea plantations is clean and healthy. The tea from Karnataka has a fair amount of briskness and is medium toned that can be consumed more than the regular tea every day.

Plantations in Chickmagalur and Coorg: Glenlorna plantation tea estate, Tata plantation trails, Thippanahalli home stay

Places to visit: Raja seat point, Talacauvery temple and mountain peak, Mulyangiri peak top, Dubare elephant camp

- Wayanad [Kerala]

As the coffee cultivation began in Wayanad in 1845, the tea plantations were set up in 1874 luring many into buying tea and coffee plantations in Devala, Pundalur and Cherambadi.

With a clean fragrance, the Wayanad Tea produces medium tone earthy reddish, full bodied liquor in the cup.

Plantations in Wayanad: Vythiri, Little Home resort, Chateau Woods, Tranquil resort, The Treasure Trove, Coffee Aroma resort, Wynberg resorts and Windflower

Places to visit: Kalpetta, Vythiri, Meppadi, Waterfalls, Edakkal caves and Poovar Lake

- Jorhat [Assam]

Known to be the single largest contiguous tea growing region in the world, Jorhat tea has rich, deep-amber liquor with a strong, brisk and malty taste perfect for an ideal morning tea.

Plantations in Jorhat: Thengal Manor, Karizanga Golf Resort/Burra Sahib Bungalow, Banyan Grove

Places to visit:
Majuli Island and monasteries, Kaziranga National Park, Assam state zoo and botanical gardens, Sibsagar Siva idol, Kamakhya temple

- Dooars and Terai [West Bengal]

With the first tea plantation set up in 1862 in Terai, the name Dooars arrived from doors that highlight the region’s significance as a gateway to Northeast India and Bhutan.

Dooars Tea is described as heavy, clear and black with volumetric count while the Terai Tea is considered to be spicy with very little sweetness. These plantations filled with tea gardens and undulating plains, innumerable hill streams and wildlife-rich tropical forests are considered to be the most picturesque destinations.

Plantations in Dooars and Terai: Samsing tea estate, Fagu tea estate, Phaskowa tea estate

Places to visit: Siliguri, Buxa Tiger reserve, Jalpaiguri, Gorumara National park, Jaldapara sanctuary

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