Darjeeling Tea Gardens
From the scenic beauty of the untainted snowcapped Kanchenjunga glistening in sunlight and the joyous toy train ride up the hills, probably the most prominent tourist attractions in Darjeeling are its famous tea gardens. Eponymously named the ‘champagne of teas’, no trip is complete without a cup of this heavenly delight.
In 1834, when Lord Bentinck imported seeds to be planted across various regions of India, Darjeeling and other hilly terrains were picked for tea plantation. Today, it is the unrelenting hard work on the part of the natives who have taken the concept of tea production to an extremely high level with experimentations for hybrid and innovative fermenting techniques.
A conglomerate of 80 operational gardens, the tourists can opt to stay at the empirical bungalows replete with modern facilities that are situated around these gardens. However, keep in mind that lodging in a plantation estate would be different from staying at the Sheraton so there would differences in amenities, and although choices are available you will mainly be served organically grown food.
If you are one partial to tea tourism or are interested in getting a feel of gardens, especially those dating back to centuries- then Darjeeling tea gardens must absolutely be a part of your India tour.
Here are some tea gardens that you can opt to visit:
- Glenburn Tea Estate and Retreat
- Badamntam Tea Estate
- Makaibari Tea Estate and Stay
- Happy Valley Tea Gardens
- Gomtee Tea Estate and Resort
- Tumsong Tea Estate and Retreat
Local guides are available to give a tour of the region, of specifically of the gardens. You can either walk around the area or hire a jeep to revel in the novel beauty of this north-eastern pride. Darjeeling is also an excellent trekking destination with nature trails merging deep within the forests. It is advisable to take your guide along on these trips.
While at Darjeeling, do take out some time to visit the Tiger Hills, Surya Sen Park, Lloyd Botanical Garden, Ghoom Monastery, and Senchal Lake.