Yes, the sun dawns and another day breaks. But not for you. Your day breaks, when the first sip of tea pours down your throat, as you scroll through your phone and flip past morning papers to see a zillion exotic locales that entice you to join them on a holiday. A feeling of bliss feels you up until your eyes notice six figures price tags that always ends with ‘only’ and your momentary travel fantasy is crushed. Not a nice image anymore?
A cup of tea has a perfect solution for you, in its origins.
India is the second largest manufacturer of tea and boosts atleast a dozen places, where tea plantations spread limitlessly. Picture perfect for wanderlust, here are our picks for the places that will quench your thirst for tea as well as travel.
Looking east, Assam arguably is the biggest tea contributor of the nation as well as world’s largest tea growing region. For over a hundred years, the finest blends have been handpicked under Halmari Tea Estate and others. Experience the verdant lushness of these tea gardens as you converse with a local over a cup of spicy black tea, or better still, relax your mind as you drift along the many river cruises found in the region. November is perfect if you want to be a part of the annual Assam tea festival.
Darjeeling happens to be the leader when it comes to Tea tourism and why not? Darjeeling is after all the Champagne of Tea and much like its perfectly aromatic tea offerings, the regions’ misty hills will stay with you. Take a joyful toy train ride along the creases of the Himalayan range or go backpacking over the high stills of Tiger Hill. Pair all this with an elegant colonial British bungalow stay and an open jeep and you definitely have an unforgettable photo album.
Moving further down to the south of India, we have the quaint hills of the Nilgiri in Tamil Nadu. Known for its typically dark and intensely fragrant tea, you can lodge in Coonor, an outstanding place to acquaint yourself with Nilgiri tea. Though tea is produced throughout the year, the best months for a tourist here are between November and February.
Be it the abundant flora and fauna or the blue mountain ranges, the gushing waterfalls or the exciting trekking routes, Nilgiri attracts trekkers and honeymooners alike. Be mesmerized by sights like Doddabetta Peak, Pykara Lake and Waterfalls, Ooty Botanical Garden and the Hidden Valley in this green tea county.
The last of our picks is the tiny haven of Munnar in Kerela. Stationed at an altitude of 6000 feet in Idukki district, Munnar had long been the ideal summer resort of the former British rulers. They are long gone but Munnar hasn’t aged one bit. Geographically strategic, Munnar gets its name because it lies at the confluence of three rivers – Muthirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. In terms of tea, Munnar boost of a special tea estate – Kolukkumalai Tea Estate which at a staggering 8000 feet, is the world’s highest tea estate!
PS: Don’t miss Munnar’s lovely homemade chocolates to compliment up your cup of tea.
So now, when tomorrow breaks and you’re sipping your favourite blend of Halmari Tea, you’ll know where its perfect taste comes from and where you need to go.