Tea Gardens in Jalpaiguri
Jalpaiguri Tea Garden (Source: flickr)
Jalpaiguri has been rightly called the land of “Tea, Timber, and Tourism”. With vast stretches of forest cover, undulating green slopes of tea gardens, rivers and their surrounding natural beauty, as well as extraordinary wildlife species, this mystic land attracts numerous tourists throughout the year. As part of the Dooars region, Jalpaiguri landscape is sprinkled with thousands of tea gardens which are also the mainstay of the district’s economy.
The total area of Jalpaiguri district is 6245 sq. km of which tea gardens constitute 1987 sq. km. Thus tea gardens are a major portion of the landscape and tea tourism has been initiated here to take tourists through a fascinating tour of the knowledge of tea production, processing and manufacture.
History of the Tea Gardens in JalpaiguriThe town of Jalpaiguri saw its first boom period from the late 19th century into the early part of the 20th century when the British colonial rulers found this region on the Himalayan foothills suitable for tea cultivation. In a small time, Jalpaiguri town became a prosperous center of the tea industry and the port-of-call for all the people who were involved in this trade.
Tea trade became a lucrative business for everyone and people started flocking to the region to share a part of it. This created an entirely different cosmopolitan climate of Jalpaiguri. The misty, sleepy district town became the major hub of business and economic activities. Thus the town came to be established as a premium cultural and commercial focal point.
Geography of Jalpaiguri supporting Tea Cultivation
Tea Leaf at Gorumara National Park (Source: flickr)
Tea requires high land which have well drained soils, hot and humid climatic conditions besides good depth of ground water not less than 90 cm. A major portion of the Dooars region is located in the Jalpaiguri district, in the low altitude sub-Himalayan floodplains where temperatures are hot and there is high humidity. The distinct climate and topography both influences the quality of tea produced here. The Jalpaiguri tea gardens produce tea held to be darker and richer in character from the tea produced in the nearby high-altitude regions like Darjeeling.
Touring the Tea Gardens in Jalpaiguri
Zurrantee Tea Garden Package Tour
Some of the Tea Gardens you can visit include:
- Rajpur Tea Gardens- These tea gardens are a must place for sightseeing when you visit Jalpaiguri. The beautiful, never ending tea gardens are also supplemented by the snow-capped peaks of the Kanchenjunga which are visible from here.
- Danguajhar Tea Garden - The tea gardens of Danguajhar are visited by many tourists because of its convenient location as the nearest tea garden to Jalpaiguri city.
- Zurrantee Tea Garden- This remains one of the ultimate tea tourism destinations in the Dooars region. Situated in a picturesque landscape with low hills which are adorned with tea bushes, the Zurrantee Tea Garden is also ideally located. Driving for 3 hrs from the Bagdogra airport will take you to Zurrantee through Chalsa in central Dooars. As it is located centrally, it has access to other important tourist destinations like Murti, Gorumara National Park, Bindu, Samsing, Jaldhaka Hydro Project and sojourn points for going to Darjeeling or Gangtok. It also has a magnificent British Bungalow.
- Phuskowa Tea Garden - Situated on the outskirts of the Buxa Tiger Reserve and the nearby Rydak River, this is an attractive place for tea tourism. In 1897, the British Duncan brothers started this garden which was later transferred to Chamaria family or the present owners of this picturesque garden. It has 660 acres of plantation area producing high quality tea of both Orthodox and CTC leaves. The adjacent bungalow situated on a hillock is a luxurious accommodation for tourists.
- Oodlabari Tea Gardens- This place deserves mention among famous tea gardens as it produces some of the finest green tea in the Dooars region.
- Malbazar Tea Gardens- This is historically one of the major regions of tea cultivation since British rule and known mainly for its tea gardens. The workforce is primarily tribal people.
Finally there are guided tea tour packages which will take you through a number of tea gardens in Jalpaiguri like Danguajhar Tea Garden, Kailashpur Tea Garden, Oodlabari Tea Garden, Ranichera Tea Garden, New Glanco Tea Garden, Soongachi Tea Garden, Aibheel Tea Garden, Soongachi Tea Garden, Batabari Tea Garden, Kurti Tea Garden, Baradighi Tea Garden and others with promising facilities for accommodation and local entertainment.
Enjoy the scenic beauty as you journey through this world of tea. Sip your morning tea and then seep into the local culture and life around the tea plantations. You will be rejuvenated by a unique experience.