Expensive Darjeeling tea, India is made in the oldest ''Happy Valley and David Wilson Tea Estate''

Happy Valley tea estate, Darjeeling, India. toim.b-cdn.net

Happy valley tea estate, Darjeeling, India. .holidify.com

For centuries England and other countries were dependent on the import of Chinese tea to satisfy the need t of the Elite British population. Later, the tea culture in Britain caught with the labor classes and the excess important of tea from  China created a big tade balance between the two countries. China refused to buy any product from England,  So the british resorted to illegal exporrt of opium from North Indian states like Bihar and the special smoking opium, an additive drug got a good reception in China In the next several decades East India company   accumulated vast wealth in the form of gold and silver. The two opium war in China  made the English company again turn to India to create tea plantations in the higher mountainous areas with moderate climate suitable to the growth of tea.

Teas estate, Darjeeling, india. thelostpassport.com

The Chabua tea estate of  Dibrugarh district of Assam. is the first tea garden in India . It was here Robert Bruce, the Scottish explorer, first discovered the wild tea leaves, which had been a traditional drink among the tribal people in the region. A casual visit to this picturesque tea garden will reveal a fine  vista of  big tea estates on the undulating slopes, bungalows for the senior officers  and ladies plucking leaves and storing them in the basket on their back.

The history of tea industry that is  intertwined with the early colonial period   now plays a vital role in the global tea trade. India is a global giant in quality  tea production, a legacy of  colonialism. Tea tourism is famous in Assam, West Bengal and Nilgiris hills of part of Tamil Nadu and Kerala states, south India and there are many colonial tea estates to explore to witness old  tea-processing and to go hiking in the nearby wooded areas.   

''Chai'', as tea is called in many states is a ubiquitous warm brew that is famous right from the chilly hills of Kashmir to the coastal town of Kanyakumari. down south.  Both the rich and poor, executives and road vendors take a break to enjoy the hot brew to relax and rejuvenate their energy.  

The biggest tea plantations in India  and Asia lie in Assam and mention may be made of places like the Monabari tea gardens, Halmari, Harmutty, Wild Mahseer and Sonapur . The largest being  at  Monabari,  covering  a vast stretch of  1,158 hectares. Such lush green tea gardens attract lots of local and international tourists  as they are home to tea industry since mid 1850s.

happy valley tea, factory, Darjeeling media-cdn.tripadvisor.com

In  the mid 19th century the British developed a hill resort, with a military training center  and  a sanatorium for the army in Darjeeling town (elevation: 6,700 ft,) on account of its pleasant climate and vast wooded areas around it for hunting.  Many English families settled there and  several tea plantations came up there. The popular Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site was built by the British for the people and to  transport goods.  Here the other attractions are the majestic view of  Kangchenjunga, the world's third-highest mountain and many hiking trails nearby, 

The development of  hybrids of black tea using novel  new fermentation methods  imparted a unique and distinctive  flavor to the Darjeeling tea. It is a well-known high quality tea available on the world market. The resort town enjoys partial autonomous status within the state of West Bengal.

The first oldest tea  estate in the Darjeeling area came up in 1952 at  Steinthal  (height of 6800 feet) with two factories, supposedly the highest tea factories in the world. Founded by an English man David Wilson, the Wilson Tea Estate began the  tea production only in 1860.  In 1903 for unknown reason, the tea estate changed hands and was bought by one Tarapada Banerjee of Hooghly, WB. Later  in 1929 he bought the Windsor Tea Estate nearby and merged the two estates under the name of Happy Valley Tea Estate. Later it was managed by the descendants of Banerjee.

The Happy tea garden of Darjeeling,  elevation: 6,400 ft  above sea level founded in 1854 is Darjeeling's   second oldest tea estate, covering over 437-acre in the foot hills of the lower Himalayas. 
It lies about three  kilometer from the town has more than1500 people doing various duties in the estate. 

With declining profits after 2007 one business man  S K Bansal of Ambotia Tea Group bought it and built  a new factory with modern machinery on the same  the premises. He also focused on farming process and switched over  to bio-organic farming. the old factory is converted into  a museum  and  on display are the old machines  with single piston slow-speed engines,  shaft machines, etc. It i ood to visit this place between March  to May  when plucking and tea  processing are in full swing. It is open Tuesday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m

In  2008  hand-rolled tea was sold at Harrods in UK and also  at  Mariage Freres in France was sold  with price ranging from ₹5,000 (US$74) to ₹6,000 (US$89) per kg, Some tea bushes in the garden at Darjeeling are very old - the minimum age is 80 years, and some are 150 years old.


"Tea factory to be open to tourists". The Hindu. 25 March 2008.
Happy Valley Tea Estate
"Harrods to sell hand-rolled Darjeeling tea". Indian Express. 31 May 2008.
"Happy Valley Tea Estate". Lonely planet.

 Chattopadhyay S.S. The valley of resilience. Frontline. Volume 20– Issue