Thursday, 21 June 2012

Tea Tourism – Gateway into the ‘Paradise Unexplored’!

Tea Bungalow in IndiaA cup of tea is a mystery to resolve – generations across the world have used it as a health drink, the perfect accomplice to all discussions and an invitation to confide. Its origins can be traced back to China where this miracle drink was discovered some 5000 years back. The long journey from China to rest of the World added flavours, style, dimensions and history to this unique brew. Taking clue from one of the advertisements – Hold a cup of tea in your hand, move the cup gently, bring it closer to your nose, now close your eyes and inhale the fragrance, it will take you to the lush green tea gardens with their sunny slopes and misty valley – take your first sip, savour it after all a lot of effort goes into bringing it to your home.
Tea GardernNorth East India also known as the Paradise Unexplored brings to our minds the colorful yet tranquil images of majestic mountains, exotic flora and fauna, spectacular scenery and the lush tea gardens. This unmatched blend makes it the most beautiful Eco Tourism destination of South Asia. The emerging trend of Tea Tourism in the last decade in North East India is – India’s answer to the European Wine Tourism. Tea Tourism is gaining popularity as tourists, especially foreigners, are making their way to the tea estates, to savour an entirely different world. A world that ensures a rejuvenating experience away from the chaos, pollution and tensions of their otherwise fast paced lifestyle. It beckons the weary and tired tourists to its lap to relax and unwind in its magical land – a heaven for tourists, the North East India!
Tea LeafTwo leaves enclosing a bud, hills covered with tea bushes, gurgling streams, clean air with its own fragrance, breathtaking landscapes, voices of cicadas and birds filling the air, the bewildering variety of wildlife with the backdrop of mist covered mountains. Welcome to the North East India. Tea Tourism is an experience to remember – lush green tea plantations, a tranquil ambience, dollops of old worldly luxury, glimpses of wild life , and a tint of magic that comes from the land of myths and mysteries. A Tea Tour is more than about “tea” it is a showcase to a lifestyle nestled deep into eastern Himalayas nurtured by Tsangpo – the great Brahmaputra.
Tea Tour would include nature walks around the tea garden, trekking, rafting or fishing in the hilly rivers, accommodation in the heritage bungalows  and one can also witness the tea tasting session, which can be a unique experience or just sit in the verandah of a bungalow, breathe the fresh air, watch the blue mountains with their sapphire peaks and enjoy the serenity with a cup of “tea”.
Tea BungalowIt also includes living in a tea estate. Ah! To live in a tea estate is indeed a world of its own. These centuries old Heritage tea bungalows, retain their ancient glory and portray tales of opulent lifestyle of the era gone by. The stately manors are miniature museums with beautiful gardens ornamented with exotic flowers, well chosen de art, antiques, high ceilings, sprawling balconies, chandeliers, fire places and glass windows that exude colonial charm , you can sit in the central courtyard sipping tea and enjoy the aristocratic life of a planter in days of a yore.  When you can take a walk through these gardens, the strong aromas will lead you to meet the Tea Garden Manager who will take you around and explain the complexities and mysteries of this lush green carpet. You may even visit the tea workers, learn the art of plucking leaves on your own. There is so much to see and enjoy in a tea tour. There is magic in the air which will stay with you long after you come back home.
Prominent tea tourism sites in India are Darjeeling in West Bengal, Munnar in Kerela, Palampur in Himachal Pradesh, Ooty in Tamil Nadu and the Eastern Sentinel – Assam. Besides generating income and using the erstwhile vacant bungalows, it also promotes the industry and helps the local people. A part of success of the tea tourism can be attributed to the warm hospitality, unique culture and lip smacking cuisine of the region.
Tea GardernThough not commonly known, Darjeeling tea is called ‘Champagne of teas’ and Assam Tea is called ‘Cognac of teas’? Find out more such facts on your Tea Tour. To experience the serenity of North East India, The Other Home and Landmark Tours have designed a special itinerary. This wonderful Tea tour focuses on making your trip , an experience to relish and ensures that you get to a chance to reside in a completely natural environment .
The Aromatic Assam Tea Tour (5 Nights / 6 days): you can reach Guwahati (Gateway city to North East) by flight. From there, we go to Tezpur by road and stay overnight at The Wild Mahseer Lodge located on the north bank of the Brahmaputra River. Next day, from Tezpur we go to Jorhat (The heartland of tea), where your will stay at Burra Sahib’s Bungalow or the Thengal Manor. You get the chance to visit the famous Teklai Experimental Centre that conducts research on new varieties of tea and its therapeutic effects. From Jorhat, the next destination is Dibrugarh (One of the Tea Capital), where you will stay at the Mancotta Chang Bungalow at the Mancotta Tea Estate. Watch a traditional dance performance by the local tea tribes in the evening sipping the garden fresh tea. The package includes – Accommodation on twin sharing basis, Meals, transfers by Scorpio/Innova/Tata Winger or similar, accompanying English speaking escort and tea tours. For details & Bookings

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