First a big thanks to Ramada Darjeeling management for arranging this trip for us. This tea estate was established by Mr. David Wilson in 1854 and then known as Wilson Tea Estate. This tea garden is the one of the biggest tea estate in Darjeeling, West Bengal. It spans 440 acres of land and is located at a height of 6,900 feet above the sea level. In 1929, Tarapada Banerjee bought the Windsor tea estate and merged another nearby estate and gave the name Happy Valley Tea Estate. Presently this Tea Estate is owned by, Banerjee family from Hooghly.
Located just below Hill Cart road, the Happy Valley Tea Estate is worth a visit, especially during March through May, when the plucking and processing are in progress. The approach of this Tea Estate is through a narrow winding downhill road which is quite steep. So if you are walking, the walk on your way back is likely to be quite cumbersome. But the scenic rewards on the way are enormous. The entire procedure of tea plucking, procession and packaging is interesting to experience. Tea lovers can surely buy some fresh tea from here. The entry in the estate if free however if visitors wants a detailed tour they can hire a tour guide.
It become one of the major tourist attractions for its beautiful carpeted greenery which may sweep scenery lovers off their feet. Happy Valley Tea garden’s factory is the highest altitude tea factory in the world. Darjeeling has got a number of tea estates but none matches the scenic beauty of this particular one. A trip across this estate will also allow you to understand the processes involved in tea plantation, including the plucking, withering, fermenting and the drying process.
Tourists can stroll down to the tea estate in the morning and rejuvenate the feeling of standing on the field of tea. If you have enough free time then you can go for a hiking or you can ride a cycle and have a tour in the valleys else you can enjoy a guided tea factory visit too. At the end of the factory tour you will be taken to the factory outlet where you can sample and taste various types of tea produced in the estate. If you want, you can also buy tea here.
If you want to just taste a cup of best quality tea in Darjeeling, then there is another way. There is a small tea shop right next to the factory, Happy Golden Cafe which is run by a local lady. She has samples of the estate tea which she apparently collects from the employees quota. This is where you can have a cup of excellent black tea for Rs. 25/-. The lady will make it for you from leaves plucked at the gardens here.
There are seasons for different types of tea’s, Green and little bit of White Tea are plucked during March to May. June to August is the season for Black Tea. September to November is again the season for Green and White Tea. The tea garden’s factory usually remains closed from November to February because tea plucking does not take place during winter. You can however see the tea gardens from outside. This tea Estate is certified by United Nations FAO project as a model tea estate and their first flush and second flush teas are extremely popular in all over world.
Happy Valley Tea Estate, Lebong Cart Rd, Chauk Bazaar, Darjeeling
Timing : 9:30AM – 4PM
Contact : 080177 00700
Be Happy at Happy Valley Tea Estate – Darjeeling Tea Garden
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