Darjeeling High Tea
Discover Darjeeling & its acclaimed tea estates, which produce a number of the world's finest chai! With a magnificent Himalayan backdrop, explore plantations & hill stations, monasteries, national parks & more!
Bagdogra - Darjeeling. Arrive at Bagdogra Airport before 3 pm, where you will be met and transferred to Darjeeling, the erstwhile summer retreat of the Englishmen in the Himalayas. Darjeeling was immortalized by the first Everest Summiteers Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary and was the base of all earlier Everest expeditions. Lying under the shadow of mighty Mount Kanchenjunga and the rugged Himalayas and surrounded by lush tea plantations, Darjeeling is astoundingly scenic and steeped in history and culture. Overnight – Darjeeling
We enjoy a tour to Ghoom Monastery today and then take a scenic joy ride on the famous Toy Train from Ghoom to Darjeeling. Darjeeling is world renowned for its tea and this afternoon they take a guided tour of the Happy Valley Tea Estate, of the oldest Orthodox tea plantations in the Darjeeling hills.
In 2003 Happy Valley Tea Estate celebrated its centenary despite it being officially established in 1854 by an Englishman, David Wilson, who lent it his namesake - Wilson Tea Estate. It was in 1903 that it was taken over by Tarapada Banerjee an Indian aristocrat who merged the estate together with his neighbouring estate in 1929 and named it Happy Valley. Happy Valley is the closest tea garden to Darjeeling set in the picturesque hillside and starts at an altitude as high as 6,300 feet. Owing to its high perch the garden can utilize the mountain mist which has a unique effect on the pollen of the plants and lends to the unique flavour of Darjeeling tea, Happy Valley tea is thought about of supreme quality and sits with pride of place on the shelves of Harrods.
After visiting the gardens, they visit the tea factory. Overnight – Darjeeling
We spend the morning exploring the Tukvar Tea Estate & learning more about tea production. Tukvar Tea Estate is a conscientious supplier of tea & employer, over three,000 people live & work on the large estate & it is ensured that all workers are provided with housing, schooling, medical & dental facilities. The estate has also taken an environmental & ecological stance & for plenty of years has adopted biodiversity techniques from growing leguminous crops, tiny shrubs & bigger trees in fallow land, boundaries or vacant patches of land. The estate also has a large vermicomposting plant to utilize the wasted organic matter created. They also manufacture their own liquid fertilizers from local herbs that are non-damaging to the environment.
After lunch, they visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute which Tenzing Norgay was instrumental in setting up & the Everest Museum which has some fascinating exhibits. There is also time for a trip to the zoo! Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is famed for its successful conservation projects on Red Pandas, Snow Leopard & other endangered Himalayan mammals. Overnight – Darjeeling
It’s tea time again today as they head to Tumsong Tea Estate (or Selimbong/Singtam if Tumsong is closed. Established in 1867 the Tumsong Estate was planted keeping the sentiments of the indigenous people in mind. The estate is planted around a Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Tamsa Devi on a steep slope rising from two,700 feet to five,500 feet & offering fantastic views of surrounding Kanchenjunga, thought about to be the third highest mountain peak in the world. The local population is given simple access to their deity in order to worship & the goddess Tamsa presides over the serene & surreal landscape filling the atmosphere with harmony, it is due to this mood that the garden is also known as the Garden of Happy Hearts. Tumsong Estate is 100% bio-organic & is planted with of the highest percentages of rare pure china bushes, the source of a quantity of the world’s finest tea.
After lunch, we’ll attend an afternoon talk and presentations by a tea professional followed by a tea tasting session at Nathmull's Sundown Lounge or at Golden Tips tea shop at Darjeeling. Overnight – Darjeeling
Darjeeling - Chalsa. It’s an early start today as they take a memorable tour to the summit of Tiger Hill to experience the sublime dawn over the snowy peaks of Kanchenjunga - the world’s third highest mountain. After breakfast back at the hotel, they check out & transfer to Makaibari Tea Estate, where they enjoy a guided tour followed by a luxurious lunch at Cochrane Place Tea Retreat.
One of the world’s oldest tea estates, Makaibari Estate was founded in 1859 & is still run by its fourth generation of those original founders. Embracing bio-dynamic practices the plantation is an entirely different experience to plenty of the other tea estates dotting the region of Darjeeling. Using a permaculture approach - the relationship found between natural ecologies, the practise is a sustainable land use design based on the patterns & unity found between native flora & fauna to help promote a healthy ecosystem. In the case of Makaibari Tea Estate, the tea bush is part of a multi-tier method in which trees & plants of a typical sub-tropical rainforest are grown together, due to this process 70% of the whole plantation is under forest cover. This encourages diversity in the wildlife living in the estate with endangered panthers, tigers, birds, butterflies, snakes, spiders & plenty of more have been spotted.
After lunch, they drive to Chalsa, a small village in Western Dooars, near Gorumara National Park. Overnight – Chalsa
We explore the Dam Dim Tea Estate today followed by a Planter style lunch at Dam Dim tea bungalow with recipes carefully preserved through generations.
Dam Dim Tea Estate is located in the Dooars or Duars region in the northern part of West Bengal, & situated in the foothills of Eastern Himalaya that connect India to Bhutan. The region name is thought to derive from the word “Dwar” meaning “gateway” as the area was densely forested being part of the water plains of the mountain rivers & allowed 18 different entry points into Bhutan.
Originally established as Barrons Tea Estate & later to become known as Dam Dim Tea Estate, deriving the name from the flies “Dema Dema” from the Bhutanese & Tibetan languages. The oldest part of the gardens date back to 1927 & prior to 1963 were British owned & run. Situated in outstanding surroundings with the southern boundary of the estate being separated from the Baikanthapur Forest by the Chel River, to the north the landscape is dominated by the Neora Valley National Park, to the east Garumara National Park & to the west by the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary; the area is a refuge for wildlife with large numbers of elephant traversing the area in the work of the annual migration of the elephants of north Bengal.
It’s time to go wild this afternoon as they take a game drive in Gorumra National Park which is home to a giant selection of wildlife such as Indian rhinos, elephants, gaurs and several species of birds and reptiles. Lunch and overnight - Chalsa Overnight – Chalsa
Sunday - Chalsa - Bagdogra. After breakfast transfer to Bagdogra Airport for your connecting flight. note: flights departing from Bagdogra ought to be booked after 1 pm. Flights between Bagdogra & Calcutta or Delhi can be arranged & additional hotel accommodation is obtainable ought to you need. contact us for more information.
- All sightseeing program as per the itinerary.
- All transfers, sightseeing & excursions will be by an AC Vehicle.
- Services of an English speaking local guide for the monuments as per the program.
- All entrances to the monuments and activities as per the program.
- Road taxes, parking fee, fuel charges and interstate taxes as per the program.
- Mineral water bottles in the vehicle [02 bottles each day]s
- Wet tissues places in the vehicle for the entire tour.
- Representative for assistance on all arrival and departure transfers with meet and Assist.
- All currently applicable taxes, including, GST of 5% applicable on total invoice amount.
Little gifts from Travel East:
- Departure Gift.
- Free WIFI in Vehicles.
- Expenses of personal nature like tipping, laundry, telephone / fax calls, alcoholic beverages, Camera /video camera fees at monuments, medical expenses, airport departure taxes, etc.
- Any meals, other than those specified above.
- Any meals other than specified in the quote-supplement mentioned above.
- Any insurance
- Any visa fees
- Any optional activities
- Any optional activities as mentioned in the program
- Domestic air-fare.
- Any other services not mentioned in the inclusion
- Any additional transfers
- Early Check-In/Late Check Out
- Any Tips / Porter charges