Tea and Tranquility

Today, there are thousands of tea estates around the world, and many open their doors to guests. Check out what these estates in India and Sri Lanka have to offer.

Tea Trails.pngAddabarie Tea Estate, Balipara, Assam

The Singpho and Khamti tribes in Assam have long been credited with inventing tea in India–using tea leaves for their medicinal properties for centuries–and today the region produces 50 percent of India’s tea. The Victorian-era Addabarie estate has four bungalows offering a range of accommodation, from the simple Golden Tips cottage to lush Wild Mahseer lodge. Practice yoga or meditate on the banks of the Brahmaputra river, hike in nearby Kaziranga National Park, or take an elephant ride around the 22-acre plantation. Arrange a fishing trip and cook Anglo-Indian cuisine–like fish kedgeree with mango chutney–with the staff, and learn the art of tea tasting at the airy First Flush tea house. From $126.

Nuxalbari Tea Estate, Darjeeling

Located near the Nepalese border in West Bengal, Nuxalbari serves as a great base to visit other popular destinations like Bhutan, Sikkim, and Kalimpong, all within 125 miles of the estate. Built by British tea planters in the 19th century, the chung-style Planter’s Bungalow–raised on stilts–offers two bedrooms for guests, each with private bath. Aside from tea tastings and plantation and factory tours, the estate offers horseback riding, hiking, badminton, fishing, and other outdoor activities. Accompany the estate women to Nepal’s Dhulabari town to shop, or arrange a trip to the Jaidapara Wildlife Sanctuary to spot elephants, tigers, and the one-horned rhino. From $60.


Ceylon Tea Trails, Sri Lanka

Tea Resorts.png

In 1865, the coffee plantations of this Indian Ocean island were destroyed by disease, but its residents revived the country with tea plants, and it is now the third largest producer of tea in the world, employing some one million people. Tea Trails offers stays at four bungalows in the Bogawantalawa Valley region of Sri Lanka, known as the “golden valley of tea.” The bungalows have their own unique ambiance, from the colonial-style Tientsin to the more modern Norwood, though each provides a plethora of amenities, from kayaking trips, tours of the estate and factory, hikes to Sri Pada (Adam’s Peak), and all meals, including wine, cocktails, and four-course dinners inspired by tea-infused dishes. Take a day trip into Nuwara Eliya to tour one of the many tea factories, or to Kandy to visit the tea museum, which details the history of tea in Sri Lanka, including Ceylon tea’s most famous entrepreneurs, James Taylor and Sir Thomas Lipton. From $184.

Read more about tea estates in India’s Himalaya region in the March issue of Traveler.

Photos: Ceylon Tea Trails


  1. Sara
    October 29, 2010, 12:58 pm

    I love to drink tea all days. I read this page http://losefatpounds.org/blogofjenny/burn-fat-deposits-drinking-green-tea/ and now I’m drinking green tea to complement my weight loss regimen :)

  2. Hotels in Delhi
    August 25, 2010, 10:27 am

    I am born and brought up in India but how much less we know of India. The more we read and study about the diversity and uniqueness of Indian culture and heritage more fascinating it is at times.

  3. Sago Palm
    July 13, 2010, 1:07 pm

    It has been my dream for a while to go to India and study Yoga and meditation. Indian tea is known as an effective remedy as well as prevention. I’ve heard that indian tea is rejuvenating, energizing and boosts the immune system. Hopefully i will go one day to Indian Tea Estates and Nuxalbari Tea Estate, Darjeeling.

  4. Aparana Chauhan
    March 18, 2010, 1:11 am

    There are more than 2500 Tea Gardens and 850 tea estates in Assam known for their immense natural beauty and calm and tranquil atmosphere. On your tour to Assam you can see workers plucking tea leaves and watering plants…one can also visit any of the tea estate in the region to see production of Tea