North Bengal and Sikkim Tea tour

  • Gomti
  • Happy Valley 
  • Temi
  • Samabeong

Daywise Tour Plan

  • Day 1

    Bagdogra/NJP/Siliguri - Goomtee Tea Estate (55 Kms 2.5 Hours Approx.)

    Assistance at the airport on arrival and drive to Goomtee Tea Estate.

  • Day 2

    GOOMTEE

    A great laidback lifestyle awaits you at the Goomtee Tea Resort, set in a cosy niche amidst the mighty Himalayan mountains. It’s a perfect break where you can soak in all of nature’s freshness to recoup & recon front the hectic demands of modern day living. The resort is at Mahanadi, a quiet railroad station of the World Heritage Darjeeling Railway, which comes to life everytime the puffing and smoking ‘Toy Train’ noisily announces its arrival.

     

    Overnight at resort.

  • Day 3

    Goomtee Tea Estate

    Start the day with a cup of freshly manufactured tea on the lawns.

                           

    After breakfast proceed for factory visit.

    Here one can see the various processes of tea manufacture:

     

    PLUCKING:

    During quality periods i.e. first flush or second flush, two leaves and a bud are picked - this is called fine plucking, resulting in high quality teas. At other times, even three or four leaves and a bud are plucked - this is called coarse plucking. The plucking cycle is maintained at about 7 day intervals. The plucked leaves are collected in bamboo baskets, taking care that they are not crushed by overloading the baskets.

     

    WEIGHMENT :

    The plucked leaves are delivered to the factory for weighment. Each plucker is paid against the quantity (weight) of green leaf that he/she brings in

     

    WITHERING:

    The green leaf, after eradication of any foreign matter, is spread on "withering troughs", loosely, to a depth of 6 inches. Fans are installed to pass air over the green leaf while it withers. The object of the withering process is to get rid of the moisture content in the green leaf and prepare the leaf to withstand the strain of rolling without breaking up. Period of withering can vary from 18 to 24 hrs. depending on the moisture content. The leaf, when properly withered, gives off a fragrant odour.

     

    ROLLING:

    The object of rolling is to bruise the cells of the leaves so that their sap (juice) is exposed to the action of oxygen in the air. Rolling also gives a twist to the leaf. The cell sap contains tannins, caffeine, proteins and other chemical. substances, which ultimately give the characteristic colour to the tea liquor during infusion. The withered leaf is given 3 or 4 rolls (each of 30 minutes). After the first roll, the leaf is sifted (kutcha sifting) and the fine leaves (about 20%) are taken out. The rest are given a second roll and in the second kutcha sifting about 20 - 25% rolled leaf is taken out. This process is repeated on the remainder with a 3rd or 4th roll. The first roll is done at low pressure, second at medium and 3rd at harder pressure.

     

    FERMENTATION:

    The rolled leaves are spread on fermenting beds and left to ferment for a period of 3 to 4 hrs. The leaves are loosely spread to a thickness of 1 or 1.5. Inches. Good fermentation results in the colour of the leaf to change to reddish brown giving off the characteristic aroma after the juices in the rolled leaves react with each other and the air

     

    FIRING:

    The fermented leaves are then fired (i.e. heated) in a drier machine. The object of this process is to arrest fermentation and slowly dessicate the leaf in such a way so as to extract the moisture without scorching the tea and at the same time, preserving its quality and other characteristics to the optimum level. The leaves are passed through the drier and remain within the drier for a period of approx. 20 mins, at a temperature of around 240 to 250? F. This results in the leaves moisture content to come down to 20 - 25% from 60 - 70% before it enters the drier. A second firing is also given shortly thereafter.

     

    SORTING:

    Sorting of different grades is done by sorting machines which are fitted with wire mesh trays that revolve or vibrate. The tea is passed over wire mesh of varying sizes so that the whole leaf, broken leaf, fannings and dust grades fall at different places. These sorted teas comprise the different grades.

     

    PACKING:

    The different grades of tea are then packed into plywood chests / paper sacks lined with aluminium foil inside. Each lot is generally packed in a minimum of 5 chests / sacks or more. The chests / sacks are sealed and the grade name, garden name, lot number (called an invoice), chest number, gross and nett weight, year of manufacture etc. are printed on the chests / sacks with stencils. Lastly, Darjeeling CTM user licence number and Darjeeling "CTM-applied for" are also stencilled onto the tea chests / sacks.

     

    Afternoon walk down the mountain trail and pine forests. There are many springs that grow into streams and waterfalls within the estate. These eventually accumulate into the mighty river Mahanadi as it reaches the plains 4000ft below.

     

    Dinner and overnight at hotel.

  • Day 4

    Goomtee Tea Estate – Darjeeling Tukvar Tea Estate (50 Kms 2 Hours Approx.)

    After breakfast drive to Darjeeling.

     

    DARJEELING:

    Standing high in the Himalayas at an altitude of 2134m, ‘Dorje Ling’, or place of the Thunderbolt, offers breathtaking views of snow-capped mountain peaks, with the Kanchendzonga rising higher than all the others. Often referred to as the “Queen of the Hills”, it remains just as alluring with its tiny waterfalls, little villages and a narrow gauge railway track. Surrounded by World Famous Tea Gardens and snowcapped mountains, Darjeeling remains one of the most exotic destinations. Graeme Westlake in his book ‘An introduction to hill stations on India’ refers to Darjeeling as having “A view Scarcely Unrivalled on Earth”.

     

    Afternoon visit to Tukvar Tea Estate.

     

    Tukvar Tea Estate: - Teas grown on the misty heights of Darjeeling, popularly known as the ‘Champagne of Tea’ are famous world over for their exquisite taste. The premium Darjeeling teas are mild in character and have distinctive natural fruity flavors. The different steps in Tea manufacture can be seen in the factory of Tukvar Tea Estate.

     

    Evening walk to The Mall Road and enjoy tea tasting at Golden Tips.

     

    Overnight at hotel.

  • Day 5

    Darjeeling

    Early morning visit Tiger Hill and Ghoom Monastery.

     

    Tiger Hill: - It is 13 kms from Darjeeling and one can see beautiful sunrise and Himalayan Range like Kanchandzonga, Mount Everest etc. One can see the horizon changing colors just before sunrise and then the entire Himalayan range turn golden. It is truly a majestic sight.

    Ghoom Monastery:- This is oldest Monastery in the area which was built in 1875 and one can see the image of Mythey Buddha 15ft. height on the way back from Tiger Hill.

     

    Breakfast at the hotel and go for Enjoy toy train ride.

     

    Toy Train

    The spectacular landscape unfolds as the 2-foot gauge Darjeeling Himalayan railway, opened in 1881, labours at about 10 mph criss-crossing the road. It has tiny 4-wheel locomotives (some over 100 years old) like living legends. One can experience the sound, smell and romance of a bygone era. DHR is a work of genius and technological achievement of 1881. It has social and cultural importance. It is beautiful and has outstanding universal appeal. Based on its unique features, it is considered to be of lasting significance to mankind.

     

    Afternoon proceed for city tour.

    Himalayan Mountaineering Institute/Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park:-  The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute was started in Darjeeling when Tenzing Norgay climbed Everest to give training  to learn Mountaineering and other adventure sports related to mountaineering and in that Institute one can see equipment etc.used by Mr. Tenzing Norgay and Everest Museum having complete details on Everest attached to institute one can  visit Himalayan Zoological Park where one can see Himalayan animals like Snow Leopard, Tibetan Wolf, Tibetan Yak, Himalayan Black Bear and several varieties of birds.

     

    Happy Valley Tea Estate: - Teas grown on the misty heights of Darjeeling, popularly known as the ‘Champagne of Tea’ are famous world over for their exquisite taste. The premium Darjeeling teas are mild in character and have distinctive natural fruity flavors. The different steps in Tea manufacture can be seen in the factory of Tea Estate.  

     

    Overnight at hotel.

  • Day 6

    Darjeeling – Gangtok via Temi Tea Garden (121 Kms 6 Hours Approx.)

    After breakfast drive to Gangtok. En-route visit Temi Garden.

     

    Temi Tea Garden: - This is the only Tea Estate in the state of Sikkim. The garden is just 18 km from Ravangla and can be visited on a day tour from Ravangla. The garden is spread on a slope below Tendong along the highway to West Sikkim.

    Temi Tea Garden was established in 1969. The total area of the Temi Tea garden is approximately 435 acres. The garden employs about 450 people and produces 100 metric ton of orthodox tea annually. The garden produces some of the best tea in the world. The original tea saplings were brought from Darjeeling and the produce of the garden are not very different from what one can expect from the gardens of Darjeeling hills. The garden offers beautiful natural views. The picturesque view of tea plucking can be seen here during the plucking season. The factory can be visited to have an interesting lesson on tea processing.

     

    Overnight at hotel.

  • Day 7

    Gangtok Sightseeing

    Monastery.

     

    Rumtek Monastery: -24 Kms. from Gangtok is the awe -inspiring Rumtek Monastery the world Dharma chakra Centre and the seat of His Holiness, the Gyalwa Karmapa, who is the head of the Kagyupa order of Tibetan Buddhism. Behind the main monastery is the lavishly decorated Karmae Nalanda Institute of Buddhist Studies, which attracts students from the world over. Opposite the entrance to the Institute is a small hall featuring a beautiful jewel studded Chorten the Golden Stupa, which contains the ashes and remains of His Holiness the xvi Gyalwa Karmapa. According to legend, it is believed that after years of meditation, the first Karmapa was said to have been visited by ten thousand fairies who came to congratulate him each of whom offered a strand of her hair as a gift. These were said to have been woven into a black hat, which was passed down and is still at the Rumtek Monastery today. It is said that unless held on to by the wearer (who of course, cannot be anyone else but the Karmapa) or kept in a box, the hat would fly away.

     

    The Enchey Monastery: -Perched on a ridge above Gangtok, the Enchey Monastery is nestled within lush woods with a spectacular view of Gangtok town. Built in 1910 on the site of the hermitage of the great tantric saint, Lama Drutob Karpo, who was renowned for his powers of levitation, this monastery houses the monks of the Nyingmapa Order of Tibetan Buddhism.

    Namgyal Institute Of Tibetology: -Amidst a serene surrounding of oak, birch and ash lies the unique organization established in1958. Built in traditional style, the namgyal Institute of Tibetology promotes research in Mahayana Buddhism and the language and tradition of Tibet. It has one of the world’s largest collections of rare books and manuscripts on Mahayana Buddhism. The Institute also has a retail outlets where related books and commercially produced religious art and craft of Tibet can be bought.

    Adjacent to the institute are two exquisite stupas, the Do Drul Chorten, built to commemorate the victory of good over evil and the Jhang Chub Chorten, built in the memory of Thrukshik Rinpoche, an ardent devotee, a great spirtualist and interpreter of Buddhism. Near the Chorten are housed two giant statues of Lord Buddha and Guru Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rimpoche, the patron saint of Sikkim.

     

    Directorate Of Handloom And Handicrafts: -This Directorate was set up to promote traditional Sikkimese art and handicrafts. Exquisitely carved wooden friezes, intricate bamboo work, along with beautiful hand woven carpets and handlooms are on exhibit here. Visitors can not only purchase these items here but also see the artisans at work. Among others, a favourite item here is the choktse a wooden table with carved panels that can be folded into a portable pack.

     

    Overnight at hotel.

  • Day 8

    Gangtok – Samabeong Tea Estate (130 Kms/6 hrs approx)

    Breakfast at the hotel and drive to Samabeong Tea Estate.

     

    The Samabeong Tea Estate rests at the Himalayan foothills and is one of the highest organic tea gardens with a storied history that goes back to 1882 when the Estate was established by the British.   Having been passed from hand to hand many times since, the Estate had become a degenerated, abandoned swamp by the early 1960’s.

     

    Acquired by a legendary planter who believed in the strong ethos of “earth “ and “water” in the early 1990s and in collaboration with a leading ethical trading partner, the fortunes of Samabeong soon changed.

    With the support of the entire Samabeong community that now number roughly 2000, the estate now exudes a pulse of spiritual agriculture.

     

    Overnight at hotel.

  • Day 9

    Samabeong Tea Estate

    Start the day with a cup of freshly manufactured tea on the lawns.

     

    Morning proceed for Tea Estate tour with one of the staff.

     

    Tea Tasting with a Connoisseur.

     

    Visit to community development projects.

     

    Afternoon walk around the Tea Estate area with photography of the plains area.

     

    Overnight at hotel.

  • Day 10

    Samabeong Tea Estate – Bagdogra/NJP (127 Kms / 4-5 hrs approx)

    Breakfast at the hotel and drive to Bagdogra/NJP/Siliguri for onward connection.


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