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  Tea plantations  
(Darjeeling, West Bengal)
India > West Bengal > Tea plantations
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"Wonderful Scene"
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The tour of these lush tea plantations is as fascinating as a visit to a hilltop with verdant vistas in sight. The foggy mornings, the spectacle of the expansive tea field, the stroll soaked in the aroma of tea leaves, and the sip of one's favourite beverage has the ability to fascinate anyone.


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Happy Valley Tea Estate

Happy Valley Tea Estate is a tea garden in Darjeeling district in the Indian state of West Bengal. Established in 1854, it is Darjeeling's second oldest tea estate. Spread over 177 hectares , it is situated at a height of 2,100 metres above sea level, 3 kilometres north of Darjeeling, and employs more than 1500 people.

==Historyoldest tea estate of Darjeeling , and at a height of 2,100 metres , it is also one of the highest tea factories in the world. David Wilson, an Englishman, had named the garden Wilson Tea Estate and by 1860 had started cultivation of tea. In 1903, the estate was taken over by an Indian, Tarapada Banerjee, an aristocrat from Hooghly. In 1929, Banerjee bought the Windsor Tea Estate nearby, and merged the two estates under the name of Happy Valley Tea Estate. G.C. Banerjee was the next owner of Happy Valley Tea Estate. He with his wife Annapurna Devi and three daughters lived there for some time. Annapurna Devi was related to the Ganguly family of Khandwa; her maternal uncle was Kunjalal Bihari, father of the famous cine Gangulys. Nandini Balial , a young prolific writer in LA is the great granddaughter of Late Monmaya Debi.


In March 2007, after remaining nearly dormant for nearly four years as the tea industry had experienced a slump, the estate was bought over by S K Bansal, of Ambotia Tea Group, which established a new factory within the premises, and started modernization process, replating and switching to organic farming. Finally, the estate reopened to public in 2008, with the original factory turned into a working museum. It also displayed single piston slow-speed engines, and the shaft machines and sells tea-related mementos. Today, over 1500 people worked in the tea estate and processing unit.

In 2008, the hand-rolled tea produced by Happy Valley was chosen to be sold at Harrods in UK, with price ranging from 5,000 to 6,000 per kg, besides this, it is also available at Mariage Freres in France.



Source:Wikipedia

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