It is surprising to me how my life, growing up in a tea garden, seemed so normal and commonplace. The sheer abundance of nature’s bounty, carefully manicured and sculpted by human hands and minds, seemed ordinary. Yet, now after having lived with the teeming masses of humanity in India’s many cities, the memories of my childhood seem surreal and ethereal.
Tea is synonymous with Assam. Even before the British industrialised the process of cultivating and processing tea, it was a part of the Assamese culinary tradition. The legacy of the British Raj is never more prominent, than a visit to an Assamese tea garden.
Staying in one of the many colonial bungalows, is a throwback to a time before the internet or even the television. It’s an experience of a place where time moves with the languid pace of a swollen river near the sea.
The rolling foothills of the himalayas, hugging the bends of the mighty Brahmaputra river, form the backbone of the tea industry in Assam. These lands are rich in culture, biodiversity and fertility.
The call of the Cicadas in the evening, to the trumpet of elephants at night, to the sight of an early morning blanket of mist, hanging low over the tea bushes. These are the experiences that can thrill the soul of any weary traveller. Having lived in the midst of these awesome experiences, is a time in my life, I can never forget.
Many tea estates provide social welfare and employment to local villages and it was always a joy to visit these rural communities and meet the amazingly warm and friendly people there. There is also nothing more refreshing than having a cup of tea that was plucked, earlier in the day and processed into a beautiful cup of tea, by the evening. The freshness of the vegetables and fruits grown organically in the kitchen garden and served for dinner is something that I’ll never forget, along with the countless other experiences that I had growing up in tea garden.
The tea trail itinerary will allow you to experience all the joys of staying in a tea garden and will allow you to have a glimpse of a time when the world moved at a much slower pace.The experience of staying in a tea garden, particularly in today’s world of constant motion, is an experience that will allow you to connect with yourself and allow you to literally slow down and smell the roses tea bush.