Ask anyone about the top tea producing regions in India and the answer will be Assam and Darjeeling. The distinctive malty flavor and taste of Assam tea has made it a much sought after beverage all over India. The roots of tea plantation in Assam go back to the British era. The Brahmaputra river banks are where most of the tea gardens are located. The soil and climate of this region are well suited for tea harvest. Apart from becoming the source of livelihood for thousands of men and women in Assam, the tea gardens have also paved way for tea tourism growth in Assam.
As per the records, the Bodo tribe introduced tea harvest in Assam in the 18th century or so. However, the potential of tea plantation was discovered by the British when they invaded into north east India. In 1823, Robert Bruce discovered it and thereafter the British government decided to begin tea plantation on large scale basis in Assam. This led to setting up of several tea gardens and tea estates in various parts of Assam. This was the time many laborers were brought from adjacent states like Assam and Bihar and later they settled in Assam. These tea gardens have played pivotal role behind the growth of tea tourism in Assam.
Growth of tea tourism in Assam
Assam is visited by millions of tourists from other states in India as well as other countries, all over the year. While the awesome wildlife and ancient pilgrimage spots serve as major attractions for a majority of tourists, the tea tourism has also flourished over the years. The British era bungalows located in lush greenery, away from bustle of cities attract a significant number of tourists who seek natural serenity. A number of such setups have been converted and spruced up to serve as hotels and lodges for tourists. A number of tour operators offer diverse tea tour packages for tourists exploring Assam. These tea tourism packages include accommodation at those heritage bungalows, authentic Assamese delicacies, sightseeing, adventure sports activities, glimpse into tribal life and culture and more.
Top tea tourism destinations in Assam
There are several of tea tourism destinations in Assam and most of these are located in Tea gardens located faraway from cities or at the outskirts of city areas. Below listed are the major tea tourism destinations in Assam:
Located in the middle of beautiful and sprawling Gatoonga Tea Estate in Jorhat, Banyan Grove is a nice heritage bungalow. Spread over 9000 sq feet, it has a history dating back to the British era. The heritage bungalow has colonial décor and there are 7 large bedrooms with fireplace and facilities you will need. While staying here, you can savor Continental and Chinese delicacies and typical Assamese dishes are also available. There is a swimming pool at the resort and options for indoor games are there too. The fresh air and lush greenery around the bungalow is sure to soothe your senses. It can be reached from Jorhat airport and Dibrugarh station. It is now run by Heritage North East group.
Contact info: Welcome Heritage Banyan Grove
Address: Ghatoonga Tea Estate Post Office Ghatoonga, Jorhat, Assam 785616
Phone: 0376 230 4267, 094355 14177
Wild Mahseer- Balipara
Located in a beautiful place in Assam’s Balipara, not far from Tezpur, Wild Mahseer is among the prime tea tourism destinations of the state. You can reach the resort both from Guwahati and Tezpur. The heritage bungalow is part of the Addabarie Tea Estate and it has a mix of Assamese and Colonial era architecture. Named after the famous wild fish species, the heritage bungalow has a history dating back to 1864 and it is spread over 22 acres. The cottages as well as rooms are named after finest tea variants such as Ambrosia, Silver Tips, and Golden Tips. The Heritage Bungalow is what visitors with deep wallets and penchant for finest things prefer. It has heater and air conditioning along with library. There are 14 rooms to pick from.
The rooms are well furnished and laden with wooden furniture and you will get required amenities too. The Anglo-Indian dishes and colonial-era staples such as potato chops, mutton stew will delight your taste buds. The aromatic Assam Joha rice is also served. While you do not get WiFi or TV, extensive sightseeing options ensure there is no place for boredom seeping in! You may indulge in Kaziranga national park safari or opt for river rafting. The management can arrange for elephant trek, tea factory and plantation tour, Dolphin watching and angling in nearby rivers.
Related: Amazing Tea Tourism in Assam
Balipara Division, Addabarie Tea Estate, P.O Lokra, Sonitpur, Balipara, Assam, 784101, India
Phone: 91 2267 060861 (Monday to Friday), +91 98336 31377
Located in Jorhat, this grand mansion was the residence of the famous Barooah family. Set up by the late Siva Prasad Barooah in 1929, Thengal House was ravaged by two earthquakes in 1943 and 1950. After 1965, it was renovated and converted into a heritage resort. There are 5 rooms to choose from. The guests can gorge on delicious Chinese and continental delicacies while staying here. Of course, typical Assamese dishes are also served. The rooms have fireplaces and period furniture. Facilities include Swimming Pool, Indoor games, Color TV with DTH service, Parking Space, Hot water and Parking Space. In spare time, you can explore Jalukonibari, a nearby village. Wildlife lovers can head to the amazing Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary- just 20 km away.
Related: Tea Industry of Assam: An Analysis
Thengal Manor- Heritage North East Pvt Ltd;
Mancotta Chang- Dibrugarh
Located in Dibrugarh’s Mancotta tea estate, the Mancotta Chang or Mancotta bungalow is owned by a legendary tea-growing family of Assam, the Jalans. The place is easily accessible from Dibrugarh airport and station. The owners run a travel company named Purvi Discovery. This British era heritage bungalow has 6 majestic rooms- all named after tributaries of the mighty Brahmaputra river like Siang, Mans and Lohit etc. It is built on stilts, in typical Assamese architecture style. Rooms are available both with and without air conditioning. The bungalow is well maintained and landscaping is neat. Purvi Discovery offers various activities including sightseeing for visitors staying at the Mancotta Chang. The meals offered are nice. You can opt for trips to Dibru-Saikhowa national park, Majuli island tour, explore the historic Ahom dynasty ruins at Sibsagar etc. Of course, the company offers heritage tea tours and tribal village tours for the delegates.
Purvi Discovery (P) Ltd.
Jalannagar, Dibrugarh 786 005, Assam, India.
Tel : +91 373 2301120, 2300035
Fax : +91 373 2301944
Email : email@example.com
Wathai Heritage Bungalow- Tinsukia
Located in Limbuguri Tea Estate in Tinsukia, the Wathai Heritage Bungalow is ideal if you want to experience tea tourism while staying in a boutique plantation bungalow. Tinsukia is well connected to other parts of Assam by both road and rail networks. This bungalow has a laid back atmosphere and it is ideal if you want to spend a few days away from clutter of major cities in Assam. The rooms are named after birds and you can enjoy sipping freshly brewed tea at the front verandah. The dining room is spacious and it has a fireplace too. Run by Purvi Discovery, this low-slung bungalow has many modern facilities. The management can arrange tours in nearby Dibru Saikhowa National Park- a major Biodiversity hotspot. You can also opA day at Assam State Zoo for activities like tea factory tours, dolphin-spotting, bird watching etc.
Related: Tea/Coffee Graden Cities
Wathai Heritage Bungalow, Limbuguri Tea Estate, Rangagora Road, Guijan, Tinsukia District;
Phone: 0373-2301120, 9435130014
Kaziranga Golf Resort (Burra Sahib's Bungalow)-Jorhat
A premium heritage resort located in Jorhat’s Sangsua Tea Estate, the Kaziranga Golf Resort is aimed at tourists interested in tea tourism as well as Golfing. The colonial architecture mansion is located in a serene location which is easily accessible. There are colonial style cottages and a heritage bungalow famously called Burra Sahib’s Bungalow. It now serves as a club house. The flower-bedecked gardens soothe your eyes and clean, carpeted rooms with period furniture reflect an aura of elegance. The pristine surrounding, wellness spa, excellent cuisine and facilities make it worth a visit. However, its USP is the 18 hole golf course, placed inside a tea garden. The Bungalow was set up way back in 1905 and it is now run by the Heritage North East. A lake is there to indulge in angling, if golfing is not your favorite pastime. Of course, there are provisions for tea tour and tea tasting.
Heritage North East Pvt. Ltd.
Indu Bhawan, Mahatma Gandhi Road
Jorhat – 785 001 Assam
Mobile No +91 9864468605, 91 94355 14177