Sikkim is one of the smaller states in northeastern zone of India but it has plenty of attractions in store for any tourist. The vast mountain ranges, enticing wildlife zones and river valleys lure nature and wildlife lovers over the years. However, the state is also known for its flourishing track record in harvest. Not known to the majority, Sikkim also has its own tea estate. If you want to taste a distinct flavor of tea in the Northeast apart from Assam tea, head to the beautiful Temi Tea Garden.
Nuances of Temi Tea Garden
This is the only tea garden in territory of Sikkim. Located in South Sikkim’s Ravangla, Temi Tea Garden was set up by the state government of Sikkim in 1969. It is deemed as one of the topmost tea gardens in India, spread over 450 acres of area. The garden is located on a gradually sloping hilly terrain. In April 2005, Switzerland’s Institute of Marketology issued guidelines were adopted to produce quality organic tea. It won ‘All India Quality Award’ given by the Tea Board of India for 1994 and 1995.
Tea Garden tourism in Sikkim
Apart from producing quality organic tea that is in high demand in outside states as well as abroad, Temi Tea Garden serves as a major tourist destination in Sikkim. The scenic beauty of the tea garden, surrounded by the magnificent Mt. Kanchenjungha range, offers tourists a breather from chaos of urban life. The sight of lush green tea garden with meandering roads and tribal workers in their attire picking and nurturing trees is amazing. The place is also liked by tourists for nice climate and serenity.
Sightseeing and activities for Tourists
Watching the entire process of tea production including plucking and culturing of leaves is a nice experience for visitors. The option to enjoy garden fresh tea is something you should not miss! The yak butter tea is a regional delicacy that leaves tourists asking for more.
Apart from watching the activities of the tea garden workers and enjoying the freshly brewed tea, tourists exploring Temi Tea garden can indulge in plenty of activities. Sightseeing options are aplenty too.
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The tea garden and adjoining regions is absolutely serene and the lush greenery will soothe your eyes. Along with tea, cardamom plantations abound in the area. You will also see a lot of cherry blossom trees.
While the region is no wildlife sanctuary or park, bird lovers have reasons to rejoice. The abundance of vegetation attracts plenty of avifauna in this region. You can spot bird species like Satyr tragopan, hill partridges and babblers. A lot of butterfly species can also be seen in the region.
While putting up at the accommodations here, you can plan for day trips to nearby places like Pelling which has a few famous Buddhist monasteries like the Pemyangtse Monastery. Other places of tourist interest adjacent to the Temi Tea Garden include Rimbi Waterfalls, Khecheopalri Lake, Kangchendzonga waterfalls and the historic Rabdentse Ruins etc. Besides, people visiting the tea garden usually head to Ravangla, famous for its floral vegetation, avifauna and ancient Buddhist monasteries. So, both nature lovers and those into exploring heritage places can have a gala time here.
How and when to visit
Reaching Temi Tea garden is easy for tourists exploring Sikkim. The visitors prefer the winding road route through Dentham that passes over the Tendon sanctuary for its breathtaking beauty. You may hire cabs from New Jalpaiguri or Bagdogra airport to reach Temi tea garden. Cabs from cities in Sikkim like Gangtok, Namchi, Pelling are also available. Buses are also available from these cities.
You may visit the tea garden in winter month though it remains open all over the year. While temperature takes a dip, it is the time when you can see the amazingly beautiful cherry blossom trees blooming. The backdrop of snow clad mountains only adds to the visual splendor. It is a mesmerizing view and both nature lovers and photography lovers should not miss this.
Accommodation is not a problem when you explore Temi Tea Garden and adjoining areas. The British era wooden Dak Bungalow, run by STDC is what most tourists prefer. Visitors with deep wallets choose the Cherry Resort. Homestay setups in nearby areas like Chalamthang are also sought by the tourists.