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A Trip To The Tea Gardens In Dooars

Tea tourism is the newest range in Dooars. Heritage tea tours undoubtedly remind us of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika’s sweet melody ‘Ek kali do pattiya, nazuk nazuk ungliya’ (one bud, two leaves, and the fragile fingers running over them). Yes, that’s what tea gardens are largely about. And Dooars has upheld the charm to the fullest. Every year, the place homes the Tea & Tourism Festival, attracting tourists from all across the country and even beyond. When it’s not the festival time, a tourist can also pay a visit to the tea factories and watch how the beverage is readied for consumption.

This is accompanied by a visit to the lush green plantations where rows and rows of tea bushes flourish. Home stays are available here; you’d definitely love to spend a night in one of those magnificent bungalows. The estates are also home to a number of tribal communities; the smallest one is Toto, followed by Kora, Oraon, Mundra, Rabha, Katamb, and Mech. This apart, you can also enjoy the diverse flora and fauna around, meet the tribes and tea planters, enjoy a tribal dance show by the bonfire in the evening, relish the lovely Himalayan sunrise, and totally immerse in the natural backdrop.

Which Tea Estates Are Available For Tourism?

Tea tourism is still in its nascent stage. Presently, three tea estates have been let out for tourists, namely Zurran, Phaskowa, and Fagu Tea Estate.

  • Zurran Tea Estate
  • This is a heritage tea estate of the British era. A two-hour’s drive from Siliguri along the River Teesta, the Zurran Tea Estate homes a luxury British bungalow, which is more than a century old. This estate is located in the Chalsa region of Dooars in North Bengal near the foothill of the Eastern Himalayan range. It is situated between River Neora and River Murti. Apart from offering the regular activities of tea tourism, Zurran also presents itself as a great location for bird watching.

    Species like Maroon Oriole, Short-billed Minivets, Chestnut-crowned Warblers, Grey Nightjars, and more, can be seen here. Tourists can also opt for a jungle safari to the nearby Gorumara National Park, which is just a 30-minute’s drive from the estate. If you are in Zurran, you could also arrange a visit to the Chuk Chuki, Medhla, Jatraprasad, and Khunia watchtowers. What’s more, you can also visit places like Samsing, Jhalong, Bindu, and Suntaleykhola from here. You can even play tennis at the Chalsa club or take a stroll to the nearby Neora View Point.

  • Phaskowa Tea Estate
  • A four-hour’s drive from Siliguri through NH31, this 650 acres of tea marvel covers the Buxa Tiger Reserve and the River Raidak. Like Zurran, this estate, too, contains a colonial-era bungalow smeared with the memories of the British Raj. Phaskowa especially attracts trekking enthusiasts and wildlife photographers. Built by the Duncan Brothers (a British tea company) in the year 1897, the estate is presently owned by the Chamarias. This tea estate separates India from Bhutan and is a bird watcher’s heaven as well.

    Phaskowa is a natural habitat for Asiatic Elephants. Their frequent appearances are not at all a surprise. If you are lucky, you can also see a leopard or Royal Bengal tiger from Buxa. The tea estate is also a favourite destination for those who visit Dooars with the hope of spotting a one-horned rhino. The Jaldapara and Gorumara National Park are nearby and so is the Rasikbill Bird Sanctuary. Phaskowa lies in the vicinity of the Rajabhatkhawa Museum as well.

    When Is The Best Time For Tea Tourism In Dooars?

    September-May is the considered the best time slot for tea tourism in Dooars. Of that, the period of March-April is even better as Spring arrives then and there’s fresh nature everywhere. Monsoons and extreme winters are not recommended for the same and are considered offseasons.

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