Sunday, 27 July 2014

Tea Gardens Of Darjeeling – A Photo Essay


Tea gardens fabricate the simple joys of our lives. If you crave for a cup of tea in the morning and in the lull of an afternoon, you will understand what I am talking about. I headed to Darjeeling with a pining desire to sample the Darjeeling Tea – the fresh and authentic tea straight from the tea gardens, which is not yet packed or sealed, but still has fragrances of its origin.

Yes, of course, I did sip quite a lot of Darjeeling tea, which is typically savoured without milk and sugar. More than the taste, it has a delicious aroma, which makes you want more of it. But, the joy doesn’t end here. It divulges as you explore the many tea gardens of Darjeeling, which narrate many untold stories.


That’s the bud and the two small leaves that are picked.


Do you see a different shade of green festooning the tea plantations? That’s lemongrass. The aromatic grass is planted to protect the tea shrubs from insects. However, the locals were not aware that it’s also an exotic ingredient in our metropolitan kitchens.


Tea pluckers use this iron cable to slide down the tea baskets for further processing.


Do you see the little bags hung on the wall? Those are lunch-boxes of tea pluckers.


The new tea plantations look scattered and much smaller.


She’s picking ‘happiness’ for you and me, but is she really happy? We won’t be able to answer that question…


These women who toil hard for ‘a great cup of tea’ are paid only INR 90 per day. 


…And yet they don’t fail to smile at travelers like me, who take their pictures, but give nothing in return.


Do you enjoy tea? Have you toured a tea garden yet? 

39 comments:

  1. This is beautiful. You're a good photographer. You captured the essence of the place almost perfectly! :)

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    1. Thank you Sakshi :) I'm so glad to hear that! Darjeeling has beautiful tea gardens, and thus, photography is a joy.

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  2. Beautiful !!

    Well compiled Photo Journey :)

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    1. Thank you VJ :) I'm glad that you enjoyed it!

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  3. Just to answer your last two questions. I don't love tea. But I am surrounded by tea gardens since last one year, and not visited one. Guess its time to go and see one before its time to pack up. Your photos are inspiring.

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    1. Oh, you don't love tea! That's okay, but you should have at least visited the tea gardens surrounding you! Anyway, go now! :)

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  4. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post.

    #workfromhome Join our blogging network and earn for each word you write... Join at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1jMI8jm_25iGT__x6bzrplXmMI4QAdyoD4j-FB0OT5N8/viewform?usp=send_form

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    1. You're welcome Shilpa! And thanks for visiting!

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  5. The view is absolutely fantastic!! Green, green, green - everywhere!

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    1. You bet! It was green throughout. :)

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  6. My birth place was Darjeeling , that time my father serving Army & posted there. Like to go again , let see when wish will be completed.

    Awesome pics !

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    1. Oh, how nice! Yes, please return to your roots and spend some quality time with nature. :)

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  7. wow 90 rs a day... that's not much, but I have to say it's more than I lot of workers I met in Bombay make, which is sad too. I think construction workers brought in from karnataka to goa make only 100 per day. Interesting they didn't know about lemon grass! very good pics. this is a place I'm dying to go!

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    1. Yup, the situation is sad, because these tea pluckers work so hard! The state govt. is callous towards their needs. Yeah, they didn't know about lemon grass and were quite surprised that it's eaten.

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    2. I was also shocked to hear you say how little these people are paid, it is about 90p a day in British money. Such hard work and yet still qualifies in the more than a dollar a day criteria, but only just.

      I love your pictures Renuka which are fabulous and really catch the scene. Also love the hanging bags of lunches.

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    3. True, these tea pluckers in Darjeeling are unbelievably underpaid. That's really sad. Yes, the pictures came out well. I loved capturing the tea gardens. :)

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  8. Simply reminded me of my childhood which I spent in that area. Thank you for sharing it..

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    1. I'm glad to hear that, Alok! :) Hope you go back there soon! Tea gardens in Darjeeling district are amazing!

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  9. Lovely captures. Did not know about lemon grass being grown amidst the tea gardens.

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    1. Yeah, even I didn't know about the lemon grass usage for tea gardens. Travel is such a learning experience!

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  10. Renuka, these photos are so beautiful. I would love to visit Darjeerling one day and see these scenes in real life and drink Darjeerling tea where it's grown.

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    1. That would be wonderful! Bonny, I think you should really plan a trip to Darjeeling and experience its heritage of tea-making. It's lovely!

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  11. These pictures remind me of the highlands of Sri Lanka, and of the movie Barfi!, which I loved :)

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    1. Oh...that's nice to hear! I have seen only a few glimpses of Barfi, but now that I have been to Darjeeling, I want to see the movie just to relive my trip. :)

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  12. It's like a dream, also how you'd imagine the place too I guess. Beautiful shots. thanks for sharing. The pictures of people are particularly wonderful.

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    1. Thank you Andrew :) Yes, even I like the tea-pluckers' photos the most!

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  13. Hi Renuka,

    Thank you for noting that the producers of the best tea in the world are only payed a dismal Rs 90 per day for 8 long hours of back-breaking work.

    Please support these workers, https://www.facebook.com/helpingstarvingteagardenworkers by spreading word on their plight.



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    1. Yes, I have liked your page on facebook, so that more and more people know about this. It really saddened my heart to learn that they are paid only 90 bucks for such a toil.

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  14. Nice pics Renuka. I used to think they pluck only leaves. but i guess its the bud and tender leaves now? Bhawna

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    1. Yes, it was a nice learning for me too. They pluck the two little leaves along with the bud. It was beautiful to know what goes behind the scenes of our much loved Darjeeling tea. :)

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  15. Dark tea has altered the refreshment market. Throughout the years, the outlandish beverage had turned into the world's most famous tea. Truth be told, 80 percent of the tea devoured in the U.S. is really of the dark tea assortment. Maybe dark tea is so prominent in view of its intensity it is darker and more grounded than green tea is.

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  16. Very nice photography!!!!
    I wanted a essay on "Life in a Tea Garden". So, please, help me, if you can!

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  17. Other than its diners, lively markets and ridges that are home to bewildering vistas, there is a scope of enchanting tea estates that stand separated in the rundown of spots to visit in Darjeeling. Tea was initially acquainted with this Himalayan city in West Bengal in the mid-nineteenth century by the British, and these sprawling tea bequests are still reminiscent of that culture.

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  18. Travel India to explore the beautiful tea gardens situated in the North Eastern and Southern Parts of the country. Assam is regarded as the birthplace of modern Tea and only Southern China and Assam are the regions with indigenous tea plants.

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  19. Great a report about the tea plantations. And a wonderful description. I ordered a similar description for my site here essays.io/ . It's good when you can use the services of writers. Cuz, quality content is the most important condition for placing posts.

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  20. A garden committed to the developing of herbs only for tea is not an original thought. What's more, when the climate is decent, the garden is a wellspring of your tea, as well as it can be the setting to restful taste your tea and reflect. It might likewise be the place to serve this fine refreshment to your visitors.

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