Towards the end of the 18th
century, due to political changes
in China and growing friction between
British Traders and Chinese authorities,
the East India Company was coerced
to find an alternative source of Tea.
From 1774, tea seeds and plants were
imported from China to India, with
several attempts to harvest the same,
but with extremely
poor results. The reports, that the
Singhpho and Khamti Tribes were acquainted
with indigenous tea bush had been
consuming the brew from its leaves
were repeatedly ignored. In 1923,
Robert Bruce (Scot) met Maniram Dutta
Barua, an Assamese nobleman, who introduced
him to a friendly Singhpho chief,
Beesa Gam, and was shown an actual
Assam Tea Bush. Unfortunately, Robert
Bruce died the following year without
collecting the samples, but not before
passing the information to his brother,
Charles Alexander Bruce.
In 1824, with the Burmese war, the
British used opportunity to rally
to the support of the local ruler,
defeated the Burmese, and with the
treaty of Yandaboo, 26 th February
1826, annexed Assam.
The fixation with Chinese tea, however,
Bruce and others sent samples of the
Assam Tea bush to Calcutta (Kolkata),
they were not accepted as genuine
tea species for quite sometime. Tea
cultivation began with the China plant
but experiment was failure. Finally,
in 1836, Bruce dispatched a small
sample of Assam Tea, which was approved
as of good quality. May 1838 saw the
dispatch of the first Assam Tea to
London, which were auctioned in January,
1839. And, with burps,
fits and starts, by 1841, Indian Tea
had finally arrived.
For some time, the name Assam promptly
brought out the word "Tea".
Scattered across the state and getting
denser a one moves east are the Tea
plantation of Assa, vast seas of green.
Most estates still maintain the colonial
bungalows of the days of the Raj.
The earlier planter however lived
in hutments, with may be boxes for
furniture, battling with malaria,
cholera and diseases with a minimum
of medical amenities. As plantation
expanded to colonial luxury, with
clubs and shikars.
Visit a tea garden today. Be pamperedby
old world charm. Stay at
Tea Garden Bungalow or Chang bungalows.
Chang in the local language means
"raised on stilts" and the
design served a multiple purpose;
to keep the house cool by allowingbreezes
to blow underneath and to keep water
and animals out. Get a first hand
knowledge of how tea is made. Learn
the art f tasting from the experts.
Soak in local ambience and join in
the festivity with 'Jhumur' and 'Bihu'.
The tea plantation experience, like
the cup is best enjoyed if
NOTE: Tea production is closed from
December to February/March, following
pruning of the Bushes.