From pristine beaches to dense forest, India welcomes thousands of holidaymakers who land on flights here to explore the natural treasures of the country.  But, India’s tea-gardens are what continue to steal the show. The article reveals the top choices.

They say, ‘tea is always a good idea’ and when combined with travelling, the experience always gets better! Holidaying in India and not sipping a cup of hot traditional tea or ‘chai’ is considered a sin by many tourists. The sight of road side tea stalls dishing out refreshing beverage to the locals and tourists is one of the most common in India. Nearly no business or social gathering here takes place without hot cuppa tea. No matter, it’s hot or cold, hot or iced (tea), a high street restaurant or a roadside stall, tea makes the day perfect for most Indians. Having refreshed the weary souls since times immemorial, tea in India has gone a step further with lush tea gardens of India appearing on the itineraries of many travellers who are in pursuit of off the beaten track holiday lures. Read on to know two most famous destinations of India to spend some time sampling the fresh mountain air infused with the aroma of refreshing tea leaves, take leisure walking tours capturing the stunning panoramic views, grab a chance to taste a variety of tea and witness the interesting process of tea-making.

Munnar
The largest tea-growing region in southern part of India, Munnar is surrounded by the rolling hills covered with emerald-green tea plantations. The beautiful estates are sculpted like patterned hedges. Once, climbing down towards the lower area, the scenery becomes magnificent. The patches of clouds and the misty feeling are sure to give flights to the visitor’s fancies.

How to Reach – This hill station in Kerala is well connected with major cities in South India. Kochi acts as a popular launch pad for Munnar holidays. An international gateway to India, foreign tourists can disembark flights at the Kochi airport and drive down to Munnar. Thiruvananthpuram and Madurai also connect with Munnar quite conveniently by road. One can try alternative modes of transport by reserving rail and bus tickets as well.

When – While winter months from December to February are best suited for visiting Kerala, Munnar sightseeing and particularly its tea estates are best visited during summer months of March to May.

Darjeeling
Darjeeling, a land of awe-inspiring natural beauty crowned by the magnificent Himalayas invokes spectacular sights of snow peaks. Commonly known as the ‘Queen of Hill Stations’, Darjeeling pulls hordes of tourists every year. Holidaymakers can walk along the verdant hilly slops covered with bright green tea plants and take a tour to several tea factories and witness the process of tea-making.

How to Reach – Foreign holidaymakers landing on flights at the international airport of Kolkata often purchase train tickets to New Jalpaigudi and from there, drive down to this hill station. But, many nature lovers prefer to buy tickets to avail a classic toy train ride and enjoy the natural surroundings on the way.

When – Travellers planning a holiday in this beautiful hilly area in East India can board flights between the period of March and November. This is the best time to watch the plucking of the leaves. However, monsoon season which lasts from June to September is best avoided taking a visit here.