Love Tea? Plan A Road Trip To These Refreshingly Gorgeous Tea Trails

One of the largest tea growers in the world, India can very well be labelled as a haven for tea lovers. And if you are one of them, you would agree that no amount of tea is too much tea. Irrespective of the weather or time of day, a cup of tea is all you need to rejuvenate a cloudy mind and set your mood right.

Celebrating your favourite beverage and promoting its sustainable consumption and production, December 15 is recognised as International Tea Day. And in a country as diverse as India, there are several versions and names for a cup of chai in every corner. So, why not take your love for tea to the next level by visiting some stunning tea plantations and enjoying tea in the lap of nature? Sounds exciting? Mark these places for your next adventure.

Kangra, Himachal Pradesh

Not many would know of the estates located in the North of India but Kangra is soon becoming a major hub for fusion green and black teas. It is also the only region in India that produces a hybrid of Chinese or Indo-Chinese tea. The tea here has a distinct aroma with a notable grassy and sweet taste. And with tea gardens spread along the road, you can take a stroll and even join the locals in picking tea leaves.

Kangra Valley is a 450-km drive from Delhi and ideal for an extended weekend getaway. However, the drive can be a little challenging considering rocky, and gravel roads leading up to remote estates. But with your capable compact SUV Ford EcoSport, you can be assured of a smooth journey. It’s outstanding ground clearance, and high seating position will ensure that you make it through the terrain confidently. Regardless of the weather outside, the automatic climate control will set the perfect temperature in the car, so you stay comfortable throughout your journey. And its automatic headlamps come on as outside light dims to ensure that the road ahead is always visible on your drive.

Darjeeling, West Bengal

Besides the picturesque view and pleasant climate, Darjeeling is world-famous for the variety of tea it produces and imports. Its tea leaves are unique as they can be further processed into different kinds – black, oolong, white and green tea. Tea grown in Darjeeling is thin, light, has a floral aroma and is known to increase hydration in the body and reduces stress. Since it is high in antioxidants, it helps in neutralising digestion & releases toxin from the body.

The drive from Kolkata to Darjeeling stretches to a total of 634 km. In your Ford Freestyle, however, you won’t feel the distance; instead, you’re bound to enjoy the long drive. Navigating the ups and downs of these windy roads through lush greenery is made easier and safer with the Electric Stability Control and Active Rollover Prevention. Meanwhile, its touchscreen infotainment system will make finding smart routes quick as you enjoy the mellow tunes that accompany your drive.

Assam, Jorhat

Assam is the world’s largest tea producer and famous for black tea. And the tea grown in Jorhat is malty and has a bright colour as it is produced by a large tea plant, Camellia Assamica, that undergoes special processing to bring out a distinct taste.

Known as the perfect escape for every tea aficionado, the tea estates in Jorhat are splendid and hides divine waterfalls. There are plenty of tea estates that you can visit while here, all of which stretch for hundreds of acres. Make sure to carry a camera because you’re sure to get some spectacular pictures of the rolling green landscapes. And don’t forget to bring plenty of tea back home with you.

Kolukkumalai, Tamil Nadu

Admired as the world’s highest elevated tea plantation, the tea produced in Kolukkumalai is pristine and of high quality – one sip of it, and you will know it. The production follows a traditional method – heating, drying, rolling and withering. Kolukkumalai is an off the radar tourist destination with a mystic charm, and because of its high altitude, the tea gardens here offer breathtaking views of Munnar and Kodaikanal.

The distance from Kochi to Kolukkumalai is 158 km, which is ideal for a three or four-day getaway. While it is located at an altitude of almost 8,000 ft, your study Ford Endeavour will make the drive effortless with its Hill Launch Assist and Hill Descent Control features. Kolukkumalai also has several trekking opportunities and adventure camps nearby, which are ideal if you want to add some exciting activities to your trip. With plenty of boot space, you can pack essential trekking and camping gear to make the most of it.

Tripura, Agartala

Tripura is amongst the few Northeastern states to produce white tea. The Fatikcherra tea estate in West of Tripura grew white tea here for the first time in 2019. It is unique and has a delicate taste as it goes through minimal processing. Besides this, the region is also known for growing green tea.

For tea lovers, there is no feeling better than sipping on a cup of freshly brewed tea as the warmth spreads throughout their body. And if you find a longing for that feeling, it’s time to pack your bags, hop into your Ford car and drive to a tea plantation this holiday season. Travelling for passion is one of the best reasons to explore the world, so #GoFurther and make your next getaway an experience rather than just a mere visit.

Feature image courtesy: Unmesh Balachandran (@unmesh_balachandran on Instagram)