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Take a guided tea factory tour—A glimpse into a fascinating process
Located at an elevation of 6,400 ft, Happy Valley, spread over 177.36 Hectares is the only tea garden in the heart of Darjeeling town, just a stone’s throw from the zoo. The factory at Happy Valley is the highest in the region and produces the finest quality Darjeeling Tea.
There is no better way to immerse yourself in the culture, history and traditions of the region than by witnessing the process by which fresh tea leaves are plucked, withered, rolled, fermented, dried, sorted, graded and packed to produce a variety of teas: the traditional black tea, green tea and the exquisite speciality teas.
A guided tour of the Happy Valley tea factory offers visitors a glimpse of the fascinating process of manufacturing tea.
You will find reviews of Happy Valley Tours on TripAdvisor and it gives us great pleasure to mention that our tours have received the ‘Certificate of Excellence’ for delivering quality tours consistently.
Guided tour 9.30 am to 4.30 pm daily
The Happy Valley Tea Estate
The estate was established in 1850 as Wilson Tea Estate by an Englishman, named David Wilson. Production commenced in the garden by early 1854. The garden passed to Indian ownership in 1929 and was re-christened Happy Valley.
The garden fell into bad times. which led to abandonment and closure in year 2005. In March 2007, Happy Valley came into the ownership of Ambootia Tea Group.
The Group behind Happy Valley
Happy Valley Tea Estate is a part of the The Ambootia Tea Group (ATG) , which has been associated with the tea industry of Darjeeling since 1948, when post-independence, British tea garden owners were returning to Britain and Indian entrepreneurs began to take over.Read More
Mr SP Bansal (Sr) became the first Indian Manager of the Ambootia Tea Estate in 1954, a post he held till 1968. By the time he retired from the tea industry in 1980, he had earned a reputation for buying failing tea estates and reviving them back to profitability.
That’s why, when in 1986, the Ambootia Tea Estate became unproductive, at the request of the tea estate workers, Mr Bansal took over the tea estate in and successfully nurtured it back to health.
This was considered a watershed moment because from 1980 to 1986 the tea estate was frequently closed or abandoned while law and order disruptions and bad industrial relations were rampant. Since it was taken over in1986, the estate is considered a textbook case for turnaround and revival.
In 1993 Mr Sanjay Bansal, son of Mr SP Bansal (Sr), began to implement organic and biodynamic practices at the Ambootia Tea Estate. This was a pioneering move in the Darjeeling tea industry as well as for Indian agriculture. Soon, Ambootia became a model estate for organic and biodynamic system agriculture and was certified under EU and IFOAM organic agriculture standards.
For its outstanding efforts in organic farming, the Food & Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations selected the Ambootia Tea Estate as a pilot project and declared Ambootia as a model for organic tea farming in Darjeeling. Read Less