Tea Tourism in Makaibari
Cradled in the lap of the Himalayas, the mystical land of the ancient seers and saints, where the Vedas were created, Makaibari (literally "Maize Land") is in Kurseong, the Land of the White Orchid. In 1859, this magical land saw the development of the now fabled tea estate. It went on to become the best tea garden in the world.
Makaibari has some unique features with myths and legends making it the most discussed tea garden. It has its own forest cover with six tires of forests – the highest form of Permaculture having a variety of wild animals and birds. It was certified as the first Biodynamic Garden in the world. In 1996 Makaibari sold its best quality Tea known as Silver Tip leave, which is picked on full moon night by the best women pluckers, at a world record price of $400 a kilo.
For accommodation, Makaibari has the Stone House, with four luxury bedrooms, a spacious living room complete with an iron-and-burnt-clay fireplace, and cosy sitting arrangements. Homestays are also arranged by the tea workers in their own styled homes. Meals are from vegetables grown in the biodynamic garden of the Stone House itself, cooked delicately by Nepalese maidens, for whom service is the essence of Life.
Makaibari ViewStaying at Makaibari one can explore Kurseong Town with its important tourist destinations and experience the famous 150 years old Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.
Total Room: 21 double/Twin
Facilities: ● Basic room with attached bath and H&C Water, ● in-house kitchen with garden fresh organic food
Activities: ● Guided Garden Tour (Tea Testing, Tea Processing, Plucking), ● Nature Walk, ● Birding, ● Wildlife, ● Village Hikes, ● Toy train Ride (DHR), ● Picnic Lunch, ● Excursion or City Tour, ● Ethnic Cultural Show
Tea Tour Idea
Day 1: Arrival at NJP rail station / Bagdogra airport and transfer to Makaibari Tea Estate. Check in at the homestay with the warm hospitality of the garden workers. The basic amenities of the homestays will keep you comfortable with its bio-organic food cooked with love and care and with the feelings of the harmony of man and nature that is being preserved here with the natural instinct of the workers and management. Go for a short birding tour to the famous Makaibari forest where the ultimate conservation of ‘Permaculture’ is practised.
Day 2: Today we explore the garden with the manager and experience the entire process of tea manufacturing with tea plucking, a factory visit followed by tea testing of various blends of Darjeeling flavour. Later after lunch, we can go for a hike to the nearby village to interact with the garden workers and to see their livelihoods. An alternate option is to go for an exciting ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan railway from Kurseong Heritage Station or an excursion to Kurseong town. Back to the bungalow and spend the rest of Tea Garden day lazily with a book. Or an enthusiast can hike to the garden in search of “Tea God” an insect which has taken the shape of tea leave and is not found in any textbook. The evening will mark by a thumping tribal musical show with dance and bonfire performed by the garden workers.
Day 3: Walk to the Makaibari Village in the morning to see the livelihood of the people and their traditional practice of farming and conservation for a couple of hours before checking out. Tour ends with breakfast and a warm farewell from the garden and drives to the onward destination.