So what do you do when you vacation at a tea estate? You drink gallons of tea, for starters!
But here’s one up. Imagine lush, green tea gardens blanketing the hills, misty clouds sweeping past, crisp, clean air, and you, in the middle of it all, with a warm cup of Darjeeling’s finest in your hands. Just magical!
We drove from Glenburn towards Tooti Daara one afternoon along a narrow, next-to-nonexistent track that wove through the tea gardens. Tooti Daara is a small, flat grassy stretch that breaks the smooth gradient of the hill overlooking Glenburn. It lies in the neighbouring Tukdah Tea Estate, and presents the perfect setting for a picnic, with panoramic views of the hills and the villages that dot it in the distance.
This is where we spent a tranquil hour or two. The kid made himself comfortable under a gaily-printed parasol while the husband and I perched at the edge of the grassy expanse, the ground beyond giving way to the hill’s incline, and the numerous tea shrubs that cling to its steep contours.
A bungalow is said to have stood on the level ground of Tooti Daara, long ago. Destroyed, however, in a fire and never rebuilt, nature seems to have eagerly reclaimed what was rightfully hers, erasing every trace of settlement.
Here, at a height of a few thousand feet, I found my cup of tea – an intoxicating, clear amber indulgence that spread contentment through my veins, and heightened the joy of simply being alive.
Getting to Glenburn
Location: Darjeeling, West Bengal, India
(Altitude: Approx. 3,200 ft.)
By Air: Daily flights to Bagdogra from major cities in India. Glenburn is a 3-hour drive from the airport.
By Train: Overnight trains from Kolkata to New Jalpaigudi station. Glenburn is a 3-hour drive from the station.