The world’s largest tea-growing region is also home to India’s ‘Big Five’.
By Jeannine Williamson
Britons are renowned as a nation of tea drinkers and if you love a cuppa you’ll feel right at home in Assam, the world’s largest tea-growing region.
The northeastern Indian state became important after Robert Bruce of the East India Company discovered wild tea plants growing there in 1834, which led to commercial tea production on a grand scale.
But while India’s ‘Golden Triangle’ around the Taj Mahal needs little introduction, Assam is a long way off the regular tourist trail. Yet it still captures the very essence of India with temples filled with the heady scent of marigolds and incense, grand palaces, wandering sacred cows and teeming main streets filled with stalls selling all manner of colourful goods. Yet outside Kolkata, formerly Calcutta, and other large cities you’ll see few other western visitors.