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Tea Tours in East Himalaya & North eastern India and understanding Tea Culture brought to you by Help Tourism - a field-based organization...

THE DAMDIM TEA BUNGALOW
Damdim Tea Estate, Western Dooars.

Dooars or Duars region is the foothills of the East Himalaya connecting Bhutan. It is believed that the name has been derived from the word DWAR, locally meaning gateway. As this region was densely forested, being the flood plains of the mountain rivers, there were 18 established entry points to Bhutan. There were regular wars in the past regarding control on this region, but now it falls in the North of West Bengal and the Bodo Territorial Council of Assam.

In the North Bengal portion, with the initiative of the entrepreneurs during the British rule, several Tea Gardens were established between the forests in this region. Gradually, these islands of development amidst of beautiful, virgin and wild landscapes became centre of attraction for visitors, who often combined it with their visit to the Darjeeling Hills. Today, this region is all year round goldmine for the tourists.

One such Tea Garden was established as Barrons Tea Estate, which later came to be known as Damdim, deriving its name from the flies which the Bhutanese and Tibetans called ‘Dema Dema’. The oldest section of this garden or estate dates back to 1927. Prior to 1963, this estate was under the UK based James Finlay group, which since 1964 was known as Tata Finlay group and the same by 1983 was established as Tata Tea, with its headquarters at Kolkata (Calcutta).

It was towards the end of 2006, the Tata Tea administration with the technical support of Help Tourism, an East Himalaya based ecotourism organization, decided to convert one of their assets, a Tea Bungalow at Damdim Tea Estate for tourism purposes. For visitors to the Sikkim, Darjeeling & Dooars region, Damdim Tea Estate is a must addition, as it not only provides an authentic British Colonial Planter’s hospitality and tea experience, but also serves as the base camp for wilderness experience.

The southern boundary of the estate is separated with the Baikanthapur Forest Division by the Chel River. The landscape towards the north is dominated by the legendary Neora Valley National Park, the east by Garumara National Park and the West by the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary. In November 2006, our first guests from the BBC Natural History division, with the support of the Help Tourism Team, chose the Damdim Tea Estate to shoot ‘the migrating elephants of North Bengal’, which they have described as one of their best experiences in India.

For the GOLFERS, the neighboring Western Dooars Club, a heritage club serving since the time of the British Planters, provides a nine holed golf course in the lap of excellent scenery of the East Himalaya. The club also has facilities of card table, billiard table, table tennis board, dancing floor and a bar. As guests of Tata Tea, you have an easy access to the club facilities against a temporary membership fees.

Services:
There are presently three air conditioned double bedded rooms with private toilet and bath at ‘The Damdim Tea Bungalow’ with lots of sitting area, dining space, library, exclusive lawn and a Machan (Tree House). Our chef is a second generation serving the Planter’s Bungalow and has a team of local youths from the Estate to look after the guests in the bungalow.

Dedicated transport are provided for transfers and sightseeing. Local guide is available on the Tea Trail and Picnics. Our add-on packages for Hills and Forests are available on request while booking. Facilities to the Western Dooars Club can be made available subject to prior permission of the club management and payment of temporary membership fees. Local cultural and tribal dance may be organized against request while making the booking.

Package

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