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Article updated: 12/23/2012 7:11 AM

India experiences growth in tea tourism

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People enjoy afternoon tea, a heritage from British colonial days, on the lawn of Thengal Manor in Jorhat, India.

Associated Press

A plucker makes her way through the tea bushes on the Addabarie Tea Estate in Assam, which dates back to 1870 and British colonial times in Balipara, India.

Associated Press

Tourists at the Kaziranga National Park take an early morning ride to view one-horned Indian rhinos in the mist in Assam's tea country in Kaziranga, India. Elephants, monkeys and other wild animals often wander through the tea estates.

Associated Press

A plucker on the Addabarie Tea Estates pauses among the bushes. Only women are used to gather tea in India because their nimble fingers and hands are ideal for plucking the leaves.

Associated Press

Guests and staff members poised at the entrance of Thengal Manor, gracious home of the Barooah tea dynasty, which is now open to tourists in Jorhat, India.

Associated Press

A tea plucker works on the Gatoonga Tea Estate in Jorhat in Assam, India. Assam is a must for tourists interested in tea and the lifestyle of its planters.

Associated Press

About this Article

Thengal Manor marked the start of our two-week journey through the world's finest tea-growing areas -- India's Assam and Darjeeling. We drank pink gins by the fireplace in colonial-era parlors, and we were seduced by the pampered lifestyle of tea planters. Plus we drank many a cup of Assamese -- "bold, sultry, malty" -- and Darjeeling -- "the champagne of teas, the color of Himalayan sunlight" -- enough to send aficionados into ecstasy.
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    • People enjoy afternoon tea, a heritage from British colonial days, on the lawn of Thengal Manor in Jorhat, India.
    •  A plucker makes her way through the tea bushes on the Addabarie Tea Estate in Assam, which dates back to 1870 and British colonial times in Balipara, India.
    •  Tourists at the Kaziranga National Park take an early morning ride to view one-horned Indian rhinos in the mist in Assamís tea country in Kaziranga, India. Elephants, monkeys and other wild animals often wander through the tea estates.
    •  A plucker on the Addabarie Tea Estates pauses among the bushes. Only women are used to gather tea in India because their nimble fingers and hands are ideal for plucking the leaves.
    •  Guests and staff members poised at the entrance of Thengal Manor, gracious home of the Barooah tea dynasty, which is now open to tourists in Jorhat, India.
    •  A tea plucker works on the Gatoonga Tea Estate in Jorhat in Assam, India. Assam is a must for tourists interested in tea and the lifestyle of its planters.
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