Which District of Uttarakhand is known for its tea gardens? The Top Tea Producing Districts of Uttarakhand, India

which district of uttarakhand is known for its tea gardens?

Kusum Tewari
Kusum Tewari 11 Min Read

Uttarakhand, nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, is emerging as one of the leading tea producing states in India. With its pristine hills, valleys and rivers, cool climate, and soil conditions, Uttarakhand provides the ideal environment for growing high quality tea.

The history of tea cultivation in Uttarakhand goes back to the British era when the first tea gardens were established in the Kumaon and Garhwal regions in the mid-19th century. Today, there are several districts across Uttarakhand that have flourishing tea estates producing orthodox, CTC and organic variants of tea.

In this comprehensive guide, we explore the top tea producing districts of Uttarakhand along with the famous gardens and estates that give the state global recognition.

Brief History of Tea Plantations in Uttarakhand

The British were the first to introduce tea farming in Uttarakhand in the 1850s when they established experimental plantations across the hill regions.

One of the first tea estates was set up near Almora in 1856. But the tea cultivation picked up pace in Kumaon region under the British administration in the coming decades.

Berinag in Pithoragarh district became the first major center of tea production, known for its mild flavor and excellent tea quality. The Berinag tea gardens established by the British flourished and produced the famous flavourful brew that was exported overseas.

Post-independence, the tea gardens were neglected due to ownership issues. But in the past two decades, there is resurgence in Uttarakhand’s tea sector with major expansion of area under tea cultivation.

The Uttarakhand Tea Development Board was established to promote, expand and regulate tea farming in the state. It has played an instrumental role in reviving old tea plantations and establishing new gardens across Uttarakhand.

Leading Tea Producing Districts of Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand now has around 10,000 hectares of land under tea cultivation spread across its districts of Almora, Nainital, Champawat, Bageshwar, Pithoragarh, Dehradun, and Pauri Garhwal.

Here are the major tea producing districts of Uttarakhand along with their famous tea estates:

1. Champawat

Champawat district is home to the largest organic tea gardens in the entire Himalayan region spanning 235 hectares of area.

The lush tea plantations located just 8 km from Champawat town were established around 150 years ago during the British era.

The iconic Champawat Tea Gardens employ more than 400 tea estate workers and produce orthodox, CTC as well as organic variants like white, green and black tea.

All the tea produced here is marketed under the Uttarakhand Tea brand name and is also exported overseas.

Champawat’s tea gardens are promoted by the Tea Board for tea tourism with experiences like factory tours, tea plucking, tea tasting and hikes offered to visitors.

The ideal climate combined with high altitude of Champawat provides the perfect terroir for growing tea. The pristine environment and hills make for stunning views of the tea estates here.

2. Berinag

The Berinag Valley located in Pithoragarh district is renowned as one of the first regions where tea was cultivated during the British rule.

The lush Berinag tea gardens dating back to the 1870s are famous for producing flavorful aromatic teas with excellent liquor quality.

Spread across the hilly terrain, the Berinag tea estate is blessed with fertile low-PH acidic soil, adequate rainfall and pleasant climate that results in superior tea.

The orthodox Berinag black tea was highly prized in London tea auctions during the British era and is still in great demand across Europe for its taste and aroma.

Tea production suffered after independence but is now being revived with tea exports resumed to countries like Germany, Australia and United States.

Visitors can tour the historic Berinag tea factory and wander the picturesque tea gardens with the Himalayas in the backdrop.

3. Nainital

The Nainital district is another major tea producing region with organic estates located in pristine surroundings.

The 80-year old Ghorakhal Tea Estate near Nainital is renowned for its exclusive orthodox tea including green and black tea varieties.

The high elevation of over 1,500 meters results in distinct flavour as the tea bushes experience later bud formation post winters.

Nainital also has tea factories at Kausani and Bhimtal along with small-scale tea gardens that employ local residents. The orthodox processing and organic practices result in pure unblended teas.

Another must-visit estate is the Mukteshwar Tea Estate situated at 7,500 feet above sea level where aromatic Dhara Green Tea is produced in a picturesque setting.

4. Bageshwar

The Bageshwar district has seen major expansion of tea farming in recent years with new plantations being established.

The remote Garur valley located deep in Kumaon hills is emerging as a new hub of tea cultivation in Bageshwar. The CTC tea grown here will be sold under the Garur Golden tea brand.

Another prime area is the Kapkot region where orthodox tea is grown across 78 hectares of land near the Someshwar river. The region’s cool climate and altitude makes for an ideal tea growing environment.

5. Almora

Almora district has a long legacy in Uttarakhand’s tea production history since the first British plantations were setup here.

Some of the oldest tea estates are located in and around Almora city which is blessed with adequate rainfall, fertile soil and moderate temperature ideal for tea cultivation.

The Dhauladevi tea estate located in the hills of Almora is spread across 42 hectares of land. The CTC tea grown here is marketed as quality Hyson tea brand.

Binsar tea estate located amidst dense Deodar forests is another historical garden known for its excellent orthodox tea production.

Revival of Uttarakhand’s Tea Sector

The tea farming industry in Uttarakhand has seen resurgence in the past decade with several initiatives by the state government and Tea Board to boost productivity and quality.

Here are some of the factors that have revived the tea sector in Uttarakhand:

  • Area expansion – Over 3,500 hectares of new tea gardens have been established across Uttarakhand districts under various government schemes.
  • New nurseries – High quality tea saplings are being cultivated in nurseries set up by the Tea Board to aid new plantations.
  • Organic certification – Many estates have obtained organic certification resulting in high demand and better prices.
  • Training programs – Workshops on latest techniques of tea cultivation and processing are being organized.
  • Tea tourism promotion – Tea estates are collaborating with travel companies to boost tea tourism.
  • Modernization of factories – Investments have been made to upgrade old tea factories with modern machines.
  • Specialty tea focus – Estates are producing specialty teas like green, orthodox, white tea for niche markets.

The initiatives have helped boost Uttarakhand’s tea output which has tripled over the past decade and is fast catching up with the established tea regions.

Key Facts About Uttarakhand Tea Sector

  • Uttarakhand accounts for nearly 5% of India’s tea production with potential for major growth in future.
  • Around 200 tea estates are located across various districts of Uttarakhand.
  • Main tea varieties grown are CTC, Orthodox (Black), Green and White tea.
  • Prominent tea companies in Uttarakhand include Himalaya Tea Company, Mist Valley Tea Company, Tiger Hill Tea etc.
  • Small tea growers account for over 60% of Uttarakhand’s tea production.
  • Average tea productivity is around 1,500 kgs per hectare.
  • Around 50,000 people are employed in Uttarakhand’s tea industry.
  • Tea tourism is being actively promoted across tea regions.

Prospects of Tea Tourism in Uttarakhand

The stunning landscapes dotted with lush green tea plantations offer immense scope for promotion of tea tourism in Uttarakhand.

Here are some of the ways tea tourism can be boosted across the state:

  • Tea estate tours – Guided tours of estates along with tea plucking and processing factory visits.
  • Tea tasting – Sampling different varieties of tea over conversations with tea planters.
  • Tea trails – Exploring tea regions on cycle, bike or on foot along marked trails.
  • Tea heritage – Showcasing the vintage colonial bungalows, artifacts and rich history of tea plantations.
  • Tea cafes – Cafes at estates serving their freshly produced teas along with light meals.
  • Tea festivals – Organizing annual tea festivals and fairs showcasing varieties produced in the state.
  • Homestays – Promoting tea estate homestays for an immersive experience.
  • Tea therapies – Providing rejuvenating spa therapies using green tea.

This will spur local economic development along with providing travelers an authentic insight into Uttarakhand’s tea culture and heritage.


The districts of Champawat, Pithoragarh, Nainital, Almora, Bageshwar and others have firmly established Uttarakhand on the tea map of India.

The state now produces a wide range of orthodox teas, specialty teas, organic teas and popular mass market brands. Uttarakhand’s pristine hills and valleys provide the ideal terroir for growing quality tea.

As the revival gathers steam, Uttarakhand Tea is reaching domestic and international markets. At the same time, tea estates are opening doors to tourism, offering immersive experiences to travelers.

The future looks promising for the fledgling Uttarakhand tea industry as it continues on the trajectory of growth and expansion into new areas. The scenic tea country landscapes along with focus on quality and sustainability make Uttarakhand’s teas truly unique.

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