A splendid view of the grand Kanchenjunga is what Badamtam offers, one of the most charming and scenic gardens of all Goodricke Darjeeling Tea Estates. The garden is located which is 17kmn west of Darjeeling in the Lebong Valley and at a height of 305 meters to 1830 metres.
This famous tea garden was planted by Mr Christine Barnes in 1858. It derives its name from a Lepcha word meaning a bamboo water carrier, this garden is supposed to have an ancient history, a heritage of a century and a half.
Badamtam produces some of the best tea in the Darjeeling region. Its first flush is especially renowned and is highly prized. The garden has a mix of China and Assam cultivars. The Chinas being light and delicate, and the Assam hybrids brisk and bright
Another highlight of the garden is a fourteen feet statue of the Buddha sculpted by a well-known artist, it is a care-taker of peace sitting amidst the tea bushes. This magnificent garden is a heaven in disguise. The rivers Rangeet and Majhitar go through the hills and the valleys which are a retreat for many exquisite birds and home to beautiful flowers.
And it does not end here at all.The real reason for Badamtam being the role model for all other estates goes undoubtedly to its progressive workers who do not stop to evolve themselves in a society.
Modern lifestyle, education high standards of living like housing, education, health, sanitation and even entertainment adds up to an individual worker's personal welfare.The key factors which contribute to the supremacy are modern management methods, state-of-the-art, machinery, biodynamic processes, a reliable and dedicated workforce. Every festival is celebrated with great grandeur.Heard of any tea garden having a billiard table for its workers? Badamtam has it.
Some interesting personal stories:
Mr NK Puri and Mr Jivan Pradhan have worked in Badamtam Tea Garden. There is a statue of Buddha which came in several pieces to the garden. It was assembled on the garden and special rituals were performed. Today the Buddha is the spiritual caretaker of the area. It has some breathtaking views of Sikkim, Tiger Hill and Kalimpong.
The serenity of the garden, the Buddha has a calming effect, no wonder the garden produces the best organic tea in Darjeeling.
Asha Didi, the official nanny of the garden has brought up most of the Manager's Children, here is a picture of Didi with my Mom and me. God bless her with good health and for the selfless service. As a child, I remember going to Didi's house to look for her. My brother Aditya was born in Badamtam Tea Estate.
According to Divya, Mr N K Puri's son: "Subroto joined Goodricke in Sankos under my father. I was 16 then and would go to the factory in the evenings to play badminton, I started learning tea tasting at Sankos. My guides were Subroto, Sanjay Ghai, Surya Singh and my father.
Doing a Tea Tasting session in Badamtam with mentors Subroto and my father was the most rewarding experience. My father still remembers the Factory Babu who supervised the labour and manufacture in the factory and met him. It was heart touching to see the glow in their eyes", recalls Divya.
Subroto added another feather to his cap, the First Flush tea in 2017 sold at Rs.12,900 a Kg which is US$ 200 a Kg, we were thrilled to hear about Subroto's achievement. We congratulate Goodricke and their staff for this feat.