Makaibari Tea Estate

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Tea Lounge in Kurseong
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About this activity

Makaibari Tea Estate, nestled in the picturesque Kurseong subdivision of Darjeeling district, West Bengal, India, stands as a living testament to the rich heritage of tea cultivation. Established in 1852, it boasts the distinction of being one of the oldest tea estates in Darjeeling, celebrated for its commitment to organic and biodynamic farming practices.

The historic tea factory at Makaibari, commissioned in 1859, marked the inception of tea processing in the Darjeeling district. The estate spans 120 hectares, where a six-tier permaculture system harmoniously coexists with the lush landscape. This sustainable approach to farming not only underscores Makaibari’s commitment to environmental stewardship but also contributes to the unique flavour and exceptional quality of its teas. Among these, the Moonlight Silver Tip tea from Makaibari has earned global renown as one of the most expensive teas, a testament to the estate’s dedication to producing teas of unparalleled distinction.

Beyond its contributions to the world of tea, Makaibari is a sought-after tourist destination, inviting visitors to delve into the intricate art of tea-making against the backdrop of the breathtaking Darjeeling hills.


  • Makaibari, established in 1852, is one of Darjeeling's oldest tea estates and holds the distinction of being the world's first biodynamic tea estate.
  • Immerse in tea plucking, manufacturing, and tasting guided by our tea master during Full Moon harvesting, offering an unforgettable journey into the world of tea.
  • Explore forest treks like Verneli and Butterfly Trails, engage in bird watching, and experience outdoor camping. Meditate in our sanctuary for a tranquil escape.
  • Participate in local farm life with activities like animal husbandry, cow milking, and biogas production during community festivals, fostering a deeper connection with the land.
  • Embark on a local tour, culminating in the breathtaking spectacle of a sunset at Tiger Hill, enhancing your Makaibari experience with the beauty of the Darjeeling hills.
  • Home to the renowned Moonlight Silver Tip tea, Makaibari's teas have earned global recognition, with this particular variant standing out as one of the most expensive teas worldwide.

Frequently asked questions

Makaibari Tea Estate is nestled in the Ghoom area of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India. Surrounded by lush greenery and panoramic Himalayan vistas, it's a haven for tea lovers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Established in 1891 by the British, Makaibari Tea Estate boasts a rich heritage. It has witnessed generations of tea planters and played a significant role in shaping Darjeeling's tea industry. The estate's name means "Monkey Land" in Nepali, hinting at the playful primates that once inhabited the area.

Makaibari Tea Estate specializes in Darjeeling's famed black teas, known for their delicate muscatel flavor and unique floral aroma. Some of their popular varieties include:

  • First Flush: Harvested in March-April, these teas are light and fragrant, with a subtle muscatel taste.
  • Second Flush: Picked in May-June, these teas are slightly bolder and more robust, with a pronounced muscatel character.
  • Autumn Flush: Hand-plucked in November, these teas are full-bodied and malty, with a hint of spice.

Absolutely! Makaibari Tea Estate welcomes visitors to experience the magic of Darjeeling tea firsthand. They offer various guided tours, including:

  • Factory Tour: Witness the tea-making process, from plucking leaves to sorting, drying, and packaging.
  • Estate Walk: Immerse yourself in the verdant beauty of the tea gardens and learn about the different tea varietals.
  • Tea Tasting: Sample Makaibari's exquisite teas and discover the nuances of flavor and aroma.

The estate is open for tours from Monday to Saturday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.Tour fees vary depending on the type of tour chosen and may include additional experiences like tea tasting. It's best to contact the estate directly for current pricing and booking information.

Darjeeling offers a plethora of activities beyond exploring tea gardens. You can:

  • Take a ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and Everest Museum.
  • Explore the bustling Batasia Loop, a scenic railway loop offering breathtaking views.
  • Hike to Tiger Hill for a mesmerizing sunrise over the Himalayas.

The ideal time to visit Darjeeling and Makaibari Tea Estate depends on your preferences:

  • March-May (Spring): Enjoy pleasant weather, stunning scenery, and the first flush harvest.
  • September-November (Autumn): Experience crisp mountain air, vibrant fall foliage, and the autumn flush harvest.
  • December-February (Winter): Witness occasional snowfall, cozy up by fireplaces, and indulge in festive cheer.

  1. By Air:
    • The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport.
    • From the airport, hire a taxi or use public transportation to reach Kurseong, where Makaibari is situated.
  2. By Train:
    • The nearest major railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) or Siliguri Junction.
    • From there, take a taxi or use local transport to reach Kurseong.
  3. By Road:
    • Kurseong is well-connected by road. You can hire a taxi or take a bus from nearby towns like Siliguri or Darjeeling.
  4. Local Transport:
    • Once in Kurseong, local taxis can take you to Makaibari Tea Estate.
Ensure to check the current transportation options and conditions, as they may vary. It's advisable to confirm the route and transportation details before your journey.

Makaibari Tea Estate occasionally hosts special events and festivals, such as tea tastings, workshops, and cultural performances. It's worth checking their website or contacting them directly for upcoming events.With its rich heritage, stunning scenery, and exquisite teas, Makaibari Tea Estate promises an unforgettable experience in the heart of Darjeeling.

The Makaibari Tea Estate ownership situation has been dynamic over the years, so the answer depends on the specific timeframe you're interested in. Here's a breakdown of the ownership history:1859 - 2014: The Makaibari Tea Estate was owned and managed by the Banerjee family for four generations. Rajah Banerjee (originally Swaraj Kumar Banerjee) was the fourth-generation planter and a pioneer in sustainable and organic tea production.2014 - 2017: While Rajah Banerjee remained Chairman of the company, the Luxmi Group, a Kolkata-based company with holdings in tea estates across India and Africa, acquired a majority stake in Makaibari in 2014.2017 - Present: In 2017, Rajah Banerjee and the Luxmi Group had disagreements about management practices, leading to Rajah's departure from the estate. Rudra Chatterjee, Chairman of the Luxmi Group, currently oversees Makaibari Tea Estate operations.Therefore, depending on the period you're interested in:

  • 2014 and before: Rajah Banerjee was the primary owner and driving force behind Makaibari's organic and sustainable practices.
  • After 2017: The Luxmi Group owns and manages Makaibari Tea Estate, with Rudra Chatterjee as the chairman.
I hope this clarifies the ownership picture of Makaibari Tea Estate for you!

Activity's Location

Tea Lounge in Kurseong


Very Good
(3 Reviews)
Very Good
3 reviews on this Activity - Showing 1 to 3
Close up view of the tea leaves of Makaibari tea estate, Darjeeling.
07/06/2024 .AzyZtdKXr2w
    Close up view of the tea leaves of Makaibari tea estate, Darjeeling.
    makai bari is one of the best tea garden in darjeeling, we visited many tea gardens around darjeeling and every tea garden has its unique landscape
    Close up view of the tea leaves of Makaibari tea estate, Darjeeling.
    Dinesh Shrestha
    Visiting Makaibari Tea Estate was a highlight of my Darjeeling trip. The guided tour through lush tea fields, hands-on tea plucking, and the warm cup of tea while gazing at the Himalayas made it an unforgettable experience. A must-visit for tea enthusiasts and nature lovers!

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