Louis Mandelli was an avid ornithologist and a passionate conservationist. He was also the manager of Kyel Tea Estate (later to become Marybong) in Darjeeling’s Golden Valley in 1876. At first light of dawn, when he met the mist-clad valley and the diamond-glazed snow capped mountains here for the first time, he was forced to describe the sight as “so magical, so mystical!”

Magical and mystical it still remains, sitting like a crown above all the other historic plantations in the Golden Valley. A substantial area of what we today know as Marybong actually used to be a part—named Marybong Division—of the adjoining Lingia Tea Estate. This piece of land came to be added to the original Kyel Tea Estate as a wedding gift for Mary, the daughter of the owners of Lingia Tea Estate and the merged estate was renamed Marybong (literally, “Mary’s place” in Lepcha).

In its 130 year history, the garden we know as Marybong has been a prized possession of a small succession of owners. A Mr Evandeon and his associates owned and managed Marybong for 75 years from 1880 when, in 1955, Duncan Brothers took control until, another half century later, the Chamong Group acquired the ailing garden and restored it to its earlier “magical” glory.

Marybong is located just 12 kilometers away from Ghoom railway station, which is the 2nd highest railway station in the world. Here, pine forests rise straight to the sky as if inspired by the Kanchenjunga, the world’s 3rd highest peak and the ruling mountain in these parts of the Himalayas.

Almost 400 hectares of beauty at 3000 – 6000 feet above sea level with unparalleled views of the entire Kanchenjunga range makes Marybong one of the most picturesque tea gardens in an area where everywhere is exquisite.

Marybong’s annual production of about 200 million tones comes from a total planted area of around 285 hectares. The garden employs almost 700 workers and its high elevation China bushes produce orthodox Darjeeling tea with a unique flowery flavor that remains distinctive through all seasons.

There is magic infused in every cup of Marybong. In every cup you steep, you experience windswept, misty heights and feel the benevolent gaze of the mighty Kanchenjunga at dawn.