“Nagri” is probably a typical British distortion of the words “Nav Gauri” which point to the nine incarnations of Shiva’s wife Parvati. In her incarnations, Parvati appears on Earth in various forms—including Durga and Kali—during the times the human race needs her powers to kill demons and bring peace to our world.

But why is a 150-year-old tea plantation called a “farm”? In the early years when the British had just discovered the beauty and potential of Darjeeling and had begun to smuggle tea bushes from China into the high hills in the Himalayan foothills of Darjeeling, a man named Greenhill came to Darjeeling to start a dairy farm. He chose an area made famous for a fort built by the Gorkha Army during the Sikkim-Nepal war and called it “Nagri Farm.” Soon, of course, Mr. Greenhill joined the bandwagon and converted his farm into a tea garden. But the name stuck. The local population, however, calls the area “Makarjung.”

Nagri Farm Tea Estate sprawls in Southwest Darjeeling in the RungBong Valley. The estate’s gentle slopes range in height from about 2500 to 6400 ft and cover an expansive area of 571.37 hectares tended by more than 900 workers.

True to its name, Nagri Farm is more than a tea garden. In addition to its world-renowned tea of China and Assam hybrids, the estate also grows ginger, cardamom, striking orchids, delectable oranges and more.

Nagri Farm Tea Estate is one of the front-runners among Darjeeling’s tea producing gardens with almost 256 hectares under tea cultivation. Begun as a dairy in 1857, it had already become a tea estate by 1883. Mr Greenhill, the estate’s owner, appointed a British manager for his operation and built a small factory near the area where the Director’s bungalow stands today.

In due course, Mr Greenhill sold the estate to Williamson Magor and the company formally established the Nagri Farm Tea Company Ltd. The factory was moved to its present site, but its wood structure was gutted in two fires in 1912 and 1962. It was then rebuilt in its current cement form.

The Chamong Group bought Nagri Farm Tea Estate in 2001. Thanks to its vast experience in tea since 1836 and the Chairman’s penchant of buying, upgrading and turning around other, loss-making historical Darjeeling tea gardens, the Chamong Group had already garnered an excellent reputation in the area.

One of the Group’s first policy decisions was to turn Nagri Farm into an organic estate and by 2004, the garden was certified as 100% Bio-organic. In addition, the Group renovated the factory with modern machinery capable of enhanced production of both orthodox and green tea. Nagri Farm’s tea has earned a fabulous standing among foreign buyers and the estate’s production of 200 million tonnes per year is not anywhere near the buyers’ demand for its tea.

Keeping the growth needs of Nagri Farm in mind, the Chamong Group is undertaking massive development work at Nagri Farm, with replanting, rejuvenation and infilling of its tea bushes from its own nurseries.

Every cup of Nagri Farm tea brings you Himalayan wildflowers that lend their delicate scent to your tongue: a bouquet made by the gods only for their favorite mortals.