Soom—the Lepcha word for triangle—is a triangular tea garden in the lap of the Greater Himalayas, where Shiva meditates. The estate is surrounded by the Little Rangeet—a mountain river—and three other tea estates.

A Captain J. Jerden was the first planter of Soom in 1860. According to the locals, the first factory at Soom was constructed by Chinese laborers. Afterwards, the British multinational, Williamson Magor, owned the garden for more than a century. The Chamong Group took control of the dying historical estate in 2001 and gave it a new lease of life.

Soom occupies a total of 535 hectares of scenic land in West Darjeeling. Of this, 237 hectares are planted with the help of 692 permanent workers and many more contract workers. Soom is home to about 7000 people and is one of the most densely populated areas of the Darjeeling hill regions. Most of Soom’s residents are either Nepalese, like the Chettri, Brahman, Mukhia or from the Tibetan Buddhist tribes like the Rai, Limboo, Lepcha, Tamang etc.

Of these, only 2-3% (about 200 people) are self employed or in Government or Private employment. The rest of the earning inhabitants of Soom secure their livelihoods either directly or indirectly from the tea garden. The workers villages in the three divisions of Soom have about 500 houses provided by the Chamong Group and 150 private houses.

There is one local language primary school in each of Soom’s three divisions and also an upscale primary school where the medium of instruction is English. In addition, a high school is conveniently situated just 2 kilometers from the garden.

After taking control of Soom, the Chamong Group has taken several steps to improve the socio-economic lives of Sooms inhabitants. The Group runs an 8 bed hospital and has a visiting Doctor and trained medical staff to take care of the daily health needs of Soom’s workers. Drinking water, new roads, irrigation, awareness camps on health, hygiene are just some of the proactive programs that are bettering the lives of Soom’s populace.

Like the other Chamong Group estates, Soom is also in the process of becoming fully bio-organic and its workers are regularly given instruction on the latest techniques on improving quality, production and productivity as well as maintaining SQF and IMO norms in the garden.

Planted with pride, nurtured with care, raised with happiness and picked in song, Soom’s tender tea is the color and flavor of contentment in your cup.