Selected Article


A Historical Background of Tea in Assam


Gadapani Sarma


Tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world. Tea in India is so popular that liking for it has reached the point of adoration. The best quality tea in India pours chiefly from Assam. It was way back in 1823 that Robert Bruce . a merchant and soldier, first spotted tea plant in Assam and this eventually led to East-India company developing a trade in it. A visit from Dr. Wallich to Assam in 1834 saw the formation of the Assam Company in England. Among the Indians, it was, however, Maniram Dewan, an Assamese noble man, who initiated planting tea leading many others, mostly Assamese, to follow in his footsteps. After independence, as the scenario change, Indian Companies like-Birla Tata entered the fray to become biggest producers of the coveted “Assam Tea”. The picture, however, is not completely rosy as the tea plantation, tea-estate have been severely affected in recent years by the militancy in the state. Dwindling economic condition, stiff competition in international market and recurrent slumps have not helped the cause either. This paper is an earnest effort to highlight the historical background of the development of tea industry of Assam.