Ilame Sahar, Chiyabari Ramro, Tyahi Paryo Ghar Hamro’. It is a line of a song which popularised the relation between Ilam and tea garden. The song not only celebrates tea estates but also love. Ilam is known for its swathes of lush tea gardens that add to its natural beauty.
Everyone is curious about the beauty of tea estates in Ilam. But the tea estate run by the government is so poor that it contradicts the song now. Although other tea estates are not best in the district, the state of the government-run tea estate at district headquarters Ilam is saddening.
One is greeted with depleting shrubs of tea with no trimming, weeding nor new cultivation.
The first tea estate of the country carrying a significant history is diminishing in value. It was established in 1863 after Rana Prime Minister Junga Bahadur Rana brought tea saplings from China and planted them here to make the garden. The first tea factory in the country is also here.
A local historian and senior citizen said the then badahakim (governor) of Ilam Gajraj Singh Thapa planted the tea for the first time in Nepal. The species of tea cultivated here is regarded as rare…