A trip to Hampi – the Ideal Yatra

Yatra is a Sanskrit word which means journey. In Indian tradition, the journey itself is as important as the destination. Journeys in India are not as utilitarian as in the west. A true yatra starts with the thought, proceeds to the planning stage, then the reservations and ticketing, followed by the journey itself, the destination and tours, the return yatra and finally recollecting and remembering the full journey.

The Ideal Yatra

In this respect our trip to Hampi in 2015 was an ideal Yatra – a trip where we combined the best of tradition and modernity. Hampi is a UNESCO heritage site and was earlier the capital of the Great Vijaynagara Empire which ruled South India for close to 300 years. This great city was destroyed in the 16th century because of foreign invasions, and fell into ruins. However, a lot of the ruins survive today and is spread over more than 25 square kilometers.

Our journey began when we boarded an Indigo Airlines flight from Kolkata to Bangalore. As an old and loyal customer of Yatra.com (almost a decade old relationship), I booked all my flight tickets through them. I was quite excited about Hampi, because I am a history buff, and the prospects of immersing myself in traditional architecture and landscapes for 3 days was quite exciting. My wife was happy to be on a break in a less crowded destination and my 2 year old son was happy to be flying and kept on repeating “Hampi”.

Bangalore is a 2+ hours flight from Kolkata. The new airport at Bangalore is quite far from the main city and we had to rush to reach the station. We boarded the Hampi Express at night and reached Hospet in the morning where we were put up in the Malligi Resort which came highly recommended. After having good complimentary breakfast at the hotel, we decided to start exploring Hampi.  We had already talked to the hotel about tour guides and they had explained various options. So over the next 3 days we visited some of most the important landmarks like the 16th century Vittala temple, Chandramauleshwara temple, the Malyavanta Raghunathswamy temple, the small and big Ganesha temples, the underground Shiva temple and many other places.

Ideal Yatra - Hampi - Stone Chariot of Vijaya Vittala templeThis is the famous the famous Stone Chariot of Vijaya Vittala temple, Hampi.

Ideal Yatra - Hampi - Stepped TankThe stepped tank of Hampi has some wonderfully intricate and complex designs. As a computer engineer with a background in mathematics, I could easily spot what we call fractals (a self-repeating pattern) and was amazed at the technical superiority of Indian architects of the 15th century.

On the second day, apart from touring ancient temples, we also went to the ancient Virupaksha temple (Shiva temple) near the Hampi Bazaar. My son was very excited on seeing the Temple elephant. After offering our Puja we headed to the Hampi Bazaar. However, we did not like it very much because of the crowd and the narrow lanes. There were a lot of foreigners in Hampi Bazaar, and consequently many of the mementos and gift items were exorbitantly priced.

There was some construction going near the ghat, so we had to walk all the way, but we were glad we did. The serenity and peacefulness of the ghat was truly wonderful, and achieving this sense of oneness with Nature is perhaps the aim of all Yatras.

Ideal Yatra - Hampi - Lakshmi Narasimha TempleLakshmi Narasimha statue

Ideal Yatra - Hampi - Underground Shiva TempleUnderground Shiva Temple

On the last day we visited the amazing Tungabhadra dam, the lighthouse, and the surrounding gardens and also went for a boat ride in the nearby lake. There was a boating race taking place that day and we got stuck in the middle. My son was excited, and we finally discovered that we were better racers than the actual participants. We came first but did not receive any prize.

At the end of our trip, we thanked the staff of Malligi hotel. It was a very nice hotel, with great amenities, wonderful restaurants and very courteous staff. We also discovered to our surprise that quite a few staff members were Bengali.

We came back to Bangalore and then boarded a flight back to Kolkata.
All in all it was a wonderful Yatra – great journey, good food, good people, great enjoyment and a lot of learning.


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Importance of Children catching up on lost growth

Catching up on Lost Growth - Horlicks Growth+

In this post I will talk about the importance of children catching up on lost growth.

Importance of Nutrition

As parents, we always look out for the best available options and choices for our child. However, as working parents with full-fledged careers, it becomes difficult to spend as much time with out child as we may want, although we may try our best. Especially when a child is 3-4 years or older, we wonder whether he is getting enough food at home, whether he is getting the right food and whether he is getting the desired amount of nutrition.

Many a times when parents come home late in the evening, they order in food – perhaps a pizza or Chinese food, which the child also has with the parent. Or sometimes along with his parents the child has burgers and pani-puris, and develops a distaste for milk, traditional food, vegetables and fruits and becomes fussy about his food habits. How does one ensure proper nutrition in such a scenario?

Nutrition is the most important aspect of social and economic development of a country. As per Panigrahi and Das [1]:
Adequate nutrition is necessary in early childhood to ensure healthy growth, proper functioning of organs, strong immune system, and neurological and cognitive development … Undernutrition manifests itself in different forms in children such as wasting (indicator of acute undernutrition) or stunting (indicator of chronic undernutrition) or underweight (combined indicator for both acute and chronic undernutrition).

As per World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, childhood stunting was “a great unrecognised disaster”, adding that countries which failed to invest in early child development would be left behind in an increasingly complex, digital world [3].

Another reason for lagging behind in terms of weight and height could be because of “fussy eating, illness or for several other possible reasons. Growth lost in early childhood requires specialised nutrition in order to catch up, but parents must make sure that adequate nutrition is provided so that catch up growth happens.”[2]

Catching up on Lost Growth

Lost growth leads to psychological and confidence issues in a child, and also to a lot of anxiety for parents. At a global level, as much as $ 177 billion could be lost because of poor child growth, as per a recent scientific study by Harvard University.[3] Therefore it is important that children catch up on lost growth as this will be beneficial across the board at all levels – to the child, his parents and to the nation.

A child who is lagging behind on growth requires more nutrition to catch up on their lost growth. Is there any solution to this problem of loss growth?

Yes there is. It is a solution we all know but in a new and advanced avatar – Horlicks Growth+.

Catching up on Lost Growth Horlicks Growth+

Some of the unique features of Horlicks Growth+ are given below[4]:

  • Horlicks Growth+ offers advanced nutrition for growth and development of children aged 3-9 years.
  • Horlicks Growth+ has been designed and tested by experts, and is clinically proven to increase height & weight in 6 months.
  • Has been developed to optimise growth without causing obesity in children.
  • Contains essential amino acids and immunity boosting nutrients like Vitamin A, C and D.
  • Contains high quality whey protein.
  • Contains essential amino acids Arginine, Glutamic acid, Leucine and Lysine

All these factors ensure that a child does not lag behind in terms of height and weight, and that he catches up on lost growth.


Thank you for reading about the “Importance of Children catching up on lost growth“. Hope you enjoyed it. Do share with your friends and family.


  1. Undernutrition and Its Correlates among Children of 3–9 Years of Age Residing in Slum Areas of Bhubaneswar, India
    Ansuman Panigrahi and Sai Chandan Das
  2. https://growthplus.horlicks.in/growth_and_you.html
  3. http://thewire.in/47206/scientists-claim-177-billion-lost-due-to-poor-child-growth/
  4. https://growthplus.horlicks.in
  5. Featured Image Public Domain No Attribution Required: https://pixabay.com/en/children-studying-togetherness-boys-286239/
  6. Horlicks Growth+ Image from https://growthplus.horlicks.in

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Top green tea brands available in India

Top green tea brands available in India

In this post I will talk about top green tea brands available in India.

Green Tea has become very popular in  India because of its various health benefits which I have talked about earlier:

In this article we will have a look at the top green tea brands available in India and compare them in terms of:

  • Flavor
  • Taste
  • Packaging
  • Price
  • Value for Money

9 Top green tea brands available in India

#9 Typhoo Green Tea, 100 Tea Bags

Typhoo Tea is a part of the Apeejay Surrendra Group, one of India’s largest tea producers with 17 plantations across 50,000 acres in Assam.

Typhoo as a brand is over 100 years old. In 1903 a grocer from Birmingham in England, John Sumner developed and sold a blend of tea in his shop which later became Typhoo. Over the years, Typhoo has developed from being the first brand to sell ready packaged tea, to being a leading tea business that now offers products in every sector of the tea market.

Features of Typhoo Green Tea, 100 Tea Bags

  • Nice and beautiful packaging.
  • Reasonably priced.
  • Each dip enclosed in an extra cover to maintain freshness.
  • Tastes best when drunk lukewarm.

#8 Girnar Detox Green Tea (Desi Kahwa) (36 Teabags)


  • Insert the tea bag into an empty cup.
  • Add 100-120ml of hot water (90 degrees).
  • Infuse tea bag for 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove the tea bag.
  • If desired, add honey/sugar to taste.

Features of Girnar Detox Green Tea (Desi Kahwa) (36 Teabags)

  • Detox Green Tea Bags
  • Unique Flavor of spices – Black Pepper, Ginger, Tulsi, Asafoetida, Clove, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Rock Salt, Citric Acid
  • Full of citrus and ginger flavor and slightly salty
  • Beneficial in Bloated Stomach, Annoying seasonal Cough and Cold.
  • 36 Individually Foil-Wrapped Tea Bags.

#7 Tetley Green Tea, Regular, 100 Tea Bags


  • Green tea should be made at water of 85° c and not with boiling water
  • Keep in the cup for 40 seconds and pull out

Features of Tetley Green Tea, Regular, 100 Tea Bags

  • No bitterness and extremely refreshing.
  • Add honey and lemon for taste.
  • Great value for money.
  • Huge discounts on Amazon.

#6 Lipton Green tea, Tulsi Natural, 10 Tea Bag

Lipton has been a global tea brand for 100+ years. It is a product of Hindustan Unilever.

Features of Lipton Green tea, Tulsi Natura, 10 Tea Bag

  • Great taste of Tulsi (Holy Basil) along with goodness of green tea.
  • Nice packaging
  • Good value for money

Nutrition Facts

  • Serving Size Made from 1.3 gm of tea in 100ml of fresh boiling water
  • Amount Per Serving
    Calories Nil
    % Daily Value*
    Trans Fat     Traces
    Cholesterol Nil
    Minerals Traces
    Total Carbohydrate Traces
    Protein Traces
    Vitamins Traces
    Vitamin C Traces
    Energy Nil
    Fats(g) Traces

#5 Lipton Green Tea Pure and Light Tea Bags, 25 bags

Lipton has been a global tea brand for 100+ years. It isa product of Hindustan Unilever.

Features of Lipton Green Tea Pure and Light Tea Bags, 25 bags

  • Fresh & light taste and all the goodness of pure green tea.
  • Great taste and flavor
  • No artificial flavors or sweeteners added.
  • Taste great with and without sugar also.
  • Very effective for reducing weight.
  • Good value for money.


#4 Lipton Loose Green Tea, 100g

Lipton has been a global tea brand for 100+ years. It is a product of Hindustan Unilever.

Features of Lipton Loose Green Tea, 100g

  • Lipton Green Tea is a zero calorie tea when consumed without milk or sugar.
  • For flavor one may add a little honey and few drops of lemon juice.
  • For aroma, one may also mix with dried rose petals.
  • Generally one shouldn’t boil milk but soak in warm water at 85%.
  • However some people also boil it for 3 minutes, turn off the heat and the cover with a lid for 3 minutes for good taste.
  • Price-effective – cheaper than Tetley.
  • For weight loss one may take warm green tea early morning with out any sugar.
  • Good value for money.

#3 Tetley Green Tea, Ginger Mint & Lemon, 30 Tea Bags

Features of Tetley Green Tea, Ginger Mint & Lemon, 30 Tea Bags

  • Freshness is retained for a long time because each tea bag is separately packed in its own envelope.
  • Fresh mint taste with subtle ginger and lemon flavors.
  • Ginger, mint, and lemon are gentle flavors and don’t overpower the green tea
  • To prepare, put a Tea bag in the mug and pour warm water (not boiling water) into it and wait for at least 2 to 3 minutes for it to soak before you drink the same.

#2 Tetley Green Tea, Lemon & Honey, 30 Tea Bags

Features of Tetley Green Tea, Lemon & Honey, 30 Tea Bags

  • Each tea bag is separately packed in its own envelope to enable retention of freshness.
  • Slightly  bitter taste but flavorful aroma.
  • Should be preferably used without sugar or honey.
  • Optionally one could add 3 drops of lemon juice for zing.
  • Great packing.
  • Good value for money.

#1 Lipton Honey Lemon Green Tea, 25 Tea Bags

Lipton has been a global tea brand for 100+ years. It is a product of Hindustan Unilever.

Features of Lipton Honey Lemon Green Tea, 25 Tea Bags

  • Good packaging – Conveniently packaged in 20 individually wrapped tea bags.
  • Smooth great taste and refreshing aroma.
  • Uplifting when enjoyed hot or refreshing when enjoyed as an iced tea.
  • Has zero calorie’s when consumed without milk and sugar.
  • Reasonable rate.
  • Good value for money.


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Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana Overview

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana Wiki Overview

In this article I will give a detailed overview of Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana.

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) is a government of India scheme which ensures the promotion of organic farming.

Is Organic Food Really Good?

Before going into the details of PKVY Scheme I would like to highlight that organic food in general is popular more for what it does not contain than for what it does – namely synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. And this in itself has a huge effect on your health, and the health of our environment.

Is Organic Food Something New?

Organic food industry is a big and growing industry in the West today, as they are slowly realizing the harmful side-effects of mechanized farming,   strong pesticides/ insecticides and livestock pumped up with steroids and antibiotics. India, a predominantly agricultural country, after having experimented with Western-style farming for 50 years is now going back to its traditional organic farming methods which she has been practicing for millennia. Earlier I have talked about 23 Major Benefits of Organic Diet.

Organic Farming in India

Schemes like Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) helps in developing organic clusters and make available chemical free inputs to farmers.

There has been a 17 fold increase in cultivated area under certified organic farming in last one decade (42,000 ha in 2003-04 to 7.23 lakh ha in 2013-14) – which implies that organic farming in India has grown at 33% per annum CAGR over the last decade.

In 2001, Government of India implemented the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP). This program involves the promotion of organic farming, accreditation program for certification agencies, norms for organic production etc. Nagaland, Mizoram, Sikkim, Uttaranchal, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have been promoting organic farming.

The government has been promoting organic farming through various schemes/ programs under:

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana Wiki

  • Groups of farmers would be encouraged to take up organic farming under Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY).
  • Under this scheme, 50 or more farmers will form a cluster of 50 acre land to use organic farming.
  • In 3 years 10,000 clusters will be formed covering 5.0 lakh acre area under organic farming.
  • Farmers will have no liability for expenditure on certification.
  • Government will give every Rs. 20,000 per acre in three years for seed to harvesting of crops and to transport produce to the market.
  • Rs 300 crore has been allocated for the scheme during the year 2015-16.

India holds the second largest agricultural land in the world [157.35 million hectares]. Schemes like Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) is helping to develop organic clusters and make available chemical free inputs to farmers. Along with Agricultural Technology Management Agency(ATMA) , Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, agriculture sector promises attractive opportunities. Agriculture GDP growth for the current year is estimated at 4.6 per cent compared to 4.0 per cent in the last four years. A sustainable growth of 4 per cent is to be achieved each year. Thus there is huge scope in this sector, especially in organic farming in India.

Organic food is far superior to conventional food. Historically a country like India has always believed that as humans we must respect and revere nature because we are an integral part of it. And keeping this philosophy in mind, our farming methods have always been organic and natural. Unfortunately, some 50 years back to embrace “modern farming techniques” Indian farmers were incentivized to follow Western agricultural practices and methods of mono-cropping, using strong artificial synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. Today we can see the harm it has caused – underground water levels are depleted, water table is contaminated with chemicals from these pesticides, bugs have been more resistant and require stronger chemicals, soil quality has deteriorated and many previously green places have become arid and desert-like.

However we have now realized our mistakes and hopefully we will move to modernized “traditional” agriculture rather than Westernized agriculture, and see how of the damage can be undone. Organic farming is fast picking up pace and some of the positive changes are already visible in some places and communities. Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana is a great initiative in this regard.

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IBEF Report on Agriculture, 2016

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List of Tea Gardens in Darjeeling – A to B

List of Tea Gardens in Darjeeling Starting with A and B

In this post I will share with you a comprehensive list of tea gardens in Darjeeling starting with letter a and b.

Tea connoisseurs can refer to this post as a complete guide to all known tea estates in Darjeeling. According to government data, there are a total of 144 tea gardens in Darjeeling. All the tea gardens are leased out for a term of thirty years as per Form I, Schedule F of the WBEA Act, 1953. A tea garden range in size from anywhere around 300 acres to 1300 acres with hundreds of workers and their families residing within the garden. Thousands of people including children live in a tea garden.

Some basic statistics/ information on land of tea gardens is given below.

  • Total no of Tea Gardens in Darjeeling – 144 of which 87 are listed by Tea Board.
  • Retained Area – 141056.02 Acres
  • Area Under Tea – 74843.82 Acres
  • Area Under Housing, etc. – 12499.98 Acres
  • Unused Area – 16308.93 Acres
  • Area under Forest – 17217.27 Acres
  • Doubtful Area – 20186.02 Acres

Complete List of Tea Gardens in Darjeeling A to B Letters

1. Alloobari Tea Estate

In 1856, Alubari Tea Garden, the first garden in the hills, was set up.  Captain Samler was the first tea planter who started the Alubari tea garden in 1856 under the management of Kurseong and Darjeeling Tea Company.

2. Ambiok (Hillton)

Ambiok/ Hillton is located in the Teesta Tea District.

3. Arya Tea Estate

Website: http://www.aryatea.in/
Contact: 37, Shakespeare Sarani, 4th floor, Kolkata-700017. West Bengal,India

List of Tea Gardens in Darjeeling Arya Tea EstateThe Arya Tea Estate has been in existence since 1885 and is located in the Darjeeling (East) tea district. The plantation spreads across 125 hectares and starting at an altitude of 1820 meters spreads down to 900 meters with average of 1500 meters. Producing 70 tons annually, Arya exports a  range of Black Tea and different varieties of Green Tea. It also has a range of its own jewels- Ruby (Black Tea), Emerald (Green Tea), Pearl (White Tea), Diamond (Chunky Tips) and Topaz (Oolong).Jasmine and Rose Teas.

Some of their popular products are:

  • Arya Organic Peral Tea
  • Arya Organic Ruby Tea
  • Arya Organic Topaz Tea
  • Arya Organic Emerald Tea
  • Arya Organic Diamond Tea
  • Arya Organic Clonal Leaf Tea
  • Arya Organic Green Tea

Arya Tea Estate is also known as Sidrabong. The story goes as follows:

” … a monk who was believed to possess extraordinary spiritual powers chanced upon a hill and was left speechless by its purity. He looked all around and felt a sense of elation, for what he saw was a stunning expanse of beautiful hills being nurtured and caressed by the freshness of the wind.

More importantly, it made him realize that he was about to give shape to what had for long been brewing in his mind- a unique flavor of tea that would have no parallel anywhere else in the world. The monk was already revered for his Chinese seed development skills, and here he was- at gates of Paradise, about to discover a flavor divine. He along with his fellow monks, set about with experimental plantations. They studied in great detail the nature of soil, topography and the weather pattern for years till the right conditions were identified. The hard work yielded rich results as the flavor surpassed their expectations. Hence was born an exceptional brew-inimitable and unmatched till today. The “Sidrabong” gardens were thus established by the monks in the 19th century …”.

4. Avongrove

Website: http://www.avongrovetea.com/
Contact: vongrove Tea – a division of KPL International Ltd. Park Plaza, 71, Park Street South Block, 7th Floor Kolkata 700016

Avongrove is an established, high elevation tea estate in the Darjeeling district of India and is located in the Rungbong Tea district.

They are certified organic by Control Union Certifications for JAS, USDA and EU & India organic. They are also HACCP certified. In 2008, Avongrove was taken over by KPL International Ltd., an international business company marketing chemicals, paper, polymers, and allied products in India and overseas, sourced globally.

The Avongrove tea estate overlooks the Balasun River.

Some of their popular products include:

  • First Flush Leaf Tea
  • Second Flush Muscatel
  • White Tea
  • Silver Blossom
  • Fragranced Pearl Tea
  • Florette
  • Pine Scented Tea Pyramids
  • Deorali
  • Peony Rosette

5. Ambootia Tea Estate

Website: http://www.ambootia.com/
Contact: 20 Coalberth, Hoboken Road, Kolkata 700 088, West Bengal, India

Ambootia is well known for its Darjeeling Tea. The tea garden is operating since 1850s and currently owned by Sanjay Bansal. It is located at north Kurseong area with elevation ranging from 950-1450 meters.

Some of their special features are:
– Bio-dynamic and organic farming to prevent soil erosion
– improved soil fertility which has resulted in a healthy produce.
– The use of natural fertilisers has rid the soil of chemical residues
– Renewable sources of energy such as hydro electricity reduce carbon footprints.

Ambootia has been selected as a model farm for Darjeeling Organic Tea under the United Nations FAO Project. A model estate for Organic and Bio-dynamic System of Agriculture, it is certified by several International Organic Standards. Ambootia tea is certified by the Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International for their social practices that have ensured a better quality of life at the grassroot level.

6. Badamtam Tea Estate

List of Tea Gardens in Darjeeling Badamtam GoodrickeImage Courtesy: http://www.goodricke.com/

The Badamtam Tea Estate is owned by Goodricke Group Limited. Badamtam produces excellent and delightful teas. Specially renowned, are the first flush teas, which are highly prized abroad–the Chinas being light and delicate, and the Assam hybrids brisk and bright.

Badamtam Tea Estate is located in the Lebong Valley about 17 kilometers west of the Darjeeling town [Darjeeling West Tea District]. After the end of the two estates viz., Bada Ging Tea Estate and Chhota Ging Tea Estate, starts the area of Badamtam tea estate and goes till the Majhi Tar basin in Sikkim. The estate is situated at an altitude ranging between 305 metres to 1830 metres above sea level.

One of the most scenic of all Goodricke estates, Badamtam presents a magnificent view of the Kanchenjunga. A serene and majestic, fourteen feet high bronze statue of the Buddha, sculpted by a renowned artist, sits like a guardian of peace over the vistas of tea bushes.


  • FSSC 22000 Certified
  • Rainforest Alliance Certified
  • Organic Certified
  • Fair Trade Certified
  • UTZ Certified
  • ETP Certified

7. Barnesbeg

Contact: http://www.goodricke.com/

Barnesbeg tea garden belonging to Goodricke Group Ltd. Is situated 17Km away west of Darjeeling. The nearest Railway station is New Jalpaiguri which is 90 Km from the garden and the Airport is Bagdogra 95Km from the garden.

This picturesque garden facing the majestic peaks of Kanchenjunga. The Garden stretches from 780 feet to 3200 feet above sea level and enjoys a balmy, cool weather, with the Little Rangeet river gushing down the valley.

This garden was planted by Christine Barnes in the year between 1877. The name “Barnesbeg” was probably derived from Barnes’ bagh or garden.

A dual manufacturing process allows the garden to make both black and green teas. Barnesbeg is Certified Bio –Organic Garden w.e.f April 2010.


  • FSSC 22000 Certified
  • Rainforest Alliance Certified
  • Organic Certified
  • Fair Trade Certified
  • UTZ Certified
  • ETP Certified

8. Bannockburn

Website: http://www.chamong.com/
Contact: Chamong Tee Exports Pvt. Ltd. 2, N. C. Dutta Sarani, Sagar Estate 5th Floor, Unit 1 Kolkata – 700 001, India

Bannockburn Tea Estate is located in the West Darjeeling Valley. It has a planted area of 143 hectares of a total of around 300 hectares of land and produces 90,000 kgs of tea. The estate employs around 500 workers and is engaged in the process of conversion to organic cultivation.

It is owned by the Chamong group. Chamong Group is the largest producer of premium organic Darjeeling tea. Chamong Organic Tea is certified free from harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Chamong tea gardens have been inspected by SGS India and have been certified with HACCP standards.

9. Balasun

Website: http://jayshreetea.in/tea-gardens/darjeeling/balasun/
Contact: “Industry House”, (15th Floor) 10, Camac Street, Kolkata-700 017.

The Balasusn Tea Garden is managed by Jayshree Tea & Industries Ltd from 2005. Before the Jayshree group took over in the year 2005, it belonged to Darjeeling Consolidated Tea Company Limited, which in turn became the owner of this tea estate in the year 1963.

Balasun Tea Estate is located at about 65­70kms from Bagdogra Airport, under Kurseong Sub division of Darjeeling Hill district. The Balasun Tea estate is spread across rolling hills with moderately gentle slope and a wide open valley with Balasun river flowing at the bottom part of the garden. panoramic views. The garden altitude varies from 365 metres to 1375 metres above MSL and temperature ranges between 7 degree winter to maximum of 30 degree in summer.

The estate has Fair Trade certification from FLO-CERT, HACCP certified by TUV-NORD, UTZ certified by IMO and SAN/ Rainforest Allaince certification from IMO.


  • Tea cultivation : 181.38 Hectare
  • Gross yield : 100 Tons per year

Types of Tea

  • Conventional Black Tea
  • Darjeeling Clonal Tea
  • China wonder

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Organic Tomatoes vs Conventional

In this post, I will share with you 27 Organic tomatoes vs Conventional Facts. Earlier I have talked about 17 Amazing Facts about Organic Tomatoes.

Organic tomatoes are grown naturally using fertilization and pest management techniques that do not use artificial or synthetic chemicals. Conventional tomatoes are however grown using modern farming techniques – artificial fertilizers, chemicals, herbicides, synthetic pesticides and mechanized processes.

27 Organic tomatoes vs Conventional Facts

# Aspect Conventional Tomatoes Organic Tomatoes
1 Pesticide Conventional Tomatoes are one of the highest pesticide sprayed vegetables in the world. Organic tomatoes have very low pesticide residue.
2 Pesticide Synthetic pesticides are a significant health risk and may cause birth defects, nervous system damage, hormone disruptions, respiratory disorders and various types of cancers. With organic toamtoes, the chances of these health problems are automatically reduced.
3 Pesticide Pesticides have been shown to reduce biodiversity, destroy bird habitats and threaten endangered species.
4 Pesticide Pesticides are a major cause of water pollution.
5 Artificial Fertilizer Conventional Tomato farming relies heavily upon strong artificial fertilizers. Organic tomatoes do not use artificial fertilizers.
6 Artificial Fertilizer Synthetic fertilizers have been shown to play a significant role in contaminating the environment. Organic tomato farming is environment friendly.
7 Artificial Fertilizer Another negative impact of synthetic fertilizer is that most of the nitrogen in the fertilizers is unused and seeps into waterways where it creates algae blooms, which absorb oxygen from the water and suffocate fish and other aquatic life. Organic tomato farming ensures that aquatic life is not impacted.
8 Soil Health Studies have shown that conventional farming leading to deterioration a soil quality as well as desertification in the worst case. Organic tomatoes agriculture sustains the health of soils, as strong chemicals are not used.
9 Soil Health Heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers in conventional tomato farming depletes the land and makes it less arable. Organic tomato cultivation uses a number of techniques to ensure that this does not happen.
10 Soil Health The use of fertilizers hardens the soil and makes it difficult to grow crops without using stringer chemicals. This leads to a vicious cycle which damages the crop, the environment and the local Eco-system.
11 Size Conventional tomatoes are 70% bigger in size than organic tomatoes.
12 Vitamin C Studies have shown that organic tomatoes have 57% more Vitamin C.
13 Anti-oxidants Organic fruits in general contain 40% more antioxidants
14 Anti-oxidants Organic tomatoes have double the concentration of two specific types of flavonoids – quercetin and kaempferol – which are known to have potent antioxidant properties.
15 Beneficial Minerals Organic fruits are said to have more beneficial minerals.
16 Flavonoids Organic tomatoes have 2x more phenolic compounds such as flavonoids which help the body help the body fight oxidative stress – a form of chemical damage linked to chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer and dementia
17 Lycopene Found in higher concentration in organic tomatoes, the flavonoid lycopene is known to slow tumor growth.
18 Lycopene Lycopene has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of stroke
19 Lycopene Lycopene has also been shown to reduce the risk of prostrate cancer.
20 Cooked Tomatoes When organic tomatoes are cooked the bio-availability of lycopene actually increases rather than decreases as in other raw foods, and hence cooked organic tomatoes are actually more nutritious and healthier.
21 Cooked Tomatoes Overall antioxidant levels actually increase by 30% when organic tomatoes are cooked.
22 GMO Organic tomatoes are GMO free and hence contains no unnatural or artificial genetic modifications.
23 Economic Benefit Since organic tomatoes are sourced locally, the money stays within the community.
24 Economic Benefit Middle-men and large corporations eat up the profits of local farmers. The organic farmer stands to gain monetarily because he can sell his tomatoes directly to the market without needing middle-men or multiple aggregators.
25 Environmental Benefit There is practically no long-distance transportation of organic tomatoes, hence there is also no carbon emission.
26 Environmental Benefit Organic farming ensures that the tomato plants stay healthy and natural, and this ensures protection of environment.
27 Overall Benefit Holistic benefits of organic tomatoes consumption include improved overall health of families and communities and better overall health because of use of organic produce, ensures lower medical costs and higher prosperity.


For centuries we in India we have been growing nutritious food in healthy soil with no artificial pesticides and chemicals. Yet to become modern, India started introducing large scale mechanized farming, artificial fertilizers, synthetic pesticides and chemicals since the 1960’s! We were copying America. The result has not been good – farm productivity has actually come down and farm produce has become harmful because of heavier concentration of these strong chemicals. Today the world is moving back to organic cultivation methods, and Indian farming is once again going back to its organic roots.

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