The tea garden Tonganagaon
‚Tongana‘ is the Assamese expression for an axe and ‚gaon‘ means village. According to legend God Parashurama, who is pictured with an axe, once visited this place in the far east of Assam. The adjoining state of Arunachal Pradesh with its Himalyan slopes is nearby as well as the mighty river Brahmaputra. The tea garden Tonganagaon was established in 1927 and since 2008 belongs to the Chamong group of the Lohia family. They run tea estates in sixth generation and have gardens in Darjeeling as well as in Assam.
Ashok Lohia, the chairman once said of himself that tea runs in his veins instead of blood. His passion for tea helps him to meet the challenges of turning sick properties into flourishing gardens. He bought Tonganagaon when the 1240 hectares property was in a neglected and desolate condition. The factory resembled a ruin and the area under tea cultivation had come down to half its original size. Ashok Lohia willingly took the responsibility to look after 6000 people living on the estate and the 1400 people workforce. One of the first things he did was implementing organic farming and rejuvenating the areal by replacing old tea bushes with new plants. Today 538 hectares are under tea cultivation. A new and modern tea factory was build to meet the requirements of international buyers. To improve the infrastructure on the estate is a continuous process that encompasses modernization of houses, providing gas for cooking, enlarging the hospital, building new schools and streets…it will take years to accomplish all that is on the list of goals.
In a very short time Tonganagaon has become a sought after Assam Tea manufactured in the orthodox way. Golden tips among dark leaves are the typical beauty of Tonganagaon’s Second Flush. The taste is full and mellow with a malty nuance. You can enjoy the tea in its purity but also add a dash of milk or have it the East Frisian way with cream and rock sugar.