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Tea gardens, Cachar.

Tea gardens, Cachar.

Photographer: Mallitte, Oscar Jean Baptiste

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 913/(33)

Item number: 33

Length: 16.7

Width: 22.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

View of a tea garden with thatched buildings in the distance taken near Cachar in Assam by Oscar Jean Baptiste Mallitte in the 1860s. A number of planters and pickers are positioned on the hillside. A caption below the print gives the location as 'Bosikundi'. In 1833 the East India Company monopoly of the Chinese tea trade came to an end and the British government decided to initiate tea planting in India. Following a Scientific Committee in 1835 Assam, in the north east of the country, was found to be the best place to plant tea. The first planters had to cut their way through impenetrable jungle, cope with disease and the ravages of wild animals, recruit and maintain the morale of workers from distant provinces and learn the technique of tea cultivation and manufacture. Assam continues to be the most important tea growing area of India and produces more than half of the country’s tea.

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