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Lipton's Seat and Dambatenne Tea Plantation in Sri Lanka

Experience the breathtaking view from Lipton's Seat and explore the impressive Dambatenne Tea Plantation in Sri Lanka's central highlands. Learn about the history of tea in Sri Lanka and plan your own visit to the Lipton Tea Plantation using the tips and recommendations included in this comprehensive guide.


Lipton's Seat and Dambatenne Tea Plantation in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's central highlands have the perfect climate and temperatures to grow some of the best tea in the world. Tea production in Sri Lanka began in the 1800s under British rule, when Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, was a British colony. Since then, tea production continues today with little change, sticking to the traditional methods. The primary type of tea from Sri Lanka is orthodox black tea, though you can also find green and variety of speciality teas in smaller amounts. Orthodox tea refers to loose-leaf tea produced using traditional methods, including plucking, withering, rolling, oxidation/fermentation, and drying. Today, Ceylon Tea stands as the world's foremost tea brand and the most renowned product of Sri Lanka.



Lipton's Seat and Dambatenne Tea Plantation in Sri Lanka

Lipton's Seat and Dambatenne Tea Plantation in Sri Lanka
The view from Lipton's Seat viewpoint

Lipton Tea Plantation

Lipton Tea Plantation, known as The Dambatenne Tea Factory was started by Thomas Lipton in 1890 when he began building his tea empire in Sri Lanka, and this is the factory that manufactures his famous Lipton Ceylon black tea. Thomas Lipton revolutionised the accessibility of tea to a common consumer, a marketing breakthrough at that time, which put Sri Lanka on the tea map.


Lipton's Seat Viewpoint

Offering 360-degree panoramic views from over 1800 meters, Lipton's Seat is said to be Thomas Lipton's favorite spot, where he would sit with a cup of tea in hand and proudly gaze over his estate. The views from this vantage point are truly impressive, as you can see tea bushes stretching over the rolling hills to the distant horizon. Lipton's Seat is especially beautiful during the morning hours, when you can witness the gentle mist swirling around the tea hills while the warm sun rays illuminate the plantation. Later in the day, the fog may rise and obscure the view, reducing visibility, so visiting Lipton's Seat at sunrise is undoubtedly the best choice.


Lipton's Seat and Dambatenne Tea Plantation in Sri Lanka

Lipton's Seat and Dambatenne Tea Plantation in Sri Lanka

Lipton's Seat and Dambatenne Tea Plantation in Sri Lanka

How to get to Lipton's Seat and Dambatenne Tea Plantation in Sri Lanka

Lipton's Seat is reachable by car or Tuk-Tuk, but there is no public transportation directly to the viewpoint. Most visitors travel to Lipton's Seat and Dambatenne Tea Plantation from the nearest town, Haputale, which takes about 1 hour driving uphill along the winding roads of the plantation. When we visited Dambatenne Tea Plantation from Ella, it took us around 2 hours to reach there by hiring a Tuk-Tuk from our guest house, which cost us 9000 rupees and seemed like a reasonable price.


Lipton's Seat and Dambatenne Tea Plantation in Sri Lanka

Lipton's Seat and Dambatenne Tea Plantation in Sri Lanka

Hiking around the Dambatenne Tea Plantation in Sri Lanka

One of the most enjoyable ways to reach Lipton's Seat is by hiking through the winding roads of the tea plantation. If you're a tea enthusiast, you'll surely appreciate taking a tour of the Dambatenne tea factory, where you can see the entire manufacturing process of Ceylon black tea, from the collection of the tea leaves to the oxidation process and packaging. You can also join a hike with a local guide through the tea plantation and learn about the history of tea in Sri Lanka. As photographers, we were disappointed to find out that photographing inside the factory is strictly prohibited. Therefore, we decided to skip it and instead walk back from the viewpoint, exploring all the points of interest along the way and meeting the tea harvesters of Dambatenne Tea Plantation.



Lipton's Seat and Dambatenne Tea Plantation in Sri Lanka

Lipton's Seat and Dambatenne Tea Plantation in Sri Lanka

Lipton's Seat and Dambatenne Tea Plantation in Sri Lanka

Meeting the Lipton Tea Harvesters of Dambatenne Tea Plantation

As we made our way down, we began to see the locals at Dambatenne Tea Plantation getting ready to start their day. The tea harvesters head out to pick the tea leaves at 8 am in the morning, with a short break every 2 hours until 4 pm. They typically gather around 20 kilograms of tea leaves per day. The tea leaves at Dambatenne Tea Plantation are still picked using traditional methods - by hand, unlike some of the more modern tea plantations we had seen before, which was very interesting to witness. The tea harvesters carry a bag over their heads in which they collect all the tea leaves. One bag can weigh even over 3 kilograms. I lifted one to try how heavy it is, to understand how difficult it must be to carry it throughout the whole day. During the breaks, the tea leaves are brought together, sorted, and weighed before the women return to their posts to continue working.


The workers of Dambatenne Tea Plantation greeted us as they saw us walking by, and we had a chance to talk with them about their work. They were very curious about where we were from and if we were enjoying our visit to Sri Lanka. This friendly atmosphere made our day and resulted in taking some of our favorite photographs from this trip.



See our other articles about Sri Lanka

In April 2024, we spent a full month exploring all the natural and cultural sights of Sri Lanka. Staying for such a long time enabled us to gain a deeper understanding of local life and discover many popular as well as overlooked places that Sri Lanka has to offer. Check out our other articles about Sri Lanka and plan your own trip using all the tips and recommendations we've gathered on our blog.


1 Comment


Guest
Apr 24

Love the photos guys!!! What an experience 🤩👏🏼👏🏼

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