Preserving The Heritage of Ceylon Tea
by,Indika Vitharanage, Manager Ceylon Tea Museum
The adventure began 150 years ago. The epic saga of Ceylon Tea continues to enthral the world during the world during the new millennium and challenge those who follow in the footsteps of the indomitable pioneer planters.
Many valuable artefacts that testify to the innovation, ingenuity and perseverance of the men and women, who built the world’s greatest tea industry, are now lost for all time. To redress this and to preserve for future generations the history, traditions and values of Ceylon tea, Ceylon tea museum have been established in Hantane, Kandy.
Primary objectives are exhibit memorabilia machinery, documents, books, pictures and objects of historical value to the tea industry, promote tea as a global beverage, thereby enhancing tea exports, publish and distribute materials for the enrichment of the tea industry, exploit the tourism potential of the tea industry, strengthening Sri Lanka’s image as the world’s number one exporter and to educate Sri Lanka’s youth on the history of the tea industry and its contribution to economy.
The Ceylon Tea Museum at Hantane, four kilometers from Kandy city is served by a motor able road that circles the museum, provides easy access and adequate parking facilities for cars and tourist coaches.
The museum consists of four floors. The ground floor and the second floor exhibit very old items of machineries and the first floor consist of a library, archives and an auditorium. The library contains collection of books, periodicals, newspapers, manuscripts, films, maps, prints, documents, CDs, videotapes and DVDs which provide the visitor a deep insight into the History of Ceylon Tea Industry which ranges from latter part of 1800 to the modern day. Old photographs of tea factories, plantations & planters such as James Taylor, Thomas J Lipton etc. showcase the proud heritage of the Ceylon tea industry. Directories of planter’s information and books such as “100 years of Ceylon tea” make sense of the tea industry in Sri Lanka.
The typical exhibits at the museum include items such as “little giant” tea roller .A hand operated tea roller over 100 years old ,Hot bulb engine also over 100 years old, the first tea drier ever made by W &J Jackson called Venetion Drier is a special feature on display(1880), the oldest known packet of Ceylon tea from 1944 and still in its original packing, Photography of the largest tea bush in the world showing 28 pluckers surrounding the bush holding out stretched hands, Archives containing items belonging to James Taylor and a hand written visiting Agent’s Report dated 25th June 1895 and many more items depicting the evolution of Ceylon’s greatest industry.
The third floor is allocated for conducting tea tasting sessions by the experienced tea demonstrators where the visitors are able feel the fine art of tea tasting.
The entire top floor is allocated for a tea café & a modernized tea sales center where a selection of Sri Lanka’s fine teas are available from reputed companies.
A panoramic view of Kandy city surrounded by the beautiful Hunnasgiriya, Knuckles range & Mathale range of hills can be viewed through a telescope mounted on the top floor. A documentary of the Ceylon tea industry (history, working factory, & health benefits of tea) runs in a LED panel mounted on the tea cafe area.
The grounds surrounding the Tea Museum are landscaped with different varieties of teas. Kandy is a mandatory stop virtually on every tourist’s itinerary and the location of the Ceylon Tea Museum at Hantane enhances the attraction of the hill country to visitors. Additionally, its proximity to the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens and Loolecondera estate, where tea was first grown commercially in Sri Lanka makes Hantane the perfect location.
The well-educated tea demonstrators will explain all the exhibits and manufacturing steps of the tea which will take app; 01 hour for a complete tour.
The Ceylon Tea Museum will remain open for visitors,
From Tuesday to Saturday – 08:30 am to 03:45 pm
Sunday – 08:30 am to 03:00 pm
Ceylon Tea Museum
Preserving The Heritage of Ceylon Tea
P.O.Box 179, Hantane, Kandy, Sri LankaWeb ; www.ceylonteamuseum.com Tel / Fax ; 081- 4946737 ,081- 4946747 Email ; firstname.lastname@example.org