When the Indian Tea Board declared four blocks of the Kishangunj district, namely Pothia, Thakurgunj, Bahadurgunj, and Kishangunj itself (from the far northeastern corner of Bihar bordering with North Bengal and Eastern Nepal) in 1999 as a non-traditional tea growing area, it was not perceived that one hundred thousand acres of tea would be planted over the next fifteen years. Until the writing of these lines – and with the successive changes of governments – Tea Policy could not be formulated as it should have been: keeping in line with the national industrial scene and the growing world tea demand. These factors necessitated the establishment of tea processing factories in the vicinity of growing areas to maintain freshness while transporting the harvested green leaves. Transportation must be kept to the minimum for sustaining the best possible quality due to generation of heat in the overstuffed vehicles plying the roads to nearby Bengal, where most of the processing factories are located.
In the meantime, another aspect developed : the promotion of tourism in Bihar which is the designated land of Buddha. This fact attracts tourists from all the Buddhist countries – hard core being from Japan, Korea, Burma, Cambodia, and Thailand. Most recently devotees from China – which is of large magnitude. The story has to be interwoven for this tea from the land of Buddha – an interesting work.
During the Mughal period, Kishanganj district was part of Nepal and was known as Nepalgarh. Mughal Emperor Shah Alam appointed Mohammed Raza at Surajapur for administration. Md. Raza captured the fort of Nepalgarh; the name was converted to Alamganj; and administration was shifted to Khagara. The historical “KHAGRA MELA” is held every year at Khagara, Kishanganj.
During the period of Khagada Nawab, Mohammed Fakiruddin, one Hindu saint arrived. He was tired and wanted to rest at this place, but when he heard that the place name is Alamganj, the river name is Ramzan, and the Jamindar name is Fakiruddin, he refused to enter at Alamganj. After that, the Nawab decided and announced some portion from Kishanganj Gudri to Ramzan pool gandhi ghat as Krishna-Kunj . As time passed, the name was converted to the present KISHANGANJ.
Images courtesy of Rajiv Lochan of Lochan Tea.