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Tea Museum at Hanthana

Tea Museum at Hanthana

This museum is a joint project by the Sri Lanka Tea Board and the Planters' Association of Sri Lanka. Located 5km from Kandy in the Hantane Tea Factory built in 1925, the museum is open on all days from: 8.15 a.m. to 4.45 p.m.

Its proximity to the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens and Loolecondra, where tea was grown commercially, marks the significance of the location. The factory building consists of four floors. The ground floor accommodates heavy machinery and the first floor occupies some examples in the withering process. Library and the Audio-visual presentations are available in the second floor whilst the sales outlets can be found in the third floor. The fourth floor is allocated for a deluxe restaurant.

Although exhibits are not abundant they do provide a valuable insight into how tea was manufactured in the early days. Old machinery, some dating back more than a century, has been lovingly restored to working order. The first exhibit that greets visitors in the Engine Room on the ground floor of the museum is the Ruston and Hornsby developed diesel and other liquid fuel engines, power for the estates were obtained by water driven turbines.

The Museum's "Rolling Room" offers a glimpse into the development of manufacturing techniques with its fascinating collection of rollers. Here the showpiece is the manually operated ' Little Giant Tea Roller'.

In 1867, on 19 acres at nearby Loolecondra, James Taylor planted first tea to be grown commercially. Those were hard times when methods of manufacture were woefully primitive.

Amid many hardships, men of Taylor's ilk dedicated their lives to the tea fields. This tea museum has been setup as a tribute to their endeavours.