Leesh River T.G. is a rather picturesque garden situated in the Western Dooars area of North Bengal in Jalpaiguri District, situated 42 km. east of Siliguri off National Highway No. 31. It is cordoned off on 3 sides by rivers. On the east is the Gheesh River with Leesh River on the West and on the South is the Teesta River. On the North one can see the Sub- Himalayan foot hills of the Darjeeling district and Kalimpong. On a clear winter day one could be lucky to sight the awesome snowcapped Kanchanjhanga from some vantage point.
The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri which is 46 km away and the nearest airport is at Bagdogra which is 58 km away. The postal address is “Leesh River Tea Garden, Post- Bagrakote, Dist - Jalpaiguri, PIN – 734501.
At present the Garden has three Divisions – Leesh, Hope and Patibari with a total Grant Area of 1029.43 Hectares. The Garden has by and large a flat terrain.
Leesh River was known to be among the first gardens to be planted in North Bengal. “Phoolbarie” presently Leesh Division was the first area to be planted and records state that it consisted of an area of 600 acres of tea as far back as in 1899. This could lead us to believe the plantation started a number of years before this date.
The information at our disposal is that in its very early days i.e. in 1875 one Col. Money was part owner and Manager of the property. It is known that at the time of Col. Moneys planting at “Phoolbarie” one division of the LRT Co. was Florencepore – named after his wife. This division is presently known as “Pattibarie”. These teas were very old and low yielding and over the past years have been replanted with vigorous high yielding clones. The third Division of LRT Co. was named Money Hope which at present is known as “Hope” Division. Until the mid 60’s there existed another division on the west bank of Leesh River – Kalagoiti, which presently forms part of Washabarie T.G. Previously, the green leaf from Kalagoiti would have to be carted across the river, which during the rains was quite often in a state of flood. This area was sold to the present owners during Mr. Dunbar’s tenure as Manager in the 1960’s.
The present Dukan line, where at present the Hanuman Mandir is situated, was formerly known as Pillans Hat. It was the only post office in this area prior to Oodlabarie town and Post office being formed. When Pillans Hat existed, a ferry was in use to cross the Gheesh River to go to the then Gajaldoba side. However once Oodlabarie was formed the post office was shifted there and with housing colonies being built over the years the Dukan line came in to existence.
Leesh River Tea Garden boasts of a recently modified and HACCP certified state-of-the-art Factory, in terms of Safety, Hygiene and Quality. ‘Leesh River’ is undoubtedly a premium mark in Dooars and has consistently been producing one of the best Quality Teas in the region.
In conclusion, areas being rehabilitated & replanted and the new factory’s quality potential hold promise for future. Leesh River Tea Garden, a flagship of Goodricke Group, is steadfastly committed to striving towards excellence.