Garden Time

tea farm employees ringing the main bell indicating the end of the workday

Worker Ringing the Main Bell for lunch


Time Management

The way that the US has 6 time-zones and Russia has 11, India simply has one - IST - Indian Standard Time. This creates a big issue for the Eastern tea growing community, as it's so far East compared to the rest of the country. In Eastern India, the sun rises at 4 am and sets at 4pm. Whereas in Mumbai, the sun will rise at 7 and set at 8 pm.

main bell at assam tea farm

Main Bell

sticks carved from bamboo used to chime the main bell at assam tea estate

Stick carved from Bamboo  


To fix the issue, the tea garden people abide by their own time, called Bagaan Time [Ba-Gaan] Garden Time. For decades, everything and everyone within the tea community has worked and functioned by Garden Time. It's an hour ahead of Indian Standard Time, so work starts at 6 am Garden Time and ends at 4 pm Garden Time.

This is something that 99% of people in India are also not aware of! 

Every workday at 5 am Garden Time, this huge Bell is hit by a stick carved from bamboo to wake people up to get ready for work. It also rings at Noon for lunch and 4pm when work ends and tea pluckers drop their harvest at the factory. In almost all tea gardens, the Bell is located centrally, so that it can be heard from the employees' living quarters as well as the factory.