What is the Indian Legend Regarding the Discovery of Tea?

Tea is a beloved +beverage that is a part of many cultures around the world. Its discovery is tied to an intriguing story.

The Indian legend traces the origin of tea to Bodhidharma, an ancient ascetic who meditated in a cave. He vowed to stay awake for 7 years, but fell asleep one night. An angry him ripped off his eyelids, and the leaves that fell to the ground grew into tea plants.

what is the indian legend regarding the discovery of tea
what is the indian legend regarding the discovery of tea


According to an Indian legend, tea was discovered by an ancient Buddhist monk called Bodhidharma. One day he felt sleepy during his meditations and decided to cut off his eyelids so he would never feel sleepy again. When his eyelids fell on the ground, they grew into tea plants. When Bodhidharma brewed these plants in hot water, they banished his sleepiness. This is why it is customary to serve tea with a small bowl of water.

Another story claims that a Chinese emperor accidentally discovered tea. He was meditating in a cave when a gust of wind brought leaves from a bush down to his face. He sniffed the leaves and sipped some of the boiled water, which gave him a sense of peace and rejuvenation. The emperor then shared the invigorating drink with his courtiers and ministers.

Eventually, Bodhidharma became known as the father of Zen Buddhism in China, where it is called Chan. He is also credited with founding the Shaolin martial arts school. He is often depicted in Asian art as a bearded, wide-eyed barbarian because of his disdain for conventions and his challenge to societal expectations.

Bodhidharma was born into the royal family of the Pallava dynasty in South India. However, he was fascinated by Buddhism and left his family to pursue the path of enlightenment. During his travels, he encountered the practice of tea drinking and was amazed by its refreshing flavor and revitalizing properties.

Bodhidharma is widely considered the 28th Patriarch of the Chan tradition, which can be traced back to Gautama Buddha. He is also credited with helping the Shaolin monks develop their fighting skills so they could defend themselves against attack by other clans and kingdoms.

Although his physical weakness due to constant meditation left him unable to use his legs, he still managed to carry on with his mission. Despite his handicap, Bodhidharma was able to accomplish great things in his life, including founding both tea and the Shaolin martial arts. He is a legendary figure and a true warrior. His dedication to the path of Buddhism is still revered today.

discovery of tea
discovery of tea

Chinese Emperor

A Chinese legend claims that the first emperor of China discovered tea by accident. Shen Nung, the mythical emperor, was sitting under a tree as his servant boiled water for him to drink. Some leaves of the nearby Camellia sinensis plant fell into the boiling water, and when the emperor tasted it, he found it refreshing and invigorating. Thus, he named the beverage tea and it became popular throughout China.

During the Qin Dynasty, an ambitious emperor called Qin Shi Huang sought eternal life. Knowing that ancient sages and kings could live thousands of years by drinking a special potion, he sent a minister overseas to find the recipe. However, the emperor died from mercury poisoning shortly after.

The emperor was the highest figure in China, the most powerful, wealthy and influential leader in their history. The emperor’s role was to preserve the unity of the kingdom, oversee the development of the economy and provide for its defence. He was also responsible for religious rituals, such as the sacrifices that honoured imperial ancestors and the ceremonial first ploughing of each agricultural year.

The emperor was distinguished from all others by his unique, single-character family name (), his personal throne and the special flag he carried on official occasions. He was addressed as “your majesty” in his presence and even in private by his closest consorts. He was adorned with gold and precious stones, his palaces were grand, and he had an entourage of servants, soldiers and advisers.

One of the most famous emperors was the Qin emperor, who reunified China after centuries of division in the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods. He is credited with linking the long walls of the various warring kingdoms into one Great Wall, standardizing weights and measures and the lengths of cart and chariot axles, and unifying the written Chinese language. He was a strong personality with an enormous sense of power and grandeur. He was feared, loved and respected. He had a huge number of wives and concubines, and he built massive tombs.

Japanese Penitent

The discovery of tea is a legend that has captured the hearts and minds of people worldwide. Whether enjoyed as a solitary moment of reflection or shared among friends and loved ones, tea has become a global symbol of serenity, warmth, and cultural exchange. But how did this beloved beverage come to be? A fascinating what is the indian legend regarding the discovery of tea legend explains how the discovery of tea was intertwined with an ancient monk’s quest for spiritual enlightenment.

One tale is that a Japanese penitent took a vow of seven years of meditation. However, he began to fall asleep during his meditations and was so enraged that he cut off his eyelids and threw them on the ground. These eyelids then grew into tea plants that produced leaves with a delicious flavor. When the penitent boiled these leaves in water, he found that they banished sleep.

This mystical and poetic story is not only a reminder of the power of tea, but it also offers a glimpse into the profound depths of spiritual devotion and risk that are involved in penance. The image is evocative of a scene from an epic poem, and its use of bold lines, rich colors, and dynamic composition creates a powerful sense of movement and danger. The monks’ faces evoke a sense of deep remorse and the perilous precariousness of their situation.

Another 19th-century photograph titled “Confession of Japanese Penitents” captures the harrowing plight of these devoted souls. Their faces are etched with remorse as they stand on a balance atop a mountain, their salvation dependent on their ability to confess their sins before an unforgiving priest. If they fail to make a complete confession, they will be catapulted down the treacherous mountainside into the sea of jagged rocks below. The print is a testament to the deep spiritual significance of tea and its role in Japan’s tea culture.

discovery of tea
discovery of tea


Rajvir had done a lot of research on the history of tea before coming to Assam. He had learnt that it was first drunk in China and reached Europe in the 16th century. It had many medicinal properties and was used as a substitute for alcohol. But there was one thing that he had not been able to find out: how tea was actually discovered.

He was eager to know the story of how the drink came to be. He met Pranjol on the train and they got on talking. He told Pranjol that over 80 crore cups of tea were consumed each day in the world. Pranjol listened attentively and seemed to be amazed by this information.

The two friends were traveling to Dhekiabari Tea Estate, which was managed by Pranjol’s father. Rajvir was excited to see this magnificent tea plantation. He had never seen such a large expanse of greenery before. Tea bushes stretched as far as the eye could see. There were doll-like figures moving amidst the orderly rows of bushes who were plucking the leaves. It was the second sprouting period.

Pranjol, on the other hand, was not as enthusiastic about this trip. He had a habit of reading detective novels on trains and was not looking forward to spending his time at the tea garden. When they reached Mariani junction, they were welcomed by Pranjol’s parents and taken to the Dhekiabari Tea Estate.

When they entered the estate, Rajvir was impressed by the large tea plantations on both sides of the road. He saw acre upon acre of neatly pruned tea bushes. He also noticed that there were many people working on the tea fields.

At the time of their visit, it was the second sprouting period for the tea bushes. This meant that the leaves would be full of flavor and have a high yield. This was why the tea farmers were so busy. They worked with great precision and what is the indian legend regarding the discovery of tea. They even trained the laborers to do the work in a very efficient manner.

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