During 12 th century in south india from pallava dynasty was born a king with great attraction to spiritual pursuits than matireal ones .
His name was Dharma .
He was a follower of Buddha and by then Buddhism was dying in its land of birth .
So he travelled across the mighty Himalayas to reach China where it greatly respected and followed .
Dharma was recognised as a great saint here .
By then his only desire was Nirvana or achieving the divine peace .
He entered into hard penance as part of this ardous spiritual journey .
He decided he would go into meditation with no sleep ,so he got into a cave and facing a bare wall unblinking he spent five years in a single minded pursuit ,his goal was ten years but by then sleep was his greatest temptation .
He fought the desire to close his eyes into blissful sleep as he knew his spiritual journey would never be completed .
But his body fought badly and one day he almost succumbed in his desire of sleeping
Knowing this he shook himself awake and to control his mind took some wildly growing leaves and stuffed into his mouth .
Suddenly all his energy returned and he felt invigorated .
He managed to conplete 5 more years of penance and attained Gods feet .
Little did the king know that he had discovered the most popular drink the world would ever know
And thus China got tea discovered by an Indian king .
Within years the beverage spread and demand for tea grew .
By another century the Ming dynasty were even taxing tea
The Portugese took tea from China
Macau near Hong kong was ruled by Portugese and the tea spread into Europe
Later if became famous in England and afternoon tea custom began .
The British took tea to india giving opium to China and thus came opium wars .
The American war of Independence had Boston tea party in defiance to paying tax threw tea chests into the sea .
Later an Englishman secretly sent to China learnt its making and smuggled some tea plants to Assam thus tea estates were born in India .
The Tracancore high rise plantations were owned by mostly British companies given concessions by Maharsja of Travancore
and tea export was becoming very lucrative .
There was grumbling on how the tea companies got almost free land for long duration lease and there was no local benifit in terms of employment as most British companies employed Tamil workers .
By 1926 Maharani Sethu Bayi Lakshmi was regent of Travancore kingdom .
A famous company Brooke Bond put forward a suggestion that if leased land they would take 3/4 leaving rest to local planters give them seeds ,technology knowhow in cultivating tea and later processing it in factories set up by Brook Bond which would buy the finished product and help in selling it in London auction .
Lot of rumours were spread by the new speices of politicians part of legislative councils n the state against the Maharani that she was selling away Kerala .
Even then politicians talked accused without evidence as it is today
The maharani was also pertrubed at the accusations and slander that she decided to make terms better but the company itself now decided not to invest in a state with such unfriendly climate
Early signs of investment unfriendly state had started for Kerala .
Meanwhile centuries back a muslim priest Budan smuggled six coffee seeds and planted them in Chikmagalur and thus coffee estates began .