Kolukkumalai Tea Estate
Adventure / Trekking | Nature
At a distance of 35 km from Munnar, Kolukkumalai Tea Estate is a sprawling tea plantation situated at Kottagudi village in the Theni district of Tamil Nadu. Located near Munnar, it is one of the most beautiful tea estates in India and among the must-visit places as part of Munnar Tour Packages.
At an altitude of 7900 feet, Kolukkumalai is the world's highest elevation tea plantation and one of the premier South Indian industries in India. This tea estate is a part of Tamil Nadu but Munnar is the most popular gateway to Kolukkumalai tea estate. The estate was built-up by the British from 1920 to 1927 with the assistant of Chettiar Brothers belonging to Bodinayakkanur, Tamilnadu, India. Sprawling over an area of 81 hectares, the estate was run by the Chettiar Brothers from 1935 to 1971. Thereafter, Chettiar brothers transferred their rights to AJ Group in 1971. Since 1971 the estate is being looked after by the AJ Group.
The Kolukkumalai Tea Estate produces tea using the orthodox method in the time tested tea factory which means that the tea is handpicked and goes through the seven-step process, including withering, rolling, sieving, fermenting, drying, fiber extraction, and grading. Kolukkumalai tea is one of the premium teas in South India as it possesses a special flavor and freshness because of the high altitude. The Kolukkumalai Tea has been a winner of the 'Golden Leaf' award given by UPASI (The United Planters' Association of Southern India) for the best quality Tea.
Visitors can sip different flavors of tea and buy fresh tea from the factory outlet near the old factory. In addition to tea production, the hill is famed for panoramic views of the rolling hills and fresh air. Visiting these lush green acres of land is an experience in itself and nothing can be more exciting than taking a lovely stroll on the pathways in the plantation. This place is at its best during the sunset and offers spectacular views of Kodaikanal town, which looks extremely beautiful during the evening. A large number of tourists visit this high altitude tea garden to explore the panoramic views of the rolling hills and to experience the freshness of special flavor tea, grown and produced here. Besides, the hills of Kolukkumalai range are home to the Neelakurinji flowers that bloom once in every 12 years.
To reach Kolukkumalai Tea Estate, one needs to hire a jeep from the gate of Suryanelli Tea Estate from where the 9 km of crazy off-roading will begin. It is about one and a half hour journey from Munnar town. On your way to the highest organic tea factory in the world, you would stop at the Suryanelli Tea Factory-cum-museum that has modern machinery and is known for its advanced tea production technology. There is a 3-bed room guest house run by the tea estate at Kolukkumalai which you need to book in advance.
Timings: 7 AM - 6 PM, Closed on Sunday
Entry: Rs. 75 for Person, Rs. 2000 for Jeep, & Rs. 150 for Suryanelli Tea Factory