Tea is the most loved beverage in India and also one of the most important drink to start the day. Almost everyone in the morning starts their day with tea. So, it is for sure that India will have its own tea estate and we do have it. There are some states which are famous for their beautiful tea estates. To name few- Darjeeling, Assam, Kerala, Munnar, Shillong and they all have their different varieties.
But have you heard about Kolukkumalai which is also believed that it is the World’s highest tea estate? Yes, you are reading it right. Kolukkumalai is a small village in Bodinayakanur Taluk in the Theni district of Tamil Nadu bordering Idukki district of Kerala. It is home to the highest tea plantations in the world with the tea is grown here possessing a special flavour and freshness because of the high altitude.
Kolukkumalai is about 7,130 feet (2,170 m) above sea level and lies some 32 kilometres (20 mi) from Munnar. The hilltop village is accessible only by jeep due to rugged and rain-drenched roads covering up to 17 km. It is about one and a half hour journey from Munnar town.
The plantation is spread across over more than 1000 ac of land and produces around 12 tons of tea per month. You can take the help of a tour guide to see the tea estate and how the workers collect the tea leaves. Weather is pleasant all round the year but the best time to visit this place is during the winter months and March and May.
The bumpy ride via the tea estate, the mind-blowing scenic views of the Nagamalai village within the estate, streams, waterfalls, tea estates and the mist-covered mountains will leave you speechless.
It is also said that the place has one of the most beautiful sunrises and many tourists or travelers come to see this. It is amazing to view here in the morning.
The tea grown on the slopes of Kolikkumalai is special and much sought after for its distinctive flavour and aroma. The reason for this is that the quality of tea improves with altitude.
After you take a stroll through the tea gardens, head to a nearby viewpoint that offers a panoramic view of the beautiful Anayirangal dam (the name literally means ‘where the elephants come to play’).
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