What could be more refreshing than sipping a hot cup of fragrant tea on mist-filled mountain which boasts of the highest organic tea plantations in the world? This is exactly what Kolukkumalai Tea Estate offers.
The small hamlet is located in Bodinayakanur taluk of Theni district in Tamil Nadu, which shares its borders with Idukki district in Kerala. It is located at a distance of 30 km from the popular hill station of Munnar, and is reached by road via Suryanelli in Kerala.
Located at a height of 7900 ft above sea level, it is the highest tea plantation in the world. In addition, the place that is a time-tested tea factory, still sticks to the orthodox methods of tea processing which began in the colonial era and still continues. The tea estate began its production sometime during the early 1900s by a Scottish planter.
There has been very little change since the colonial planters left. The plantation does not have any modern machine or computerized systems and many of the really old machines proudly showcase the labels of their English manufacturers and time stamps that date back to the 1940s.
The tea grown on the slopes here are special and is much sought after for its distinctive flavour and aroma. The secret is, the quality of tea improves as the altitude goes higher.
Best Time To Visit
Kolukkumalai is place which can visited throughout the year, all thanks to its pleasant climate. The place witnesses thick mist and fog mostly in the early morning hours and evening hours and sometimes even during afternoons.
How To Reach
By Air: The nearest major airport is the Cochin International Airport which is located at a distance of 105 km from here. The airport has regular flights to all the major cities across the country such as Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad etc., and to a few abroad as well.
By Train: The nearest railway station is the Alwaye Junction which is approximately at a distance of 120 km from here. The station is well-connected to all major towns and cities across the country and the state.
By Road: One of the best ways to reach Kolukkumalai is by road, since it has well-connected roads which are also well-maintained. There are plenty of buses which ply regularly from across the state and also from neighboring states.
1. Mattupetty Dam:
The Mattupetty Dam is a storage concrete gravity dam built across the mountains to conserve water to generate hydroelectricity. The most attractive part of the dam is the still water, which reflects the tea gardens around. One can have a speed boat ride inside the dam, which is organized by the District Tourism Promotion Council. For those who love to trek, go ahead to the Shola forests.
Meesapulimala is the second highest peak in the western ghats after Anamudi, in Idukki District. The peak is a formation of eight hills which is spread like a moustache and this gives the peak its name. It is also a trekker's haven and offers some mind-blowing views of the entire terrain.
Devikulam is small hill station which is located at an altitude of 5,900 ft above sea level. According to legends, Sita Devi is said to have bathed in the waters of the Devikulam lake. Surrounded by the green hills, the lake attracts a lot of tourists not only for its sacredness but also for the curative power of its waters.
PC: Manoj CB
4. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary lies under the jurisdiction of the Eravikulam National Park in the southern direction, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary in the northern direction and Kodaikanal Wildlife Sanctuary in the east. The wildlife sanctuary is home to large variety of flora and fauna. Elephants, tigers, deers, gaur, Hanuman monkey are some of the inhabitants of the sanctuary.
PC: Kerala Tourism