Kolukkumalai Tea Estate Munnar Entry Fee
- 100 per person for Adults
Kolukkumalai Tea Estate Munnar Phone
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Kolukkumalai Tea Estate Munnar Address: Engineering College Road,Near Murugan Temple, Nullatanni, Kochi, Kerala, 685612, India
At about 7,130 ft (2,170 m) above sea level, Kolukkumalai Tea Estate is the highest tea estate in the world.
Kolukkumalai tea plantation Munnar is known for its tea leaves, the aroma of which is distinct from the others around. The leaves are handpicked, processed, and manually packed for distribution. And the colonial-era factory still uses the age-old methods of tea processing.
Apart from tasting tea, tourists visit this place for the mesmerising views it offers. Here, you can take the safari across the tea estate, trek down the hills and get a guided tour of the factory. You can also find accommodation within Kolukkumalai Tea Estate for a night or two.
But before you prep up for the visit, keep in mind that the drive isn’t for the faint of hearts.
While the views are hypnotic, the road leading to this scenic tea estate is unpaved and rough. Only a 4x4 drive or a local jeep can take you here. So, be prepared for an off-road adventure when you visit this untouched beauty of Munnar.
However, the landscape above is worth all the pain.
Things to do in Kolukkumalai Tea Estate Munnar
1. Enjoying the off-road adventure – As the distant mountains appear in view, the smooth road disappears. The last few kilometres of the drive to Kolukkumalai Tea Estate is a bumpy ride off the highway. Mist-covered hills, tea shrubs and innumerable waterfalls will soon welcome you. Take breaks to enjoy the views and hop back to continue towards the destination.
2. Going for a drive around the estate – As far as you can see, you’ll find mountains and tea. The Kolukkumalai Tea Estate tour offers a view of the plains of Tamil Nadu and the hills of Kerala, all covered with a green bed. And the view will soothe you from the pain of the accompanying ride on the patchy trail.
3. Spending a night within the premises – The management of the tea estate has turned the old staff quarters into a guesthouse. Food and basic amenities are available if you wish to stay for the sunset and sunrise views or a leisurely exploration of the estate. You can even set your tent around and enjoy a peaceful night sleep surrounded by all the aromatic bushes.
4. Trekking down the hill for views – With the shifting clouds and the misty environment around, the surrounding views are kaleidoscopic. As the cloud clears, you can get a bright view of the rising (or setting) sun. And if not, you can watch the valley covered in white. Trek along the plantations and pace towards the view points to experience this heaven.
5. Clicking photographs – While you’re enjoying the majestic views, capture some in your lens. The rising sun, tea plantations spread along the valley and the distant Nilgiri hills are among the various views you would like to savour for years.
6. Learning about tea processing – Kolukkumalai Tea Estate and factory were established in the 1930s, and since then, traditional methods are used to process tea. Instead of the mechanised CTC method, the tea leaves go through the orthodox four-step process – withering, rolling, oxidation and drying. A guided tour of the organic tea factory and its wooden interiors will take you back in time for sure.
7. Tasting freshly brewed tea – Don’t forget to taste the tea at the factory. You can pick a flavour of your choice and enjoy a freshly brewed steaming cup of tea. And at the shop, packets are available for you to buy.
Kolukkumalai Tea Estate Entry Fee and Timings
Kolukkumalai Tea Estate jeep safari and other adventure activities like camping are organised by many travel companies. Thus, the rates vary. However, the visit to the tea factory costs ₹100 per person.
The factory is open throughout the year except on the Sundays. You can visit it during the day, from 7 AM to 6 PM. But there is no restriction for visiting the tea plantations. You’re free to visit it any day and stay for as long as you want.
Image Gallery of Kolukkumalai Tea Estate Munnar
Best Time to visit Kolukkumalai Tea Estate Munnar
While the estate is open all round the year, visibility is low during the monsoon months, i.e. from August to October. The best time to visit this tourist spot, therefore, is in the winter and spring season. It begins in November and continues until May.
The weather remains pleasant and with a cool breeze by your side, you can explore the estate as much you can. Try to reach early to enjoy a thorough visit.
Time to explore Kolukkumalai Tea Estate
The jeep ride takes about an hour either way. So, including the ride time, you’ll need around 3-4 hours to visit Kolukkumalai Tea Estate, enjoy the views and observe how they process tea at the factory. You can stop at various viewpoints on the way and click photographs.
However, plan an overnight stay at the estate if you want to witness the captivating views during the evening and morning hours.
Things to keep in mind while visiting Kolukkumalai Tea Estate
- Avoid the visit if you or someone in your group has back pain or other health issues. Pregnant ladies and people in old-age should avoid it too.
- Carry toiletries, medicines, and a torch if you plan to camp or stay at Kolukkumalai Tea Estate guest house.
- Pack snacks and bottled water.
- Put on comfortable shoes.
- Wear warm clothes.
Places to visit near Kolukkumalai Tea Estate
1. Power House Falls – Also known as Chinnakanal Waterfalls, Power House Falls originates from Sita Devi Kulam lake in Devikulam. It is a picturesque waterfall, surrounded by tea plantations and tall trees. The waterfall cascades down a steep slope, from a height of about 2000 metres. It is 17 km from Kolukkumalai Tea Estate, on the way to Munnar.
2. Lockhart Gap – Further 4 km towards Munnar, you’ll come across Lockhart Gap viewpoint. It is an ideal spot for a picnic with family and friends. And it also offers a scenic view of the valley. Lockhart Gap is popular among the trekkers too. It has many trails around to take you through the exotic plant varieties and wildlife of the area.
3. Devikulam – Devikulam is a small hill town near Munnar, about 30 km from Kolukkumalai. Apart from the array of tea plantations, spice plantations, and waterfalls, you’ll find many Hindu temples here. The Sita Devi Lake is also in the vicinity, among the varied flora and fauna of the region.
4. Kannan Devan Tea Museum – This Tea Museum in Munnar tells you all about the tea cultivation and processing in and around Munnar. You can know about the history of tea cultivation, how tea was processed, and how it was transported to other parts of the country. The old tea processing machines, rollers and wheels are in the museum for you to see. It is 36 km away from Kolukkumalai.
5. Pothamedu Viewpoint – A few kilometres ahead of Kannan Devan Tea Museum, Pothamedu Viewpoint offers a panoramic view of Munnar and the surrounding hills. On a sunny day, you can even see the distant Muthirapuzha River and Idukki Arch Dam. The slopes around are covered with coffee, cardamom, and pepper plantations, along with tea. The viewpoint is popular among photography lovers and nature enthusiasts.
How to reach Kolukkumalai Tea Estate?
Kolukkumalai Tea Estate is in a small village in Theni, Tamil Nadu. And Munnar offers the most convenient route to get here. It is about 35 km away. The best way is to hire a jeep capable enough to run on the rugged road towards the estate. The other option is to take a bus or a cab to reach Suryanelli village. You can hire a jeep there to take you to the tea plantations and bring you back.
And following are the various ways you can reach Munnar –
By Road – A road trip along the tea farms is the best way to reach Munnar. Coimbatore, Kochi, and Madurai are among the nearest cities, and you can get daily buses for this hill station. Kolukkumalai Tea Estate is about 36 km away from Munnar bus stop. You can also book cabs for Munnar.
By Rail – Munnar doesn’t have railway connectivity. The nearest railway station is at Aluva, 120 km away. It connects Munnar with the nearby towns and cities. And you will get buses and cabs to reach Munnar. Coimbatore (150 km), Ernakulam (120 km), and Madurai (170 km) are the major railway stations around Munnar.
By Air – The nearest international airport for Munnar is about 120 km away, at Kochi. Frequent flights are available from Indian airports and international destinations. From there, you can hire a cab for Munnar. Coimbatore airport and Madurai airport are two other airports near Munnar.
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