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Kolukkumalai Tea Estate

The world's highest tea plantation offers panoramic views at 8,000 feet (2,438 m)


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The highest tea plantation in the world, Kolukkumalai boasts organic tea with a special flavour and freshness due to the high altitude. It is located near a small village in the Theni district of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, bordering to Idukki district of Kerala. It is about 35 km or 1.5 hours from the town of Munnar. Located at over 2,000m above sea level, the hilltop village is accessible only by 4-wheel drive due to rugged roads.

Panoramic views on the rugged mountains that surround Kolukkumalai are no less popular than aromatic fresh tea available here. The tea factory at the centre of the village has been operating for over 70 years. It uses simple traditional technology which draws visitors. A seven-step preparation includes withering, rolling, sieving, fermenting, drying, fibre extraction, and grading. Tea is collected by hand. The factory produces about 12 tonnes of tea per month or over 144 tonnes of tea per year.

Winter is the best time to visit the plantation, as the best tea is produced during that period. Also, the weather is quite pleasant. Monsoon season in Tamil Nadu lasts from mid-June to early December.

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