With its turquoise sky, rugged terrains and snow-capped mountain peaks, Nubra valley is one of the most stunning places in […]
The hilly haven of Munnar has long been one of the most loved and preferred holiday destination – mainly for its misty views and sprawling tea gardens all around. But, approximately 38kms from Munnar, across the border, in Tamil Nadu, lies one of the best kept secrets of this hill station – The hills of Kolukkumalai.
About 7130 ft above sea level, the Kolukkumalai hills are home to the highest organic tea plantations in the world and own the region’s oldest tea factory established in 1930.
Offering a spectacular view of the steep slopes of tea gardens all around, the Kolukkumalai hills are still not known by many because this hill station is not for everyone. Only if you are a true nature lover and ready to take the bone-rattling drive up the hills – you will be able to witness the glorious beauty of the undulating tea gardens with majestic mountains in the background.
WATCH the VIDEO :
How to Reach :
Kolukkumalai is situated in Theni district of Tamilnadu and is accessible only by jeep due to bumpy road covering last 15 km up the hill. From Munnar It is about a 45 kms journey. To reach here from Munnar – you have to go to chinna-kanal and then Surya-nelli in Idukki district of Kerala which is 5 kms away and then hire a four wheel drive (4WD) vehicle to reach to the top of the tea estate. You can also hire a local jeep which will cost Rs. 1200 to Rs.1400 for 4 hours ride.
A drive through the town of Suryanelli takes you to sprawling tea gardens owned by Harrisons Malayalam Ltd. An entry fee of Rs.100/- for the vehicle is charged at this point and from here starts the bumby off-roading through a narrow and rocky path with a number of hairpin bends all the way up to the Kolukkumalai Peak.
Kolukkumalai Tea Estate in Tamil Nadu, Munnar
The drive through the rocks is bumpy and challenging and not so much fun especially for kids and seniors. You can however, get down from the jeep in-between to soak in the scenic beauty of the tea gardens encircled by majestic mountains and feel the moist touch of mist and take a lovely stroll on the pathways in the plantations. It’s an experience in itself.
Kolukkumalai Tea Estate Tamil Nadu Munnar
After one and half hours of bone-rattling drive you come across a board saying “Now ‘U R’ at 7130 ft.” the Kolukkumalai Peak. The view from this spot will literally take your breath away! The embrace of misty clouds with instantly make you forget the painful drive the moment it engulfs you in it’s arms. It’s beauty at it’s peak with spectacular views of the far off plains in the bordering State of Tamil Nadu with Tamil Nadu on one side and Kerala on the other end. The cool breeze and pleasant climate will soothe the mind and soul. You can spend some time watching the cloud-shrouded mountains slipping in and out of the mist and soak in the greenery and pleasant aroma around.
Kolukkumalai Tea Estate Munnar
Kolukkumalai Tea Factory Tour
2 kms downhill from the peak is a small tea stall near the tea factory. You can sip in a warm cup of tea before starting the tea factory tour. The tea factory is old and has ancient machinery. It is called Orthodox tea because teas is grown organically and it’s hand processed.
- The trip to Kolukkumalai is basically a full-day 8-9 hrs trip. Besides taking the jeep, one can also trek up to the hills.
- To watch sunrise from Kolukkumalai, you will have to book a jeep in advance and will have to start as early as 4:00 am coz it will take you approximately 2 hrs to reach.
- Carry some breakfast and warm drinks since nothing will be available there during the early morning hrs. The factory opens at 10:00 am . So be prepared.
There is a 3 bed room guest house run by the tea estate at Kolukkumalai which you need to book in advance. You can also stay at Suryanelli for the added advantage of being close to the hills.
Witness the gorgeous beauty of the tea gardens , play of the mist and fog and watch the panoramic views of the rolling hills from the top . Kolukkumalai hills is a must visit for every nature lover.
If you have any spine or backache problems or backaches keep away from this ride. Pregnant women, people with heart and other health issues, minors and senior citizens should not risk it as well.
Kolukkumalai Hills Munnar
Kolukkumalai Tea Gardens Munnar
Kolukkumalai Tea Gardens Munnar Tamil Nadu
Kolukkumalai Hills Munnar Tamil Nadu
Kolukkumalai Hills Munnar Tamil Nadu pics
Kolukkumalai Tamil Nadu pics
With its beautiful valleys, high majestic mountains & sprawling tea gardens located at the Western Ghats – Munnar in Kerala is one of the must visit places during the monsoon.
The hill station enjoys a favorable and pleasant climate all year round but monsoon has its own story to narrate.
In the middle of July 2016, Kamal & I decided to make our 2nd trip to this Beautiful Hill station. This video is about our experience at the Beautiful Tea Harvester Hotel where we stayed for 2 nights.
WATCH the VIDEO:
Munnar – Tea Harvester REVIEW
Located at a distance of around 490 Kms from our house in Bangalore, the long 7 hrs journey demanded an early morning drive. So we started at 5:00 am and took the Bangalore – Salem – Coimbatore – Munnar route. Roads were good and the route was scenic. We took a couple of stop-overs in-between to enjoy the scenic views and in around 7 hrs we reached the hotel.
Located about 10 Kms away from the hustle and bustle of Munnar town, The Tea Harvester is nestled bang in the middle of the tea gardens and spice plantations. The breathtaking setting of the hotel left us awestruck but wait, that was just the beginning.
The friendly staff welcomed us with a glass of fresh juice and escorted us to the reception area ‘Tea House’ which was spacious, clean and beautiful. The walls were adorned with photo frames showcasing the history of Munnar from just being a Rain forest to a worlds leading Tea planter and exporter.
The counter also has the classic tea flavors such as black tea, green tea and white tea on display.
After completing the check-in formalities, we were escorted to our room which was on the 3rd floor.
A narrow corridor overlooking the lush tea gardens in the front lead us to the corner room which was spacious, beautiful and clean equipped with all the basic amenities one would probably need when away from home.
The room has wood paneling on the floor and is equipped with a hug bed and 2 side tables and soft lights. The bed boasts of a high quality mattress, clean and beautiful linen sheets, pillow covers and curtains. The room also has a television, a coffee maker, an almirah and 2 couches.
The view from the hotel is serene and calm. It offers a spectacular 180 degree view of the lush green tea gardens from the front lobby and views of cardamom plantation, trees and valley from the spacious balcony behind every room. You will also get to hear the sound of a small stream running through the trees from the balcony.
The Bathroom was clean and aesthetic equipped with all the contemporary toiletries. Since, the hotel is new, everything was sparkling clean and very well-maintained.
Since, it was already time for lunch, we quickly unpacked and headed towards the dining area – “Tea Trees” set on the top 3rd floor. Besides offering stunning views of the plantations around, the multi-cuisine restaurant has quite a lot of greenery inside as well with a number of planters lined up on all the 3 sides. The Pouring rains made the ambiance cool & refreshing.
The meal was delicious and Everything we had was fresh, warm and tasty – Just the way we like.
After lunch, we took some rest. In the evening, the resort manager Tony took us for a plantation tour. He provided us valuable insight into how tea is processed and manufactured. He also showed us the cardamom plantations and informed us about the exotic species of flora and fauna in Munnar.
Munnar – Tea Harvester REVIEW
After the plantation tour, it was time for a bicycle ride into the estate which was fun and beautiful. It was mist and fog all around with the sweet chirping of birds and pleasant aroma.
On our return, it was time for snack. We ordered peanut masala and warm tea which we enjoyed from the balcony. It was getting cold and everything was soon covered with fog.
At 7:30 pm, Tony had arranged a tea brewing session for the guests at the restaurant. The tea is handpicked and brewed from the estate. He also demonstrated brewing and offered flavors brewed and blended from Rose, Vanilla, Ginger & Cardamom.
At 9:00 pm, Tony was kind enough to arrange for a candle lit dinner for us. Food was once again delicious which we enjoyed to our heart’s content.
Post dinner, we went for a gentle walk in the rain following which we called off the lights.
DAY 2 :
The next morning after breakfast, we decided to visit the Kolukumallai hills. The friendly guy -Tony, took us for a 4 wheel drive up to the hills. You can watch the Kolukumallai hills video for a detailed review.
After spending 2 beautiful days at Munnar and experiencing a wonderful stay at The Tea Harvester, We checked out from the hotel on the 3rd day and made our way back to Bangalore.
The great things about The Tea Harvester are:
- Delicious food,
- Courteous and friendly staff,
- Good hospitality and The brilliantly designed architecture – spacious & well-maintained rooms offering picturesque view of the tea plantation that instantly soothes and relaxes the senses.
Tea Harvester in Munnar is a perfect package!