Plan a trip to Kerala this time not to soak in its beaches but to be devoured by sights of lush green tea plantations rolling down the hills of Munnar. This picturesque hill station located in the Idukki district of Kerala offers an expanse of plantations, waterfalls, lakes, valleys and exotic flora and fauna. Also known as the Kashmir of South India, Munnar served as a summer retreat for the erstwhile British rulers.
With the monsoons coming to an end, September-November is a good time to visit Munnar before the onset of chilly winters, although, the summers between March-May is ideal for visiting the tea estates.
This small tea town is unique because it houses a Tea Museum, the first ever in India. The museum has been set up by Tata Tea at their Nallanthanni Estate and it depicts the history of Munnar’s tea plantations. The Tata Tea Museum is said to have artefacts which cannot be found in any other museums around the world. Tea lovers can indulge themselves in tea tasting and one can also learn the process of tea production at the CTC and Orthodox tea manufacturing unit at the museum.
Although Munnar is dotted with tea plantations, a visit to The Kundale Tea Plantations, which surrounds a lake, is a scenic treat to the eyes. While here, one must grab the opportunity to witness the entire process of tea manufacturing right from the plucking of leaves and finally indulge yourself in trying fresh tea straight from the gardens.
Whether a tea lover or not, Munnar has a lot to offer. Relax away at one of the plantation bungalows or go exploring with the many tourist attractions in and around the place.