Kerala, abundant with natural beauty and scenic locations is also home to a many tea plantations. The climate and soil of the Western Ghats are perfect location for tea cultivation.
Let’s take a look at 3 places in Kerala famous for their picturesque tea plantations.
Situated in Kerala’s Idukki district, Munnar is famous for its tea plantations. It is a beautiful hill station located on the flat of Kanan Devan hills at 1600m above sea level. It is said that Munnar has gotten its name from the convergence of three rivers flowing close to the town- Mudra puzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Munnar is known to be the place for one of the oldest tea plantations in the state of Kerala. Munnar owes its legacy to John Daniel Munro– a British resident of Travancore Kingdom in the 1870s. On this visit to Munnar he fell on love with the place. He leased out the Kanan Devan Hills from Kerala Varma Raja, who owned the land. In 1879, John Munro established the Travancore Land Planting Agricultural Society. Initially they started growing various crops, but finally discovered that tea plantation best suited the area.
In 1880, A.H. Sharp planted tea in around 50 acres of land and the rest is history. There are many tea estates in and around Munnar and the scenic beauty of this place attracts scores of tourists. Pallivasal Tea Estate, Anayirankal Tea Estate, Lockhart Estate, Kolukumalai Tea Estate etc are some of the major estates here.
After Munnar, Wayanad is the second most important tea plantation area in Kerala. Just like Munnar there are a many tea estates located here. This popular hill station in the South of India offers a verity of scenic destinations and is thronged by nature lovers. It has very rightfully earned itself the name ‘Green Heaven of Malabar’. Wayanad is set on the Western Ghats and is also characterized by its high mountain peaks such as Vellarimala which is at 2338m, Chembra at 2100m, Banasura at 2073m and Brahmagiri 1608m. Elstone Tea Estate,Achoor estate, Jessie tea estate, Chundale estate, Sentinel Rock Estate, etc are the major tea estates here.
Vagamon is another beautiful hill station bordering Kottayam and Idukki districts of Kerala. Situated at a height of 3100ft mean sea level, it is an old village, initially discovered by the British. Parts of the thick lush rainforests were deforested to make way for the tea plantations. The Britishers were followed by the Christian missionaries who set up their abode here in Kurisumala. The chain of three hills- Kurisumala, Murugan and Thangal para
Since all these three tea plantations are located in hilly areas, they remain cool throughout the year and attract a lot of tourists. The best time to visit tea plantations is post the monsoon season. All these places have amazing guest houses, resorts and home stay options that offer a majestic view of the tea estates, so that the tourists can enjoy their holiday thoroughly in the lap of nature. Many places also conduct guided tours of these tea estates.