Trekking Up the World’s Highest Tea Plantation

 

Overlooking the vast plains of Tamil Nadu, the Kolukkumalai tea estate is located about 35 km away from Munnar. But it’s not just any another tea plantation of the region! Known to be the world’s highest organic tea estate, Kolukkumalai still upholds it’s old-world British charm. It is a huge draw for tourists for two reasons – a chance to taste the unique tea produced here and the rewarding panoramic views at the end of an arduous trek to climb the Kolukkumalai peak.

Yes, you read that right. It is possible to trek up the hill to the beautiful tea gardens! So, if you are looking to take up a little challenge on your next trip to Munnar, here are all the details of the trek to help you plan it.

 

Trekking up the Kolukkumalai Peak

The trek begins at a small village named Kurangani and ends at the summit of the Kolukkumalai peak. The trek roughly covers 11 km and given the nature of the terrain, it takes about 7 hours to complete.

Touted to be one of the most picturesque hikes in the region, this trek will take you through canopies of lush forests and vast stretches of grassland. While you are busy getting swooned by your surroundings, keep your eyes peeled for the thrilling hairpin bends this route is known to have and exercise caution.

 

Getting here from Munnar

 

Although geographically located in the state of Tamil Nadu, the only way to reach Kolukkumalai is from Kerala! The easiest way to get to the starting point of the trek in Kurangani village is by taking a local bus or taxi from Munnar.

Alternatively, you could also hire a private car and a chauffeur to drive you from and back to Munnar. The journey through dense forests can take 2.5-3 hours. The best time to undertake this trek and explore this part of the country is from August to December.

 

Things to do at Kolukkumalai

You can do a host of things at the world’s highest tea garden. Perched at a height of 7900 ft above sea level, the view of endless tea gardens and lush hills enrobed in a cloud of mist are a treat for sore eyes. If you’ve had your fill of the gorgeous views, take a tour of the traditional tea factory and get a glimpse of the production process that has remained unchanged since the British era, ending with a tea tasting session.

 

While you are in the Kolukkumalai-Munnar region, you should also check out a unique rock formation in the Keezhkamthukaya hills, referred to as Simhapara, for its uncanny resemblance to the shape of a jaguar head.

Trekking up the Kolukkumalai peak will give you the opportunity to camp at the top of the peak, turning it into an overnight getaway from Munnar. Spend the night amidst Shola forests, under a starry night sky.

Alternatively, the Kolukkumalai trek also makes for a perfect day trip from Munnar. Once back in Munnar after the hike, spend a few days at the gorgeous Sterling Munnar for a refreshing and rejuvenating break amidst sprawling tea estates. No better way to wrap up a trekking holiday than indulging in a little pampering, isn’t it?

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