Munnar is an attractive destination with the world's best tea estates. The hill station of Munnar is synonymous with rolling hills that are carpeted with verdant plantations of tea – a delicious beverage loved worldwide. This place is recognized for having some of the best and most beautiful tea gardens across the globe. Owing to the presence of large tea estates and big names in the field, it is regarded as a prominent hub of tea trade in the country. Most of the people in Munnar are employed at tea plantations.
There are more than 50 tea estates in and around Munnar. Most of the plantations are taken over by the Tata Group. Some of the major tea estates in Munnar include Harrison Malayalam, AVT tea, Michael's tea, Brooke Bond etc. It is one of the biggest centres of tea trade in India.
The Tea Gardens in Munnar are what makes it a beautiful hill station. The entire place has amazing scenery. The serene and peaceful atmosphere you get at Munnar will surely impress you. You not only get to see the tea plantations but also buy some great flavours of tea.
Until 1760, Munnar and its surrounding areas were covered with forests. The place was first recognized by a European known as Duke of Wellington. Later in the year 1870, a subordinate of Travancore's ruler granted 588 sq km of land on lease to J.D. Munro, who was a Scottish tea planter and a lawyer. A.H. Sharp planted the first sapling of tea at Parvathi, which now comes under the Sevenmallay Estate. In present times, the hill station has more than 50 tea gardens and sprawling estates. Some of the major tea estates in Munnar include Harrison Malayalam, AVT tea, Michael's tea, Brooke Bond etc. Munnar in Kerala is an ideal getaway for all those who want to enjoy some genuine lovely moments with nature.
There are some beautiful resorts situated in Munnar and Siena Village. Located in one of the hills overlooking the valley and surrounded by huge mountains, this becomes an ideal place to just sit back and marvel at nature's beauty. It's also very cold and you need a sweater or jacket to keep you warm especially in the early mornings and late evenings. There is no special sightseeing at this hill station but once you reach there, you feel you just want to enjoy the flora and fauna than indulge in any sight-seeing here.
However, if one wants to trek and enjoy watching animals in the wild, then the Eravikulam National Park, 15 km from Munnar is worth a trip. At a height of 2695 metres, the bus takes you there and then you take a trek if you want to go higher up and spot animals. It's a fantastic view as you look below, the tea gardens.
One also gets an opportunity to see the picking of the tea leaves and its processing in the factories on the visit. One may encounter the rare species of mountain goat Nilgiri Tahr or Ibex, elephants, and lion tailed macaque, flying squirrel, Nilgiri wood pigeon and many more while on an excursion to these gardens.
The markets here are known for their bakery items like unni appams and homemade chocolates. A visit to the spices garden or flower garden makes you realise how gifted the hill station is. Do not forget to indulge in some spice and tea shopping.
The Munnar Tea Gardens are open from early morning to evening.