Day Visit

 

Factory Visit

For those hoping to visit an authentic tea estate to see tea processed in the tradition orthodox method there is no better place to go than the Kolukkumalai Tea Factory! The Kolukkumalai factory is an original tea factory built by the British during the 1940's and the equipment and process dates back to those days! Not a lot has changed over the years! It is hard to imagine how the heavy machinery and equipment must have travelled by ship all the way from the factories in the UK brought to the plains and hauled up the steep hills to set up the factory! These enterprising pioneers of the hills must have set up the factory at such a remote slope halfway up the second highest peak in South India for a reason. The tea grown on these slopes are special as the quality of tea improves with altitude and the orthodox process of manufacture helps retain all it's flavor! The tea produced at the factory is much sort after for it's distinctive flavor and aroma.

The factory can only be accessed by jeep up a windy estate road from Suryanelli village,with lovely views of the valley and hills. The only other option is to do it on foot but can take a while! Most hotels in Munnar and Chinnakanal offer the trip to the factory along with a jeep ride which is an experience in itself!  Should you wish to have more details of the visit or the price and inclusions please contact info@kolukkumalai.in

 

Kolukkumalai trek

The Kolukkumalai Peak is one the main landmarks of the estate. This impressive peak of about 7000 feet(approx. 2280 mts) is the first peak that you see as you enter the estate. With near vertical face one side and tall pointy peak the Kolukkumalai peak is ideal for people look for a day walk and a picnic overlooking the the valley of Suryanelly. The trek up this peak starts from the entrance gate of the estate and is mostly through the tea estate and paths until you get to the shola near the top. There are bits on the walk that would require a moderate amount of fitness. You will be well rewarded once you get to the top as you get a panoramic view of both the peaks in Tamilnadu and Kerala!

This walk is included for guests staying at the Mountain Hut. It can however be booked separately as a day walk and can be combined with the factory visit. For the walk you will have the services of an experienced local guide. Depending on the time of the walk either picnic lunch or snacks will be provided. The walk usually takes about 3 hours for a person with a reasonable amount of fitness.

For more details of the walk do contact us on info@kolukkumalai.in.

Tea Experience

For those who are intrested in knowing the process of tea making from planting and picking tea in the gardens to processing tea at the factory  we offer the Tea Experience Tour. This starts early morning where you assemble at the muster where the pickers are assigned the area to pick for the day. You will then be kitted by the workers and join them for a hands-on experience at picking tea. You could go for either the traditional method where you pick by hand or the more productive method of using shears! You then take the leaf that you pick to the factory where you will be shown the whole process of tea making in the tradition time tested orthodox method. 

After a break for lunch, either a picnic at a view point ( weather permitting ) or a hot lunch at the guesthouse a tea tasing session will be arranged. Here our expert will teach you how the subtle tastes and flavors stand out among the various grades of tea. The programme will end with tea and snacks at the guesthouse. 

The Tea Experience is included if you are resident and staying for 2 or more nights at the Mountain Hut. It can also be booked as a day experience. The trip start from the guesthouse at 0830 in the morning and ends at bout 1630 at the guesthouse. If you are not a resident at the guesthouse then you will have to get to the estate in time.  We will also be happy to arrange this experience for individuals with prior notice.

For more contacts and price do contact us on info@kolukkumalai.in

Nature walk and Bird Watching trips

The hills are home to a few endemic and a wide variety of birdlife. The Nature Walk with our naturalist will truly be a rewarding experience! It is advisable to start the walk as early as you can so you stant a good chance to see most birds that has made these hills their home! The walk starts from the Mountain Hut after a short briefing over hot tea or coffee. You will be given checklists of the both the common and endemic birds of the area before you start out so you have your own record to take back of the beautiful birds that see on the walk. The duration of the walk is for about 3-4 hours but can be extended should there be a chance to spot a rare bird!

This walk can be combined with the walk to Kolukkumalai peak as you would get to see most species found in the hills on the walk. For those interested we are happy to arrange longer walks and visits to neighbouring hills that houses some of the best terrains for birds.

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