Monday, 15 December 2014

Oldest tea factory built by the British and highest tea estate in the world,Kolukkumalai

Kolukkumalai, near Munnar, Kerala - Highest tea estate in the world.
Worlds highest tea estate,S.India,display board.
World over tea drinking is common among many cultures for centuries. In  many social events, drinking tea is  highly preferred  for  relaxation and fun, whereas in the case of business events or meetings,  drinking tea promotes cordiality and more positive interactions among participants  to  discuss matters  relevant  to business promotion. For school and college students, tea-break gives them respite from monotonous and mundane atmosphere in the school of learning when facing tough and lousy teachers.
Nature's cradle-hills near Tamil Nadu-Kerala borders. view from summit,S.India.
oldest tea factory and highest tea plantation in the world, Kolukkumalai,near munnar,S,India.
 Kolukkumalai  is about one and a half hour drive from the Munnar town, Kerala, a distance of 38 km. The summit is accessible only by jeep preferably four wheel drive.

The journey on the mountain road will give you a mesmerizing experience - mists playing hide and seek, gently rolling green carpeted mountain  slopes on either sides covering vast tea plantations randomly sliced by foot paths for movement of plucked tea leaves and thick rain clouds in patches hugging  the upper crests of the  slopes and the pleasant aroma from the tall thick tress on either sides, besides the breath-taking view of the nearby and distant hills partly obscured by mists and the ravines - you will be captivated by all these  nature's  magic before reaching the top.

The summit, about 8,000 feet above MSL, is not only best known for its picturesque scenery but also for the highest tea plantations in the world, not even plantations in Assam, W.Bengal and  Himachal Pradesh and these plantations produce high quality tea. An old  tea factory has been functioning since 1930  in a vintage  factory building built by the British company during the colonial period.  It is quite amazing that it still retains the old charm and the colonial legacy. At distance, you will be overwhelmed by the nice  aroma  emanating from the  fresh tea which is  being prepared using traditional, time-tested methods - crush-tear-crawl.  The technique adopted here is a seven step process  consisting of  withering, rolling, sieving, fermenting, drying, fiber extraction and finally grading.The highest of the hill plus the soil give special flavor to the tea grown here and Broken Orange Pekoe and (BOP)Flowery Orange Pekoe (FOP) are among the world famous varieties
Kolukkumalai,near Munnar, Kerala- Highest tea estate in the
produced here.
People working on the plantation are given special quarters for their stay  here and they live a simple life in tune with the Nature - far away from the maddening crowd and polluted  cities.

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