Kolukkumalai Tea Estate
Kolukkumalai Tea Estate
4.5
Points of Interest & Landmarks
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
About
Kolukkumalai tea is one of the premium tea in South India. Kolukkumalai is the World's Highest Elevation Tea Plantation. Our Kolukkumalai Tea has been a winner of the "Golden Leaf" award given by UPASI (The United Planters' Association of Southern India) for the best quality Tea. Contrary to the other usual CTC tea produced by the other plantations, we are using Orthodox methods to process the tea leaves.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles644 reviews
Excellent
452
Very good
150
Average
34
Poor
4
Terrible
4

Sophie
6 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023
To get to this place at the bottom of the mountain, is already a long road. But after that, you go up with a jeep for 1 hour (!), and the road is not a road its only rocks and stones. If you see the picture on google, they photoshop the road, its not like that. The view is amazing, it is! The staff was nice. And give us a tour in the fabric. But the fabric is really old. And was not in progress at that moment.

But what they are telling at the website, its not like that. Maybe there are tours. But the website looks so professional, and also it seems like the fabric is a litte bit up hill. It isnt! We expected to see the sunset, but the fabric was down hill. In a valley, so if you are finally upstairs, you have another horrible road down. And... no sunset at all. That was such a shame, because the view from the otherside is beautiful. (but you see same things also more down, you dont have to go alllllll the way up!

Its cold overthere, and not only the highest plantation but also the oldest one! Oke, we had fun to see it.. but is it the ride worth it? noooo!

The only thing i was thinking when we went up and down was.. why? Why are they bringing people overhere? Its such a long heavy ride.
Written 20 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andre584
Budapest, Hungary3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2013 • Family
We stayed in the guest house just above the tea factory. An extraordinary experience- I can highly recommend it to anyone who wants to see the beatiful environment and can afford to stay for 1-2 days. The accomodation is simple but clean- the staff and guides are extremely helpful. Definitely worth a visit!
Written 5 January 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

uvahere
58 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2015 • Family
1. The morning sunrise would be the best time to visit this place.

2. I went in summer (End of March) the temperature was bearable but still my hands were frozen. My advise is to have a winter gloves, sweaters or extra shirt, shoes and a muffler if you are planning to see the sunrise. Lot more protection during monsoon and winters.

3. Jeep rates would be : To and Fro from Munnar is Rs.2000/- and from Sirinelli village (25km from Munnar) is Rs.1300/- and entry fee for driving through the private estate is Rs.100/-. Locals were saying you could get a Jeep in Sirinelli for Rs.800/- also.

4. For hiring a Jeep, you can contact Mr.Mahendran 9495880432. I hired him with help of other Taxi stand drivers in Munnar. Negotiate for better price.

5. The Jeep's are not 4x4 they are normal Jeeps with capacity of 7 to 9 people.

6. You can take your own vehicle with high ground clearance, even a Scorpio will do but you should be confident in driving in such narrow routes with extreme bumps and in some places you have to take reverse to make a deep curve. Only one vehicle can pass so you may have to halt or reverse to wider area to give way to upcoming vehicle.

7. If you are coming in your own vehicle you have to take permission in the checkpost after Sirinelli village and thats where you pay Rs100/- as entry fee. They have authority to deny the entry if they are not confident in your driving skill or the vehicle type.

8. The bad road starts after the checkpost.

9. On average all Jeep drivers will do 3 trips to this place so they will urge you to return soon.

10. Since it is the worlds highest tea estate and if you want to see the tip of this estate at highest altitude you have to climb further by walk to reach the peak. You have to check with the people around tea factory and they will guide you. You may not get time because the Jeep driver will be urging for descend.

11. Entry fee to tea factory is Rs.100/- and it would be interesting to understand how do they manage to move the machinery and iron pillars to construct the factory during 1920's other then that nothing special on the tea making.

12. During your hill road trip, you will come across many information boards erected all over the tea plantations and it will have the year of plantation. It will be quite interesting to see the dates of 1900's. The oldest tea plantation in that area is 1902 and which you can spot on the way.

13. There is a view point behind the Tea factory and from that place you can spot "TOP STATION", Kodaikanal Hill range, etc

14. There is one economical resort near tea factory where you can stay but not sure on the name.

15. There is a camping site 1km before the tea factory and you have to get permission from Tea factory officials.

16. Getting a bike on this road is not impossible but will be really hard, There is Bajaj M80 in the back side garage of the tea factory and that is being used by a tea factory staff who travels twice a week to Bodi and also I saw a crazy foreigner in Bajaj Discover almost near to the tea factory and his girlfriend walking behind, of course it will be hell for pillion riders :)

17. If I get a chance next time, I would drive my own vehicle. I will start ascending on day one probably after lunch then reach the tea factory (if possible book the resort and stay) camp for a night and in the morning drive back to sun rise point and then descend.
Written 1 April 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sam V Paul
Kochi (Cochin), India36 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Family
Kolukkumalai is simply awesome with a superb view of the tea estates and grass hills and a perfect place for chill out & trekking. There you can visit the Tea Factory which is the highest and one of the oldest tea factories in the world. Kolukkumalai got a lovely view of sunrise and you can spot some wild animals if you are lucky enough.

Getting there:-A 25 kilometer (45 mins - 01 Hr) scenic drive from Munnar will take you to Suryanelli, the small town before the Kolukkumalai Hills. From there you need a Jeep (which you can hire locally and will cost you less than INR 1500.00) for going uphill. Kolukumalai is about 12 kilometer away from Suryanelli and the Jeep will take more than one hour for covering this 12 kilometer ghat road.

Staying there:- You can stay at Munnar or at Chinnakanal or Suryanelli and can do a day trip to Kolukkumalai. Or if you really want to stay at Kolukkumalai the only available option is the Tea Company Guest House(a decent 03 bedroom guest house with attached toilets). You will get more details about the accommodation and facilities from the website www.kolukkumalai.in and you can contact on the email address given in the website for booking.
Written 28 August 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sthanik
New Delhi, India6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2013 • Couples
This Place represents everything that Munnar stands for and few more . ”Kolakkumalai Tea Estate” is a lush green privately owned tea estate where you get to see waterfalls every now and then on your way ascending to the top of the estate or while descending to the bottom (if you had missed any). You would never want to miss this place because those are the kind of things which will make you regret later but visit to this place should be placed at the last on your itinerary because, Once you visit this place, you may not find the munnar’s beauty as extraordinary as you must have found it initially. Also,This place is highly recommended to visit during Sunrise or the Sunset.

Fast Facts:

1. Estate grows ‘Organic Tea’ (meaning traditional way of processing tea which is labor intensive unlike ‘crush-tear-curl’ method)
2. ‘Estate Outlet’ next to the factory sells Fresh Tea packets.
3. Estate Altitude: ‘7800 feet’ above sea level, Jeeps cannot take you beyond 7100 feet (I was told at summit that the left side of the estate is kerala & the right was the Tamil Nadu Border).
4. From Munnar: 38 Kms / 90 Mins.
5. Costs about 1500 INR to cover the trip
6. 3-4 Hrs approx to cover the trip
7. No ATM’s
8. Mobile Phone Connectivity: Moderate Network Range.

This place is for:
Adventure Enthusiasts
Couple : The place is absolutely scenic and will offer immense privacy.
Kids

This place is not for:
Those with the heart condition should not try this place, I’ll explain why in the ‘Transportation’ section below.

Transportation within Estate :
Only locals with 4*4 can drive on the bumpy tracks which makes the ride real rough. This is precisely the reason why the guys with the history of Heart Condition, Blood Pressure Issues and Acrophobia should consider this trip tactfully before going on this trip. The ride on your way ascending makes it harder if your jeep has to share the same track with another oncoming jeep. I must say, The Willy’s & Mahendra Jeeps are the most underrated automobile of the 21st Century.

Prime Reasons to Visit:
1. Jeep Drive
2. Gigantic Estate
3. Natural Water bodies
4. Organic Tea
5. Traditional Tea Making Practices
6. Summit @ 8000 Ft.
7. Cloud 9 Experience: Quite literally (also, you’ll find yourself in the midst of clouds)

Things to Carry:
1. Salt : Leeches are found everywhere and mostly near the waterfalls within the estate.
2. Medical First Aid Kit : wounds from the leech bite may bleed longer, so medical kits are wise to carry ,not just because of leech bites but anything can go wrong ,you know ?
3. Torch: If you’re visiting during sunset, it may get really dark while descending, so again ,carrying torch while on such an adventure is a must
Written 29 December 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sam V Paul
Kochi (Cochin), India36 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2013 • Business
Kolukkumalai is simply awesome with a superb view of the tea estates and grass hills and a perfect place for chill out & trekking. There you can visit the Tea Factory which is the highest and one of the oldest tea factories in the world. Kolukkumalai got a lovely view of sunrise and you can spot some wild animals if you are lucky enough.

Getting there:-A 25 kilometer (45 mins - 01 Hr) scenic drive from Munnar will take you to Suryanelli, the small town before the Kolukkumalai Hills. From there you need a Jeep (which you can hire locally and will cost you less than INR 1500.00) for going uphill. Kolukumalai is about 12 kilometer away from Suryanelli and the Jeep will take more than one hour for covering this 12 kilometer ghat road.
Staying there:- You can stay at Munnar or at Chinnakanal or Suryanelli and can do a day trip to Kolukkumalai. Or if you really want to stay at Kolukkumalai the only available option is the Tea Company Guest House(a decent 03 bedroom guest house with attached toilets). Also, you can do camping and trek to Kolukkumalai. You can call on the contact number given in the website www.aadikerala.com for more details.
Written 27 August 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ravichandran S
Coimbatore, India53 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2015 • Friends
A 12 kms ZIG ZAG trek track from Kurangani village to Kulukkumalai takes about 8 hrs for an average slow trekker. But the scenic view from every one hour trek is really breathtaking. Lunch break at Lonely Tree point is in the midway. Wow !! from there you experience the real zig-zag trekking by enjoying the mountain ranges beauty ! At the top you find the HIGHEST ORGANIC TEA FACTORY in the world !! Have a cup of tea there and visit the Tea-factory by paying a nominal entrance fee. Either you can stay in the Guest house/Tent houses there or you can go to Chinnakanal by hiring a Jeep.That adventurous jeep ride takes an hour to reach Chinnakanal,where you find lodging in every budget. Next day you decide to come back by trekking or by jeep to Kurangani.
Written 3 March 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Niharikagarwal
30 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016 • Family
It will consume whole of your day but won't leave you disappointed. A jeep ride will make you feel like it's an adventurous journey but it's not much of a tough task. Your body will surely ache during the end of the day but again experiencing it would make you forget all your pains.

Jeep driver charged us ₹ 1500/- for the ride and the price goes even higher during season time but it is a hard work for them. It will take around 1.5 hours but will leave exhausted for the whole day.

The view there can't be described in words. On one side of the hill is Kerala and on the other is Tamil Nadu. Try to witness sunrise or sunset there, we regret not managing our time accordingly and not visiting the factory there which is cheaper then the Harrison factory to which our driver took us. Your driver will forcefully take you to this horrible Harrison tea factory but avoid it at any cost because there entry ticket is way higher and so are their teas. Insist on going to Kolukkumalai factory, there entry ticket is half the price of Harrison.

One more piece of advice, freshen up before taking the journey uphill as there is nothing on top other than coconut water sellers. Also take some snacks with you.
Written 24 March 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

G A
India2,643 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Couples
Kolukkumalai Tea Estate is a part of the Kothagudi Plantations group of Tamil Nadu. The entrance from the Munnar side is at Suryanelli on the Kerala TN border. It is a high altitude tea plantation though not the highest, that distinction belongs to Korahkundah in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu. Nonetheless the Kolukkumalai estate produces an excellent orthodox processed FOP leaf tea. FOP is Flowery Orange Pekoe using the top most tea leaf. I had bought kilos of the stuff from the Munnar market on our previous trip and had some couriered to me when that got over!

We did not go to the Kolukkumalai estate on our previous Munnar visit some 7 years ago and I was determined to go this time. We did barely a week ago.

We were staying at Chinnakanal, walking distance from the Suryanelli entrance to the tea estate. Jeeps just outside our hotel were offering the Kolukkumalai "jeep safari" at variable rates. We settled on a jeep for ourselves alone @ INR1200. You can apparently get a jeep for INR1000 from Chinnakanal but what the heck, the driver also has to earn his living and INR200 really did not make a difference. Our driver GK Samy turned out to be a very nice person and a safe driver.

Like everyone else concurs here, the distance is not that long but the track is terrible and that is a gross understatement. Only an ordinary jeep or a tractor can handle this 'road' without damage. The driver certainly earns every penny of his fee on this run.

I had read here about people getting tossed around on the ride so decided to play safe and wear an elasticated back belt plus push my back firmly into the seat during the drive. Elasticated back (waist) belts are available from roadside hawkers in Mumbai as I expect in most Indian market places for around INR100-150; a very worthy investment believe me.

Samy the driver went up carefully and very slow unlike all the other jeeps that passed us by; those were mostly filled with youngsters and groups and they were enjoying the faster ride I expect! We were happy with our leisurely pace and thoroughly enjoyed the dramatically beautiful views, stopping every now and then to soak it in and take the mandatory pics. Eventually we reached the parking area on top where all the tourist jeeps hang around. This is in Tamil Nadu state. Pathways went further into the estate; most of the tourists headed straight for the Tea Factory visit. We did not, preferring to take the path going around and nearer the Kolukku Malai Peak. After the bifurcation where a path went steeply down to the Tea Factory, we headed around the peak. This section had shola forest on one side. It was very pretty, covered with purple flowering Melastoma shrubs, yellow flowered Hypericum and several tree ferns. The view of the peak was impressive.

After this, we walked back passing the parking and on to a path leading to an "Echo Point". Not sure about the name but this path was through typical high altitude southern montane grasslands with Nilgiri rhododendron trees on the steep cliff edge on the Bodi facing side. The clouds were in and it was quite misty with no view, then suddenly it cleared a bit and craggy peaks came into view. Fortunately after a rather noisy family passed us on their way down, there was no one else and we had this fantastic grasslands path to ourselves. From the crest, a treacherous looking path seemed to go steeply downhill and on towards the grasslands at the foot of the craggy peak next door. It did not seem wise to attempt this without a guide in such misty weather threatening to rain at any moment. I am not sure if this path leads to Meesapulimalai, it would be an interesting walk for sure in clearer weather.

By the time we came back to the car, 4 hours had passed! The drive down was just as exhilarating and we stopped here and there to take pictures again. We considered walking down but given the state of the narrow broken stone track, it would not have been a comfortable walk. Walking the pathways from up top is much better for those who are so inclined.

We bought our quota of Kolukkumalai FOP tea to take home in the Munnar market. If you buy it at the factory outlet next to the Tea Factory you might get a small discount. It was quite cheap even in Munnar for this grade of tea @INR260/kg. CTC is of course cheaper but believe me this FOP is worth the money.

I would highly recommend the Kolukkumalai Jeep "Safari" trip to anyone visiting Munnar.

TIPS:
Budget permitting, it is well worth hiring the entire jeep for yourself.
You do not have to get up at some God forsaken time to go for the sunrise as some people recommend, mid morning is just as fine. The views are fantastic and the overall experience is well worth it.
As I mentioned above, if you have a tendency towards backaches, use an elasticated back belt or regular orthopaedic back belt, make sure your back is pressed firmly into the seat back and you will be just fine.
Obviously if you have a tendency toward motion sickness and even if you do not, just to be on the safe side, go on a relatively empty stomach. Carry water and food if you need it. The road is indeed very rocky and the possibility of throwing up is very real!
If you have small children with you, make sure they are sandwiched between older people. The front seat next to the driver has a safety bar. Ask the driver to go slowly.
No lavatories here, go behind the friendliest looking tea bush when you have to.

If I go to Munnar again, I would surely do this trip once more.
Written 4 May 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SreejithVathiamuri
Kochi (Cochin), India35 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2015 • Friends
Take a view of the Highest tea plantation in world and the second highest peak in south India next to Anaimudi. The panoramic view of the Western Ghats is simple awesome.

Facts:
Suryanelli- 4633 ft
Kollukkumalai- 7430 ft
Distance- 12 kms

No much resorts/hotels are available at Suryanelli so better stay at Munnar. Best time to start from Munnar (27kms) is 4 in the morning. You can enjoy offroading (12 kms) from Suryanelli at 5 and reach the spot by 6 am to witness an amazing Sunrise.
Make sure that you are in with much food in your bag and less in your stomach. Jeep drive can go crazy with 'no' road up.

Jeep rental starts from Rs 1000- 1500/- (3- 5 hrs). Make sure to include tea factory visit. Our driver was so friendly that we took 5 hrs at a rate of 1200 excluding the tip for his wonderful service.

Factory visit is nothing but just to have an idea on the conventional method of tea processing. They charge 100 per head. You can purchase Tea in half kilo packets priced at Rs110 per pack. Make sure you take a sip before you pay.

Remember its 'Offroading' and take the ride in the right spirit. Even you can take a walk if drive goes terrible.

Balu: 9388286161, Keep this number and feel free to use my name as reference..

So pack your bags to Highest Tea Plantation in the 'World' !!!!
Written 31 August 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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