Kolukkumalai is a small village in Bodinayakanur Taluk in the Theni District of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is home to the highest tea plantations in the world with the tea grown here possessing a special flavour and freshness because of the high altitude. The approach road is via Suryanelli in Idukki district of Kerala. Kolukkumalai is about 7,900 ft above sea level and you can have some excellent views of the far off plains in the bordering State of Tamil Nadu. The distant hills slipping in and out of the mist is a captivating sight.
The sprawling plantations and an old tea factory lend an old world charm to this place. Go on a guided tour through the factory. The two-storied building, built in the 1930s, with its wooden interiors and aroma would present you some time-tested methods of tea processing. Here tea is processed in the traditional method, which is different from the more popular CTC (crush-tear-curl method). Tea lovers will be pleased to sip different varieties of tea from the tea tasting center here. Those wanting to take home the flavor, can buy fresh packets from the outlet attached to the factory. There are different varieties to choose from like the Broken Orange Pekoe (BOP) and the Flowery Orange Pekoe (FOP). Get some tips from the salesmen on how to extract the different tastes.
Movies like Kumki/Kazhuku and many more shot at this place.
Route and Transportation:
You have the option of a walk or an off-road drive in any vehicle with a very good ground clearance to get to the estate.
* Don’t try with your hatchback or sedans, better reach Suryanelli hire a Jeep, they will be charging between 1200 to 1500, which don’t think high, the road is such a beauty. Really need high off-roading skills to reach Kolukkumalai top. There is no restriction for private vehicles but remember the above points.
Route 1: From Munnar
Route 2: From Thekkadi(Kumali)
Kumali-Udumbanchola-Poopara-Bodimettu junction(Bodi-Idukku road)Suryanelli-Kolukkumalai
Route 3: From Bodinaykanur: