The Munnar region contains 65ooo acres of tea plantations and is responsible for 15% of India’s tea production. This extensive planting results in some excellent views with steep high hills and wide valleys covered in cushion like tea plants, tropical forests, peppercorn plants, coffee trees, and cardamom palms completed the complex valley landscapes.
I stayed outside of Munnar town, and I’m glad I did, besides the scenic hills surrounding the town, I couldn’t see much else to credit the town with. I stayed instead in a retreat nestled in one of these tropical pockets, surrounded by a cardamom plantation below and a tea plantation above, my morning view out through the trees was wonderful indeed, and secluded enough that the birds chirping was the only thing here to wake me.
My time in the Munnar region was spent enjoying views and walking, through tea plantations to the valley floor, through cardamom and pepper plantations, and along the ridges above the valleys, enjoying the vast, sweeping views out over the seemingly endless tea fields.
I have photographs of tea from every angle, from a distance, of ladies harvesting, of tea shrouded cliffs, close up, with me standing amongst the bushes. If I could have figured out a way to have a photo of me swimming through the tea bushes in the same way Scrooge Mc’Duck swims through his money I would have. Instead I sang myself a tea centric version of Oliver Twist’s food, glorious food.
My retreat offered a great tea tasting session too, so I could have a nice refresher course about the process and the varieties of tea produced. It even had a range of teas from different estates in the region to highlight how the different elevations and sites affected the overall flavour.