When you are in Munnar and that too in Kannan Devan Hills, can you afford to return to your home without buying something from here? No!
With headquarters in Kolkata, Tata tea owns tea estates in Munnar. Tata Tea Ltd, one of the largest integrated tea companies in the world, transferred 17 of its leased tea estates to a separate company called Kannan Devan Hills Plantation Ltd, which is owned by the employees of the tea estates.
Set up in 1964 as a joint venture with UK based Janes Finlay and Company to develop value added teas, the Tata tea Group of companies, which includes Tata Tea and the UK based Tetley Group, today represents the world’s second largest teas operation with product and brand presence in 40 countries.
With its 7 extensive tea gardens in Munnar covering approximately 24,000 hectares, the company is today the largest tea corporate in South India with an annual production of 21 million kg of tea. Virtually all its 12,000 – plus employees are its shareholders. Of late, the company has also recognised the importance of tourism sector in Kerala and the Tea Sanctuary at Munnar owned and operated by the Kannan Devan Hills Plantations Pvt Ltd, has extensive and exclusive facilities for Kerala home stay holidays offering gracious service.
The Tea Sanctuary in Munnar offers visitors a rare serenity amidst its beautiful surroundings with much tropical diversity. Situated at an altitude ranging from 1372 mtrs to 2134 mtrs above sea level, the area presents a panorama of lush tea gardens, mist capped mountains, wooded valleys and crystal clear streams. Staying in the cottages offers the visitor a range of experiences from sightseeing, trekking, fishing, golfing and bird/wildlife watching to the ultimate in relaxation. Both Continental and Indian cuisines are served at all bungalows.
Tata Tea has an interesting Tea Museum in Munnar housing curios, photographs and machinery, each depicting a turning point that contributed to the growth of the tea industry. There is demonstration room for tea tasting where one would come across different varieties of tea. Those eager to understand the nuances of tea processing can do so at the CTC and orthodox tea manufacturing unit at the museum. Tourists are allowed to pluck tea leaves themselves and have them processed in their presence.
Timing to enter museum from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. Tata Tea has several plantations. Chundavurrai Estate is situated between the border of Tamilnadu and Kerala. The Ropeway Station at this end is called Top Station. One of the first hydroelectric Dams in Kerala namely Sethu Parvathi Puram is in this area.
Guderale Estate is the second largest Tea Estate in Kannan Devan Hills Plantations. Gundumallay Estate is nestled amidst the Mattupetty Dam and Anamudi, the highest peak of south India. Letchmi Estate is renowned for receiving the highest rainfall among the Kannan Devan Tea estates.