The rolling hills around Munnar, South India’s largest tea-growing region, are carpeted in emerald-green tea plantations, contoured, clipped and sculpted like ornamental hedges. The low mountain scenery is magnificent – you’re often up above the clouds watching veils of mist clinging to the mountaintops. Munnar town itself is a scruffy administration centre, not unlike a North Indian hill station, but wander just a few kilometres out of town and you’ll be engulfed in a sea of a thousand shades of green.
Once known as the High Range of Travancore, today Munnar is the commercial centre of some of the world’s highest tea-growing estates. The majority of the plantations are operated by corporate giant Tata, with some in the hands of local co-operative Kannan Devan Hills Plantation Company (KDHP).