Discover tea in all its glory, from the healthy green tea to the elite white tea to the strong tea and more in the high ranges of Munnar.
Munnar is the best place to preserve and showcase some of the exquisite tea plantations in Kerala's high ranges.
Tata Tea who are the huge conglomerate who control most of the Munnar tea production recently opened a Tea Museum which houses curios, photographs and machinery, each depicting a turning point that contributed to a flourishing tea industry, as seen today in the region. The museum set up at the Nallathanni Estate of Tata Tea in Munnar is a fitting tribute to the toils and rigours of its pioneers, who showed utmost determination and were resolute in their efforts to transform Munnar into a major plantation centre of Kerala. The Tata Tea Museum diligently portrays the growth of Munnar tea estates, veritably conveyed through some of the displays like the rudimentary tea roller to the modern fully automated tea factory. Visitors to the museum can sate their curiosity about the various stages of tea processing, and also learn a thing or two about the production of black tea.
A sundial, placed on a granite block, which was made in 1913 by the Art Industrial School at Nazareth, Tamil Nadu, greets a visitor to the Tea Museum. At the museum, if one is curious to locate an item with some antiquity, then the burial urn from the second century BC, which was found near Periakanal estate tops the list. Some of the attention grabbing items on display at the museum include the original tea roller, the 'Rotorvane,' dating back to 1905, used for CTC type tea processing; the 'Pelton Wheel' used in the power generation plant that existed in the Kanniamallay estate in the 1920s; a rail engine wheel of the Kundale Valley Light Railway that shuttled men and material between Munnar and Top Station during the first half of the last century.
A section of the museum also houses classic bungalow furniture, typewriters, wooden bathtub, magneto phone, iron oven, manual calculators and EPABX of the1909 telephone system. A demonstration room for tea tasting is another attraction 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.
The Tea Museum by Tata Tea would soon turn out yet another reason for travelers to visit the enchanting plantation hills of Munnar, which have already become one of the prime tourist destinations in Kerala.
Permission to visit any of the 26 factories of Tata Tea Ltd. can be had from the Regional Office at Munnar.
Timings: 10:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m. (open 7 days a week)
Kanan Devan Hills Plantations Museum
Kanan Devan which is a sort of local cooperative but with increasing investment from Tata also has a tea museum at the Nullatani Estate which is very close to Munnar Town. The museum is closed on Mondays - see website page