South India's largest tea-growing region, the rolling hills around Munnar 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 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 now operated by the Kannan Devan Hills Plantation Company (KDHP), a local cooperative which succeeded corporate giant Tata Tea in 2005.