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 Western Ghats scenery is magnificent – you’re often up above the clouds watching veils of mist clinging to mountaintops. Munnar itself is a scruffy, traffic-clogged administration hub, not unlike a North Indian hill station, but wander just a few kilometres out and you'll be engulfed in a sea of a thousand shades of green.
Once known as the High Range of Travancore, Munnar flourished as a tea-producing area from 1880 onwards. Today it's the commercial centre of some of the world’s highest tea-growing estates, most operated by corporate giant Tata.
Munnar and the surrounding Idukki district were badly hit by the 2018 floods; at research time, road and business repairs were ongoing, but Munnar was very much open to visitors.