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Mel said

Planning on visiting South India next year, where to go for tea?

My friend is working in Mumbai, and I am planning a bucket list worthy trip to India. I am flying into Mumbai, and chartering to Kerala region and taking the train up to Goa, then back to Mumbai. I am still so overwhelmed by where to go, but the nature draws me to those areas. I am going to spend a week down south, and a week in Mumbai with my friend.

I just didn’t know if others who have been there knows of a Must Do area. I am also looking to tour spice plantations. I just can’t wait!!!!!!!!!

11 Replies

I would see if any of the tea estates in Nilgiri allow tours. Some that come to mind are Tiger Hill, Corsley, Chamraj. I’m sure there are a bunch more, but to me visiting an actual estate would be a must do while in India.

Mel said

Thank you, I actually found one in Kerala. It looks absolutely perfect.

I am still open to where to go.

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Nicole said

I have looked as well. My husband may end up in Mumbai this year for business and I may be able to join him for a bit. I found this: http://goindia.about.com/od/topdestinations/tp/5-Best-India-Tea-Gardens.htm

My problem is that not knowing when I’ll be going or for how long until probably less than a month out means I can’t arrange anything very much in advance. It takes so long to get to the tea regions from Mumbai and since my time may be limited I was thinking that I would be taking an in-country flight from Mumbai to either the Nilgiri region or the Darjeeling region.

I’ll be sure to let you know what worked out if I end up going before you or if I find something interesting in my searching for options and please do the same with me – let me know what you find!

Mel said

I am going for 3 weeks, my friend is moving to Mumbai, and I am visiting her. I want to go to the Southern region. I saw that link from another thread on this page. I’ll be going in the first weeks of March. I want to go to the Nilgiri region, but I want to see spice farms and elephants, so Kerala is where I want to go.

I will most likely take a train roundtrip. I looked into Assam, for volunteer work on a tea field even, but I probably won’t go that route.

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omg you’ll be passing by a region that makes a bold/malty tea I fell in love with a few years ago. Ponmudi or Kerala. Would be soooo jelly if you made it there lol.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponmudi

Mel said

I am not going to the Ponmudi region, but I am for sure going to Munnar and Thekaddy/Kumily. I am visiting a tea garden that’ll be 8,000 ft above sea level! I am packing an extra suitcase for just teas.

Mel said

What tea do you recommend from Kerala that stood out? I love love malty teas :)

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sb said

Don’t go in the Indian summer months, which begins in early March. The heat is debilitating.
Try not to spend more than one night in Mumbai, It is not appealing and India has much, much more to offer.
The Nilgiri plantations are worth seeing, but not if they take too much time. If you must go in the summer months, at least check the small tea estates in the hills of Himachal Pradesh, you are then close to the cooler foothills of the Himalayas.
Re Kerala, it is fascinating, try to include Cochin – different name these days – and an outdoor Kathakali performance.
Also you are not all that far from Mahabalipuram, one of the really appealing beach areas in Tamil Nadu.
Try to travel by air – flights are cheap if you book early, and the RR is a slow and inefficient way to travel. I don’t even remember the last Indian train I was on that was close to on time. A train from Mumbai to Kerala would take about two months.

Nicole said

This is some fantastic information. Thanks so much, sb! I’m making note of all your suggestions for if I go! :)

Mel said

I am flying, decided against using the train since I just don’t have the time, and I will be getting there right on March 5. I wanted to get to the Nilgiri area, but I picked Kerala instead. Cochin is where I start and end, looking forward to walking tours there. I’m spending at least 2-3 days in Munnar, and then 2 days in Thekaddy. Thank you for your input. I only wished I had longer time to truly get a tour of all the teas.

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Mel said

I am trying to avoid Mumbai, even though I do want to see my friend. But there’s not much culture wise I’ve been told.

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