Pick one of the 1 locals available on this tour
Available languages: Hind,English
You will learn at first hand the processes involved in growing tea and interact directly with the workers. Tea bushes are planted between 1m to 1.5m apart and generally follow the natural contours of the terrain in which they will grow. They are carefully tendered in special nursery beds until 12-15 months old and then planted in the tea gardens. To stimulate the production of leaf buds, they are regularly pruned and shaped into flat-topped bushes of about 1me in height. When the plant develops to a height of about half a metre above the ground, it is cut back – pruned to within a few inches off the ground. Regular 2 to 3 years pruning cycles encourage the supply of shoots, the flush which is plucked every week to ten days, depending on where it is cultivated.
The tea leaves are mostly hand-plucked, every 5- 10 days; this will, of course, depending on where it's grown. The length of time needed for the plucked shoot to redevelop a new shoot ready for plucking varies according to the plucking system and the climatic conditions. When the picker plucks the bush two leaves and a bud are nipped off. This is a very delicate task and only women do it. An experienced plucker can pluck up to 30 kg tea leaves per day. In warmer climates, the plant is plucked for the first time after four years and it will produce tea for at least 50 years.
This programme will commence with a 30-minute drive from Munnar town to get to Lockhart. On reaching, you will follow the tea trail to the area where the ladies will be picking tea leaves. Once in the area, you will join them in picking tea leaves and in weighing the leave; throughout this exercise, you will enjoy the opportunity of interacting with the workers to understand their way of life. You will then proceed to the home of one of the pickers and have a cup of tea and enjoy further conversation with the family before returning to Munnar.
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Images Credit - Kestrel Adventures
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