The Tea Museum which has made a place for itself in popular travel websites such as Lonely Planet, Kerala Tourism and Trip Advisor is a major attraction to all tourists visiting Munnar.
Not only for industries, there are museums even for writers in the western countries. Luckily, here in Kerala, as there was never a dearth for writers, we too have museums for them. But being an industry-shy place, do we have museums for any industry here? Fortunately, yes. Tea industry, one of the oldest industries of Kerala which is still growing strong, has a museum. And what’s more, the Tea Museum in Munnar run by Kanan Devan Hills Plantations (KDHP) Company turned 10 recently.
Over the years, the tea museum which has made a place for itself in popular travel websites such as Lonely Planet, Kerala Tourism and Trip Advisor, thus has also become a major attraction to all tourists visiting Munnar.
Starting from 1877, the time when John Daniel Munro had taken a piece of land on lease for tea plantation through the year 1880 when the first tea estate in Munnar was established, the ways in which the tea Industry travelled till date has been narrated beautifully through the numerous tell-tale exhibits here - old pictures, machineries, utensils and documents among others. In addition to these many things related to tea, for the historically-inclined, a nannangadi (an ancient burial urn) of tribal people found near Periakanal estate which must have been used in circa BC 2 is also displayed here.
Among other exhibits, we can also see the original tea roller or 'Rotervane' used for CTC type tea processing that dates back to 1905, the wheels of the train that used to run between Munnar and Kundala during 1908-1924, the telephone exchange that was brought from UK in the year 1909, the 'Pelton Wheel' used for the power generation plant that existed in the Kanniamallay estate in the 1920s and a few three annas coins used by Kanan Devan Company in those years. To welcome you inside the Museum, there is a huge sundial which is placed in a granite block. This sundial was made in the year 1913 by the Art Industrial School at Nazareth in Tamil Nadu. To satiate the curiosity of visitors, a modern mini model tea factory was also set up in the museum demonstrating the process of making dust tea out of plucked leaves.