Travel report: Kuttikkanam's Misty Mountain Plantation Resort is heaven for nature lovers and tea connoisseur
The 600-acre sprawling property in Kuttikanam, Misty Mountain Plantation Resort is a heaven for nature lovers and tea fanatics alike
Two beautiful waterfalls, a 14-km jeep safari through the tea gardens, and if you are a cycling enthusiast, a 5-10 km ride (which can extend up to even 20 km) awaits you along the bumpy roads with some short climbs. For the tea lover in you, there’s a tour of a tea factory that will make you appreciate the history and making of the tea.
Welcome to ‘Misty Mountain Plantation Resort’ at Kuttikanam, a three-hour drive from Kochi. The 600-acres private property in one of the most beautiful hill stations in Kerala offers many attractions for the travel bug in you. The once summer palace to the Regent Queen of Travancore now houses a seven-room plantation resort on the banks of the stream from a check dam. Micheal A Kalliyalil, a planter, had purchased the property in the 1960s and now his family runs the resort.
The safari ride, which takes you to the ‘Misty Mountain View Point’, offers spectacular views of the rugged mountain, vast plains, subtropical forests and rolling clouds. “On a clear day, we could see as far as the backwaters of Alappuzha from the mountain top,” says Amal V Nair, our young guide, who drove the Mahindra Jeep Commander MUV.
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Though tea dominates the 600-acre area plot, other spices such as pepper, cardamom, cloves are also grown on the property. Then, fruits such as mangosteen, java apple are there for you to be plucked and enjoy as you take a stroll through the estate.
Operations manager Sanjith P Nair tells us that the resort is slowly picking up business after the lull of the past 12-18 months following the pandemic outbreak. “People en route to Munnar from Kottayam also stops by at the resort for a break here,” he says.
For the adventure-minded, the ‘Misty Mountain Experience’ cycle ride takes you on a tour of the tea and spices that make the Kuttikanam-Peermade area famous. At the ‘Misty Mountain Peermade Tea’ factory, its CEO Joseph A Kalliavayalil welcomes us. “Here, we make orthodox tea. In orthodox tea, every seven to 10 days fresh, young, moist leaves are plucked and rolled. We get fresh aromas as the cells rupture.
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This is mostly taken without milk,” he explains. The tea factory, which is just three years old, can produce around 12,000-15,000 kg/day. “If it rains, there won’t be sufficient quantity and there won’t be work for three days. If the sun comes out, there could be work continuously for 20 hours. It’s really unpredictable,” Joseph adds. In the tea tasting, one can relish various grades of tea produced in the factory. As we said goodbye to the hill station and our wonderful hosts, we have promised to return soon, just to savour the experience once again.
(The correspondent was the guest of the Misty Mountain Plantation Resort )