Regional Centre, Munnar, High Ranges
High Range is often described as “Fairy Land” by many travellers on their passing through the mountainous country and seeing its idyllic scenery. The highest tea in the world is grown in High Range and some of the finest teas of the world are produced here. The Eravikulam National Park, 17 km from Munnar, is home to a fantastic array of exotic wildlife, including scores of elephant, gaur, buffalo, spotted deer, monkey and tiger. It has the world’s largest surviving herd of Nilgiri Tahr, the majestic and proud mountain goat of the High Range. The High Range is situated in the Devicolam Taluk of Idukki District. The altitude of the district varies from 950 to 2,200 m above MSL. Although the total area is about 320 sq. km only, there is a lot of variation in the annual rainfall. On the northern edge of High Range (Top Station), the average rainfall is in the region of 1,300 mm, whereas in the western end, the average rainfall is about 7,000 mm. Unusual variation in rainfall may be attributed to the peculiar configuration of the land and numerous parallel spots across the north-south edge of Western Ghats. Temperature during day time rises to about 30°C and during winter nights it drops down to 5°C. A large area of tea is damaged by frost during winter months. The estates are clustered around the town of Munnar, which is about 145 km from Cochin. Estates are situated mostly on the inner slopes of a basin-like plateau. Anaimudi, the highest peak in south India is situated near Munnar.
The Regional Centre at Munnar advises on all aspects of cultivation, plant protection, crop production and processing of tea. Several experiments relating to harvesting, planting, agronomy and pest control are being conducted here.