Munnar, in east-central Kerala, is the epicentre of the state’s tea industry. Plantations of neatly manicured bushes cloak the slopes soaring above this ramshackle town, overshadowed by the dramatic bulk of Ana Mudi (2,695m), south India’s highest peak.

Visits to tea gardens, to watch pluckers at work and experience the manufacturing process at close quarters, are popular day trips, and the more energetic may trek to the high, grassy ridges overlooking the valley for a glimpse of a Nilgiri tahr, a rare mountain goat endemic to this area. Its stronghold is the Eravikulam National Park, 13km up the mountain from Munnar and reachable by road.

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