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Munnar History

In both Malayalam and Tamil, the word Munnar means three rivers, as it is merging place of three mountain streams. The Duke of Wellington was the first prominent person to visit Munnar. Munnar was once the summer capital of the British in southern India. Munnar was developed to cultivate tea plants by British although it was first discovered by Scottish planters. In the early developmental stages only Tamilians worked there as few Malayalis inhabited in that area Munnar. Munnar has an ancient history and prehistoric relics that can be dated back to Stone Age civilization. The written history begins only from 10th century. In the early 19th century, the headman of the villages of Anchanad, Kannan Thevar, held lands to the north of the high ranges, which belonged to the local Rajah of Poojar.

According to record history, the first tea sapling was planted by A.H. Sharp at Parvathi, part of the present Sevenmullay estate, consisted of 50 acres of land in the surrounding jungle. J D Munro, a British lawyer and tea planter leased close to 600 sq. km of land around Munnar, which was then covered with thick jungle, from the Poonjar chief, a subordinate of the Maharaja of Travancore. He then cleared the jungle for Tea plantations. This land was later known as Kannan Devan (Kannan Thevar) Concession Land. Later in 1895, Messrs Finlay Muir & Company bought Munros land and in 1976 Tata-Finlay Ltd. purchased it. Then in 1983 James Finlay Group sold their remaining share holdings and the company became known as Tata Tea Ltd., the largest integrated tea company in the world.

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Munnar Plantations


By- Hanoian (Flickr)

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