India // Kerala //

The Town

Clustered around the confluence of three mountain streams, Munnar town is a typical hill bazaar of haphazard buildings and congested market streets, which you’ll probably want to escape at the first opportunity. The one sight of note is the Tea Museum (Tues–Sun 9am–4pm; Rs50), 2km northwest of the centre on Nallathany Road, which houses various pieces of old machinery and an exhibition of photos of the area’s tea industry.

The social hub of the colonial period, and an important cultural icon in Munnar, the famous High Range Club is perched on a balcony overlooking the river on the southeastern edge of town. Indians were only officially permitted to enter the premises as recently as 1948, but these days non-members of any race are welcome to visit the typically Raj-era building for a round of golf, or to enjoy a G&T served on the lawns by liveried retainers. In the men-only bar, the walls are hung with rows of hunting trophies and topees. Stiff-upper-lipped dress codes apply throughout: no T-shirts or sandals, and formal evening wear after 7pm on Saturdays.