The Tall Trees Resort is located right in the heart of a bio-diversity hotspot. The resort is a favourite of discerning tourists who come here to seek and begin an intense relationship with Nature in all her purity - whether it is on a holiday, family vacation, honey-moon and eco-tourism or adventure trip.

The impossible task of converting a Shola forest into a modern resort without damaging any of its natural features or any part of its fragile eco-system was made possible through careful planning and determined hard work with a devoted commitment to Nature.

The Western Ghats eco-system – a hotspot of bio-diversity

The Western Ghat Ranges of southern India is one of the 33 recognised ecologically sensitive zones in the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also one of the world's eight ‘hottest hotspots' of bio-diversity. With an average height of 1500 metres, it runs parallel to the Arabian Sea for 1600 km, forming the divide between the coastal plains and the Deccan Plateau. Beginning at the southern end of the west coast of India, near Kanyakumari, the Ghats pass through the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, ending at the Gujarat border.

Of its 160,000 square kilometres, 39 tracts, including reserve forests, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, of the Western Ghats have been designated as world heritage sites by the UNESCO. Twenty of these sites are located in Kerala, five in Tamil Nadu, ten in Karnataka and four in the state of Maharashtra.

The Western Ghats Mountain Range is also the catchment area for forty percent of the river water drainage of India.

As regards flora, fauna and avifauna, the Western Ghat Ranges has one of the highest levels of endemism in the world. Almost half of the fishes, more than one-third of the plants and three-fourth of the amphibians found on the Western Ghats are endemic. Out of the over 7400 species of flowering plants, 139 species of mammals, 179 species of amphibians and 288 species of freshwater fish found here so far, about 325 are globally threatened. Of this distinctive eco-system, the Shola forests are the most vulnerable and unique.

MUNNAR - A Brief History

Stone-age paintings, dolmens and rock edicts found in Marayoor near Munnar are clear proof of a civilization that existed as long ago as 10,000 BC. However, the written history of Munnar as we know it today begins somewhere around 900 AD when Tamil migrants called Muthuvans (because they carried their belongings on their backs), climbed hills and crossed jungles to come and settle in and around here at a time when there was no transportation or even permanent pathways and Munnar was just an isolated piece of forest.

In the nineteenth century, when the British came to this place exploring the scope for agriculture, the high ranges around Munnar were known as Kannan Thevan Hills – after a native Chief named Kannan Thevar who was a landlord in the Anchanaad Valley on the eastern side of the district. It is said that travellers from Madurai to the West Coast, who passed his villages, had named these hills after him. The area was under the rule of the Poonjar King whose principality of Central Travancore included parts of the present day Dindigul, Cumbum, Koodalloor, Bodinaykkanur, Vandiperiyar, Peerumedu and KannanDevan Hills.

In 1877, the Poonjar King conveyed a large tract of land (588 sq km) to one J.D. Munro, a lawyer in the employ of the Travancore Government. This tract, called the KannanDevan Concession Land, was at that time undeveloped, largely unexplored and covered with dense jungle. In 1879, together with A.W. Turner of the Madras Civil Service, Munro founded the North Travancore Land Planting & Agricultural Society, whose members developed their own estates in various parts of the high ranges.

In 1895, Sir John Muir, Baronet of Deanston of Scotland, purchased the deeds of the Concession and in the year 1897, Finlay Muir & Co. of Glasgow founded the KananDevan Hills Produce Co. Ltd. This Company together with its two subsidiary companies, the Anglo-American Direct Tea Trading Company and the Amalgamated Tea Estates Company, continued development and cultivation of tea and other crops. The Company purchased 33 estates in the High Range Area and 9 in the Anamallais.

From here on the history of Munnar is inseparably interwoven with the history of the present Tata Global Beverages (formerly Tata Tea) Limited, the world's second-largest manufacturer and distributor of tea and a major producer of coffee. In 1964, a collaborative venture between the James Finlay Group and the Tatas was initiated to develop value-added Teas. In 1983, Tata Tea bought the stake belonging to the James Finlay group to form the individual entity Tata Tea.

Tea and other plantations were not the only things that the British introduced in Munnar. They were interested in angling and imported trout in specially made barrels in 1909 and set up a small hatchery at Chenduvarai near Munnar. At present, a well-maintained hatchery functions near the Rajamala Range and those who are interested in angling are allowed to do so in Devikulam Lake. The largest trout caught in Munnar was from Mattuppetty Dam in 1966 by a British man JFR Brady, and weighed about 3.4 kilograms. However, no trout weighing more than 2.3 kilograms has been caught after the 1970s.