Oothu Tea Estate, Manjolai Hills
The Tea Plantations and the whole of Manjolai Estates are operated by the Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation Ltd on Forest Lands leased by the Government of Tamilnadu. There are 3 Tea Estates within the Manjolai area - Manjolai Estate, Manimuthar Estate & Oothu Estate. The Estates are located on elevations ranging between 2300 Feet to 4200 Feet. The estates, road & the settlements in the Manjolai area are managed by the Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation Ltd. Oothu Tea Estate is one of Bombay Burmah’s Singampatty group of estates, began with the lease of 8,500 acres from the Rajah of Singampatty.
In the end, only 3,000 acres were cultivated, and the Oothu garden comprises just a little more than 526 acres nestled at the foot of the Western Ghats. The rest of the land is a buffer zone between Oothu and its sister tea gardens: Manjolai and Manimuthar and their biggest neighbor, the Kalakad Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary, including a green belt that helps animals cross from one part of the jungle preserve to another without venturing into the tea.
Founded in 1929, and situated near southernmost tip of India, Oothu originally grew cardamom, cinchona, and some coffee but transitioned to tea between 1960 and 1973, giving Oothu’s plants a current average age of 45. Oothu lies at 3,500-4,000 ft. above sea level and produces between 16,000 and 17,000 kg (35,250-37,500 lbs.) per hectare. Oothu Tea Estate is located at about 5 Kms from Nalumukku, 18 Kms from Manjolai and 40 Kms from Manimuthar.