Elevation: Feet above Mean Sea Level
Certifications: Rainforest Alliance, ETP
Nyamakad Tea Estate is located in the western end of the High Ranges (Kanan Devan Hills) of the Southern Western Ghats in the Devikulam Taluk of Idukki district, Kerala State between 10º N Latitude and 77º E Longitude.
The estate has a total extent of 3710 Ha. and comprises of the Nyamakad, Rajamallay, Kanniamallay and Kadalaar sections. The estate has 1070 Ha. under tea and 1030.11 Ha. of energy plantations.
&The elevation of these sections range from 5973 feet in Rajamallay to 5012 feet in Kanniamallay, and the estate is situated at the base of the highest peak in peninsular India, the Aneimudi (8787 ft.). The estate experiences very heavy rainfall and receives its major precipitation during the south-west monsoons (June-August) averaging an annual rainfall of 3000mm. January-March are relatively dry months, and during winter, the temperature goes down even below freezing point.
The Nyamakad and Rajamallay sections lie contiguous with the famous Eravikulam National Park, which (ENP). ENP is home to the largest viable population of the endangered (IUCN) Nilgiri Tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius). The population of Nilgiri tahr in the Park is estimated to be between 700-800.
The estate is actively associated in the protection and management of the ENP, with its own watchers being deployed alongside the Forest Department watchers for this purpose.
The mass flowering of the shrub ‘Neelakurunji’ (Phlebophyllum kunthianum) takes place in the grasslands above the estate in cycles of 12 yrs, with the last Neelakurunji 'outburst' having taken place in September 2006.
The estate is rich in bio-diversity that has been conscientiously conserved over the years. Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, White-bellied Short Wing, Nilgiri Verditer Flycatcher and Kerala Laughing Thrush are some of the prominent birds commonly sighted.
The forests, locally known as ‘sholas’ (meaning forest in tamil), have been left undisturbed. The shola forests are dense and rich with many endemic and rare species, and the tree barks are generally covered with lichens, orchids, mosses and climbers. There are many temperate species like Mahonia leschnaultti, Rhododendron arboreum, Gaultheria
fragrantissima, Berberis tinctoria etc., rare orchids like Brachycorythis wightii, Habenarea flabelliformis etc., medicinal plants like Drosera peltata and wild varieties of cultivated plants like Piper schmidtti and Elateria cardamomum that are inevitably being preserved here in the wild.
The introduced fish, rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneir) is the dominant fish species in the streams and water bodies. A small cottage is maintained at “Gravel Banks” in Rajamallay, which serves as an ideal haunt for keen anglers.
Commonly seen animals are leopard (Panthera pardus), wild boar (Sus scrofa), Asiatic wild dog (Cuon alpinus), jackal (Canis aureus), jungle cat (Felis chaus), Nilgiri marten (Martes gwatkinsi), stripe-necked mongoose (Herpestes viticollis), ruddy mongoose (H. smithi), common mongoose (H. edwardsii), barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak), mouse deer (Tragulus meminna), Nilgiri langur (Presbytis johnii), sambar (Cervus unicolor), gaur (Bos gaurus), Malabar giant squirrel (Ratufa indica) and dusky striped squirrel (Funambulus sublineatus).
The Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) is a regular visitor to the estate and partakes of the cultivations of the estate inhabitants, grudgingly but helplessly watched on by the cultivators!
As part of its corporate policy of social responsibility, the medical requirement of the local indigenous people, the Mudhuvans, is attended to by doctors of this company with free medical camps at their hamlets (Muduvan kudis). The company has also set up infrastructure for a dispensary.