By Roopsen C V
After enjoying our stay in Kochi, we were truly looking forward to our next destination - Munnar.
Munnar sits above 1800 metres from sea level and is one of the most popular hill stations in South India. From munnar.org, I came to know how beautiful it was, but we were truly amazed as the car approached this majestic region as the morning clouds dusted the mountain tops. The kids in their woolen jacket observed the hills, greenary and water falls through the window, which forced them to shout "wow" many times.
Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted as we checked into the hotel. Grabbed quickly the complimentary breakfast from the hotel itself. We really wanted to get a feel for Munnar, so we travelled in a rickshaw and had the driver took us around, especially off the beaten path, where the locals shop, eat and relax. To me, this is the way to see a new location - through the eyes of the local community. We headed to our first destination - the Eravikulam National Park.
The park is located about 12 km from Munnar. This park is home to endangered Nilgiri Thars, butterflies and birds. In my opinion, it is a great place for trekking and relax. I just couldn't stop taking pictures of the Nilgiri Thars and the tea plantations from above the hills.
Our driver told us about Neelakurinji, a plant flowered only once in twelve years. Munnar was over crowded in 2006 when it bloomed last time. On the way back to Munnar town, where our resort was located, we had seen several water falls.
We were then taken to the Tata Tea Museum located at Nallathanni Estate. This museum is worth to visit. It is exclusively on tea with curios, photographs and machineries. The process of tea production was narrated by the friendly guide over there. Then we visited the CSI Church, constructed on rock without any plaster during the British rule. We walked to the Munnar vegetables and fruits market from the church. Purchased some fresh strawberries and other fruits with unfamiliar names.
We had spent some time at the garden nearby the town. The children were anxious to see the picturesque floral scenery and do everything!
Next day we had visited Devikulam Lake, Mattupetty Dam, Top Station and Kundalai Dam. We returned back the resort after having the food from a restaurant in Munnar town.
On the third day, every one got ready for Marayoor trip. It is located about 40 Km away from munnar. I remember, we had seen sandalwood forest and Muniyaras at Marayur. After a hurry shopping, we returned back to the hotel early as we had to leave Munnar next day morning.
We will come back again. May be when Neelakurunji blooms next time. We are all greatful to "munnar.org" for introducing a wonderful place. Google lead us to "munnar.org" and it lead us to real Munnar!! Thanks again.
Another Munnar Travelogue: About my yearly trip to Munnar
By Vivek G R
Want to escape from your tension and worries. Have a trip to Munnar. Stay there for 3-4 days and return back with a calm mind.
Every year I used to visit Munnar and stay there for about 4 days. I had visited various parts of Kerala and in my opinion, Munnar is the most beautiful place in the state. What attracted me to Munnar is it's climate, calmness and the beauty.
Usually I start my trip to Munnar early morning from Ernakulam. The 4 hours journey to Munnar is really amazing. After reaching Munnar, I immediately check-in to a hotel and have a bath. Then go to some restaurant. Have some food- mostly Chapatti and Chicken Curry. Come back to room and have a deep sleep.
Wake up in the evening hearing the music or mantra from the nearby temple or the sound of ringing bells from the church at the city centre. It depends on my mood, I go to the temple or the church and stay there until the ceremony is over. Take a walk through the curved roads in between the tea estate, watching nature's beauty. When it gets dark, I go to the Thattukada and eat some hot porotta and beef fry. Later to the bar, buy a bottle of beer and a packet of salted cashew nut, and return to the room. After the TV is switched on, pour the beer to my glass. Sip it, chewing the cashew nut and listening the music from the TV. May be it takes about an hour to finish a Bottle. Fall to bed, mostly in the same pants and shirt I wear. Wakeup in the middle of night feeling the cold weather, cover myself with the blanket provided by the hotel and go to sleep again. Wake up only when I wish to be.
Usually during my Munnar trips, I don't read newspapers or watch news channels which brings disturbing stories. There is no particular time schedule or I even don't look at my watch. Mostly, I switch off my mobile.
There are some great picnic spots near Munnar. But it cannot be enjoyed alone. Some of the places are Mattupetti, Bodimettu, etc and used to visit those places only if someone is accompanying me.
I enjoy staying at Munnar and have a careless life for 3-4 days every year, which makes me feel refreshed.
I often recommend Munnar to my friends and most of them enjoy their trip as I do. Wishing you a great time at Munnar.