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Have a look at mindblowing MUNNAR

Munnar, a breathtaking beautiful heaven set at an altitude of 6000 ft in Idukki district, one of the romantic tourist destinations in Kerala. Munnar hill station was once summer resort of the British Government in the south. Munnar meaning “Three rivers” is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams Muthirappuzha (Kannimalayar), Nallathanni and Kundaly. The area is surrounded by vast jungles and remains wet and cold during most of the year. The Mattupetty Dam is nearby.

The people of Munnar share the culture and traditions of Kerala and their Tamil neighbours. Munnar itself is very small, sleepy and un-commercialized. While it is technically in Kerala, 90% of the people are Tamils and just 10% are Malayalis. You typically don’t get anything more than the South Indian Parotta, dosa and idli in the restaurants, despite all the long list of items in the menu. Additionally, you could get various flavors of tea, and spices like cardomom, cashew etc at much cheaper rates - at less than half the price you pay in cities.

Munnar is one of the highest tea plantations in the world, its lush green surroundings, mountain scenery, lakes, reservoirs, calmness and cool refreshing air attracts honeymooners and tourists throughout the year. It is also a weekend getaway for domestic tourists during summer season.

The Neelakurinji, another speciality of Munnar, a shrub with blue flower which blooms only every twelve years, is found in this region. It bloomed last in December 2006. Sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes, trekking, exotic flora found in the forests, grasslands and holiday facilities make Munnar a unique experience.

There are a number of tourist attractions in the hill station of Munnar. Travelers can have panoramic view of the green surroundings and forested hills from Munnar.

Places to visit:

Mettupatty dam:
Normally it is a reservoir, but it is renowned for fast jets boat riding. The fast bends when one side of the boat is 10 cm from water level while the other is 75 cm high are the high points.
Tip: Take a boat of 3 to enjoy the James-Bond type stunts in water.
And unlike what’s mentioned in the websites, you can’t just get into any of those Swiss cattle projects without permission.

Kundala dam:
It is also an ordinary dam except for the view and the wind-chill, but you might just take a breather en route to Top Station. Boating is available here also, but not fast jets, normal site seeing boats, with 15 or 25 per head.

Top Station:
This is one place for good trekking. There are three points in the trekking route. The first point where 80% of the crowd turns back, and the second point which is 500m further below in the hills where literally all the tourists turn back. What’s beyond is the best part for someone who’s serious into trekking. There were a couple of broken paths which vanish into thick woods. Going downhill through bushes and woods needs more care since the slope become maddening and it is impossible to continue without any trekking gear.

Echo Point:
Mainly for nature photographers. You will get awesome snaps if the water is still. If you want to see all the reflections in the water, go at a time when there’s absolutely no wind – just after a rain or early mornings or late evenings.

Eravikulam National Park:
This is supposedly the only place where you’ll get to see extinct animals like the Nilgiri Tahr and some birds. After all the climb and walk for 2 hours, all you get to see is only the Tahr, which is a goat version that’s adapted itself to mountains, only if you are lucky. Because man or machine sounds or heavy rain will keep the animals away from you. The heavy climb to this mountain is also very much interesting. One will get taxi for an adjustable rate to the mountain top. After that one should walk for 20 to 30 minutes to see these animals.
Rajamala: Place is the natural habitat of the Nilgiri Tahr. Half the world population of the rare mountain goat which is fast becoming extinct is now found here.
Nyayamakad: Nyayamakad is a land of breathtaking waterfalls. The waters cascade down a hill from a height of about 1600 metres. The enchanting surroundings make an excellent picnic spot and trekking point.

This is one place where you get good panoramic views of properly contoured tea ranges all over. This idyllic hill station with its velvet lawns, exotic flora and fauna and the cool mountain air is a rare experience. The sita devi lake with its mineral waters and picturesque surroundings is a good picnic spot. The lake is also ideal for trout fishing.

About 2-3 hours from Munnar on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border town of Kumily, this is the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. It’s set near the Periyar reservoir which in itself is at the center of a 90 square km forest full of animals. Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River adds to the charm of the park. The greatest attraction of Periyar are the herds of wild elephants that come down to play in the lake.

The sanctuary is famous for its dense evergreen, semi-evergreen, moist deciduous forests and savanna grass lands. It is home to herds of elephants, sambar, tigers, gaur, lion-tailed Macaques and Nilgiri Langurs. Thekkady is considered a heaven for natural spices such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and clove.
Tip: Take the evening ride since that’s when most animals come to quench their thirst.

Pothamedu offers an excellent view of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in Munnar. The rolling hills, the lush mountain and the breathtaking scenery here is ideal for trekking and long mountain walks.

How to reach there:

By road: Munnar is 140 km (about 4.5 hours) from Kochi. Remember to budget a good 6 hours if you are driving up or down, since the road is blind in some places and there are a lot of trucks and buses passing through. Although, the road is smooth (NH 49), it is narrow, twisty and curvy. Make sure you have a lite meal before you drive to Munnar on these roads, because it is very difficult to find a restuarent on the way. You can see only some tea shops with snacks. Kothamangalam is on the way and is 80 km away from Munnar. Between Kothamangalam and next town "Adimali", you can experience a beautiful cool drive through a natural forest. Alongside, you can see many refreshing waterfalls.

From Adimali, Munnar is just 30 kilometers away, but it will take atmost 1 hour to reach there. After 22kms from adimaly one can see the panoramic view of the western ghats on both sides of the road. This view is extremely beautiful during the early mornings.

Munnar can also be reached from Kodai Road, Madurai, Udumalpet. The drive to Munnar involves about 3 hours on the ghat section. There are 17 hair pin bends and traversing them can make you feel nauseated. However if you eat light while travelling you can enjoy the scenery during the drive.

Munnar is about 150km from Coimbatore. Coimbatore-Munnar route is a very scenic route and though a bit longer is generally considered worth the extra time spent.

Kochin is the nearest airport, which is an international airport, thus highly connected to all important places in India and Abroad.

DON'T forget to DO these:

Walk in the Clouds - Trek to your hearts content while the clouds slowly descend upon you.
Rock Climbing and Rappelling - Munnar has a steep rock face about 100ft.
Boating- There are several places to go out for boating in Munnar. One can choose among paddle boats, speed boats to Kashmiri-Shikara. Young couples who travel to Munnar should not miss-out on the beautiful 'Kashmiri-Shikara' boat ride. It is one of the most romantic experiences.
A variety of Tea, coffee and spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and pepper.

Stay, Food:
Finding a hotel not remain a problem at Munnar, a group of luxurious five star hotels to budget range hotels are waiting for you to show their hospitality. Most of the Munnar hotel provides sightseeing and transport facility.

For the food, one can find many restaurents near the town itself such as TreeTop Restaurant (A Multi-cusine restaurant having 70 person seating capacity Veg& non), Silverspoon restaurant, Saravana Bhavan (the most inexpensive places to eat,food is absolutely delicious, but one might have to share your table with others, serving on a Banana leaf).

For stay, hotels with wide range of budget is available here. All are very near to Munnar town. Autumn Tree Resorts, Kashmeeram Resort, Kaippallil Resort Homestay, Royal Retreat, Munnar, Hotel Hillview, Munnar Inn, Edassery Eastend,(all are high budget) and mid range hotels like Hotel Westwood Riverside, Blackberry Hills, Deshadan Mountain Resort, Copper Castle, Autumn Trees Resorts etc.

All other facilities like Hospitals, banking facility all available here.

For more panoramic View of Munnar please Click here: XploreGallery


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Anonymous said...

Kannan Devan Tea Plantations are a cluster of plantation bungalows situated at the picturesque town of Munnar.

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