This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Sangeetha as we explore the Kashmir of the South, Munnar!
Today's destination: Munnar, Kerala
Nearest Airport: Kochi International airport (110kms)
Nearest Railway Station: Aluva, Kerala (110kms)
Prerequisites - n/a
Packing - pack some light layers of wool as mornings and evenings can be chilly
Time of the year - September to Feb is a good time to visit
Length of the itinerary: 5 days
- Sangeetha travels with her family by flying from Bangalore to Kochi and driving down to Munnar, this way one can enjoy the beautiful drive leading up to Munnar.
- The first day is spent seeing around the resort and visiting the Blossom Hydel Park, a park formed by a Hydel power station and has some fun activities for kids. One could spend between 2-3 hours at the park enjoying the beautiful views.
- Close the park is the Pothamedu view point where one can drive to and enjoy some stunning views of the tea plantations along with picture perfect view of the valley.
- To experience the rich cultural heritage of the Kerala, Sangeetha visits the Punarjeevi Cultural village to enjoy a Katahakali show next. Kathakali is the popular dance form of Kerala that is based on a song/dance performance to the stories of Mahabharatha and other epics. The beautiful costumes, face paint and expression of the artists is something one should not miss out.
- The next day begins with a short trek organized by the resort where Sangeetha gets to learn more about the local flora and fauna of the place. The trek is not very strenuous and can be done with ease.
- Following the morning trek, the family drives down to Eravikulam National park, the first national park of Kerala and home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr. The park also sees the blooming of the Neelakurunji flowers once every 12 years. Make sure to plan your visit to the park well as waiting times can be a hinderance, specially on weekends.
- Following the visit to the park, the family drives towards the Anamudi peak - the highest peak in Kerala. The peak is a monolith and offers some stunning views on a clear day. There are also options to trek a part of the peak if one is up for it.
- Next on the itinerary is a visit to Mattupettey Dam where one can indulge in boating and a few other fun rides. There is also an Echo point, not far away from the dam where you can go shout your lungs out. If you are lucky, you can also run into a herd of elephants grazing the meadows close to the dam!
- After having fun with the speed boat ride, the family heads back to the Punarjeevi cultural village for an evening of Kalaripayattu - the very popular martial arts form of Kerala that is believed to have originated in the 3rd century BCE. One can watch the performers battle it out with swords, dagger and fire!
- The other must do trip while in Munnar is a drive up to the Kolukumalai peak - one of the higher peaks in Kerala that is also home to the world's highest organic tea estate, the Kolukumalai tea estate. An early morning drive makes a great spot for watching the sunrise from the peak. PS: Don't miss the egg omelette sold by a little tea stall on the peak!
- It is better to sign up with a tour company to drive you up the peak as the drive can be quite bumpy. The estate has a very old wooden tea factory that still produces tea in the orthodox style, there are tours of the tea factory available that are worth the time. There are treks around the area that one can take part in as well.
- Other places of interest in Kerala include a variety of waterfalls, beautiful lakes, tea museums and some great food! One can easily spend a week in Munnar and enjoy the lush green tea gardens and the vistas and still end up wanting more!
Link to Sangeetha's blogpost:
Link to Sangeetha's blog:
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