South India’s most scenic hill station, Munnar takes you through the winding roads, encircled with the unending stretch of carpeted tea gardens, rolling hills and picturesque tiny villages. For nature lovers, this hill station is nothing less than a paradise. The inviting aroma of spices, filter coffee and scrumptious local flavored snacks dominate your senses. The vaguely visible houses from a distance, the sound of temple bells, when the alleys are filled with the locals and tourists in the evening, you just feel like sitting back, soaking in the moment and seeing the world pass by.
Table of Contents
The winding road in Munnar
The different shades of green in the Tea Estates
Located at an altitude of 6000 ft. in Idukki district, Munnar used to be one of the summer destinations of the erstwhile British rulers during the colonial days. While strolling around the charming hill station, I got transported back to my homeland, Assam where I grew up in a similar kind of colonial tea environment. The manicured tea gardens, tea factory and museum did not satiate my interest as I wanted to take the road towards the unknown or unexplored. While driving through the curvaceous roads, the tiny hut in the middle of nowhere, rising smoke from a distant village, smiling faces of some locals and the sprawling tea gardens became my constant companion. I was amazed to see the tea plantations, stretching endlessly through the terrain that looked like a painting.
The sun peeping through the trees
Kundala Dam Lake on my way
When the clouds play along
The twisted roads
I had not seen an entire place with such vast plantation, spice gardens and national park. After driving on those twisted roads, the landscape changed and opened up to the large agricultural farms, where I met a family selling fresh organic vegetables.
The joy of travelling to unknown is not just discovering the unseen, but meeting new people, who not only greet you with a big smile, but also welcome you with open arms to have a cup of coffee; kids jumping with joy to be in front of the camera and you unwittingly end up loading your car with a bag full of fresh vegetables.
When you get a hot cup of coffee in the middle of nowhere
The vegetable farms
The excited kids were happy posing for my lens
My face brightened up suddenly, when I saw the descending clouds engulfing the road, leaving it to a blurry effect. As I rolled down the window, the raindrops kissed my face and I let my hair down to dance with the wind.
The blurry road
When the mist covers the tea plantation
The mystic weather played perfectly till I reached the end of Munnar at a height of 1700 m above sea level to visit the Top Station.
You will get a variety of fruits and corns at Top Station
This is apparently the highest point on the Munnar-Kodaikanal road, from where one can have an unparalleled view of the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu.
The entire view was interrupted by the floating mist, leaving it to your imagination.
Munnar is well connected by road from different cities in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It does not have its own Airport or Railhead .
By Air : The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport (CIAL) at Nedumbassery. It is 125 KM away from Munnar. It has both Domestic and International terminal. From Cochin, you can hire a cab to get to Munnar. It will take more than three hours to reach the place from the airport.
By Train : The nearest railway station is at Aluva, which is at a distance of 110 kilometres from Munnar. Apart from that , there are two more railway stations names Ernakulam Railway Station, which is 130 kilometres away and the Madurai Railway Station, which is at a distance of 135 kilometres. From these points, one can either hire a cab or board the state transport or private buses to reach Munnar.
By Bus: There are State-run or private buses from various towns in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. One can take bus ride to Munnar , if you are on a budget trip.
Where to Stay
There are numerous hotels, resorts, home-stays in Munnar ranging from the budget to the high end accommodation. I personally recommend Tea County Resort for your luxurious stay , amidst the beautifully crafted tea plantation. I absolutely loved my stay at this resort.
For More details , visit www.teacountymunnar.com
I was invited by Kerala Tourism Board on a press trip.
The Watermarked photographs are owned by the writer and are copyright protected. Reproduction of any of the contents, including the photographs without prior consent/permission of the writer is strictly prohibited and a violation of the same will attract legal action.
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