If a genuine tourist is interested to visit any place in India for his second trip, no wonder, his first preference would be Munnar, in Kerala, the God’s Own Country. Yes, the Mystic Munnar calls her visitor again to her calm and cool cradle.
This hill station is also known as Kashmir of the South India, set in an altitude of 6000 ft above MSL in Western Ghats of India. She embraces everything, wildlife, flora, waterfalls, misty tea plantations and innocent host population. The climate is so gorgeous as one may have to wear sweater even in the summer months of March to May. The word Munnar comes from the conglomeration of the three perennial rivers, Mudirappuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala (moonu-Aar means three rivers).
The fascinating beauty of Munnar was realised since the colonial days. The dangerous flood during 1924 washed off Munnar including the Kundala Valley Railway – the first mono rail system in India. But with its amazing beauty, Munnar reborn like a phoenix bird and become the natures wonder which attracts the world. Munnar, once known as the tea production centre of Kerala, it was the initiatives of Kerala Tourism Department which brought the panorama of this place to the world and cashed the tourism industry boom. As a result, the basic infrastructures also started developing. Just a travel of 4 hours from Kochi even in public transport can fetch here at a very low cost. Transport access is also from Tamil Nadu.
The main attraction of Munnar is the confluence of all the factors a leisure-timer needs, ie. pollution-free cool atmosphere, greeneries, trekking, watching wildlife, peaceful but low cost shelter and budget shopping for spices.
Have you confirmed the plan to visit Munnar? Plan well in advance. You should plan for maximum days to have the rejuvenating beauty of the Queen of Hills. While approaching to Munnar from downsides, one will start the feelings of the heavenly Munnar – the cool breeze washes off his sweat when the vehicle start climbing uphill. When the vehicle passes along the National Highway amidst the tea plantations, the aroma of tea makes him rejuvenated and even tempt him to have a cup of tea.
After reaching Munnar, one has to settle at a convenient shelter. Depending on your budget, accommodation is available. Conveyance to various tourist spots are also available, bus, auto rickshaw, luxury cars – all depends on your purse.
The evenings are always calm and quiet. Mist will gradually embrace you from the close heavens! Almost all hotels, homestays and lodges are cordial to the visitors. Most of them are located in close proximity to luxurious sylvan riches. After a sound relaxed sleep, the sweet avian music will gently wake you up for another thrilling peaceful day.
If you are interested in wildlife, proceed to Rajamala – the natural habitat of Nilgiri Tahr, Eravikulam wildlife sanctuary, where you can have a close watch of the most endangered wildlife, Ibex. After that make the trip to Marayoor, the natural sandalwood forest area. Enroute, you would be fortunate to watch spotted deer, elephant and Indian Gaur in wilderness. If time permits, visit Chinnar area which is a low rainfall area and Amaravathy where crocodiles are available.
Another interesting trip is to Top Station to watch the panoramic beauty of lower Tamil Nadu. Enroute feel the thrill of your echo at ‘Echo Point’. While returning, enjoy the boating at Mattuppetty dam and Kundala arch dam.
Next, an exciting trip which feels like touching the clouds, to Kolukkumala – the highest tea plantation in the world. The vehicles suited for the estate road from Surianelly to Kolukkumala is available there. The anayirangal reservoir and its picturesque surroundings remains in the eyes of the visitor who returning from Surianelly amidst the lush green cardamom hills.