This Weekend Getaway is going to be a EverGreen place, Munnar(Kerala,India). Along with Kodaikannal , Munnar is always a place our family escapes to.
Munnar is always close to my heart, there are various reasons one most of my childhood holidays were there, my grandpa used to live there and one I was born there, my parents got married there!. Well thats about the history of Munnar.
Munnar was not that famous until 2000 as it is now, it is a tea plantation area which had few buses. It is the climate, the ecosystem and the lush green which makes us feel good about it.
Last time I visited was at 2012 October, we stayed around for five days. I will list down how to reach and other spots and experience usually the guide will forget.
How to Reach:
You have direct bus to Munnar from Chennai,Coimbatore, Cochin and Ernakulam.
For People from other parts of India or Aboard. Take a flight to Chennai or Cochin(most people do).
The route I follow is Madurai(My Home) –> Bodi –> Munnar –> Kundala Estate –> Themala Estate(My Uncle’s Place).
Lots of public transport are available from Theni or Bodi to Munnar. Better hire a cab from Theni or Munnar so that you could enjoy the ride very well.
Planning your Stay :
Day 1 : Check-in a Room at Munnar(it is the junction or the main area) Better places to explore are at higher level. On the way to Munnar there are many scenic location. Explore the local area like the park and local tourist attraction.
Day 2 : Plan your day to RajaMala[Ervikulam National Park)
It is the Kurinji Season(Flowers which blooms once in 12 years) now. A bus picks you up and drops at the Entrance,from there one can walk upto the last point accessible witnessing the wild Nigiri Thar(Don’t worry , they are similar to goat but being an endangered species and only place you could see them in India makes it special). They are close to you without any fences. There seems to trek organised and many more information related to the park can be found in http://eravikulam.org/eco-tourism-programs/
Day 3: Visiting the Dams and reserviours
Since it is where my mom grew up we had spent that day for friends and families and treats.
Day 4: Drive to Top-Station
We packed our lunch and drove there, Top Station is in TamilNadu Kerala Border. It is a wonderful mini Trek and very scenic. We spent the whole afternoon there and enjoyed our Chicken Curry and Steam Rice(Yummy). Wonderful place to hang out and have photos taken.
Day 5: We Stayed in Themala at my uncle’s house .
Usually while visiting Munnar, many foreign travellers to stay in Cochin–>Munnar –>Top Station –>KodaiKannal .
So they checkout from Munnar , visit Topstation and then go to Kodaikannal.
What not to miss:
The Tea is the best thing there, don’t miss the opportunity to grab a sip and buy a pack of it.
Where ever you go, try an early morning walk it is always fascinating ,getup and try to gear someone from the family or friends and walk ! Come back and have a brunch its wonderful , Trust me.
Rajamala is an awesome spot don’t miss it.
Now its the Kurinji season ,so if planning a trip do it this year or wait for the next 12 years.
If you happen to have time for a longer journey try the Munnar-> Thekady route which is also wonderful.
Try the peach fruit(My Grandpa’s house had one) there , I think it is the only place in south you can get that fruit from the tree which is not imported.
What to wear:
It is cold, but pleasant anything that keeps you warm. Afternoons are bit sunny.
Don’t forget to moisturise well, the weather actually makes you darker(not sure of the technical reason, I think it dries and chaps your skin).
Best Time of Year:
Any Time in the year except June to October(Cause it is raining there). You might experience road blocks and cancellations of treks.
During April and May ,one can except so much population as it is the summer vacation in India.
There are cases of Elephants getting mad, be careful of them. Incase you happen to trek alone or take a car chances of Elephants blocking the road is possible. Better don’t frighten the beast by honking, just wait or take a reverse if possible.
Case of spotting Tiger and bear have been there, have a whistle and a stick while trolling alone or aloof from the crowd. Always take help of local or guide.
Of course the grass is so lush and you many want to feel a Bollywood song but beware of leeches(my experience!).
Near by Access or Other famous spots nearby:
Munnar -> Cochin / Ernakulam(not tried)
Munnar -> Thekady(3 hours)
Munnar -> KodaiKannal(2-3 hours)
Munnar-> Coimbatore.(not tried)
All these are accessable by road and would take a maximum of five to six hours.
Will I go again:
Obviously , the Kurinji season is waiting I missed the last time !