My Roaming Spirit
From my adolescence, I have been a mountain admirer and this made me pass through various peaks and passes located in extreme north of India. However, this time I wanted to change the rules of my vacation and chose to visit Munnar, Kerala or as they say it is Gods own Country.
Munnar is green paradise which during British raj was one of their favourite vacation spot. The stunning destination is a 5-hour scenic drive from Kochi airport passing through bends and blind spot but as soon as you approach your destination you’ll witness the lush green valleys, ubiquitous Tea estate and dense fog that would cut down the visibility to less than 5 metres. The view of widespread immaculate tea gardens is indeed bliss and seems like nature has placed a green carpet over the town. The stupendous valleys, grandeur tea plantations, Spice and Ayurveda gardens will keep you enthralled throughout. The place is ideal for nature lovers and the views of high ranging mountains and skyline is just majestic. For the ones looking for some adrenaline rush, this place is also a biker’s paradise and you can witness Royal Enfields to Harley Davidsons cutting through the misty roads of Munnar. Munnar also welcomes adventure seekers with its variety of day and night forest trails, trekking options and a rich wildlife.
I would recommend spending atleast 02N/03D and not miss even one of below mentioned places:
1. A visit to Kanan devan hills plantation (Tata Tea Factory) is must and will be “Jaago” moment for everyone and if you are complacent about your tea making skills then I am sure you will be amused after the insights gained during the session. The educational and entertainment tour edify history, origin, types of tea leaves & garden, tea preparation traits and finally a brief of the entire process from plucking of leaves to packing of final tea crushes. While you are leaving, you can have a pot of fresh tea and buy tea leaves as souvenir for friends and family
2. Spice Gardens and Ayurveda gardens – Munnar is heaven for spices and herbal medicine. You will find spice gardens in abundance. Visit to any one of them for a walk through aromatic farms and enlighten yourself with rich benefits of each plant. You will sight all spice plants including pepper, cardamom, ginger, curcuma, cinnamon, etc.
3. Waterfalls and Dams – Periyakanal waterfall, Attukal Waterfalls, Nayamakad Waterfalls are few of the best waterfalls to name within Munnar Vicinity. Don’t miss refreshing shower under any one of them. Another must visit is one of the major water reservoirs Mattupetty dam surrounded by hills and mountain ranges.
4. Lakes, Forest and Wildlife – Trek to Sita Devi lake is one of the most alluring mountain trails passing through forest ranges and waterfall. After reaching the top, you will witness a beautiful view of the lake surrounded by forest and tea plantations. You can spend hours in serenity admiring the spectacular views. You will need to trek 2-3kms to reach the lake which is very easy & reasonable for the peace it offers. This place is completely worth your effort. Wildlife followers can visit Eravikulam National Park to sight endemic species of flora & fauna which are present only in the Nilgiris. You can also see Nilgiri Tahr(Mountain Goat) which are one of the endangered species and quite rarely seen otherwise.
5. Ayurvedic Massage and Cultural show – While leaving don’t forget to revitalise and rejuvenate yourself with ayurvedic therapies offered here. We all know Kerala is a known for its ayurvedic massages and what better place than Munnar to get a massage amidst of nature. Also, if you wish to get a close glimpse of Kerala art and culture, head to one of the many cultural shows regularly organised here and witness the quirky rhythms of Kathakali and Kalaripayattu (ancient martial arts).
To sum up my experience, Munnar is truly majestic amid its misty air, tea gardens and the spectacular mountains offering exhilarating experiences for all kinds of travellers, be it the ones seeking relaxation and serenity or the ones who thrive for adventure and thrill. So, give yourself a break from your daily chores and head to one of the most beautiful places, as they say, in the “Gods own Country”