Munnar, The Hill Station of Kerala
The elevation alone will make you feel closer to heaven 🙂
I had a fantastic time throughout the days I spent in Munnar. Mix of thrilling adventure, rich cultural experience, some TLC moments and of course an array of excellent authentic cuisines for the foodie in me.
The weather was another vital reason why I love Munnar so much – just imagine the chilly breeze, the green everywhere you turn and the never-ending lush rolling hills as treats for the eyes!
So before I ‘dash forward’ excitedly with all the memories, here is a short write-up of Munnar itself (not that its needed but just to share!).
Munnar is a town in the Western Ghats mountains in India’s Kerala state. Known to be the Kashmir of South, its bedecked by sprawling tea gardens, with verdant green valleys and majestic mountains. It’s a hill station famous for its tea plantations established from way back in the 19th century. Situated at around 1,600 metres (5,200 ft) above sea level, Munnar town is divided into two parts, Old Munnar, where the tourist information office is, and Munnar, where the bus station and most guest houses are located.
The drive to Munnar itself is an extremely beautiful experience. All the panoramic views along the way is truly something not to be missed! Anaimudi, the highest peak of South India at 2695 m, is visible from Munnar and was indeed an awesome treat to the eyes.
The beautiful Rajamala Hills lies at about 15 km from Munnar. The Tahr Nilgiri (Hemitragas hylocres) is not the only reason to be here. The magnificent view and the picturesque beauty of this mountain will take your breath away.
Next we stopped by at Mattupetty Dam, a famous picnic spot for boating and horse riding. Its located in Idukki District & is built to conserve water for hydroelectricity. Along the way to the entrance, plenty shoplots that offers variety of Munnar & Kerala products like fresh produce, local street food, souvenirs and even clothes & DVDs can be found.
Echo Point got its name from the natural echo phenomenon that happens in its lovely lake bank. It’s located on the way to Top Station. At an altitude of about 600 ft, Echo Point is located 15 km away from Munnar.
Echo Point always has a greenish look as it is covered with abundant green sceneries. It is an adventurous destination, which will be a perfect choice for those who love to have a nature walk or trekking. The place surrounded with mist covered hills, water falls and clean air will be a visual treat.
Located at about 32 km away from Munnar, it falls on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border and is the highest point (1700m) in Munnar. The panoramic view of ghats and the valley will mesmerise anyone, what with the clouds just a touch away! Just fabulous! The mysterious Neelakurinji flowers (known as Strobilanthus) that blooms twelve years once also happens to be here. Heard the next flowering season of this flower is on year 2018. There’s also the Kurinjimala sanctuary nearby Top Station if you are keen.
I try to never miss the cultural show that is the highlight of certain places, like how the popular stylized classical indian dance drama, Kathakali, is to Kerala. In fact it was the highlight of my day as I was sitting there mesmerised watching the show that was unraveling beautifully, in front of me, almost poetically with the rich and complex characters. I was glad that I decided to watch this amazing dance drama that showcases the rich and colorful Indian culture here ‘high up’ in Munnar rather than in the hustle and bustle of Kerala cities. I also managed to catch the martial art show, Kalaripayattu, that left me dumbfounded at the sheer perseverance and discipline of the students, or to me, the warriors.
A visit to Kerala is never complete with some much needed TLC where you can really benefit from the excellent herbs and oils used in almost all Kerala massages. For some it might be overwhelming, like how it was for me, a massage lover, but when you understand clearly what you gain from it, it becomes a surprise gem, like a hidden treasure! For those who values and gets the real benefits of ayurvedic and herbs related treatment, Kerala is indeed a paradise.
I saved the best for last. FOOD, food & more food.
Munnar serves a wide variety of sumptuous local cuisines. It will not disappoint the foodie in you. Me and my sister loved the spicy fried cauliflower known as Gobi 65 so much that we ordered it at every single place we ate in Kerala! I cant even begin to list here all the different cuisines that will leave your taste buds craving for more. One thing is for sure, leave your diet plans at home, because the rich Kerala dishes will never let it succeed 🙂
Will be writting about all the other lovely places I got to wanderlust to in Kerala in my next few posts.
Till then, keep wanderlustering & travel safe!