We drove from Bengaluru, India to Munnar which was a 10 hours drive, around 500 Kms.The trip was all the more special as it was a family get together trip, My husband and I were meeting his family, my in-laws and his brother. It was a perfect three night vacation.
We had booked a red Hyundai Creta and it was a wonderful car to drive. On the way it was mostly highway initially but at a point there was a stretch of road filled with a number of windmills on either side. A long stretch and seeing the movement of the blades we could guess that it was a very windy place. The landscape was very nice. We tried to get some pictures but the wind was making it quite difficult.
The ROAD to MUNNAR
To reach Munnar we had to cross the Anamalai Tiger Reserve, and even though we did not spot any tigers, the roads were beautiful and it was a perfect drive. There were narrow smooth roads with lush green forests on both sides. It was a beautiful feeling. The air outside had also turned fresher and cooler and it was a superb feel to drive.
After crossing the Kerala forest checkpoint, after a while the landscape completely changed. The roods look washed in water, small hills all around full of tea plantations beautifully planted in disciplined formations. The two more highlights which this landscape has are the small and big waterfalls, literally on the roads and also visible on the far far hills. It was very very exciting, I love waterfalls and enjoy the sound and view of the gushing water, making its way down the hill on stones and boulders and flowing freely. However the magic of the place does not end here, all around you, you would be able to see floating clouds.
Have you ever imagined what heaven looks like? If yes, you would see a lot of images of your imagination in Munnar. If no, don’t imagine, come visit Munnar in God’s own country.
Orchid highlands were the hotel we were going to stay at, and it was a wonderful hotel. The location was amazing, and our room just perfect to enjoy the clouds around us and hills full of tea plantations. It was raining a lot and was making the ambience just perfect to relax, have a cup of tea and also to enjoy some spooky thrilling stories.
You can book you Munnar hotels here
The first evening we reached very late, and decide to just have a walk around the hotel. The walk was fun as it was completely dark without the street lights hence a flashlight is a must. We explore the place and enjoyed the coolness and clouds surrounding it. We had dinner in the hotel which had amazing Indian food.
To explore Munnar there are three possible directions which you should choose from.
- Flower Garden
- Mattupetty Dam and Shooting Point
- Boating Centre
- Echo point
- Kundala Lake
- Top Station View point
- Tata Tea Museum
- Rajmala(National Park)
- Luckam Waterfalls
- Marayoor Sandalwood forest
- Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
- Rockhart Gap and Rock Cave
- Power House Water Falls
- Anairangal Dam view
- Kolukumalai (Tea Factory)
Around the Munnar City.
- Tea Garden Visit
- Old British Church and Garden
- DTPC boarding and garden
- Hydel Park
- Pathamedu View point
- Attukadu waterfalls
- Dream land
The first day of exploration we decided to go to the Mattupetty direction.
The first few minutes of our drive from the hotel were very exciting. The roads from the hotel to the city junction were full of clouds and continuous rain. At that time we were not aware of the flood condition which was going to hit this wonderful place in a few days. However the raid added a mystical beauty to the place. It became more alive. There was no visibility on the road and everything looked beautiful. At a high point where we could just see the valley filled with clouds, we got down and got some pictures to capture the magic. We headed towards Mattupetty Dam which was around 21 Kms from our hotel.
Mattupetty Dam and Shooting Point:
Mattupetty Dam in Idukki district is a gravity dam which was constructed for power generation and water conservation. It is surrounded by green lush jungle and the drive to the place is beautiful. The water in the reservoir is very still and hence reflects the greenery of the place perfectly. There used to be boating on this place but has been stopped recently due to accidents. As for us since it was raining so much it was safer for us not to take a boat ride. There are some local shops selling souvenirs and also some comforting hot food. We had an amazing steamed corn and some sour mango with chilli and salt. It was a wonderful site to enjoy and take some photographs. It indeed is a wonderful place to visit when in Munnar. There are some balloon shooting stalls and you could try a hand at it if you want to support the local people. The backdrop of the reservoir is beautiful.
The boating centre was closed because of the rain , as it could get scary. We are glad they were closed as the news of the flood after we came back made us sigh with relief. We wanted to do take a boat ride but the water in the Dam looked higher than normal and hence the precaution.
The echo point is beautiful, on the roads on both sides it has beautiful shops from where you can buy small knickknacks to take home and support the local market. I bought some original Kerala medicine for hair, as the women of Kerala have lush long black hair and I hoped these traditional plants wood mixed with oil would help. There are also a lot of food corners where you can enjoy some food.
The echo point is just a little below the road , you take a few stairs and you see people yelling and shouting to see if it is echoing. Not all voices echoed but most of it did. Especially smaller words like Hello, Maaa, and whistles you could clearly hear the echo back. The place has a beautiful lake amidst the tea plantation hills. It was a beautiful point to stop and enjoy. Children especially enjoy the echoes.
This lake which is 1700 meters above sea level is a picture perfect place. It was raining when we reached the lake and the view was beautiful. I had heard that the sun-rays glitter on these lake, however when we reached there was no sun but the rain made the place all the more appealing. Cherry Gardens blossom twice a year and the Neelakurunji which changes the lush green of Munnar to breathtaking blue blossom once in 12 years. Though this year when we visited it was time for the flowers to bloom but we were a little early in the month.
Kundala Lake is Asia’s first Arch Dam, also known as Sethuparvathipuram Dam. You can enjoy many a things in the surrounding of this dam, like the green valleys, tea gardens, waterfalls, eucalyptus and pine trees, etc. There is no entry fee or opening hours. It is a wonderful stop on your way to the Top Station view-point.
Top Station View point:
The view-point was around 44 Kms drive from our hotel. The drive was beautiful through the lush green tea plantations and the top points. However when we reached the top station view point, we were mesmerised to see the view of the valley filled with clouds. The place is in the confluence of three mountain streams – Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. This place falls in the Kerala TamilNadu border.
This place offers the best panoramic view of the Western Ghats. The best time to visit Top station is from April to May. That is why when we were there in August we could not see much of the valley or the beautiful sun rays filling the valley. Our visit was for a different kind of view, the thunderous rain making scary noises in the valley and creating a mist which made it enchanting and increased our curiosity.
There are wonderful places to eat making fresh local food and maggi. Maggi is a delicacy in India especially at any hill station. This hot soupy noodles is a must have. We enjoyed maggi and coffee in one of the food joints and walked around the view-point wearing our raincoat , but still getting wet.
With this we decided to go back to the hotel, as driving in the dark with this amount of rain would be very difficult and so we wanted to head back. The last stretch of the drive to our hotel after crossing the city junction was scary but exciting. As before the visibility was zero and it was raining cats and dogs. Slowly we drove and reached our hotel.
Shirodhara Massage therapy.
At our hotel there was wonderful spa availability. We decided to go for the famous Kerala Shirodhara massage therapy and believe me it was one of the most relaxing and therapeutic massages I ever had. I would have to recommend the spa at this hotel as everything was perfect. The massage itself, and the steam bath after words relaxes all the nerves in your body and is the remedy for a perfect sleep at night.
In shirodhara massage you have a steady stream of oil mixed with different medicinal components which pour from a bowl on to the centre of your head. The oil is a little warm and makes you forget everything and concentrate on the dripping oil. It is meditative and has a calming effect on your nerves.
Shirodhara can help relieve symptoms of anxiety, stress, fatigue and hypertension. It relieves tension, worry, fear and headache as well as depression. It regulates mood and gives feelings of pleasure and relaxation.
A perfect day at the magical lands of Munnar. There is another day where we would visit the famous Kathakkali dance and the Eravanikulm national park, which is another experience in itself.