Our Second day in Kerala Trip was planned for Munnar. Initially we thought of booking a hotel at Munnar so that we can enjoy the scenic view of the place in evening as well as during nights. As lot more places are stored in our other day plans we chose to visit Munnar for a day only. We had again hired a cab for the whole day and started from Cochin at 0700 hrs.
After an hour or so we reached at our Friend Parent’s house at Kothamangalam (Town in the foothills of Western Ghat mountain range) where we were warmly welcomed by her family. We were offered the wonderful , delicious mouth-watering Kerala Breakfast Appam (Pancake made of Rice and Coconut) and Stew ( a dish made with potatoes, onions, vegetables & coconut milk).After finishing our breakfast we had again started our onwards journey towards the Tea plantation estate Munnar.
Munnar is a hill station on the Western Ghats, a range of mountains situated in the Idukki district of the Indian state of Kerala. Munnar is a beautiful hill station, and was the summer resort of the British. Tourists come here to see the vast tea plantations of the area.
The name Munnar is believed to mean “three rivers”, referring to the town’s strategic location at the confluence of the Madhurapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly rivers.
Between Kothamangalam and next town “Adimali”, one can experience a beautiful cool drive through a natural forest. Alongside, we can see many refreshing waterfalls. Around 22 km from Adimali, we can start seeing the tea plantations on both sides of the road and a panoramic view of the Western Ghats.
In between we stopped at one of the tea shop located on a very picturesque location. We had also purchased a box of handmade chocolates from the shop. In places like Munnar, Kodaikanal, Ooty one can find market full of varieties of handmade chocolates, dry fruits and spices.
As soon as we entered Munnar we first headed towards the famous Flower Garden (Floriculture Centre).
Floriculture Centre – The Floriculture centre is located around 2 kms outside Munnar town. The Kerala forest division maintained garden is on the slope of a hill. It is the main attraction for its beautiful and different varieties of flowers, plants and cactus. If you like to click flower photographs then this is the best place to visit.
Entry fee: Rs 10 per person
Still camera: Rs 20
Video camera: Rs 50
This garden is a complete delight to the eye.
We then headed to our next point Mattupetty Dam
b) Mattupetty Dam: Situated at the height of 1700 Mtr above sea level, Mattupetty is located at 13 Km away from Munnar on the way to Top Station. One of the main attractions in Mattupetty is the beautiful lake, and the Mattupetty Dam, which are ideal picnic spots. The District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC), Idukki provides boating facilities in the Mattupetty Dam. Speed launch, slow speedboat and motorboats are available on hire. However due to lack of time we did not enjoy the boating here. Also one incident happened with us here because of which we all got scared and returned quickly. When we were walking on the dam (Thinking it as a road) a vehicle came and there was very less space left between us and the vehicle, three of us quickly jumped and sat on the parapet wall just to save ourselves from the Truck. When truck crossed that road we just saw down and realised what a horrible mistake we did. One slip and we all were down, thanks to GOD for saving us. All of you can only understand our situation at that time by seeing below picture taken from Dam parapet.
The next point we approached was Elephant Lake.
c) Elephant Lake – The Elephant Lake is a picturesque location surrounded by tea plantations, evergreen forests, rolling grasslands and hillocks. Tourists interested in photography can capture the panoramic view of the calm waters of the reservoir with the backdrop of dense Tata tea estates and clouds.
The Elephant Lake or Anayirangal is named so since herds of wild elephants arrive here from the dense forests of Munnar to drink water. It is very common to spot a herd of elephants by the waters of Elephant Lake. Tourists maintain a safe distance from the elephants as it is very dangerous to disturb them.
There are many food stalls available here which serves snacks, cold drinks, juice, Chips and water.
After finishing at this point we moved towards Mayaroor.
d) Marayoor – This is the only place in Kerala that has a natural growth of sandalwood trees. It is 40 kms from Munnar. It is a beautiful place to see Sandalwood trees and other attractions available here. But honestly speaking we regretted on our decision to see this place. As it was far off and we did not find anything of our interest. By the time we reached there we all had taken our share of nap and were hungry. There was a market nearby from where we had our Lunch and returned back without seeing any points.
The next and last point of our one day trip was Rajamalai National park. In the morning while coming towards Munnar we were greeted with very pleasant weather, but by evening the weather turned little dangerous and the park got closed before time. So we missed on this must visit place of Munnar.
One thing worth to mention about Munnar, whether you will be able to see all points or not, but the place itself is so beautiful that you will almost fall in love with the place. It is a cool green paradise in a sunny Tropical Kerala, away from heat and dust where cloud turns into mist.
This finishes our day tour at Munnar and we started at 1800 hrs to return back home. On our way back we again had fantastic Kerala style dinner on Banana leaf at friend’s place. I would really like to thanks to her family members for such a warm welcome and hospitality.