Freshly water colored landscape of Munnar – God’s own art

Lord Parshuram threw the axe
And the sea gave way to a strip of land
and thus formed the green Kaleidoscopic – God’s own country Kerala. Geographically Kerala is separated from rest of India by the massive Western Ghats and enjoys an extensive coastal line formed by the Arabian Sea. The rugged, steep, wild and forested Western Ghats sheltered Kerala from mainland invaders and the long coastal line provided it maritime contact with the outside world. This land of noble and generous “King Mahabali” is generous in its offering for the tourists too. It has palmed fringed beaches, tranquil hill stations, emerald green backwaters, expressive dance arts, rejuvenating Ayurvedic treatments, moist evergreen forests and abundant varieties of Flora and Fauna.

In Kerala, the colors we noticed in abundance were Green, Green, Green and occasional Blue. It is a keralite tradition not to build houses taller than the surrounding trees and hence wherever one lives the abundant greenery always surrounds him and even the pristine blue sky is visible only in glimpses.

Picturesque Munnar

Though we planned our Kerala trip & booked train tickets well in advance, we didn’t finalize the detailed nitty-gritty. We were in dilemma regarding Munnar. Should we go to Munnar and make our trip hectic or should we stay and visit Kochin? We were anyway going to Kochin, and Munnar was around 4-5 hours bus journey from Kochin, so we decided to give it a skip.

My friend Ram Narayanan is from Kochin. I told him about my dilemma and the subsequent decision. He changed the whole plan. His strong suggestion was that I MUST visit Munnar and like most people feel about their native places he said that there is not much to be seen in Kochin & it’s a distant competitor to Munnar in terms of the beauty and charm Munnar had in offering. So the decision was taken for us.

From Kochin Railway station bus stand was very near. We got into the private bus that was going to Munnar. There were no glass on the windows and the first feeling was oh no! It seemed to be a “Khatara bus” (bus in very bad condition). I feel nauseating on serpentine hilly roads, seeing the condition of that bus I felt that I had to undergo nightmare till the time we reach Munnar. In contrast to my initial feeling, the road journey to Munnar was very scenic and having no windows was the best part, as it enabled us to enjoy beautiful landscape unhindered. Very soon we moved from the sultry and humid weather of Kochin to fresh, crispy and pleasantly cold weather of Munnar.

Munnar was the only place in our Kerala trip where we were not able to book the accommodation and felt the wrath of going to this popular destination in the peak season without any booking. After initial hassles finally we got a room in one hotel for one night and the next day we got accommodation in nearby hotel for another night.

23 rd Dec 2004 Munnar

The word Munnar is made of two words “Munnu” and “aar”. Munnu in Tamil & Malyalam (both the languages) means three and aar means river/stream. Munnar is situated on confluence of three mountain streams “Muthirappazha, “Nallathanni” and Kundala. During British rule, Scots developed it for tea plantation. Today Munnar is the commercial center of some of the highest tea growing estates. Initial settlers to this place were Tamil laborers who were brought here for cultivation of Tea and coffee and this is one of the reasons that Tamil is also widely spoken in Munnar.

We hired the auto rickshaw to drive us through the ups and downs of the quaint surroundings of Munnar. That day our morning half was lost in travel to Munnar and in the search of a decent accommodation. Only afternoon was left. We decided to explore tourist’s attractions towards the Cochin direction. The auto took us through the rustic pathways of sloppy mountains. As we moved just one km or less out of Munnar, we were awestruck by the beautifully and carefully manicured hills that rolled down from the sky up to our legs. It had rained only a day or two before and that left the tealeaves devoid of any dirt and dust and the lush green slopes of mountains were looking like a beautiful painting done in watercolor with pristine blue sky in the background.

Kerala is blessed with two monsoons in a year – the southwest monsoon that last from June to August and Northeast Monsoon that last from October to November. These two monsoons together cast a spell over the greenery of Kerala. Good rainfall over the year ensures numerous waterfalls in Munnar and around. We saw very less tourists around these waterfalls. The deafening sound of these garrulous cascades and the beauty around them soaked us in

Athukadu Water Falls
Athukadu water falls

Though we were thoroughly enjoying the auto rickshaw ride through the green, serene and peaceful hills, soon we started to feel the itch in our leg to walk among those green Labyrinths. From morning we were in the vehicle, first in the bus and then in the auto and exploring a town only on vehicle gives a feeling of incompleteness. We told the driver to take us to a dense tea plantation without any visible patch of land where we could walk in the tea estate.

Tea Estate of Munnar

He dropped us at this beautiful place & told us that he would be waiting at the top at the Sunset point. As we started to walk, Gulzaar’s beautiful lines of Aandhi Movies song came to my lips

कहाँ से चले, कहाँ के लिए, यह खबर नही थी मगर, कोई भी सिरा जहाँ जा मिला, वन्हि तुम मिलोगे मगर …

A poor English translation can be

“From where I started, where to go,
Was never clear to me,
But I was sure, wherever my path will lead me,
I will find you there.”

Walking on those rustic pathways was like walking in a dreamland. We passed the smiling women laborers returning home after day’s hard work. As we walked up we saw the Sun playing hide and seek among the leaves of the tall trees around. At the top we ordered for the tea and while sipping the tea enjoyed the reddish ball going down in the hill crested horizon.

Sunset Point Munnar

The final destination of the day was the Blossom Park. This park had many varieties of exotic flowers and that was our first trip with a digital camera, so it was a very good opportunity for us to capture those beautiful flowers.
Blossom Park, Munnar

Blossom Park, Munnar

Blossom Park, Munnar

Blossom Park, Munnar

Blossom Park, Munnar

(I wish that I could write name of these beautiful flowers. It’s my dream to read in detail and know about so many varieties of flowers around us. It is among many activities, planned for post-retirement. )

24th Dec 2004 – Next day after breakfast we again hired an auto. The plan was to move in Mattupetty direction in the morning and to the Coimbatore direction in the afternoon. In Munnar it’s impossible to escape from the calls of the mountain that lures you with its magically green-carpeted slopes of tea plantation. The verdant green was dotted with red and blue and violet colors of the women who were plucking the tealeaves.

Tea-Estates of Munnar

We were told that for the finest quality of tea brands plucking starts with just the very smallest blossom, two tealeaves and a bud of the tea flower. In growing season every plant grow a new bud after seven to ten days. For tea connoisseurs’ tea is like wine – it varies with elevation, location, aspect and climate.

The cool, mild breeze was playing a melody. We stopped to admire the splendid beauty around us. For miles and miles it was tea plantation everywhere. There were silver oak tree between the tea plantations to reduce the speed of water flowing down.

Silver Oak Tree

I think the only thing we missed at that moment were the flowers among the lush green landscape.

Rachit Among Tea Plantation
Rachit compensated for the lack of it by agreeing to pose here.

From there we arrived at Mattupetty dam. Mattupetty Dam/lake is a picnic spot.

Matupetty Dam

Apart from boating, this place is also popular because of dairy farm – Indo-Swiss live stock project – around it. When we visited that place the farm was closed for tourists for indefinite period because of outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

The passion Fruit

It was here that we tried the passion fruit for the first time. Passion fruit is a native of South Brazil through Paraguay to North Argentina. The reason for it being named so is that the Spanish Missionaries in South America found part of this plant’s flower showing many religious symbols. In this flower they found ways to illustrate Christ’s crucifixion. The fruit was very sweet and was having lots of seeds in it. It was not love in first taste, may be trying it several time would change my opinion about it.

The flower of Passion Fruit

In this era of globalization, it’s not surprising that I tasted this S. American fruit in S.India and photographed its flower in the mountains of Cinque Terre, Italy

Then we moved to Echo point – Until then I thought that the echo points are all farce as most of the time you hear almost inaudible echo and you keep wondering was that really the echo of your sound or something else. That place was not even covered with the hills, so I was skeptical. At that point pleasantly Rachit and I could hear echoes of our voice – Great fun. I enjoy shouting at the top of my Lungs and feel that it’s a great de-stressing exercise. I remember that at the time of Annual functions in my college, when I returned to hostel after continuously hooting for around 3-4 hrs, I felt very relaxed, no thought wandering in the mind and no desire to speak for some time. It was interesting to see Naseeruddin Shah preaching the same to Sanjana Kapoor in Movie “Hero Heeralal” – “Whenever you are under stress, hold this tree and shout at the top of your lungs and it will drain out the stress.”

Echo Point in Munnar

So after de-stressing, we moved ahead and saw the Elephant helping human to its best. There were big logs of wood that Elephant had to put on the truck. I was wondering that would it be able to lift those heavy logs and put it into the truck. Then I saw how it worked. The elephant was pushing those logs with its forehead and as soon as it rolled up a little those around put stones to stop it from rolling down.

Elephant with logs

The last destination of our pre-lunch itinerary was the Top Station, the highest point on Munnar-Kodaikanal road, and a tiny hamlet at the boundary of Kerla and Tamilnadu. Top station was connected to middle station (Kundalai) and the lower station (Munnar) through ropeways and railways during the colonial regime. At that time the best quality of Tea was grown there and was later on brought down through ropeways and railways. The ropeways and railways are not working now and the stations for that purpose are converted into stores.

The slope of mountains around Top Station had the abundant and proficient growth of rare NeelaKurunji Plant (Strobilanthus shrub). This plant blossoms only once in 12 years. Last time it blossomed in year 2006 and the next flowering is expected in year 2018. In its year of blossoming, these flowers picturesquely carpet the entire hillsides with its mauve blossoms. The honey collected at that time is considered to be the sweetest.

Tree Tomato, Tamarillo

Here we saw people selling an egg shaped fruit – Tree Tomato. After palpating the fruit, I squeezed it in my mouth. It tasted similar to Tomatoes. This Fruit is also a native to S. America and on trees its held in cluster like Cherries.

The mountain slope around Top station was covered with dense vegetation. It was very misty at that time. Otherwise one can enjoy views of far-flung Western Ghats from there.

Top Station

Post-Lunch we moved towards the Coimbatore direction. Our driver stopped at a point where a rope was tied to stop unauthorized entry into a private tea plantation. He removed that rope and we started to descend down. There was music around of the water gushing down in the vicinity. As we descended further we saw a fierce roaring cascade from a distance. I was a little scared, as we moved further we realized that we didn’t have to go that down. There was a smaller, safer and beautiful waterfall at that point itself. We crossed a little water puddle to reach a point from where we could touch the water flowing down.

Rainbow in Munnar

Our final destination of the day was Eravikulam or Rajmala National park, home to the highest peak of south India, Anamudi – 8842 ft above sea level. Again after whole day of auto journey we found it a good place to walk. We walked in relaxed pace on well-laden path to the top. We had spectacular views of serpentine roads with hairpin bends in the valley. On the top we saw Nilgiri Tahr – an evolutionary link between antelope and goat.

These tame mountain goats were near to extinction because of their continuous hunting. Thanks to this national park their number is now continuously increasing and the danger of their extinction is over. Half of world’s population of this goat is found in this national park.

The mountain goat was scaling the steep slope and slippery rocks of the mountains. We moved down, clicking this extremely camera friendly animal, doing goat walk on the wild ramp of Rajmala national park & eating their favorite Shola vegetation.

The images of Munnar are still very vivid. Our memories of Munnar are pregnant with the vicinity of the rugged peaks, carefully and beautifully manicured tea estates, wild streams flowing with their feathery touch to the wild and plantation alike, and the cold air having coldness of purity & not harsh enough to penetrate. Combination of all these made our visit to Munnar a very rejuvenating experience.

48 Comments

  • Arun says:

    emerald green backwaters? where is it? All over Aleppey/Cochin it was fairly dark color when I was there.

  • Arun says:

    The logs that elephant was carrying, was that silver oak? Or something from the natural forest?

    The picture of the waterfall is nice. Thanks for the write-up.

  • manish khamesra says:

    Emerald green backwaters were there in Kollam, when I did a trip there in 2005 start. I will like to see your comment on that once I finish that post too. backwaters around towns is definitely very polluted and something should be done to keep its beauty intact.

    I think the log that elephant was carrying should be from natural forest and not silver oak of tea plantation. Its unfortunate as its means we are less with some trees without any new planted in their place.

    Thanks for your comment.

  • Ram Dhall says:

    Manish: Here you come out with another astounding travelogue. Simply beautiful and very well supported by some excellent graphics.

    I have heard a lot about the picturesque Munnar from a Keralite colleague, who has a family house fairly closeby. Your post has given me adequate impetus to include Munnar in our itinerary during our next visit to Kerala.

    I will try to give you the names of the flowers shown above. My wife has an avid interest in gardening.

    I must acknowledge that after reading your post, my urge to meet you shortly has become stronger.

    I am available at cell no. 98112 92893. May be we can plan to meet some day.

  • bikerdude says:

    Manish, mind blowing pics and an amazing write up…

    Just a suggestion… shouldn’t all Ghumakkars plan a meet somewhere outside of delhi? Family of Ghumakkars living it up, doin what they want to do the most… Travel. Nandan, if you are reading this, please take up this thread and develop this into something worthwhile.

  • manish khamesra says:

    Ram Sir,

    Thanks for the appreciation. It would be very nice in case your wife can name these flowers. There are so many beautiful flowers around and I know so little about them. In-fact I was planning to put a question to fellow ghumakkars to name them so I can include it in the post as well as for my future reference.

    Once I was also wondering that why Google doesn’t search the pictures, instead of text why can’t I give a picture and searches all pictures matching that :) Munnar trip is one of my memorable trips. If any of my friends is travelling to Kerla I strongly suggest him to include Munnar in the itinerary.

    Thanks again for your generous appreciation.

    I will call you.

  • manish khamesra says:

    Manish,

    Thanks for the appreciation. I am very impressed by Ur current series of wishful riding. I must say that it becomes really difficult to understand that you are writing about your dreams or you have already been to all these places.

    You have very vivid imagination, may be also because of the avid ghumakkari you have done.

    Thanks for your comment and liking the post.

  • Patrick Jones says:

    Wonderful description and beautiful pics. Wonder why I have never been there eventhough I left ‘God’s country’ long time back. I shall surely include Munnar on our next year trip.

    Once small correction; ‘Munnu’ and ‘aar’ are Malayalam words as well.

    Pat

  • nandanjha says:

    There you come again. I have just read comments so far :) (I always have this bad habit of reading comments first and then the story, in fact I fail to remember when I last read Outlook magazine from first page, its always from the last page)

    and I am yet to read the story but couldn’t stop my self from commenting.

    the community is charged up. The idea of getting together is good but we would need to work out the logistics. May be in future, we can actually have a Delhi-Chapter of ghumakkar and likewise. Probably these small ghumakkar communities could exchange ideas/thought beyond the website as well (in person meeting, mails etc).

    Let me think about and refine this and get back.

  • smitadhall says:

    Very, very nicely written post, this one. The pictures are beautiful and I just simply loved the third one – the long shot of the tea garden, it looks like a leaf under a microscope. just keep going!

    The idea of Ghumakkars out on a trip is so aspiring… it’ll be great if we can do it!

  • nandanjha says:

    Now I finally read the whole thing. Nice Photos. You did the whole story in one part :), probably the plan is to do Kerala in parts.

    Keep going.

  • Manish khamesra says:

    Thanks Patrick. I wish that the posts I am going to write about Kerla will be able to bring back some good old memories :)

    I will do the correction about Munnu and aar in my post. By the way do they mean the same in Malayalam too.

    One discussion point Patrick: A little sensitive issue too (though I don’t understand that why people are so sensitive to such small things) – I know pretty well that Telugu is based on Sanskrit. I have read that Tamil has no correlation with Sanskrit, its supposed to be based on Dravidian language. What about other S. Indian languages like Kannad and Malyalam. I think they are also based on Sanskrit. If yes, why there are common words to describe numbers.

    Once we were discussing on coffee table: how easy for a S. Indian to understand languages of southern India apart from that of his mother tongue ?

  • Manish khamesra says:

    Thanks Smita, third photograph is a favorite of ours too. Your imagination about it is too good and when I think similarly I feel yes most probably looking at some leaves under microscope will give similar impression.

    Its good to know that you liked the post. Thanks again for the praise.

  • Manish khamesra says:

    Nandan,

    It occurred many a time to me too that post has become lengthier than that can be read in one go. I thought of cutting it into two, but I also felt that it will spoil both the posts, so I decided to go with a longer one.

    Target reader are the one who are planning to go to Kerla and I felt that they will not mind reading this very lengthy post in one go. It may finally add in making the decision.

    Yes the plan is to write several posts on my trip to Kerla.

  • Cuckoo says:

    Awesome pictures and equally wonderful description and even better memory. I wonder how you remember all the accounts which you experienced more than 3 years back.
    I have traveled a lot but most of the times the next trip overwrites the intricate details of previous one even before I log them.

    Nice post, Kerala is on my list since last so many years.

  • Cuckoo says:

    Just a comment on your coffee table discussion – No, it is not easy for a south Indian to understand other south Indian languages. :)

  • Manish khamesra says:

    Thanks Cuckoo. Somehow that trip is still so fresh in front of my eyes. It may be a result of a beautiful trip, digital photographs (As after having digital camera, we have found that we can take so many photographs) or may be the place in itself is unforgettable.

    Kerala is no doubt very beautiful, I think a few posts on Kerala will help you decide your destination or may be you will explore something else and we will be enriched with your experiences :)

  • manish khamesra says:

    Cuckoo,

    Regarding coffee table discussion, I was of the same opinion(unfortunatley quite alone at that time). Later on I asked one of my Telugu friend, he was also of the same opinion as mine.

    The point of discussion was that are there some common words used, that will make it easier for a S.Indian having another mother tongue to understand a person speaking another S. Indian language. Or how easy it is for Telugu speaking person to learn Tamil as compared to one in North.
    Can people in S. India enjoy movie in other language.

    It all started with Munnu and aar. If the same words are used in Malyalam, how close these two languages are?

  • Cuckoo says:

    Well, if you speak about Tamil & Malyalam, they both are more similar compared to other two S. Indian languages but still if people don’t live in border area (e.g. Palghat) they won’t understand much of the other.

    I think the people from south India will understand Marathi (because of usage of Sanskrit words) better than any north Indian language.

    Anyhow, I don’t think Ghumakkar is the right platform to discuss this topic. :)

    When I get time, I’ll write about it and invite you to participate. :)

  • manish khamesra says:

    I agree with you Cuckoo that ghumakkar is not a right forum to discuss it. It may open a pandora’s box for me too :)

    I will wait for your investigations.

    A curiousity how can you write with such confidence on the subject ?

  • Celine says:

    A lovely lovely post on Munnar, a place I’ve been to, and enjoyed much but have not written about. I visited the place with a large group and after a day or two, most of them wanted to get back to sea level, except a few, me being one of them.

    Manish, your bubbling and interesting post brought back beautiful memories, thank you. And beautiful photographs.

    I look forward to more discussions on the topic of languages, wherever they maybe, please let me know as I feel I could contribute as well since I read, write and speak 8 languages.

    PS: I’m setting out on another short trip, see you all next week.

  • nandanjha says:

    8 languages, thats a lot many.

    This may not be the best place to discuss languages but I guess its educative enough for me at least to read all the comments. So carry on till you guys find another place.

    by the way, can any one answer Manish’s original query about ‘Munnu’ and ‘Aar’. Do they mean same in both the languages and if they do then is it normal to expect. My mother tongue is Maithali and I know that there is an overlap with a particular dialect of Bengali which is usually spoken in border areas of Bengal (Assam touching, Sileti etc)

  • Cuckoo says:

    @Manish : Investigations ? I’ll write what I know. :)

    @Nandan: Yes, they mean the same in both the languages.

    @Celine: Bingo !! If you read my profile somewhere, I have written the same. i.e. I too know 8 languages plus understand a few more (can’t hold conversation though) including Maithali. Now, I can see Nandan jumping off his chair !

  • Manish khamesra says:

    Thanks Cuckoo for the confirmation. Now I am editing the post to reflect that Munnu and aar are Malyalam word too. :)

    Its so impressive to know that you and Celine have command over 8 Languages. Great, Pretty impressed. I am on the extreme other side, sometimes I wonder that if I could have conveyed, what I am want to convey through sign language, I won’t be speaking even one ;)

  • Manish Khamesra says:

    Thanks Celine. I am happy that you were able to relate my description with your travel to this beautiful hill town.

    I wish you a wonderful tour.

    When you are sitting in your home and you hear someone talking about going on vacation, it gives the same feeling which I had during my college days. Someone going home, after his exams are over and you getting stuck as yours are not :)

    Enjoy and come back with tons of stories to share.

  • Patrick Jones says:

    Sorry guys, for responding so late; Holy week/Holi to blame.

    As Cuckoo already cooed about ‘munnu’ and ‘aar’, I shall try to answer the other one where I have to gently disagree with Cuckoo.

    Similarities in Southern languages lies along the state border; if there is a common border, there are common words. Applying this principle, Malayalam-Tamil and Malayalam-Kannad is possible but not Malayalam-Telugu! Malayalam is the youngest of southern languages and it has taken words from Sanskrit and Tamil. So to some extent, one can understand the other.

    I Never had much interaction with Kannadigas but what I heard from people of Northern Kerala – which borders Karnataka – is that they can follow Kannad to some extent.

    Tamil movies enjoy a good following in Kerala but never heard of Telegu films running there.

    It was meant to be just for information but thanks for correcting ‘munnu-aar’, Manish. Another very minor correction: the state name is spelled ‘Kerala’ and read ‘Ke-ra-la’. First I thought it is a typo but since it is repeated 9 times, thought I’ll let you know. No, please don’t make changes in the post but it’ll come handy later :-)

    Celine/Cuckoo: you pricked my inflated ego of knowing 3 languages with your 8 count. I am pencil-thin and back on earth now. Wow!

    Pat

  • Manish Khamesra says:

    Thanks Patrick for letting us know about origin of Malyalam, and that it has borrowed words from both Sanskrit and Tamil.

    I corrected Kerala too. Thanks for pointing it. I think the best way to acknowledge my ignorance is to correct when I know the mistake :)

  • Gyana Geetha says:

    Dear Manish,

    You are an ace photographer, poet, and scholar all rolled into one!
    I really enjoyed reading your post. Your descriptions are at once soulful, informative and lyrical.

    On the language front… it always fascinates me and fills me with pride to belong to a country where the language (or the dialect) changes every few hundred kilometres.

    While travelling during school holidays by state transport buses from Trivandrum to Tuticorin(in Tamil Nadu) I had the chance to witness it myself. From Trivandrum(Kerala) to Nagercoil (on the Kerala -Tamil Nadu border) the bus driver and conductor spoke to each other in Malayalam. In the bus we got into from Nagercoil to Thirunelvelli(in Tamil Nadu) the language was malayalam with a generous helping of Tamil. In the third bus, on our way to Tuticorin, as you would have guessed by now, the driver and conductor conversed in Tamil.

    The idea put forward by Manish of all Ghumakkars meeting is inspiring.
    Nandan, How about an informal Conference of Ghumakkars? With presentations perhaps, question – answer hours and of course fun and games.

  • backpakker says:

    glad you had a great trip down south…enjoyed reading it and brilliant pics

  • nandanjha says:

    Geetha – More and more people are asking me to have something where we can probably meet and talk. The situation is that most of the active ghumakkars are spread all over and it might not be fair to do something in Blr or Delhi leaving others out of it :)

    Over time, we can probably have something like ‘Delhi Chapter of Ghumakkar’ where we can arrange local activities, a visit to some place or a travel-movie screening or a travel-book-reading session.

    so much to do. I am thinking is what I can say as of now :)

  • manish khamesra says:

    Hello Geetha

    I am very happy that you enjoyed reading about Munnar. You have used so many beautiful adjectives on this post that in the beginning I wondered are you talking about me and about this post! Thanks for being so generous in your praise. I wish that I continue to write travelogues that are equally liked by you and other readers.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your anecdote and interesting travel that you took from Trivandrum to Tutikorin. It shows your keen observation and it also very well summarize that how languages changes and evolve after a few 100 Km. Such beautiful comments and anecdotes makes reading comments too a highly enjoyable activity.

    I think suggestion from Manish Chachra is very well received and with more comments coming from Nandan and other ghumakkars, I feel that its going to be very interesting :)

  • manish khamesra says:

    Backpakker,

    Its after a long time that I saw a few comments from you. I was a little concerned. Good to see your comments and waiting to read more from you, soon … Its a long time that you have posted anything at ghumakkar.

  • Gyana Geetha says:

    I did write to Nandan that Ghumakkar.com is becoming addictive for me. What with reading even the comments (as you mention) becoming such an enjoyable activity!

  • Celine says:

    Hey guys, the conversation on languages has continued I see here.

    Cuckoo, I know where you have written about you being proficient in 8 languages and other computer languages as well.

    Patrick, I do not think it’s a big deal to know 8. You may be excellent in other matters that I might admire in you.

    Manish, thanks for your kind words and good wishes.

    I got back from Jordan, and had a good trip, including of course, a trip to the so-called New Seven Wonder of the World, the Petra.

    Nandan and others here, I hope you all don’t treat me as an ”alien” when you have your ghumakkar meet, I insist that you invite me too..haha! Remember, I may be a non-resident but I am very much an Indian. :)

  • manish khamesra says:

    Geetha, same is happening with me too. Ghumakkar is my first blogging experience and I too find that its becoming addictive :)

    Do you have any in your friend circle who has joined Emway? If you are not among those lucky ones. I can tell you the traits of any of your friend joining Emway. Whenever you meet them, they always talk about Emway, their wonderful products, the amount of money one can make after joining them and they will insist a lot to join it.

    Same has happened to me too. The only thing I am most updated about are the beautiful posts that have been posted on ghumakkar. Many a times I have to forcefully keep my mouth shut among close friends as the moment I will speak, I will talk about ghumakkar :)

    I think Nandan should include a statutory warning that this bug of ghumakkari is highly infectious and people getting infected always dream of
    travelling/beautiful locations/adventures and meeting many nice people on earth.

  • manish khamesra says:

    Celine,

    Do you want to say that “…Phir bhi dil hai Hindustani and will remain so” :)

  • backpakker says:

    Hey Manish,

    Im well thanks…just been going through a bit of writers block and other issues..just broken my jinx on my blog, so will be back on ghummakar soon , but let me first enjoy the articles being written

    -lakshmi

  • Bhooma says:

    The photos are really beautiful and thankyou for including the unique flower photo which you got from Italy.

  • manish khamesra says:

    First of all, welcome on board and thanks for your kind appreciation. I heard about you from Smita and Nandan and I must say that more and more people like you will join Ghumakkar, more blessings we will have. Thanks for being here with us.

    I am also looking forward to go through article on Jogja which had a beautiful picture of a volcanic mountain. I am a little busy these days, but hope to catch the backlog soon :)

    Thanks again.

  • Philip Mathai says:

    Hi! Manish, The Photographs are very good. One of my hoby is also photography. I had the oportunity to visit the place 63 years back. After that several changes were made in the Boundaries of District etc. It was in Devikulam Disitrict then. Now it is in Idukki dist. The madupetty Dam is not correctly spelled. It should be Mattuppetty. I have checked this in Internet and found it is still Mattupetty.
    Near this place you could see the Real Devi kulam. Devi means Godes Sita Devi and Kulam means Lake. It claimed that the mineral water of this lake have madicinal value.
    63 years back I stayed in this place with my Brother who was asupervisor of One of the Estate, and my Uncle was aTea Maker. Munnar’s boundary was confined only to the small town named Munnar.

  • Manish khamesra says:

    Thanks Philip, first of all for joining us, the ghumakkars, and secondly to correct my mistake. I have corrected it in the post too. Somehow I was under the impression that you are much younger. So when I read 63 years, first I could not believe it. And then I realized that we got the blessings of yet another senior person. I am sure we would get enrich through your enormous experiences.

    Thanks for the appreciation of the photographs and its interesting to know the meaning of the word Devikulam.

    So you have been part of Munnar, when I suppose it was even more beautiful than now. I am also looking forward to read your post on city on joy.

  • Patrick says:

    My god, jusy saw that photos and what wonderful photos. Though from the southernmost tip of south india i neglected going around Gods own country. Have to make it up soon.
    Pat (jas)

  • manish khamesra says:

    Dear Patrick Jasper,

    Thanks for liking the photos and after seeing the photos if beautiful Munnar is calling you, my job is done :)

  • Jerry Jaleel says:

    Hello Manish:

    Congratulations for a well written article on Munnar supplemented with gorgeous photographs of flowers, fruits and of course the Nilgiri Tahr. Reading this piece brought back memories of my visit to the area in 2005. I too was able to photograph the Tahrs (ibex) and a number of wild flowers there.

    Speaking of the wild flowers, I think your 5th photograph is a daisy flower. At the entrance of the Eravikulam wildlife sanctuary, there was an area cordoned off for Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes) plants which was flowering during our visit. That particular patch won’t flower again until 2017, we were told. But there are always other similar patches in blooms every year in different parts on the Western Ghats. Aparently there are over 40 different species of Strobilanthes exists.

    I enjoyed your writings and the images.

    Jerry Jaleel

    • Manish Khamesra says:

      Thanks a lot Jerry for your insightful comments on several posts of mine :-)

      So you also traveled to Munnar in 2005. No one drew our attention towards blooming Neelakurunji plant at that time. I thought that it seems to grow only around top station and the year one could have seen it blooming was 2006 and next expected year is 2018. Thanks for leaving this interesting information that there are patches that blooms in different years in different parts of the Western Ghat.

      Its a pleasure to get a comment from an erudite traveler like you.

  • tripper says:

    my parents are just back from their kerala trip…usually i accompany them on their trips i gave a miss to this one since am now married…….iam really really repenting for this descision of mine….they are constantly talking to me bout munnar, allepy,cochin…etc…….etc…..they are big ghumakkars since 4 decades…..juzzzz havent been able to put their trips on blogs….hope i could do something for themmmmm…..but ur post surely makes me want leave my 9 to 5 job……and survive on pure ghumakkari only….wish god would hear me some day…..

    • Manish khamesra says:

      I can understand how much you might be missing the trip ,for both the reasons: Kerala is a beautiful place and its so enjoyable to spend time with parents esp after marriage when you start spending lesser time with them and that too in the relaxed environment of lush green Kerala.

      It will indeed very interesting to read travelogues that bring back the memories of decades of travelling. I remember reading such an account of Mr Mani Ghataraj on ghumakkar.

      Recently I read “Konark” by famous Oriya writer Pratibha Rai and while reading it I too wished that I could travel like the hero of the novel, who was indeed surviving on pure ghuamakkari.

      If not this kind of ghumakkari, where one has to survive on ghumakkari only, still I wish that you travel a lot and its easier in the intial years of marriage.
      So wishing you a Ghumantu year ahead :-)

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