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Travel Point…. Experience Corner….. down the lane of Memories


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Fact File – Munnar

Located at- Idukki district, Kerala, India

Altitude – 5000-8000 feet above sea level

Area – 26.2 sq kms

Temperature – 0 – 30 Deg C  [Summer= 15-26 Deg C, Winter= 0-10 Deg C]

Rainfall – 275 cm

Best Time to Visit – October to March

How to Reach here ?-

Nearest Airport-

Kochi – 130 km
Coimbatore – 170 km
Madurai – 180 km
Trivendrum – 295 km
Bangalore – 480 km
Chennai – 590 km

Nearest Railway Station-

Aluva – 110 km
/Angamali (AFK) – 110 km
Thrisur (TCR) –  131 km
Madurai Jn (MDU) – 152 km
Palakkad (PGT) –  153 km
Coimbatore Jn (CBE) –  170 km

By Bus-

From Coimbatore – From Coimbatore-Ukkadam bus stand, one direct bus plys to munnar everyday at 8:14 AM. Or One can go upto Udumulapet from Ukkadam bus stand(bus in every 10 minutes) and catch another bus to munnar from there. One can easily get a cab or a taxi from Udumulapet. This will be the most scenic route.

From Kochi- Direct buses are there. Or one can book a cab.

From Banglore– Direct overnight buses are there.

From Chennai– Direct overnight buses are there.

Sightseeing at Munnar-

A. Madupatty Direction

1. Flower Garden
2. Forest Honey Bee Hive
3. Photo Point
4. Elephant Park
5. Madupatty Dam
6. Elephant Arrival Spot
7. Shooting Point
8. Echo Point
9. Kundaly Lake
10. Top Station

For sightseeing, booking a cab(Indigo or Indica) costs around  RS 1100/- for a day.

B. Coimbatore Direction

1. Tea Museum
2. Nyamakad Water Falls
3. Eravikulam National Park(Rajamalai)
4. Anaimudi Peak View
5. Luckom Water Falls
6. Marayoor Sandalwood Forest
7. Thuvanam Water Falls
8. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

For sightseeing, booking a cab(Indigo or Indica) costs around  RS 1500/- for a day.

C. Kochi Direction

1. Blossom Park
2. Pothamedu View Point
3. Cardamom, Coffee & Pepper Plantations
4. Attukad Water Falls
5. Sunset View (IInd Mile)
6. Rose Garden
7. Spice Plantation Visit
8. Kallar Water Falls

For sightseeing, booking a cab(Indigo or Indica) costs around  RS 700/- for a day.

D. Thekkady Direction

1. Lockhart Gap & Rock Cave
2. Tea Plantation View
3. Trekking Point
4. Chinnakanal Water Falls
5. Resort Village View
6. Anaiyirangal Dam View
7. Spice Plantation Visit

For sightseeing, booking a cab(Indigo or Indica) costs around  RS 900/- for a day.

Fun Parks

1. Fun Forest Adventure Park
2. Dreamland Fun park

 

Tip Of The Day

Travel-Hire a bike if you want to enjoy the beauty to the fullest. Normally, they don’t provide bikes to indians(Don’t know why !!?) But you can arrange via third parties. And for non-indians, bikes can be hired through your passport.

Food- Be Alert of BEEFS !!!

Reference-

Mr. E. Selvam
M- +91-8547662066
Lodge- Kali Nivas (Located just in front of Munnar Bus Stand)

(PS- I’m just sharing the reference because we had stayed at this lodge. Mr. Selvam is a very good person. He has good network at Munnar. I have no personal connection with him.)

Don’t forget to share your experience here after the trip. Wish you a marvellous vacation. Enjoy !!!

One of the most interesting fact at Munnar is that you won’t find a single fan at any of the houses, cottages or hotels. No ceiling Fans !! No table fans !! The atmosphere at the place is pleasant and cool 24×365 hours of a year. At night , the temperature falls to even 10 Deg C or less. At the center of the roof, which is generally the place of a fan, one can see electrical plug point for a light bulb or decorative lights. We had a good sleep that night. Though the atmosphere got excessively cold that night and add to that We hadn’t taken any blanket . But it wasn’t a point of worry, as all cottages, hotels, lodges provide blanket  and hot water as a compulsory facility there.  I just couldn’t think of a life at munnar without hot water !! The water is so cold that one would freeze instantly if took bath in that.

The very next day, we woke up at 8 AM when the first rays of the sun hit our face. We completed the daily routine and went out for sightseeing of the main route of Munnar- Top Station Route. We had already told the previous day-cab driver to come at 9AM.

Day-2 Sightseeing

Photo Point– It’ll fall on the way to top station, only a few km away from the town. There is nothing there to see except that lush green symetric tea garden that will fall to the left of the road. We clicked some photos and move forward. I still don’t know what on earth that hoarding was doing there.. !!! 😦

Photo Point, Munnar

Photo Point, Munnar

Madupatty Dam– It is one of the must-visit point at Munnar. It is located around 13km from Munnar town. The view of the lake with background mountains was just breathetaking. At the nearby local market, one can get caps, goggles. If you are a foodie, you will get a plenty of items to try your tastebuds. But most of the shops sell cashewnuts(RS 260/- per kg) and home-made chocolates here. Speed-boating at this madupatty dam is a must if you are travelling ever here. The booking cost is RS 500/- per boat. And the maximum allowed persons per boat is 5. If you are single or two persons, you can club with others and book a boat. This boating facility is provided by twi groups there-Kerala govt and Tamilnadu govt. No compromise with safety. !! You will be asked to fill up a form with your personal details and will be asked to wear a Life-jacket. The ride is extremely thrilling. The riders are trained ones and exactly know what the customers are looking for. The turns, twirls, twists of the ride will give you worth of your money. And ofcourse the scenic beauty of the surrounding of the lake during the ride will mesmerize you.

Madupatty Dam, Munnar

Madupatty Dam, Munnar

Speedboating at Madupatty Lake

Speedboating at Madupatty Lake

Echo Point– It is located at a 15 mins ride from Madupatty Dam. According to the nomenclature, it is aptly named on its feature.  You can hear your own voice echoed from distant mountain. In addition to that, the picturesque of the location is marvellous. Paddle-boat facility is available here. Horse-riding can also be done here. A good market is also there at this point.

Echo Point, Munnar

Echo Point, Munnar

Kundaly Lake– After Echo point, on the way to Top station , this lake falls. A good place to enjoy some scenic beauty and paddle-boating.

KundalyLake, Munnar

Kundaly Lake, Munnar

Top Station– This is the top point of Munnar. It is like heaven on earth. When we reached at the Top point, one could hardly see anything. Everywhere there was cloud, cloud & cloud !! Whitish smoke was everywhere. The clouds clashing in the face and the chilled weather giving us goosebumps. We parked the vehicle there and walked down the road. I could hardly see bare a meter away.  We went into the tea garden , sat there & enjoyed some drinks , Lays and cashew nuts bought at Madupatty Dam. Don’t forget to bring some drinks from the Munnar town while coming to Top station. You won’t get anything at top station. Sitting in the tea garden… enjoying drinks…. with clouds clashing in the face…. condensating into water-droplets on your eye-lids…. surrounded by misty mountations. Oh Man.. !! This must be heaven… The peace , tranquility and calmness of the place was just like that sweet cream on the blackforest cake. I felt  like staying there for a day. But circumstances didn’t allow. If you are going to Top station, plan   one day stay at the Top. It’ll be a Life time Memory to cheer about. There are plenty of cottages and lodges at the top also. Food may be a probelm.  After taking a nap for a while amidst those tea-garden, we retunred back. On the way, we saw localites cutting tea tree leaves. We also cut  a few leaves. The moment I approached to the woman cutting leaves, he handed over me the knife immediately. It must be a regular case for them. It was so easy yet so hectic job. Then we came back to the point, where our vehicle was parked. There was a tea shop there. We had a cup of tea sitting in the trecherous tea garden. Even at this much of height, except tea , another yummy thing was available at that shop. What that could be !!?? No doubt… Our savior… Maggie….. 😀 Then we retuned back.

Top Station, Munnar (Tea-leaf cutting)

Top Station, Munnar (Tea-leaf cutting)

at Top Station , Munnar

at Top Station , Munnar

Elephant Park– On our return journey from Top station, we visited Elephant park. Already too many people were on waiting-list for elephant ride. As we had already done the elephant ride the previous day, so we moved forward. Normally , here minimum running  charge is  RS 700/-  and RS 350/- per head. For feeding the elephant, they charge extra RS 300/-. They have professional photographers. For taking photos, they charge RS 250/- per head. They write the photos in a CD and give that to the person. But I must say those photos really had a professional touch.

at Elephant Park

at Elephant Park

Rose Garden– There is a Rose garden only 2km away from the town in the Madupatty direction. The enrty fees per person is RS 20/- and extra for still and professional cameras varries from RS 20/- to RS 50/-. They have a good collection of flowers and decorative plants. We clicked 100s of photos there. But to our utter misfortune, the memory card got corrupted all of a sudden and left us in a havoc state as there were 1500+ photos. But Thank God !! I had a back up memory card. We continued with the photography session. Later I retrieved  around 1200 photos from that corrupted card. Well… something is better than nothing ! On that same route we had also covered Forest Honey Bee Hive, Shooting Point, Elephant Arrival Spot(But No Elephant was there !! 😦 ).

at Rose Garden

at Rose Garden

Tea Museum– Then we moved to the Tea Museum located in the coimbatore direction. But it was already 4:30 PM. And the entry to the museum was closed 😦 . The entry time to the Museum is from 9AM to 4:30PM. In 1 hour visit, they describe the tea manufacturing for half an hour and show a film based on the history of tea for rest half an hour. One could buy fresh tea here at  very cheap rate.

Tea Museum, Munnar

Tea Museum, Munnar

That was for the day. Then we returned to our room. That night, we packed our luggage and went to bed early. As we were extremely tired and we had to catch a bus at 5:10AM in the morning to our next destination-Kochi.

Click here to view Munnar Fact File


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A Trip To God’s Own Country – MUNNAR [Part-1]

After a number of  planning, rescheduling, postponement; finally the trip to Kerala-God’s Own country turned to reality on 2nd March. I, with my friend, Soumya set off on the most awaited journey to God’s own land.

The First destination was Munnar situated 1600 m above sea level. It is also called “The Switzerland of India“.

The Switzerland of India

The Switzerland of India

Journey from Bhubaneswar(Odisha) to Munnar(Kerala)-

Plan-

Jajpur Road to Chennai – By Coromondal Express[12841] (SD-7:36 PM; SA- 5:15 PM)

Chennai to Coimbatore- By Nilagiri Express[12671](SD-9:15 PM; SA- 4:50 AM)

Coimbatore to Munnar- By Bus/Taxi via Udumulapet

We had booked our ticket in Coromandal Express(12841) before two months to be in safe side and had completed background research of our targetted area of visit.Everything was set. It was time for action… !!

I boarded the train at Jajpur Road(JJKR) at 7:55 PM on 2nd March. The train was running late by 20 mins or so. My friend joined me from Bhubaneswar(BBS). We had dinner and settled to our respective seats. The chill of the AC was starting to prevail. I was engrossed in Ashwin Sanghi’s Chanankya’s Chant. After hitting a century(ofcourse of pages !!), I went to sleep. The next day we reached at Chennai nearly around 5:20 PM.

Our next train to Coimbatore was at 9:15 PM.There was ample time. So we thought of going to Chennai’s famous Marina beach. We went to park town station i.e. just opposite of the Chennai Central Front Gate. From there we caught a local train and got off at Thiruvallikeni station that comes after Chepauk.One can clearly see the Chepauk stadium while travelling by train. From there , the marina beach is just a stone’s throw way.The cool breeze at the beach was so soothening. We sat at the beach for some time , clicked some photos, had tiffin at the nearby food-stalls and returned to Chennai Central.

Evening at Marina Beach, Chennai

Evening at Marina Beach, Chennai

Marina Beach, Chennai

We had dinner at Sarvana Bhavan. Good quality south indian food. The train had arrived on the platform by then.We boarded the train and the journey continued.

The next day, the train reached at coimbatore at 5 AM. Coimbatore is an excellent well-planned and well maintained station. We completed our daily routine at 1st class AC waiting Hall cum railway dormitory. Just infront of the station, there is a “High Class Resturant“. We had our breakfast there (Idli + Eddyyapam + sambar +Chatni + kadal). The quality of food  was very good and the budget was also nominal. From there, we took an Auto to Ukadam Bus stand which was just 2km away and reached there by 7AM. The location of the bus stand is near a lake. We were planning to take a bus to Udumulapet(Runs in each 5 mins) and from there to book a cab or to find a bus to munnar. But we found that from ukadam bus stand , direct bus plys to Munnar. And the bus leaves the bus stand at 8:14 AM. It runs via Pollachi-Udumulapet to Munnar. Another bus was also there on the schedule that leaves the station 2:30PM. But it was not running at the time due to some problems.

Suzlone Made Windmill on the way from Pollachi to Udumulapett

Suzlone Made Windmill on the way from Pollachi to Udumulapett

In between Pollachi and Udumulapet, one can see many wind mills(Suzlon made). The bus reached at Udumulapet at 10 AM. Passengers had tiffin there. It left at 10:40 AM from there. After 30 mins of travel, it entered Anamalai Wildlife sanctuary. When it crossed Kerala border, the name changed to Chinnar Wild Life Sanctuary. Except a few monkeys, one could hardly see any wildlife there.  Then it passed through Marayoor Sandalwood forest. On the way , large size of tree plantaions could be seen on both side of the road. The hilly-curvy road and at both side tea plantaion’s greenery will make the ride interesting. On the way  a few cottages, water falls, trekking point could be seen. The entry to Eravikulam National park also falls on the same way. South India’s highest peak Anaimudi(8841 feet), Luckom Water falls, Tata Tea Museum, Nyamakad water falls, Thoovanam water fall can be seen on the way.

From Udumulapet to Munnar Way

From Udumulapet to Munnar Way

Excellent Scenic Beauty on both side of the road

We reached at Munnar at 2:30 PM on 3rd March. Checked into a Lodge-KALI NIVAS located at the center of the market. The room was decent. We freshened  up and went out. We had lunch at the nearby Mahavir Resturant. One of the few places at Munnar where one can find North-Indian food and most importantly not made of coconut oil. Then we went to room , took rest for half an hour. We then came out to explore the near by places and the local market.

Mount Carmel Church– This church is situated in the center of the Munnar city. A good place to kill some time.

Mount Carmel Church

Mount Carmel Church, Munnar

DAY-1 SightSeeing

Top Station route is the main attraction of Munnar. But one of our friends was supposed to join us at munnar the next day.  So we had to change our preplanned schedule. We thought of taking the other routes that day i.e Kochi/Madurai route. We covered the following locations that day.

Fun Forest Adventure Park–  This is located in the Kochi-Madurai highway direction a few kilometers away from Munnar bus stop. A good place for some warm up and adventure activities. Mostly suitable for youth. They have a  variety of activities like Multi Vain, Horizontal Ladder, Free Walk, Tyre Walk, Spider Net, Burma Bridge, EPGP, Earthquike, Zip-line, Valley Crossing , Rock Climbing, Rapling,  Buggy Ride. The price starts from RS 100/- to RS 500/- per head and depends on the activity. One shouldn’t miss out Valley crossing, Spider net if going to this place. There is also a Tree-House and the scenic view from it is spectacular.

Valley Crossing

Valley Crossing

Tyre Walk

Tyre Walk

View from a Tree-House

View from a Tree-House

Lack of regular maintenance and modification has deterioted the park’s ambiance. A few massage centers are also there near by to the Fur Forest park. Various types of massages are facilitated depending on the need and interest of person. The price varries from RS 400/- to RS 2000/- or more. After registration, they will take you to there massage center by Jeep.

Dreamland Fun Park– This park is around 4km away from Fun forest park. They provide various fun packages. Elephant ride or camel ride can be done here. There are a few other activities like Water-ballon walking, Rubber jumping etc. The whole package includes RS 900/-. For only elephant ride, they charge RS 400/- per head. But the time limit is extremely less. Only about 5 minutes. They have only 2 elephants and 1 camel. These two elephants must be the laziest elephants in the world. The old man at the ticket counter acts like he is the busiest person in the world and hardly listens to anybody. This place is mostly a hotspot for lovebirds and couples.

Dreamland Fun Park

Dreamland Fun Park

Attukad Water Falls– The Attukad water falls is a few km away from the dreamland fun park. It’ll take around 20 minutes to reach there. On the way to the water falls, excellent scenic beauty can be seen on both side of the road. A few good cottages are there on the way like Aranyakam Cottage. The view of the water fall amidst these tea-garden is just spectacular. Cardamom, Coffee and Pepper plantations also could be seen on the way.

Attukad Water Falls, Munnar

Attukad Water Falls, Munnar

Pothamedu View Point– This is the best view point at Munnar. Long Stretched tea-plantation garden getting faded  to the distant misty mountain, the lush green view, the series of mountains dancing to the tunes of nature under the grey-umbrella of those clouds will make you spellbound. Sitting there on the edge with a cup of coffee in hand and enjoying the beauty with the chilled weather will give one a feeling of heaven no doubt. Down the lane tea, cardamom plantations could be seen. The place was so mesmerizing that we sat there for more than an hour just looking at the splendid view. The view of sunset from this point is an out-of-the-world-view.The time seemed to stop for a while.

Pothamedu Viewpoint, Munnar

Pothamedu Viewpoint, Munnar

Blossom Park- This park is situated near the Munnar town. Only 2km away from the market area of the town. Though one could hardly see any blossom of flowers, but no doubt it is full of blossoming beauties :P. There is facility for a no. of fun activities also in the park e.g Water-Ballong walking, Air Gun, Bow & Arrow etc. A good place to kill some time. Ofcourse, an excellent place for lovebirds and couples.

Blossom Park, Munnar

Blossom Park, Munnar

It was already 5 PM when we came out of the Blossom Park. That was the sightseeing for the day. We returned to our room, got freshened up . As I have missed the lunch that day, I was so hungry, I could eat a horse.. We went to the same Mahavir Resturant and had a stomach-full lunch. Then we took rest for a while at our room.

In the evening, around 7:30 PM we visited the nearby market. We both ate an omlette each, tasted Raw-Banana Chop, Ripe-Banana Chop and ofcourse Masala Dosa with sambar-chatni. Then we paid a visit to the local market. The jackets were so cheap there. As next day, we were going to the Top station, so I bought a jacket for just RS 750/- which will be around 2000/- if bought from the city shops. We then had paratha and egg curry at one of the resturant. As here large no. of christians and muslims reside, so in most of the resturants beefs is also made. So one should be careful in chosing a resturant. What we used to do !!? We would first go to the resturant and ask him if they serves beefs ? After confirming that there is no touch of beef at the resturant, we would sit. Munnar is also famous for its home-made chocolates, home-made wine and home-made spicies. So make sure you don’t miss out these on your next visit to munnar.

In my next post, I am going to post the sightseeing locations on the Madupatty Route.