Our recent backpacking trip to Munnar, Kerala


I recently did a backpacking trip to Munnar along with a couple of friends. Read our backpacking experience in Munnar. During our trip, we stayed in Munnar Tea Country resort and a detailed review of the same is included in this post.

This is not our first backpacking trip, but there were a few things that made this travel different from the previous ones. First of all, this time we went by public bus and not by car. Secondly, this time, "we" means "I and a few friends" and not "my family". In last several years, this is my first travel to a tourist destination without my family accompanying me. This time I chose to travel with friends leaving my wife and kids behind at home since this was sort of a semi-business trip, exploring some business opportunities. We chose to go by bus to experience the real fun of backpacking.

Also Read: Important tourist attractions and places to see in Munnar

The bus journey didn't disappoint us. Unlike most bus drivers, our driver was very talkative and we all enjoyed our journey sitting beside him, listening to his narration of the past, present and future of Munnar town. He sounded like he has been living in Munnar since last few centuries from the time British came to Munnar and established the Tea Estates. He even offered us a Tea as if he is a host when the bus stopped for a 10 minute break at a bus depot.

Surviving the accident


Driving in high-range hills is definitely challenging unless you are experienced in driving in such places. Our driver claimed he has been driving in Munnar area for more than a decade and according to him, only expert drivers can comfortably drive there. Even though we enjoyed his stories and claims, we were a bit nervous at the speed of the bus, especially when we see very steep valleys on the sides. As if he read our mind, he mentioned that people coming from other places are afraid to drive in high ranges.

We continued our journey, enjoying the beauty of the nature. That was the time a truck came down the hill against our bus at an equally high speed as its driver lost control. Our bus driver managed to steer the bus away from the truck and stopped suddenly, almost crashing on to the muddy hill on the left side. The truck scratched the front portion of the bus and stopped after about 200 meters from the spot. The damage to the bus was minimal but our driver was under severe shock. If he was late by a fraction of a second to steer away the bus, it would have resulted in a major face to face collision of the bus and the truck.

Accident on the way to Munnar
Minor accident enroute to Munnar

Even though the damage to the bus was limited to the driver's corner of the body of the bus, our driver refused to drive the bus further since he wanted the bus to be inspected before he can continue driving the same. However, they quickly arranged to continue our journey in another bus that was coming behind.

Route to Munnar


We were travelling from Ernakulam to Munnar, via Aluva, Kothamangalam, Adimali. From Adimali, there are two routes to Munnar – one via Kallar and another one via Anachal. From Adimali. We took a bus that goes via Anachal since our destination was Munnar Tea Country Resort, which was located at Chithirapuram, next to Anachal town. If your destination is Munnar, you may take either route since both are about the same distance and both routes offer very scenic views on the way to Munnar. If you are going to a resort or a homestay, first check with them on which route they are located. Most of the resorts and homestays are far from Munnar town and you may find one on either one of these routes.

Weather and Season


We traveled during the last week of February and the weather was pretty hot. The high temperature enroute to Munnar raised some questions in our mind about the weather we are going to experience over there. As the bus started going up the high range hills, we started feeling the cool breeze and could quickly feel the difference in temperature. The temperature in night could fall below zero degree Celsius during December~January but the lowest it could go in February is 10 degree in the nights.

Our Destination – Munnar Tea Country Resorts


We were 3 people coming from different locations and were planned to meet at Munnar Tea Country Resorts for a business discussion. Everyone was coming by bus but from different directions. As per the directions from the resort manager, I took the bus that goes via Anachal route and got down at "Thattathi mukku" bus stop, about 2 kilometers after Anachal town. I found several hotels, resorts and homestays in Anachal area. According to our previous bus driver, most of the homestays in Munnar are operating without proper licenses; however, they are all safe to stay since the people of Munnar believe in safe tourism, which is the backbone of their tourism business.

After getting down at the bus stop, I asked a local shop person for directions to Munnar Tea Country Resort. He walked a few yards with us and showed us the sign board leading to the resort. It was short walk from the bus stop through a pretty steep concrete road, with a few houses on both sides of the road. The area looked like a residential area, however, once I entered the gates of the resort that was a completely different world. Other than the road behind me, all I could see around was beautiful hills, valleys and tea estates all over.

Munnar Tea Country Resort
Munnar Tea Country Resort at Anachal, Munnar

Our stay in the resort


We stayed in the resort for a day and a night and we had a really awesome experience. Even though I have stayed in many other resorts before, I don't think I have seen any other places with the kind of beautiful views this one offers. In my next post, you can read my review of Munnar Tea Country Resort.

Going around Munnar


We spent the evening walking around the resort and talking some business in between. Tea Country Resort has a beautiful amphitheater and a view point where you can sit, relax and talk, enjoying the cool breeze from the mother Nature.

Mattuppetty Boating

Since we were all tired due to the long bus journey, we went to sleep early after a good dinner in the restaurant. Next day morning, we woke up listening to the chirping sounds of birds. The first thing we did in the morning was to go for a walk through the tea estates. The resort management offered us a guide to take us through the tea garden but we chose to walk all by ourselves. Really enjoyed the Sunrise and the weather out there. A lot of other tourists, especially foreigners were walking around exploring the unpaved muddy routes along the tea estates.

We came back to the resort by about 8:30am. After a short break, we went for the breakfast in the restaurant in the resort. They had a few options but we decided to go for Poori and Vegetable curry. After feeding the energy for the rest of the day, we started for a city tour in a cab.

Eravikulam National Park

We were lucky to get Johnychettan as our driver, who is a very talkative fellow. He has fairly good knowledge about the history of Munnar. Also, he runs a Homestay business called "LizMerry Casa Homestay". After hearing a lot about his homestay business, we asked if he can show us his house. He was happy to take us to the place and show us the beautiful homestay facility he has setup. I have written a review of LizMerry Casa Homestay in another post.

Johnychettan took us to all of the important attractions in Munnar, which included Tea Museum, Mattuppetty dam, Dream Land etc. Another important attraction you don't want to miss in Munnar is Eravikulam National Park. I had to skip it this time due to the long queue there.

Update 20-May-2016: Munnar Wildlife Department has started online ticket booking for Rajamala. If you are planning to visit, take advantage of this option. Click here to advance ticket booking to Rajamala National Park.

After a full day of city tour, we bid good bye to Munnar and took our return buses to our home towns with a pledge to come back to Munnar once again in the near future, with family!


Related Articles

Review of Munnar Tea Country Resort: An experience to remember

During our recent trip to Munnar, we stayed in Munnar Tea Country Resort for one night and one day. It was one of the best resorts we ever stayed and we really enjoyed our stay there. Read this review to learn more about what we liked at Tea Country Resort.

Best Tourist Places in Kerala you Must Visit

Kerala is a mix of natural beauty filled with trees, gardens, and animals surrounded by sea waters. It's a paradise on earth; located in South India. Throughout the year, national and international tourist flocks here to enjoy holidays, learn new cultures and gain health benefits. Here I have compiled some 9 most beautiful places of Kerala every tourist must visit.

More articles: Munnar Travel Destinations Kerala Travel Destinations Homestays in Kerala Resorts in Munnar

Comments

Guest Author: Rosy20 Sep 2016

Munnar is an awesome Hill Station to visit in South India. Newly Married Couple love to come here for honeymoon. You can find some of the best honeymoon hotels in Munnar by reading this article here - https://goo.gl/feowb5 .

Author: Tony John20 Sep 2016 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 2

Rosy,

Thank you for your comments about Munnar. Yes, Munnar is an awesome destination for honeymoon couples. There are plenty of hotels there which gives ample privacy and ambiance for the honeymooners.

Author: Sara Mammen16 Nov 2016 Member Level: Bronze   Points : 0

Will send photos later



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