A trip to Munnar and neighbouring places

In this article, I have explained my experience how I traveled to Munnar and other neighbouring places and got stunned by its beauty. I have also mentioned about how we went for trekking into deep forests of Kerala-Tamilnadu border.

I, with my college friends went to Munnar recently to get a hideaway from this hot weather. We planned for a 4 day trip, and booked with a travels agency. It was meant to be a normal trip, but was made breath-taking and full of excitement. Our driver came with an Indica that started at 6.30 a.m. from Coimbatore. We went through Udumalpet where we were stopped at at least 4-5 check posts and paid Rs. 20 at each check post.

Along the way we saw huge natural sandalwood forest (as per the driver's information). As we were concentrating on the roads, one of friend cried to stop the car. There in front of us we saw 2 elephants crossing the roads (our eyes kept open). Our heart almost stopped beating. We had to wait for 15 minutes to let these elephants to cross. We were still stunned by seeing elephants when we got to see a herd of deer hoping from the fence of wild life sanctuary. Then we saw lion tailed monkeys and some birds.

The road to Munnar is wavy but with a picturesque view. We reached Marayoor at around 10.15 a.m. where we had our breakfast (as we started early from Coimbatore) at Resmi hotel. Food was ok. Then we travelled the road along Chinnar Wildlife sanctuary (where we saw different kinds of birds and langurs). At around 11.30 we reached Munnar. We first decided to visit Tata Tea museum. The museum was at Nallathanni Estate and was opened recently by Tata tea. There we saw displays of growth of Munnar tea estate, new technology used, various antiquities and stages of tea processing.

Then we headed towards Eravikulam National Park which is at Rajamalai took us around half an hour to reach. It is enriched with many kinds of flora. It was established to preserve Nilgiri Tahr, which is a rare species of wild goat. We saw Nilgiri Tahr in groups gazing at different locations. So, we decided to wait some long.

When we reached back to Munnar it was 5.00 p.m. Then after finishing our brunch we headed towards Emmel Dwellings hotel to spend night. It was an economical priced hotel and was good too. We enquired about trekking at Top Station, our driver told he knew a local trekker cum guide, so we booked with him to Pambadum Shola (paid Rs. 2300 per head).

The next morning our driver suggested us to go towards top station. So, as we started at 8.30 am, we first stopped at Mattupetty dam, which is 10 kms from Emmel Dwellings hotel and took us 20 minutes to reach the dam. We found out why it is an idol picnic spot. We bought some warm baby corns which was apt for the weather.

Then we moved to 6.7 kms to reach Echo point in 10 minutes. It was around 9.30 am. Unlike what I thought - an echo point would be on a high mountain, it was totally a different echo point, located alongside the Mattupetty Lake. The whole place was filled with silence until we went there and started shouting like anything, we heard back our own voice (freaky as all our voices echoed together). It was great experience.

After having stayed there for more than an hour we moved forward. With surrounded by mountains and tea plantations green all around, we reached Kundala at 11.00 am, which was 7.7 kms away. The Kundala dam our driver told it was also known as Sethuparvathi dam (our driver knew and told us many things) was of arch shape. We got of our vehicle to inspect the view and surroundings. It was an amazing view from the dam. Then we moved forwards to do boating. We took a pedal boat, so that we can enjoy the whole scene (paid Rs. 100 for 3 persons for 30 minutes). There were also Shikara boats and row boats available. Moving through the lake with all that beautiful nature was a divine experience. We felt peaceful and great.

Then at 11.50 a.m. we again moved again upwards to Top station. We moved through Yellapatti tea estates. At 12.10 we reached Top Station. We were pleased to reach this place. It was astounding experience. From top Station we could see the panoramic view of Western Ghats and the valley of Theni district of Tamil Nadu. The clouds can be touched form here. We felt the clouds hitting our face. This is the place where Neelakurinji flowers blossoms once in 12 years.

Then we met our local guide who will lead us to Pambadum shola National Park. It was a deep forest we went into. Through the thick trees we reached the check post where we had to get permission for entering into the National Park. It took around 10-15 minutes. Once we allowed we walked through the trees with the chirping sound of birds all around, screams of langurs and a strong smell of eucalyptus trees filling the air, with a bit fear of wild animals. We saw many little water streams alongside the trek road. There were numerous varieties of wild flowers which looked very beautiful, but we were warned about touching any of plants as it may be dangerous. We went towards a small village called Vattavada. We talked to the villagers. Then having our lunch there we started walking back towards the entrance of the park. The whole trekking took us for 3 & half hours. When we reached back it was already 4.30 pm. Then we started back down to Munnar. We reached Munnar at 4.45 pm. After having our Tea and vazhabajji we moved towards to our hotel Karthika Residency.

The third day after our breakfast at Saravana Bhavan, we started towards Lockheart Gap. From NH 49 road we turned left for 100 metres to reach Lockheart or Lockhart Gap. In total from Munnar it took 45 minutes to reach Lockheart Gap. The view from here was astonishing. We saw mountains covered with clouds and mist. It was all green and whites everywhere. Then we again moved forward on NH 49 where we hit Power House waterfalls. We had our little bath in this very chill and full of medicinal quality water. We then headed towards Kolukkumalai Tea Estate (it is the highest tea estate in the world). We realised that the whole air was filled Tea's fragrance. We went to old tea factory established there. We were offered a cup of refreshing tea, complimenting and perfect for the climate and also had our lunch.

Then we headed back towards Munnar. On way we were stopped by a hoarding which said Anayirankal dam into 10 kms left. So we drove through Chinnakanal to reach Anayirankal dam. The dam was all surrounded by Tea plantation. It was a mesmerizing view. When we reached back to Munnar it was 6 o'clock in the evening.

Then 4th and the last day of our trip we decided to go towards Pothamedu. After having our breakfast we started moving to Pothamedu view point. It is one of the hubs of tea plantation in Munnar. All the way long our driver (more of a guide) told us many things about the place. The road became scarily broken and wavy as we move up. We could see the paradise lying in front of our eyes. The clouds covered all the places. It was just divine.

From there we went to Attukad waterfalls. To reach there we have to take a long route around the hills on Bisonvalley Road and then on NH49 . Attukad Waterfall comes after taking a sharp left from NH 49. It is located near Pallivasal. It was totally a feast for eyes.

With all these serene and beautiful nature we took leave and headed back to Coimbatore via Munnar and Udumalpet. What an experience it was. Wow.

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Guest Author: Sailu26 Aug 2015

Nice travelogue. Can you share more details on how to go trekking in Munnar?

Author: Tony John30 Aug 2015 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 0

Thank you for sharing this wonderful experience of travelling and trekking in Munnar. Can you please include some of the photos also?

Guest Author: Muniraj Shanbag08 Jun 2016

I travelled from Hosa Road, Bangalore to Munnar last october through NH 47 and Pollachi-Munnar road. The drive was exhilarating. I visited Munnar, Topstation, Chinnakanal, Bodimettu and returned through adimalai kotamangala, palghat road. overall a fine experience.

Any guidance towards Kumarkom visit? which is the best season?

Guest Author: Gaurav Shirke09 Jun 2016

Pictures stands out when you read a travelogue! Anyways, nice reading through Munnar and Rajamalai Park. During our visit, I remember some skirmishes with rogue elephants in the Marayur which made us wait for few hours. Did you tried visiting Suruli waterfalls which is near Theni?

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