If you are a resident of Kerala, then you must have been to Munnar earlier and you must know how beautiful this place. Moreover, it cannot be denied that the road journey from Kochi to Munnar through the mountains and sometimes around some hairpin turns is both thrilling and visually scenic. To reach Munnar from Kochi one has to touch the following points, namely: Muvattupuzha, Kothamangalam, Neriamangalam, and Adimali. On your way from Neriamangalam to Adimali, you will be able to behold some of the beautiful waterfalls in the country. Among the few waterfalls, Cheeyappara waterfalls is a popular tourist spot. A lot of tourists recommend visiting all the waterfalls while you are driving towards Munnar. However, if you pay attention to the visual beauty of the road and mountains around, then also you will be truly mesmerized. It is highly recommended that if you are in comfortable driving through the roads of the mountains. Other than Kochi, you can also take this road trip to Munnar from Thekkady. The time to reach Munnar from Thekkady is almost the same as that of Kochi and the points covered in this road trip are, Udumbanchola, Pooppara, Devikulam. However, when you reach Devikulam, make it a point to see the tea plantations, spring waters and other popular locations in Devikulam. This can take some extra time to reach Munnar, but it is totally worth it.
If you are looking for a road journey of a smaller span, then you can think of taking a road trip in a self-drive car from Kottayam to Vagamon. The road trip will take a maximum of 1.5 hours, unlike the previous road trip that is of more than double this amount. This place Vagamon is also called the Paradise of Kerala. Since the road trip hardly takes any time, it is advisable to go to the suicide point while driving to Vagamon. This suicide point is basically a V-shaped gorge, which appears to be a point of a suicidal jump. The tourist buses come to this spot often. Guarding this suicide point is a pine forest. To enjoy this scenic beauty you must take the road trip with the help of a car rental in Kottayam during the winters. All the tourists who have been to Vagamon via road don't support coming there in the monsoons. However, some recommend that the summer season is the best time. In my opinion, if you choose to visit Vagamon in the summers, then try to start the journey as early as 5 in the morning. The environment becomes very hot and you will soon be very tired and won't be able to enjoy the scenic beauty.
The distance is near about 260 kilometers and the initial traffic conditions are quite heavy. If you can deal with the first phase of huge traffic, you will be in for a treat as you will be able to go along the seaside. The journey is of around 6-7 hours. So, it is advisable that you start your journey early in the morning. This way, by lunchtime you will be at Kannur. The road trip includes the following places, namely: Thrissur, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kasargod, Vadakara. You can try this road trip if you have driving experience of 1-1.5 years. This will be easier to try than the road trip of Kottayam to Vagamon or Kochi to Munnar. The reason is that these two road trips mostly includes mountainous paths with quite a few hairpin turns. However, the roadway to Kannur from Ernakulam is mostly a coastal way and this is easier to drive. You can try the NH 17 to drive to Kannur as this road is suggested to people who have come to Kerala from outside and don't know the road conditions or the road maps well.
This distance is the shortest among the four routes mentioned. It is about 28-29 kilometers and will take at most 35 minutes to reach there. There is no other transportation available for this road trip than private cars unlike the previous three. Therefore, if you are really new to driving and have an experience of fewer than six months, then you can practice driving on this road trip. The trip should be taken via NH 11, which runs parallel to Alappuzha to Changanassery canal. The road conditions are very good. In fact, although this is a short road trip, you will get a driving experience that will linger with you forever. The serene beauty of nature will force you to stop the car and behold it for a while. The coconut trees of Kuttanad and a vast range of paddy fields will fall in the way. You can take your family on a picnic to Alappuzha. The journey will be short so nobody will be exhausted on the car drive.
Hopefully, you will rediscover a new Kerala, when you drive on these road trips. Among these, the first and the third trip can be taken on weekends. Munnar and Kannur are very beautiful locations and you need to stay at least for a day to enjoy the beauty and to check some of the tourist spots nearby. There are plenty of luxurious hotels in Munnar and Kannur, where you can spend the night, visit the nearby locations the next day. If you are going to Kannur, then you can take boat rides on Payyambalam beach. You can also hire houseboats on the backwaters of Alappuzha with your family.
Nice Blog which gives information regarding self-drive road trips through the beautiful destinations in Kerala. The four different routes based on distance mentioned in this article will be extremely helpful to drivers of various calibers to enjoy a self-drive trip.