Thursday, June 13, 2013

Truly God's Own Country - Munnar, Kerala

Before I start writing about this place, here soothe your eyes with some green..







BEAUTIFUL pictures right?? Believe me my camera has not done half as justice to the actual beauty of this place. Probably cos these pictures were taken on cloudy and rainy September days. We took this trip last year in September. After considering places like Udaipur, Kashmir and Kumarakaom within Kerala itself, we zeroed in on Munnar, as my dad who is a member of Club Mahindra offered us some free stay vouchers for this resort. Although, we would have preferred to have explored more of Kerala by visiting Kumarakom/Allepey (backwaters) and Kovalam (beach) too, we did not do so as we had keep our vacation as short as just 3 days. Reason being, we just wanted a short relaxing vacation that would'nt be too heavy on the pocket. This was more like a break for me before I joined my new job.


About the place


Munnar, is Kerala's tea country. Apart from the beaches and the backwaters, Kerala is also known for it's hilly regions like Wayanand and Munnar. Munnar just like it's Tamil Nadu counterpart is lush green, and a tea growing region. The weather throughout the year remains chilly and is one of the highest rainfall receiving regions of India.


Travel


Munnar is a good six hour drive from Cochin. We flew from Mumbai to Cochin and then booked a cab (prepaid online) through www.TaxiCarKerala.com for our entire stay which included the travel to and from the Cochin airport.

Our flight tickets cost us a BOMB- Rs 10k per person. Actually we didn't realise that our travel dates clashed with Onam (the Malayalam New year). No wonder the tickets rates were so steep.

Accomodation


As mentioned earlier, we stayed at the Club Mahindra resort in Munnar. My taxi driver mentioned that it is the best resort Munnar has, and it was originally a part of the Taj group of hotels later taken over by Mahindra. Since, we are members, the stay for us was for free. Again because of Onam, the studio apartments and the cottages were full and thus, we had to stay in a ground floor hotel room, which had absolutely no view. (A lesson learnt. Must check for local holidays before making travel plans). From whatever hotels I could see from outside, Mahindra did look the biggest and the best.


Club Mahindra Munnar


View from the resort

Since, we did not get to stay in the cottages/studio apartment. We were slightly disappointed. Our room was like any other other hotel room. Not very small but not very spacious also. Forgot to take pictures of the room. But you can take a look at all the different rooms on tripadvisor.

The resort is huge and has an in house club house, spa, 2 restaurants and a coffee house. There is no swimming pool as the weather in Munnar does not permit to have one outdoor pool. During our stay there we did avail the services of the Kerala spa there, and must say it was quite relaxing. The staff is extremely hospitable and friendly.The food is good if you stick to Indian, can't really experiment here although they serve all cuisines. They have buffet during lunch as well as dinner. One can opt for either buffet or a la carte. The buffet for members was around Rs 650 per person per meal. We had the best time enjoying their filter coffees and pakodas during evening overlooking the rain. They were yummm. 


Things to do


There's not much to do in Munnar except for some R&R (relaxing and rejuvenating). However, we did do a couple of things there:

Visit the town and watch a Kathakali show


Kathakali Dance show
We are all for encouraging local art forms. Also, I've never seen a live Kahthakali performance. So on one one of the rainy evenings we decided to check out the market and the Kathakali show. The ticket prices are nominal (around Rs 250). There's also one martial arts performance (name can't recollect). which my driver said is also an interesting watch.

Shopping

After the Kathakali show we went to the market to buy Kerala's famous banana chips fried in coconut oil. They are yellow in colour and yumm. We were also told to buy these various handmade choclates. And we bought lot of packets as gifts for our family. Also, worth checking out our sandalwood collectibles and the handmade massage oils and soaps.

Visit the highest tea plantation in the world - Kollukumalai

Kollukumalai Tea plantation - Munnar


You know what they say that it's not the destination but the journey that matters. Well, this place is one of those places. Once you reach there you'll feel no different than being in any other part of Munnar but the journey is one helluva ride!! It's nothing less than sitting on a roller coaster, only this one is more scary. Being the highest tea plantation this lace is 7500 km above sea level and one needs to hire a jeep and trained driver to take you here, as the roads are very narrow and rough. the views on the way are spectacular, reminded me of some Scotland landscape pictures I have seen. But if you have a back problem or a heart problem , this journey is definitely not meant for you. This tour was arranged by my driver. (he didn't drive ofcourse). the jeep driver took Rs 1100 for a return journey. But it was well worth it.

Inside the Tea factory


Other things that we missed out on but can be done:
  • Visit the Matupetty Dams - there's also boating there
  • Visit the Rose gardens
  • Waterfalls
  • Anaimudi National park
The info for all these can be availed at here

Have you been to Munnar? How did you find it? Do share your stories and feel free to ask me details in case you are planning a trip there.

29 comments:

  1. beautiful pics.... everyone is travelling except me.. :-O

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  2. Awesome pics..i had been to club mahindra munnar too last April.
    It is sooo beautiful.
    Looks like u sure had fun.


    Aditi
    So-Saree
    www.sosaree.blogspot.in

    ReplyDelete
  3. I visited Munnar on our honeymoon..totally loved it!!

    http://www.myunfinishedlife.com/

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  4. Very nice travelogue with wonderful images.

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  5. your narration is so good......thoroughly enjoyed your post:)

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  6. I have never been to Kerala :(..though it is on my travel list :)
    Love,

    Bong's Belleza

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  7. wow...I so want to go to Kerala...And I was wondering why I was not getting updates from your blog. I had not followed u on GFC. Doing it now..stupid me...

    http://jennysbicycle.blogspot.in/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. that's so sweet of you Rupa! thanks for following me.. Ive been following you since some time now and I love your blog!

      Delete
  8. What for an amazing place! I love the views and the resort - and the suggestions too! I am planning a trip to India for he next year - I so much hope it happens! - and I will include your suggestions now! Yes, I would prefer staying in a cottage, but I think any place there would do - as I said, the views are impressive!

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  9. Brougt back memories from my stay at Lakeview! Such a serene and beautiful place it is. :)

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  10. Brougt back memories from my stay at Lakeview! Such a serene and beautiful place it is. :)

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  11. Heeeeyy! This totally reminded me of my stay at Lake View a few years back! We visited that tea factory too :)
    It's such a serene and beautiful place, isn't it?

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  12. That was a great post, trying to gather as much info as possible before I head down to the place :)

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  13. I've been to Munnar once with my Mom and then with my Bestie. Both times we stayed at this tiny cottage where the lady served us hot tea when we woke up and set up warm water for bathing. None of the rooms had a fan because the weather was perfect even in summer... Although a lot of people take cars on rental, we actually rented an auto for fun and they are so much more accommodating as to how far they'll take you and how often they'll stop... Ofcourse it helps if you know the language :D

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  14. Munnar is the best place to visit in Kerala. This totally reminded me my collages days...
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  15. Nice blog post. Situated in Kerala, Munnar is a spectacular place with tea plantations everywhere and mist & fog playing hide and seek. Explore Kerala tourism with various other destinations such as Kavalam, Thekkady, Khozikode etc.

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  16. Munnar is really wonderful destination Kerala. Everyone like to visit this place. This very famous for honeymoon trip. Thank you for share. know about pondicherry Places to visit in pondicherry

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  18. I also visited Munnar during my 4 Nights 5 Days Kerala Package. It was such a great excursion, to the point that I need to visit it over and over.

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  19. Munnar is one of the wonderful place in kerala.Make a visit to munnar by using a car rental service beacause they know all tourist spots in Munnar.This blog about Munnar is really great!

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  20. Munnar is awesome place all the beauty god provide here, It is best hill station.
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  21. Munnar a beautiful tourist place for the visit, It is better known for its own beauty and tourist attraction. I really appreciate you for this reason.
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  23. Kerala is beautiful place of India and there are lots of attractive places that’s why most of people want to go Hill Station of Kerala. I also like wandering because adventurer is my passion. This blog has amazing information about adventure tour.

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