Kerala and Monsoon are the 2 words which ring a bell for any nature lover.
Travelling in Kerala during this season could be one of the most beautiful experiences. We travelled to Munnar in the monsoon season and rains make the God’s own country even more heavenly. Munnar is located at 5200 ft/1600 mt above sea level (few hundred meters lesser than manali)
The blossoming flowers, lush green forests drenched in rains, the misty feeling in the mountains, the curvaceous Ghats presenting stunning views of the mountains – all makes the journey to Munnar a beautiful experience. The best way to reach Munnar is from Cochin or Ernakulam. You can take a bus or hire a cab from these places.
We started a bit late to Munnar from Gurvayur and it started raining heavily. Although we were doubtful of reaching due to a possibility of landslides, we took the risk and went ahead.
Since we wanted to enjoy the Munnar views from the top most point, we chose to stay in a resort called Nature Zone and booked it Online.
The resort manager was a very courteous man and he not only waited for us exclusively till we arrived, he also made sure that the kitchen staff also waited for us in order to make every bit of our experience a very pleasant one. Nature zone is 5 km inside the forest from the last point where the regular vehicles stop. Hence, the resort manager sent us their own vehicle to the pickup point at 9:30 PM. It was a bumpy but a wonderful ride on a jeep through the jungle for next half an hour or so. By the time we reached the resort, it was already 10 PM. The kitchen staff cooked us fresh and a hot food, which satiated not only our hunger, but also made us warm specially after a chilling journey through the rain and dark.
This is probably one of the most beautiful resorts where we booked a tree house for our stay. They do have other forms of accommodation such as cottages; we chose the tree house as it’s one of our long time wish to stay in a tree house. The tree houses are sturdily built with the main support of the tree and with a metal stair to reach the room. The cosy wooden rooms add to the snugly feeling during the monsoons.
The tree house is, well, a 300m walk from the main reception with no phone connection or any such facility. Phone signal was also very flaky. But that’s the beauty of the place as it gave us the feeling of staying in the middle of the jungle. The best part about rains in Kerala is that they are not incessant. It generally rains for few hours and gives way for interludes of warm sunshine.
For next three days, we mainly spent the time enjoying the views from the top of this point and a few nature walks through the jungle paths and the tea gardens.
One thing we cannot miss in Munnar is the Tea gardens visit. Munnar is flush with tea gardens which spread across 1000s of acres which are used for tea cultivation for more than hundred years. Although Munnar people are proud of their tea gardens, we heard one local giving a brief history saying that it was British ploy in early 19th Century to develop tea cultivation in India to counter Chinese Monopoly in the world team markets. Anyways, coming back to the point, yes, the Munnar tea gardens are a beautiful sight to watch and even there is a tea museum, which is one of its kind and is worth a visit.
After staying in the resort for few days, we came back to the Munnar town. The walk across the main road, though a bit noisy sometimes, can give a glimpse of the local life here. small cafes for a leisure chat coupled with some shops for the tourists make up most of the centre of the town. we stayed in the centre of the munnar town for a day mainly to observe and absorb a bit of local life.
Although Munnar is a typical touristy place, it offers many things ranging from pristine nature, beautiful tea gardens, hushed life inside the jungles and a laid back life in the town.